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.

June Wrap Up and July TBR

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Ahhhh, summer, you beautiful season. When I take my book outside and read. No, I really did that last week. I was at a camp-meeting (don’t worry if you don’t know what that is. If you do know, you get 2 cool points!) and I didn’t feel like sitting in my little cinder block cabin on the first day of summer, so I found a spot with perfect shade, perfect breeze, and perfect sun and read Goblet of Fire for hours (oh yeah, read a Harry Potter book at a church thing! I know, total badass.). And did it again the next day. Love summer.

So, in the month of June I read 15 books (one being a short story). I had vacation time and I got books on my kindle and would take it to the gym and read on the elliptical, oh yeah! What a way to make 45 minutes of slogging through molasses more fun.

The first book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. And really, if you need me to tell you what happened in this book, I’ll probably ask you what rock you’ve been living under. I will say that I was as hooked reading it this time as I was the first time I read it. These books are just that awesome.

After I finished that, I read The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. Yes! A new Riordan series. And I nearly threw the book across the room when Annabeth said Percy was missing. I mean really, how can you do that to the fandom?! Even though I knew it was coming, because when my sister read it she actually screamed from her bedroom at that moment. And then told me why she screamed. But still. It was a great book and I can’t wait for the rest of the series. AND I NEED A F**KING PERCABETH REUNION! Like, yesterday.

I then read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. The second Harry Potter book. But really, do you need me to tell you anything about it. I always enjoy these books, I just wish Peeves had been in the movies. Because nothing is as cool as the poltergeist singing “Oh Potter, you rotter!” after muggle-born’s start getting petrified.

After that I read Insurgent by Veronica Roth. And OH MY GOD THE  ENDING! THAT ENDING! The ending was what made the book for me. Throughout it I honestly wanted to slap Four and Tris. Four (yes, I still call him Four. It takes less time to type than Tobias. And is cooler.) because it just didn’t seem like he realized that Tris had just been through a lot, seeing her parents die and all. Of course she was a little not like herself. And Tris because, I get it, you’re all PTSDed after the ending of Divergent, but girl you are in the MIDDLE OF A REVOLUTION AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST FACES OF IT! PICK UP A DAMN GUN AND DEFEND YOURSELF WHEN YOU NEED TO!!! I mean, really. However, I have Allegiant pre-ordered and I can’t wait to get it October 22 and lock myself in my room and read it in one day/night to find out what happens. I need October 22 to be here tomorrow. OR AN ARC COPY! I’ll review it and everything…

After this I read Born in Death by J.D. Robb. I basically blew through this one in one day at my company’s annual picnic. Book, chair, shade, and cookies. It was a good way to spend a Wednesday. I hated the bad guys from this one. They were so horrible. But oh I loved the book. Mavis had her little girl! And that whole scene was so sweet. Tandy and her boyfriend reuniting all sweet-like. Mavis and Leonardo getting married in the delivery room. Summerset giving Mavis his late wife’s ring for the wedding until they could get a ring of their own. I may have teared up a little at that part. And Roarke and Eve coping with being Mavis’s birthing coaches was hilarious. The would not have done it for probably anyone else, but they love Mavis, so they would do it for her. And the baby shower scene was awesome, both hilarious and sweet. Eve loves no one like she loves Mavis. I know I said that already. Shut up. Born in Death is definitely going up as one of my favorite In Death books.

I also read Harry Potter an the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Book three of the series. Another awesome one. Really, these books are too great to even recap, we all know them, right? But man, Harry is kind of dumb. He almost always guesses wrong. Is it any wonder people had trouble believing the Dark Lord was back at first when he started saying that to people. Good thing he had Hermione to help him all the time.

I finished Seraphina by Rachel Hartman this month. I couldn’t finish it before my ebook loan time period ran out, but I found the copy of the original cover that I wanted to get in Barnes and Noble, so I was able to finish it later from that. The last 25% of this book was the best bit. It honestly was kind of slow up till then, but she had an elaborate world to build, so I kind of understand. But then things started happening, and it was good. I can’t wait to read book 2 when it comes out (I think it’s title right now is Shadowscale). I’ll be pre-ordering it when I can so I can get it the day it’s released. Love pre-order!

I read Soulless by Gail Carriger as well. My first steampunk novel, and it was great! No really, it was AWESOME! I could hardly put it down, even when my Kindle battery was dying. It’s a paranormal romance, and Alexia, the protagonist, is quite awesome. Not perfect but really cool. Can’t wait to read the rest of this series.

I read the final Harry Potter book for the month of June in the A Very Potter Summer Challenge, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling. This is one of my favorite books in the series, there’s so much more to it than the movie shows. S.P.E.W., Veelas, a way longer Quidditch World Cup scene! If ever the saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s movie” was true, it’s this book. It’s also the first Harry Potter book that made me cry.

I started a new series, the Women of the Otherworld, with the first book being Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong. This book was both recommended and loaned to me by my friend Meera (we did a book swap, I loaned her Code Name: Nanny and Code Name: Baby, she loaned me Bitten). And it was absolutely wonderful. Completely engrossing, and I loved that it was a book focusing on supernaturals, and werewolves were the main characters. Usually weres are secondary characters, so whenever it’s different, it’s awesome. I read it all the way from the trip down to New Market, VA from DC. And I can’t wait to read the rest of them. Thanks for introducing me to an awesome new series, Meera!!

I read Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver this month too. I had it on my Kindle, and took it with me to the gym and read it while I was on the elliptical. It was perfect to read there, I loved it so much and it engrossed me so much that the 45 minutes would pass in no time. and the ending… I was shouting at Lena the whole book that Alex wasn’t dead. Wasn’t sure how, but I knew he couldn’t be dead. Just no. And the ending made me do a squid of rage (me waving my arms around like I was an enraged squid), because YOU CAN’T JUST CUT IT OFF THERE LAUREN! THAT’S JUST NOT COOL!!! So obviously I ran out to Books-A-Million and bought Requiem, and can’t wait to read it. Yup, bought it at a bookstore. Support bookstores, people! They’re great places to hang out and what would this world be without them.

I read the short story Free Four by Veronica Roth. I liked it, but I wish it hadn’t been just Four’s Point of View from a scene we already saw. It would have been really cool if we could have had a new short scene that wasn’t in the books. But still, it was cool to read his point of view.

I read Rebel Angels, the second book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy, by Libba Bray. It was so creepy and so interesting. I absolutely loved reading it. Although I was slightly heartbroken to find out who they made Circe to be in the book. Sat there screaming NO NOT HER!!! (Not gonna say who, in case someone is reading it for the first time). But it was great, and I can’t wait to read The Sweet Far Thing as soon as I can.

I’ve also been reading weekly installments of The Boss by Abigail Barnette on her blog site (in case you don’t know, Abigail Barnette is Jenny Trout’s penname, she’s also been writing recaps of the horrid 50 Shades of Grey books and has all my respect for struggling through those even though they upset her. She’s making it so I don’t have to read them and still know what ridiculous stuff happens in those books. Go to her site, it’s awesome, and she’s awesome). This book. Oh guys… this book is amazing.. It’s basically what 50SOG wants to be, but a million times better. I’ll link it when I get home from work. GO READ IT! IT’S FREE!!!

The final book I read in June was Legend by Marie Lu. I started and finished this book on the same day, it was so awesome. I already need to get Prodigy so I can read it and then pre-order Champion so I can read it the day it comes out. I loved the relationship building between June and Day, and loved the world they were in in the “please don’t let me ever live in a world like that” way. The relationship between the two didn’t seem as InstaLove as some relationships can be. There was attraction, but it built. Especially when Day found out who June really was. I did guess who really killed Metias before they started dropping hints about it, but hey, I felt all Sherlock-like from that. (At least, who we’re supposed to think killed Metias by the end of this book. You never know).

July

And now for the books I’ll be reading in July.

The first book I’ll be reading is The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. I can’t wait to see what happens in this one. Is it going to focus solely on Percy (educated guess, with Neptune being the Roman name for Poseidon, Percy’s father), or are we going to get the Percabeth reunion I want. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GIVE ME THE PERCABETH REUNION! (Even though I kind of know what’s going to happen thanks to my sister and her fangirl ranting. Which we all do, so I’m not mocking her.)

I’ll also be reading Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb, book 24 in the series. As always, I can’t wait to see what lies in store for Eve and Roarke in this one. And now I can’t wait to see how Mavis and Leonardo are adjusting to both married life and their new baby girl. And Trueheart. I always like seeing Trueheart. Also, will Avril Icove make a reappearance any time soon?

I’m aiming to read all of the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman, since I found an omnibus of the series in my local thrift store for $.40! Can’t beat that! I’ve wanted to read this series for quite a while, especially after I heard the books are way better than the movie was. So we’ll see if I can do it.

In the A Very Potter Summer, I’ll be reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix between July 7 and July 21 and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince between July 22 and July 31 (both by J.K. Rowling). I love both of these books. Although I’m not a fan of the deaths that occur in them. Yay painful moments!

I’m also still reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. Hey, this book is nearly 1000 pages long, of course I haven’t finished it yet. I can do 500 pages in a matter of days, but these book are just a little more heavy reading, she’s very detailed about everything that happens in the lives of Jamie, Claire, and the others of this series. And I love her for it. They’re getting ever closer to the Revolutionary War, and as Claire says, it may still be two years away, revolution can have a long fuse and a short match. Or something like that… but the stress is REAL!

So that’s what I plan to read this month. Who knows what else I’ll pick up, or get from the library, I’m on the waiting list for a few books. I love the elibrary. I don’t have to worry about the fines for late fees that I’d always get when I borrowed books when I was younger. Seriously, I’m still afraid to set foot in the library where I lived when I was younger, for fear that they’ll slap me with a big fine for some books…

So we’ll see what happens!

Also, I didn’t get to read The Fellowship of the Ring, because I didn’t manage to get a copy of it before June ended. Sadly. Now I’m off-schedule to finish before school starts up again.

Links for The Boss and the His Dark Materials Series to come later on.

Updated Schedule for A Very Potter Summer:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Sat. June 1-Thur. June 6.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Fri. June 7-Wed. June 12.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Thur. June 13-Wed. June 26.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Thur. June 27-Sat. July 6.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Sun. July 7-Sun. July 21.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Mon. July 22-Wed. July 31.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Thur. August 1-Wed. August 14.

June TBR

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So yesterday we did the May Wrap Up. Today, let’s do the June TBR!

June

Yes, I’m really trying to read all of those books this month. I may be a little crazy, I don’t know.

So this month also kicks off A Very Potter Summer. From June 1 to August 11, I’ll be reading all of the Harry Potter books. The schedule is June 1- June 6: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; June 7- June 12: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; June 13- June 18: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; June 19- June 30: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; July 1- July 14: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; July 15- July 28: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; July 29- August 11: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So from that is why there are four extra books on my June TBR list.

The first non-Harry Potter book I’ll be reading is The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. The beginning of another Rick Riordan series! YES! Even if I get more stressed out from this one, I’m still excited. I love his books.

The next book I’ll be reading is Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Picking right up where Divergent left off and hopefully will be another book I have trouble to put down. I’m sure all of my questions won’t be answered, and I’m also sure that I’ll have even more questions when I finish this and will then have to wait until Allegiant comes out to get some answers. Yay for books that leave you with more questions than answers!

I’ll also be reading Born in Death by J.D. Robb this month. This is book 23 of the In Death series. What kind of horrible killer is it this time? I get to see more Trueheart, right? I love to see all the different characters in this book. I love that Mavis is doing her best to make Roarke and Eve go outside their comfort zone by being her birthing coaches. Not sure how Eve is going to handle that, it’s not really her thing. But she loves Mavis, so I’m sure it’ll be fun to see. Also, will Mavis finally have her baby in this book?

As I (finally) finished The Fiery Cross last month, I get to start on A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon this month. We keep getting closer and closer to the start of the American Revolution, and it’ll get tricky for Jamie to not be blamed for being loyal to the crown as things go along. But it’ll be great to read, no matter what. And we’re also getting closer to the threatened fire from a newspaper clipping Brianna and Roger found in the future. Will Jamie and Claire be able to escape their fate? But, Ian is back, so that makes everything more awesome!

If I have time, I’d also like to read The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein. I want to tackle The Lord of the Rings trilogy this summer, but we’ll have to see, since I’m also doing the AVPS this summer. Going to try to get to it though!

So that’s all I”m reading this month. We’ll see if I actually accomplish all of this or not. I hope I can do it! I want to read all of these books. Although I expect I’ll be reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes for a few months.

Till next time!