2013 Wrap Up and Top 13 Books of ’13!

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Oh my goodness, we have made it through another year! Happy 2014 everyone!

So for 2013 my goal was to read 100 books. And I… fell short. BY 6 BOOKS!!!! Ugh. All that studying got in my way. But I accomplished my goals of school, so I guess I’ll accept that I only read 94 books (haha, only).

I read some awesome books this year, and quite a few awesome series (serieses? I know that’s wrong but it’s kinda cool.) I also read some not so awesome books (City of Fallen Angels, I’m looking at you). And I even read some books that I had to put down repeatedly because I would feel rage coming on (Beautiful Disaster, I’m side-eyeing the shit out of you). And yes, there were some books I started and simply could never finish, such as The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, which I conveniently lost my place in 1/4 of the way through. I also couldn’t finish City of Lost Souls, even on an audiobook, because I just could not handle Clary and Jace for one more second. Sorry Ms. Clare.

I picked 13 books/series that were my top favorites of the year. Yes I combined stand-alones and series because I really couldn’t decide on the books in the series that I included. They are in no order, they are just the ones that I loved the most.

  •  The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian). Oh I loved reading all about the life of Percy Jackson and his friends in this series. As I’ve said all year, Rick Riordan hooks me in from the beginning and when I finish I want more. And speaking of Rick Riordan series, the next title on my list is:
  • The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, and The House of Hades). These ones were slightly darker than the PJO series, and the wait between The Mark of Athena and The House of Hades was terrible. This series is not yet complete, we still have The Blood of Olympus to read soon. Oh booooy… Love these books.
  • The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds, In Time, and Never Fade). This series was a wonderfully dark and addictive series that I can’t wait to read the final installment of and I hope that Ms. Bracken does another short story between Never Fade and the final (still untitled) book. Yes, I did think they were slightly creepy, but I did not mind it at all, I could not put the books down ever.
  • A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. I started reading this trilogy in 2012, and loved the last two books in it so much. Yes, the cover change drove me nuts, but the content of the books, sci-fi fantasy, were perfect all the same.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Oh this book. This beautiful, painful book. The final bits of this book absolutely destroyed me and the whole thing was just so wonderful. If you’ve seen the movie with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, but haven’t read the book, please read the book. They left so much out in the movie and some of the parts they left out were so wonderful.
  • The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess). This series was everything The Mortal Instruments series wasn’t. It was much better written than TMI was, and the characters were so much more interesting. I loved reading about Will, Jem, Tess, Charlotte, and Henry and all the others. I also loved seeing the creations and backstories on many people, places, and things in TMI, and loved seeing ancestry of certain TMI characters. And while some may not have loved the ending, I really did.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Oh this book, this lovely, wonderful book. I read this in December, so look for more about it in the December Wrap Up post, but this book was just so wonderful. I loved Cath and Wren and Reagan and Levi. It was so great. Now I have to read Eleanor and Park because Rowell has me hooked on her writing.
  • The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant). Yay dystopia! Tris was such a great character, and while the ending of this series may have been (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) painful, it was a great series and I sort of understand why Roth wrote the ending the way she did. READ THESE BOOKS BEFORE THE MOVIE COMES OUT! The movie will be great though, can’t wait to see it.
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. Alien invasion, dis-trust of everyone, and some awesome characters made this book so great. I had no clue who to believe and who not to believe and was hooked through every sentence. I cannot wait for The Infinite Sea to come out, pre-ordered and everything. Although I can say I’m only slightly disappointed the second book won’t be titled “The 6th Wave”.
  • Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (Legend, Prodigy, Champion). Wow this series was great. Everything about it from the covers to the type-color in each book for Day to the plot was awesome. Although dammit that ending! June, you should have set Day straight!!! ARGH! But the world was so cool and the characters were awesome, I’m so glad I picked the series up. Hopefully Ms. Lu will write something new in the next few years.
  • The Women of the Underworld Series by Kelley Armstrong (Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, and No Humans Involved). Meera started me on this series this past summer and it has been so fun so far. I love that they have Elena,  female werewolf, as one of the main characters. All the women in these books are awesome, and some of them started as kind of wimpy and really grew in the books. I still have six more to go in this series, and I’m sure they’re all gonna be awesome!
  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing). This was a really cool trilogy to start me on Libba Bray books. Gemma was a great teen protagonist and this trilogy was dark and captivating and beautiful. I love historical fiction, so that excited me too. And the ending was really great for Anne, Gemma, and Felicity.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The first in the Lunar Chronicles, I read this in December, so again, I’ll get to review it more later. But it was a great read, I love fairy tale retellings. I also went straight to Books A Million and picked up Scarlet (on sale too!!!) after finishing this book. And I’ll be pre-ordering Cress and Winter too. It’s gonna be great.

So that’s my list of Top 13 of ’13. I’ll get to the December Wrap Up/January TBR post tomorrow. Hopefully.

August Wrap Up/September TBR

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Ahhh, August has left us, and September has come, bringing school and much more stress than the summer had. I miss it already. Well, I made the most of my final month of summer and read ten books, completing nine of them. So lets jump right in, shall we!

The first book I read in the month of August was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. The final book in the Harry Potter series, and definitely one that makes me cry. Dobby dies, I cry. Fred dies, I freaking well sob my eyes out. Tonks and Lupin die, I cry. Hedwig dies, I cry. I mean really, I could go on, because a lot of parts make me cry. But it’s a good book, and a wonderful finale to this series. Rereading this series is always fun, and if I ever have kids, I plan on reading them these books as bedtime stories. And have you seen the new set of Harry Potter books?! I saw them online plenty and loved them, then I saw them instore at Target and they’re so beautiful, I definitely want to buy them. Eventually. The $70 pricetag will make me wait a little.

The next book I read last month was Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong. This one had a new protagonist, Paige, who was a side character in Stolen. It was pretty good. I really love these books, they’re interesting and I enjoy reading them. I read this one while I was on the beach, and it was a perfect beach read.

I also read The Demigod Files and The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan. I read both of these in one day, true to Riordan book form, and just devoured them. As always, reading about Percy, Annabeth, Luke, Talia, Leo, and all the others is one of my favorite things to do. Have I mentioned how much I can’t wait for The House of Hades to come out next month? And also, THE HOUSE OF HADES COMES OUT NEXT MONTH!!!!

I read the final book in the Delirium trilogy in August, Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I liked it, but I didn’t like the ending. Not because we didn’t really find out who Lena picked to “end up” with (Julian or Alex), but because we really didn’t find out whether the Resistance group won out or if they only held Portland for a while before being defeated. I NEED TO KNOW THIS! I NEED TO KNOW IF ALL THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR WON!!!! That’s what frustrated me about this ending. However, I did like the series, and the book was pretty good other than that.

I finished Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I had borrowed earlier this summer from the library, but didn’t finish before the due date the first time, had to wait to get it again, and finished it in the second borrowing period. I liked this book. It was a little long, and that made it take longer to read (long as in it felt like it dragged on in some parts), but the telling of the story, retelling of Don Quixote, was incredibly interesting. Libba Bray is a pretty awesome author. I’ll probably buy this book at some point so I can read it whenever.

I read Creation in Death by J.D. Robb last month. This one was really good, and had me honestly freaked out and worried for Eve at one point. And also furious at the villain for trying to target Trina. That was not a good moment. Luckily Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Feeney, McNabb, Trueheart (swoon), and team saved the day, saved a target from being a murder victim, and put the bastard away for the rest of his life. I always love J.D. Robb books.

I read Hourglass by Myra McEntire in August as well. I liked some parts of this book, the premise of time travel, mentions of Doctor Who and Harry Potter, some of the side characters, the setting in Tennessee; but I could barely stand the main character and love interest, and how stupid they and many of the other side characters were. And by the end, I was laughing at all the “twists” being thrown in so quickly. Glad that I only borrowed it from the library, and will probably not be reading the next two in this series any time soon, as they’re not on my library’s digital catalog. Maybe once they’re on there, I’ll read them.

I finished the final book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray, this past month. Throughout this entire book, I was saying “there’s no way this book can end totally happy”. And in some cases, it didn’t. Gemma and Kartik don’t really get to be together, Pippa can’t survive in any world, Fee loses the person she loves, and Miss McCleethy dies. But it ended happier than I thought it would. Ann gets to escape her horrible family and go onstage as a chorus girl, starting her acting career instead of her governess career. Felicity has her debut, gets her inheritance money, and is able to move to Paris and live happily and the way she wants to there. And Gemma has her debut, survives all the problems with the magic and the Realms, and gets to live in a way she wants to after her debut, in New York and at a university. I was happy with the ending of this book and this series. I really do like Libba Bray books.

The last book I read in the month of August was Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong. This one also had Paige as the protagonist. It was interesting, but I don’t so far like Paige as much as I did Elena. However, it was interesting, and I didn’t see everything that happened coming, which was cool. This supernatural series is wonderful.

I started reading Blameless by Gail Carriger this past month, but I didn’t finish it. However, as all the other Parasol Protectorate books, it’s great.

9 September

Now for the September TBR List:

The first book I’m reading this month is The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. I’m excited about this one, I’ve heard so much good about it. Plus, Rick Yancy is going to be at the National Book Festival this month (on my birthday too!!!), and he’ll be signing books, so I want to finish it before then so I can get him to sign it and tell him I liked the book.

I’m also going to be reading The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Anything to make the wait for The House of Hades go by faster! This is the first book in the Kane Chronicles, and should be really good to read. (Also, speaking of Rick Riordan books, did anyone else see The Sea of Monsters? I really can’t understand why Hollywood keeps taking books, “adapting” them to movies, but throwing the damn book out the window before writing the screenplay. Attention, writers of the PJO movies: I’d like to offer you my services as Official Book Slapper for The Titan’s Curse. While you’re writing the screenplay and while you’re filming, I’d be happy to come in and when one of you goes “hey, this is cool, but what if instead we did THIS thing that isn’t in the book!” I take the Titan’s Curse book and SLAP YOU ACROSS THE FACE with it. This will ensure that you keep the movie as close to the book as possible and therefore do not infuriate the book series lovers further. Please consider hiring me to do this for you. I’ll even bring in my own copy of the book to slap you across the face with. Okay, rant over.)

I’ll be reading Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb after this. This one, the same as every other book in this series, looks very interesting. And as always, I can’t wait to catch up with the regular cast of characters in these books. I love all of my people in here. Especially Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Mavis, and Trueheart (swoon).

The fourth book I’m reading this month is Key of Light by Nora Roberts. This is the first book in a series by Nora, and her series books are usually pretty good. I like Nora Roberts books. She writes a lot, and publishes lots of books in the same year, and they’re all pretty well-written.

I’m also going to read The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani this month. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, the historical fiction aspect is one that always interests me, and the story just sounds so wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what happens. Also, the cover and the spine are gorgeous, and I found it in Costco for less than on Amazon. And I love books with deckle-edged pages, which this one has. All extra cool things about this book.

I’ll be continuing on Blameless by Gail Carriger this month. As I was with Changeless, I’m still incredibly frustrated with Maccoon for being so stupid as to think Alexia would have a baby with another man. I keep yelling “SHE’S A PRETERNATURAL! HER TOUCH MAKES YOU HUMAN! PRETTY SURE A PROLONGED TOUCH COULD MAKE YOU HUMAN ENOUGH TO GET HER PREGNANT YOU MORON!” at my book. It’s kind of weird to see on the bus, I’m sure. Can’t wait to finish this one. And I really want to get this series boxed set, so if anyone wants to get me that for my birthday, it’s September 22, and the Parasol Protectorate boxed set. I’d love you forever.

And, as always I’ll be continuing reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon this month. These books are long, and I still have another to go before the eighth book comes out, but it doesn’t come out till March ’14, so I think I’ll finish before it comes out. I love the series, even if it is long and heavily detailed. The historical accuracy and details are wonderfully done and very meticulous to the smallest of things. Ms. Gabaldon is wonderful at what she does.

Alright, till next time! Happy September!

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Book Post Title PictureAlright, so made it through July and now into August! Where has summer gone? I only have a few weeks left before I have to start staying up late to study again, and not read just for fun. But it’s been a good summer.

So this month I didn’t read as many books as I did in June. But I read some good ones!

So for the Very Potter Summer I read The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. I love Order of the Phoenix. There’s just so much awesome to me. And Luna Lovegood is introduced in this book, and I just kinda love her character. Plus, in this book we get the one character that everyone in the entire Harry Potter Fandom all hates: Dolores Umbridge. The bitch. I could rant, but we’ve all ranted about her. There isn’t much to add now. Although the part where Sirius falls through the Veil is just painful to read or watch in the movie every time. Don’t mind me, I’m just a sobbing mess over on the couch because of Sirius. And I’m pretty sure that in Half-Blood Prince, Harry proves himself to not be the brightest bulb on the chandelier. He can’t recognize the handwriting in a potions book after five years of looking at the same damn handwriting on a board in potions classes. And he completely forgets about the Room of Requirement until Dobby and Kreacher follow Malfoy into there. I mean, come on Harry! Good thing he’s friends with Hermione, she saves his ass more than he ever realizes. But I do like this book. Except for the part where Dumbledore has to drink the potion to get the fake horcrux and obviously all the scenes where Dumbledore has died. It’s just painful all over the place.

Now for the rest of the books. The first book I read was The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. This series, guys. THIS. SERIES! Okay, it was wonderful to finally see Percy again and see him regain his memories all through. I loved how much he worked to regain his memories about Annabeth. I also really liked Frank and Hazel’s storylines, they were so interesting, Hazel’s especially. And I really liked seeing Camp Jupiter. It was an interesting place with a lot of differences from Camp Half Blood, although it obviously had some similarities. But did I get the Percabeth reunion I so desperately wanted? NO!!! So immediately upon finishing this book I read…

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. This book, you guys… oh good god THIS DAMN BOOK! I started it around 9pm on July 4, and finished it around 7pm on July 5. I could not stop reading it if I had tried. I loved that we started off with the Percabeth reunion I had been waiting for, I NEEDED THAT MOMENT LIKE I NEED AIR!!! And then moments after it happened, shit got real at Camp Jupiter and all the demigods on the ship, plus Percy, Frank, and Hazel had to haul ass out of there. I also loved seeing Hercules, and seeing a much different Hercules than what Disney showed me. Although I don’t care, I’ll always picture him like that. Just like Hades always has flaming blue hair. And it was so bad when Percy and Annabeth said goodbye in Rome, I got so nervous then. And then when the ship arrives to where Annabeth was, I realized there were far too many pages to have everything wrap up easily and have nothing major happen before the end of the book. And then Percy and Annabeth wouldn’t let go of each other and fell. And then I DIED!!! And then I huddled on the couch in a ball of misery for a while. And then I pre-ordered The House of Hades, so it will be on my doorstep the day it comes out.  And then, I fell into a reading slump.

I didn’t read the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman because I was in the reading slump caused by Mark of Athena and couldn’t get more than a few pages in.

To ease the slump, I read Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb. Because I can count on J.D. Robb to break a slump for me. Although the killer in this book was just a little hard to read. It was sad and they were just so cold and not caring about the victims. It really was sucky. But the book was good. I loved Eve watching Mavis singing to her little Belle about “no more poopie”. That was just too funny. I really love all these books. Every time.

I also read Changeless, by Gail Carriger, the second of the Parasol Protectorate series. I really love these books. I’m gonna have to buy the set. And then start reading The Parasol Protectorate Abroad series. And The Finishing School series. But Alexia is awesome as the protagonist, and Lord Maccon is quite the good man. Mostly. This one kept me hooked because I wanted to know why the problems for the supes were happening. I liked getting to see Scotland and even a little of Maccon’s family. Although the “twist” at the end just felt slightly shoehorned into the book. AND I DIDN’T LIKE IT!!! Maccon had better stop being an idiot a few chapters into the next book. Because I like them together. But it was a good book.

I read The Selection by Kiera Cass as well. I’d been on the wait-list at the library for that one for a while, It was interesting. I always like to wonder where Maryland (my beloved state( is when I’m reading these dystopian series. Under the government? Under the sea? Rebels? But the world built in this one was both interesting and upsetting. How little they care for the lower castes, down to not giving them any forms of birth control and just letting them struggle after having lots of kids and not always being able to feed all of them. And the Selection idea, to boost morale… I just. Yeah. And Celeste was a psycho bitch. Demanding America take off her dress and hand it over. Ruining the other girl’s birthday party (sorry, forgot the girl’s name), what?! And Maxon seems sweet, much better than Aspen. Maybe a little/lot naive. Not sure how far his ideas to help the lower castes will go, but hey, if he really tries and keeps them going, that’s cool. I’ll read The Elite when I can, it should be interesting.

I read Stolen by Kelley Armstrong as well. The second in the Women of the Underworld series loaned to me by my friend Meera. And so very interesting. In the first book, we had Elena, a werewolf, as the protagonist, which was really cool. In this one, Elena is still the protagonist, but we also got to meet witches, sorcerers, demons, and vampires! So that was awesome. Elena getting captured wasn’t awesome, and the guy who had her captured, Tyrone Winsloe, just made my skin crawl. I had to keep reading to make sure she escaped from him and got him. And she did. I really love these books and love Meera for introducing me to them!

And for the last book of July, I finally finished The Maids of Misfortune by Louisa M. Locke. I was reading this from April to June. It was a good book, but it was incredibly detail-laden, which was what made it take so long. But since I didn’t guess immediately who was the murderer, and even was hoping it wouldn’t be certain characters (it wasn’t those characters, yay!), I really liked it. That was what kept me reading it, even if I had to take breaks. I wanted to know who had done it. And because there’s a continuing storyline I want to see play out, I’ll read the next book in the series. Soon.

8 August

 

So onto the August TBR! I’ll be reading The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, as the final installment of the Harry Potter series and the final installment in A Very Potter Summer. As always, excited to read it. Even with the painful moments I know lie ahead. Some deaths you just never get over.

I’m also going to be reading the Demigod Files and Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan. BECAUSE I NEED A PERCY FIX, OKAY?! Can’t wait to see the short stories that are in here. I’m painfully waiting for House of Hades to come by reading Riordan books each month. Rick Riordan, your books are my crack. Can you rethink that whole no ARC thing for House of Hades? Please?

I’ll read Creation in Death by J.D. Robb, the 25th book in this series. And boy does it sound interesting. A killer that Eve was chasing when she was partnered with Feeney, who eluded them, is back ad most likely gunning for Eve and Roarke, with all the connections to Roarke Industries. Yeah, it’s gonna be good. Also, I saw a real-life Officer Trueheart at the Laurel fireworks the weekend after 4th of July. I was tempted to go set off fireworks in front of him. Because he really looked like Trueheart. And I love Troy Trueheart. And one of my co-workers saw me reading Innocent in Death in the elevator at the end of a workday and he asked about it, I recommended the series, saying while it was a Nora Roberts series, it wasn’t just romance. It’s futuristic crime drama! It’s awesome!

I plan to read Requiem, the final book in the Delirium series, by Lauren Oliver this month. I wanted to get to this in July, but thanks to that slump, I didn’t have the time for it. And I’m excited because this time we hear from Hana as well as Lena.  And also Alex is back, so there’s that bit of entertainment factor.

I’m also going to be reading Dime Store Magic, the third book in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Underworld series. This one switches focus from Elena to Paige, a young witch who has become head of the American Coven of Witches, who we met in Stolen. She seemed like she could have an interesting story once given a chance, so it’ll be cool to see. Plus we get to see the struggles with Paige and Savannah, the little girl that they broke out of Winsloe’s compound when they went in to get him after Elena broke out. She was a very interesting character, with her darker forces of magic, so that should be cool too. I’ll probably be reading this one on the beach this weekend!

And I’ll be continuing A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, as I haven’t gotten through all of it yet. Big book and reading slump don’t always work well. But I can’t wait to get back to Jamie and Claire!

So that’s this month! Let’s hope I don’t have issues like last month! And hopefully I’ll finish Deathly Hallows before August 14, which is the final day for it.