Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Favorite Books of 2013

2013 was an odd reading year for me because I  spent a lot of time re-reading and re-listening books that were familiar to me. There's something comforting about sinking back into a story that you know you love. So my reading list of new books for 2013 is actually quite small because I have to admit to spending a lot of time with HARRY POTTER, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR amongst other books I hold close to my heart.

So here are my favorites for 2013 in no particular order:

I loved Gayle Forman's previous books and when I heard that this book takes place in Paris (partly)--well, I was sold. I devoured this story about Allyson Healey and her "perfect" life. Allyson is a smart student, who always does what her Mom tells her too, what the world tells her too. And somewhere along the way Allyson was doing what others expected of her, but not what she expected of herself. (I totally related to this plot point. Been there, done that.) Until, one act of spontaneity, when she decides to ditch her high school tour group and spend a day in Paris, where she meets "free-spirited, roving actor" Willem. And everything changes. Goodreads has a great summary here.

This book is so beautifully written that it makes you want to cry. It opens with a simple quote: "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well." I was sucked into the story, and became completely enchanted by the main character, Karou. She sketches monsters and is an art student in Prague. And when she isn't spending time with her entertaining best friend, she's always flitting off on secret errands. And then everything changes when she meets Akiva in Marrakesh. I don't want to give too much away. But, there's a great summary over on Goodreads. And I must say that the sequel, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT, was definitely one of my favorites of the year as well. I am impatiently waiting for the third book in the series to come out.

It was kind of interesting how I came to read this book. I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing Leila Sales speak at an SCBWI conference in Birmingham, AL. Ms. Sales is an editor at Viking books and she gave an excellent talk about tropes. 

The main character, Elise Dembowski, is the epitome of an unpopular person. She is different to her core and from a young age was never accepted by her peers. And so rather than wallow in her unpopularity, she decides to dedicate her entire summer to learning how to be cool. She immerses herself in pop culture, researches fashion magazines, and even spends money on clothes she doesn't really like. And then when school starts, her efforts turn into an epic fail.

I'd tell you more, but I don't want to ruin the book for you. But, Goodreads has an excellent summary here.

No comments:

Post a Comment