Top Ten Books I Read In 2013

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, she posts an idea relating to books and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own top ten lists.

This week’s topic is “top ten books I read in 2013.” 2013 was an excellent year for reading, thanks to the discovery of both Goodreads and book blogs. While it’s virtually impossible to narrow down all 217 books that I read this year to the 10 that I thought were the best, the ten below are ones that I really enjoyed reading — and ones that I’ll likely read again.

1. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
When I received this book, I stayed up all night reading it — I laughed, I cried, I highlighted poignant quotes, I had my heart broken, and I felt a strange sense of hope within all the angst and despair. It’s such a touching, important, powerful book, and I can’t recommend it enough. My review can be found here.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I’m convinced that Rainbow writes books for me, personally. Fangirl perfectly captures what it’s like to be a fangirl and what it’s like to go away to college in true Rainbow Rowell style: it’s quirky, fun, adorable, and character-driven. My review can be found here.

3. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and it completely surpassed my (already high) expectations. I don’t know how I’m going to survive the wait until the third book — I need more of my Raven Boys in my life!

4. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Crown of Midnight addressed all of the issues that I had with Throne of Glass, kept me guessing at every turn, and made me feel all the emotions. It’s such a good example of how to write a sequel since I enjoyed it a lot more than Throne of Glass, and I can’t wait to see where the series will go from there. My review can be found here.

5. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Between swoonworthy boys, magic, and inventive fairytales/mythology, this series is so enthralling. And the Darkling! (I know that I already said swoonworthy boys, but he really deserves his own special mention). Can Ruin and Rising please hurry up and be released?! My review can be found here.

6. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Archived has such a unique and spooky premise, and it definitely delivered on that front. I easily got lost in its world, which I desperately wanted to know more about, and the mystery aspect of it, which kept me guessing throughout the story. My review can be found here.

7. Angelfall by Susan Ee
Angelfall single-handedly redeemed angel books in my eyes, which is certainly no small feat! Its post-apocalyptic setting, amazing female lead, and brutal angels make it a step above the rest for good reason, and it’s definitely worthy of all of the hype surrounding it. My review can be found here.

8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This book both broke my heart and healed me. It’s a really moving piece on grief and loss, and I’m so, so glad that I read it. My review can be found here.

9. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonThe Sky is Everywhere is a beautiful piece on grief, love, and loss. It’s lyrical, moving and honest, and will definitely stay with me for a long time to come. My review can be found here.

10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I don’t even know how to describe The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s beautiful, haunting, nostalgic, creepy, and filled with so much wisdom. There’s a reason that Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, and this book is just another reason why.

What were some of your favourite reads of 2013?3

Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

My Rating: 5 cupcakes

Crown of Midnight is the perfect example of how a second book should be written. It (thankfully) doesn’t fall victim to the dreaded “second book syndrome,” and manages to be even better than its predecessor, Throne of Glass.

In my review for Throne of Glass I mentioned that there were some aspects that could use improvement, namely that there should be more scenes showing Celeana as a kickass assassin. This issue was certainly addressed in Crown of Midnight. While Celeana does fawn over gorgeous dresses and read a lot of books, we also get to see more of her darker side — and it is certainly a sight to behold. Celeana isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and her dresses stained with blood, and by the end of the book you certainly understand why she’s a force to be reckoned with.

As with Throne of Glass the two leading men in Crown of Midnight continued to steal (and, at times, break) my heart. Unlike Throne of Glass there isn’t too much of a love triangle here; while both Dorian and Chaol have feelings for Celeana, she makes a choice and sticks with it. Of course, despite sweet pillow talk and a lovely broom cupboard scene, this relationship is not without complications, and I can’t wait to see where Maas takes it next.

The plot of the novel is a whirlwind from start to finish: between magic, political intrigue, death, and unexpected twists and turns, Crown of Midnight is incredibly difficult to put down. While I had guessed one of the major reveals early on, it still caused me to feel ALL the emotions – and that, my friends, is the mark of an excellent book.

Overall, Crown of Midnight is a captivating, emotional ride that will leave you breathless and wanting more. I’m so excited to see where the series will go from here!

Teaser Tuesday (September 3)

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Should Be Reading, which asks you to grab your current read, open to a random page, and share two teaser sentences.

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This week’s teaser comes from Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas.

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

“An icy, endless rage swept through her. wiping away everything except the plan that she could see with brutal clarity. The killing calm, Arobynn Hamel had once called it. Even he had not realized just how calm she could get when she went over the edge.
If they wanted Adarlan’s Assassin, they’d get her.
And Wyrd help them when she arrived.” – page 215

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Leave a comment with your teasers or a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments below.
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