Once again, 2013 was a difficult year to narrow down which books made my top five list. I read several ARCs this year (which I will not include in this challenge), as well as over 20 young adult gothic books and loads of fantasy. To see all the books I’ve read in 2013 (and to come at least in the few weeks we have left), check out my Goodreads challenge.
In no particular order, here are my Top Five Books of 2013! To see my picks for 2012, click here. Those books still stand to be in a Top Five placement!
- Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole (see my review!)
The epistolary format of this book was so well done. It’s rare to find a novel written entirely in letters — and done well! Plus, paralleling the storylines between two World Wars made it all the more powerful. I could go on and on about this book — all the themes of love, war, triumphs, failures, traveling across great lands and seas, life — but I’ll leave it here in hopes you get a chance to pick up this book one day.
- The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle (see my review!)
This book was for my graduate thesis — and quite honestly was the one that helped me discover what I wanted to write for my thesis! I stared at it for weeks on the shelf at work, and began to wonder, “Is gothic coming back? And back in the YA format?” After those questions, I saw the gothic everywhere! So thanks, Laura Bickle, for unknowingly sparking this!
Thesis epiphany aside, Hallowed Ones was terribly frightening. I thoroughly enjoyed it, all the gore and shock and transgressions and suspense. You’re in for a good story with this one!
- Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell (see my review!)
If you’re an Anglophile in any way, or if you love history and monarchies and empowering women, this is absolutely a must-read. Follow Emma of Normandy as she begins her journey as queen of what we know today as England. It’s phenomenal.
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (see my review!)
I love fantasy, but I’m not one for dragon stories. This completely changed my entire perspective, and introduced me to a whole new world of YA fantasy I didn’t think was possible. Any musician, medieval history buff, and high fantasy indulger would enjoy this. Juliet Marillier’s Shadowfell is near-tie with this book.
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (see my review!)
Every time a friend or customer asks for a good fantasy recommendation — or any recommendation, really — I always mention this book. The setting (Prague), the topic of art, the discussion on discrimination and stereotyping, the concept of war and love and tragedy and sacrifice, was daunting yet perfect. It blew my mind, I devoured the second book, and now I can’t possibly wait any longer for the third!
The theme for favorite books of 2013 seems to be independent, empowered (and empowering) women in history and fantasy. Not too shabby!
What are your favorite books from 2013?