This was a tough Top Ten Tuesday, I have read almost 70 books this year (not including any books read for college). It’s not quite as many as I’d hoped to read, but it’s still a lot. It’s hard to pick just ten, but there were some real stand-out reads. I have read some brilliant adult books and picture books this year too, but I’ve decided to focus on YA for this list.
1) More Than This – Patrick Ness
This was one of the most exciting books I’ve read in a long time (and the most exciting this year) as I literally had no idea what would happen next.
2) Every Day – David Levithan
Every Day was another unusual read, and also a very moving one. I really connected with it, and was delighted to get the chance to meet David Levithan at two of his events in Dublin this year. The companion novel, Rhiannon, is possibly the book I’m looking forward to most in 2014.
3) Paper Towns – John Green
I think this is my favourite John Green book, I just love the characters and the exploration of identity and how we perceive others. Of course, I also love The Fault In Our Stars, but as I read it in 2012 (on Christmas day…a very emotional Christmas was had!) it wasn’t eligible for this list.
4) Study Trilogy (Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study) – Maria V Snyder
Perhaps the best fantasy I read in 2013. I was utterly gripped by this series. The protagonist was really strong – I liked that Yelena was slightly older than the normal YA protagonist (she turns 20 in book two) and felt she was a very powerful and determined character. I liked that Maria V Snyder showed the psychological impact of Yelena’s past, and found the series really compelling. Looking forward to reading the Glass trilogy next year.
5) Improper Order – Deirdre Sullivan
I love Prim, the witty protagonist of Prim Improper and Improper Order. Her diaries are wonderfully funny, and Improper Order was also very moving and honest. Cannot wait to read more about Prim!
6) Divergent Trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant) – Veronica Roth
This was a very exciting dystopian trilogy, I loved the world building and the strong characters. (I am one of the few Caleb fans. And I think I would be Erudite.) The third book didn’t grip me as much as the first two – I found they were more exciting, and I connected more with the characters – but the trilogy is well worth a read for dystopia fans!
7) Ghost Hawk – Susan Cooper
A compelling read – mixing myth/fantasy with historical fiction. A beautiful coming of age tale about learning to be brave and question the beliefs of your society, with some incredible twists.
8) Wonder – RJ Palacio
This is for a slightly younger audience, but this was book that really touched me. It carries an important message about acceptance, and makes very good use of multiple narrative voices. I also love the cover and the chapter images.
9) Rose Under Fire – Elizabeth Wein
One of my favourite historical novel of the year, this book was not only a thrilling read but also a very lyrical one as poetry was intertwined with the accounts of World War Two. A painful, but powerful read showing the involvement of women in the action of WW2 and the importance of hope.
10) The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan
Again, slightly younger than YA, but it was a very moving book, and also the first novel I have read that was written through poetry. I also really enjoyed Breathe – Crossan’s YA dystopian novel.
Honourable mentions: Picture Me Gone – Meg Rosoff, Seraphina – Rachel Hartman, Wormwood Gate – Katherine Farmar, Boy Meets Boy – David Levithan, An Abundance of Katherines – John Green.
Happy New Year to you all, and a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who has read, liked, commented or followed my blog. I started blogging in February and it has been a very enjoyable experience. I’ve learnt a lot, and I can’t wait to improve my blog next year (and to write more about art – it’s been left out recently!). Thank you to all the bloggers who have helped and encouraged me, and to my family for all the support and for proof reading.
All the best for 2014 – here’s to another happy (and bookish!) year!