So, I know just yesterday I gave you guys my End of Year Survey (please, check it out if you haven’t!) but here, I wanted to give you guys a simplified version of my top reads of the year, and maybe mention a book or two I didn’t in the survey.
I decided to pull books from my 5-Star ratings of the year. Yes, I did cheat a little on a few, but I HAD TO! :) Let us see what I came up with!
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Out of all my 5-star rated books, this one still jumps out, therefore I’m naming it my favorite of the year.
Tomorrow I will have my Top Ten Favorites Overall of 2013, so be sure to check that out!
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Rush(Breathless #1) by Maya Banks – I really enjoy Maya Banks’ KGI series and when I learned about this trilogy in 2012 I was really excited about it! But then I didn’t end up loving it like I thought I would… :( (My Review)
I read quite a few new authors this year, but the one that jumps out loudest in my mind is Jojo Moyes.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Read by Jake Gyllenhaal – If I was assigned to read this in HS, I must have skipped school that year, because I don’t remember it. :P (I was a bad student.) ANYWAY! I wanted to read this before watching the movie. I don’t read classics, but the audiobook was read by Jake and it was only about 4 hours long, so I went for it. The end gutted me and left me seriously pissed off. Great audiobook though!
9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Truly by Ruthie Knox – I read Truly as a serialized novel this October/November for free on Wattpad, but the book isn’t going to be published until 8/5/2014! I loved it SO much, I want to read it again and review it, hopefully.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
The Host(The Host #1) by Stephenie Meyer – I bought this book in 2010 or 2009 after my love affair with the Twilight series…but I didn’t even attempt it until this year, and that was because the movie was coming out. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking The Host! Glad I finally read it.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“You think it’s so easy to change yourself. You think it’s so easy, but it’s not. True, things don’t stay the same forever: couches are replaced, boys leave, you discover a song, your body becomes forever scarred. And with each of these moments you change and change again, your true self spinning, shifting positions– but always at last it returns to you, like a dancer on the floor. Because throughout it all, you are still, always, you: beautiful and bruised, known and unknowable. And isn’t that – just you – enough.” ― Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life (My Review)
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
I read quite a few novellas this year, but I’m not counting those for this answer, just full books…
For being fairly new to the game, she’s got many things down already. Pro status! She’s got a great, unique, fun voice (and I’m not just talking about her speaking voice, which you can check out in her videos!) and her reviews are broken down to what matters to her most, like kissing, which I 100% approve of! If you have yet to “meet” Betty, stop by her blog NOW! :D
Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?
This is a bit difficult for me to answer, as this year I struggled with review writing, so I’ll go with one I was happy with…
ALA in Chicago was SO much fun! I got to meet and hangout with so many great bloggers and also OMG! THE FOOD!! *drools*
Also Austin Teen Book Fest was a lot of fun! Ginger (GReads!) and I got to hang out with so many great people, including some very fun authors… ;D Also? We got poured on! Like, torrential rains! LOL That was so much fun.
Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog?
I had the pleasure of hosting Rachel Caine on the blog for a “live” Q&A and HOLY CRAP! The amount of views that post got left me speechless. Most I’ve ever gotten on the blog, by a long shot, in my three years of blogging. Probably small potatoes for some bloggers, but it definitely shocked me to get almost 800 views.
One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
I don’t really have anything planned out yet… FAIL!
Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
Best Adult Paranormal Romance: Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1) by Thea Harrison – I probably read the most books from this genre and in specific, dragon-related paranormal romances which can be a hit or a miss. This first book in this series was definitely a hit!
Jamie Fraser (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon) – “Ye werena the first lass I kissed,” he said softly. “But I swear you’ll be the last.” – I mean with that accent and lines that like how could he not be memorable?!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
His eyes, I thought, were the color of lakes and skies, and as fathomless as either. He reached out and touched my lower lip, barely brushing the edge. “It starts out the same, but then, after a moment,” he said, speaking softly, “suddenly it’s as though I’ve a living flame in my arms.” His touch grew firmer, outlining my lips and caressing the line of my jaw. “And I want only to throw myself into it and be consumed.” – Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon *swoon*
27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover – This is a self-published novel that I fell in love with, it was well-written and lead me on an emotional journey but felt that it wasn’t as popular as it should’ve been.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi – I cannot believe this series is coming to an end but I am so super stoked about reading the conclusion to this trilogy. I am also anxious to see what Tahereh Mafi’s next writing projects will be.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
Since I just started writing reviews this year in July, I’d like to increase my reviews in 2014 and get them on a consistent schedule. I’d also like to review some books that I have in my collection that I have not had a chance to get around to reading. I’d like to branch out and review different types of novels not just new releases or those that are trending within the book blogging community. Also, not really directly related to the blog, but I’d like to attend more bookish events. I don’t feel I do this enough.
Meet Ashley and Roman—complete opposites who can’t hide their attraction—in Episode 1 of Ruthie Knox’s eBook original serial, Roman Holiday.
Ashley Bowman is having a bad week. Reeling from the death of her beloved grandmother, she returns to the Florida Keys only to learn that a heartless Miami developer has gotten hold of the crappy vacation rentals she calls home. Ashley has one day to clear out before Roman Díaz destroys the only place in the world that matters to her. Chaining herself to a palm tree in the bulldozers’ path seems like a good way to stop him . . . until she realizes she should’ve brought food and water. And pants. Also, it would help if the evil developer weren’t so ridiculously hot.
The last thing Roman Díaz needs is some sun-kissed blond protester getting her picture in the newspaper and messing up his plans. He bought the property fair and square, and the resort he wants to build on the site is the key to realizing his highest ambitions. But when a hurricane blows through, Roman has to hustle Ashley to safety if he wants to protect his reputation—and that means giving in to her unreasonable demands.
Roman needs to learn a little compassion, and Ashley’s decided to teach it to him . . . even if she has to drag him all over the Eastern Seaboard to do it.
I’ve become a big fan of Ruthie Knox thanks to her serialized novel, Truly, which is free to read on Wattpad until the end of the year. That book was AMAZING. I loved it. After that, I need to get my hands on all things Knox.
Chained was such an interesting start to what I know will be a fun ride. Not only do we meet Ashley, who is chained to a tree for most of this, but we also meet Roman Diaz, who is MOST DEF going to be a hard nut to crack from what I’ve seen of him so far.
The story has definitely grabbed my interest, but it’s hard to judge just how much I’ll love it in about 40 pages. I like that the two main characters are basically in a battle against each other. And I also really like how surprising Ashley’s character was. You think she’s this ditzy blonde, but turns out to be really sharp. I hope Roman surprises me too in the end.
I think you guys should totally take a chance on this serial. It will leave you wanting to know what happens next!
About Ruthie Knox
USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. After training to be a British historian, she became an academic editor instead. Then she got really deeply into knitting, as one does, followed by motherhood and romance novel writing.
Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life.
Ruthie moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website at www.ruthieknox.com and drop her a line.
There's no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness.
Nick grew up without a family of his own so he's overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season. Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he's ever had to do. If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia's love for a lifetime.
Ever since meeting Mia in book two of the Lucky Harbor series, The Sweetest Thing, I’ve had a soft spot for her in my heart. Under the Mistletoe gives us a great glimpse into the amazing woman Mia has become over the years. AND! She has a hottie kind of boyfriend…she’s not really sure if she can officially call him that though, as they’ve never really talked about it.
I loved the connection between Mia and Nick. They had great chemistry and had a lot in common. I wasn’t sure if I could 100% trust him with Mia’s heart though…but he soon proved he wasn’t a jerk after all.
I enjoyed getting to visit my favorite three sisters, the ones that started it all, Maddie, Tara, and Chloe…also Sawyer. *swoons* He’s still my favorite Lucky Harbor guy.
It was great getting to see Mia get a happy ending and also really great to visit my favorite Lucky Harbor peeps. If you’re looking to revisit, this novella does the trick.
About Jill Shalvis
New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jill Shalvis is the award winning author of over four dozen romance novels, including her sexy contemporary and award winning Lucky Harbor series (FOREVER AND A DAY was one of Amazon’s Top Romances for 2012). She won a Rita for SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE and is a 3-time National Readers Choice winner as well. Make sure to click on the blog button above for her daily blog where she recounts her Misplaced City Girl adventures.
"I do not remember being bitten. I wish I did, for then I would know the creature who did this to me and I would have a purpose, to track him down and repay him for the poisoned gift he gave me."
Back in the 13th Century, Will was destined to be Earl of Mercia. He never lived to inherit his title, struck down by a strange illness and buried beneath the city walls. But Will was not dead, and only now, seven lonely centuries later, does he begin to understand that there was a reason for all of this, that he has a destiny. To find it though, he will need help, and as ever, he will need blood.
Blood had an interesting concept. A young man turned vampire with no idea as to why or by whom, now awake and looking for answers. Though he did not stay completely asleep for centuries, he did wake up and mingle every few decades or so. This latest time, there’s a girl who can help him get answers, though the reason as to why her is not yet completely clear.
I didn’t really connect with the characters in the story. I didn’t dislike them, but I also didn’t feel compelled to feel much for them. When that happens, I find I go more through the motions of reading the story than actually caring about what’s going to happen next.
The story itself is an interesting mystery, but by the end we learn only a little bit of the puzzle. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series, but if you’re looking for a gothic vampire story, told through a male vampire perspective, give this one a shot. Maybe it’ll connect with you. :)
In this New Adult debut by Robin York, a college student is attacked online and must restore her name—and stay clear of a guy who’s wrong for her, but feels so right.
When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.
West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.
They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.
When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.
Robin York is actually author Ruthie Knox, who I’ve become a big fan of this Fall. I’m really excited to read this NA novel by her!
About Robin York
Robin York grew up at a college, went to college, signed on for some more college, and then married a university professor. She still isn’t sure why it didn’t occur to her to write New Adult sooner. Writing as Ruthie Knox, she is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, including RITA-nominated About Last Night and Room at the Inn. She moonlights as a mother, makes killer salted caramels, and sorts out thorny plot problems while running, hiking, or riding her bike.
I love this week’s topic! Especially because this year I did pick up a few authors who were new to me! Let us begin…
1. Ruthie Knox – My friend Ginger of GReads! has been telling me read her books all year long. But it wasn’t until her serialized novel Truly that I finally caved. Oh Em Gee. That book was SO GOOD!! I promptly decided Ginger was right and I’d been missing out.
2. Jojo Moyes – All year long I’d heard praises for Me Before You and so I finally gave in and read and DAMN! That book was great. One of my favorites of the year…
9. Philippa Gregory – Yo! Her historicals are no. joke! Definitely enthralling and heartwrenching.
10. Nicholas Sparks – LOL I know, I know. I am a fan of the movies from his books, but I hadn’t felt inclined to read any of them until Safe Haven for some reason (Lie. It had to do with Josh Duhamel being the lead.). I liked it! I may read more.
Connor Matthews has to be the only surgeon ever to ride his motorbike into the E.R.! And Dr. Kate Graham is determined to disapprove, even if it made a sick little boy's dream come true. Connor's love-'em-and-leave-'em reputation is hospital legend, so Kate's steering well clear. Although, Connor's sinful sexiness is coming critically close to cracking the shield around Kate's fragile heart....
Heartbreakers of St. Patrick's Hospital The delicious doctors you know you shouldn't fall for!
First, I love that this story is set in New Zealand. That was really cool. I haven’t read one set there before! I also really enjoyed the hospital setting. As a loyal fan of the show Grey’s Anatomy, I should be reading more books set in hospitals because I enjoy reading about the dynamic between doctors, nurses, and staff. I don’t think real hospitals are at all this way, but who cares. As long as they make dramas or romances in fiction I’m happy.
Alison Roberts gives us a short, but compelling story in The Legendary Playboy Surgeon. Kate has her reasons for wanting to stay away from men, and they are certainly painful ones, but she was a bit confusing at times. She played this rigid doctor, but was a warm person at home. I just didn’t know understand why she had to be two different people when a nice medium would have been better for her. With Connor, he was certainly sexy, but he didn’t demonstrate playboy like behavior, we only read about it because that’s what his reputation at the hospital is. But he was just likeable and easygoing and sexy to me. I liked the way their romance developed though. It was well written for a short book. Overall, an enjoyable, quick romance read.
Happy Sunday, Friends!! I hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend! I turned 33 yesterday and I STILL don’t feel it. lol Funny thing…
I received three books for review this week…
Come To Me Quietly is a New Adult book that sounded really interesting, so I can’t wait to read it. A Mad, Wicked Folly is one I’ve been wanting to read since seeing that cover! Mary Lindsey is a Houston author I’ve met and I’ve been meaning to read Shattered Souls forever now! Fragile Spirits is a sort of companion book to that one, but you don’t have to have read it first to jump into this one.
There’s a also a few ebooks I bought on sale that I hope to read soon…
Jael Thompson has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother—well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help.
But on her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.
Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school.
Misfit is a story full of cool demonic fun. Demon’s aren’t fun, you say? Well, in this book they were pretty fun…some are scary, yes, but they’re also funny. I hadn’t yet read a young adult urban fantasy book that focused on religion and demonology in this way, but I can get behind it. There’s a lot to work with in that area and Jon Skovron gives us a unique and witty take on it.
I thought Jael was endearing. Through the course of Misfit, she grows from a shy, quiet girl to a kick-ass confident half-demon. I am a sucker for single dads in books. Though Jael’s father seems like a hardass, he really is just doing his best to keep her safe. I loved seeing their relationship open up and blossom. I really liked that we got to see how Jael’s parents met and lived, fell in love and worked together. Definitely not your typical love story, that one. And Jael herself gets a little love in this book too, which is always a plus for me, but it’s definitely not central to the story.
I enjoyed seeing these characters discover knew things about themselves and each other in Misfit. Certainly not your typical self-discovery type of book, but very cool indeed. :)
"In And We Stay, Jenny Hubbard treats tragedy and new beginnings with a skilled, delicate hand. Her otherworldly verse and prose form a flowing monument to all the great storytellers of the past." --John Corey Whaley, author of the Michael L. Printz and William C. Morris award winner, Where Things Come Back
When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.
This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.
This cover is BEEEEEAUTIFUL! And that blurb from Corey totally sold me, so, yeah. :)
Funny you should ask, Broke & Bookish! I’ve been contemplating what I should read this month, since I only work until the 17th and have the rest of the month off! I want to pick books that have been on my TBR for a while and some January releases, so lets see what I can come up with…