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.

March Wrapup/April TBR

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Yes! It’s April! Technically it’s supposed to be warm now! Orioles Opening Day is this Friday! Spring is here!!! And I’ve got some new books to read!

So lets dive into the books I read in the month of March. This was a mixed month. Some books I loved. Some books I liked. Some books I wanted to hurl across the room I hated them so much. The six books on my reading list were City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Tempest by Julie Cross, The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan, Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb, and The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (I’m more than halfway through now! This is a near 1,000 page book, with small type print. But it’s SO GOOD!) I also read Chosen (book one in the Seeker Saga) by Sarah Swan, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. So, a good amount of books. Spring break was this month, so that helped with reading them.

Like I said, some books I loved. I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife. Thankfully, when I got to the part that had me bawling I was at home reading it, so no one saw me have my heart broken. There was a little part in the middle that got me teary on the bus home, but it wasn’t too bad. Loved that one. I loved Survivor in Death. Normally J.D. Robb books don’t make me cry. They make me sad, mad, and happy, but never cry. Until this one. I just hurt so much for little Nixie, a maybe ten year old girl who was the lone survivor of a home invasion, her whole family and her best friend were all killed. I loved The Titan’s Curse. Sure I had an idea of what was gonna happen to certain characters, but I loved it. And again, I blew through it in one day. I need to stop doing that. I only have two of those books left.

Some of the books, I only liked. I liked Tempest. It was similar to TTW, but different. And the ending kinda stung. But it was a good book, and I’ll keep reading the series. I liked Chosen. It was confusing, it was intriguing, but it just took so damn long to get to the action. But again, I’ll read the next one in the series. I liked Clockwork Angel. Most of the characters are pretty awesome, and Clare had me surprised at some of the reveals (I waited till Clockwork Princess was out to read this series. I pre-ordered the boxed set a while back and it showed up on my doorstep on its release date.). I’m excited to read Clockwork Prince.

And then there were the books I hated. I absolutely hated City of Fallen Angels. This book was shorter than City of Glass, yet it took me a week to read, and that was by forcing myself to read it. Jace and Clary were stupid. Simon was stupid. God help me, Alec, the steady one who I love for his steadiness, was STUPID! I wanted to throw this book across the room so many times. The only reason I didn’t throw it was because it’s not my copy of the book and I like returning books I’ve borrowed from other people in the condition I received it. I have decided with this book series to just treat it as a trilogy. In my world, the only books in the Mortal Instruments series are City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass. I’m not even going to read the last two. I just can’t go there anymore. They’re pissing me off and I have other books to read. Remember, this is my opinion, and if you disagree and think that this series is the best thing EVER, that’s cool. That’s your opinion, and I respect it. But don’t tell me I’m wrong. There is no wrong or right when it comes to most books (the only exception being the 50 Shades trilogy, and that is just WRONG! But I’m not going into that today.) I also hated Beautiful Disaster. Travis is borderline abusive, he also practically kidnaps Abby at one point, which had me screaming, “Um, HELLO! HE’S KIDNAPPING YOU!”. Really though, I felt these two deserved each other, they were perfectly destructive and dumb for each other. And why Kara, the roommate who pointed out the obvious that Abby chose to ignore, was made into a bitch for doing that, I don’t know. But SHE WAS RIGHT! Yeah. I hated this book. I cancelled my pre-order on Walking Disaster because I just don’t think I can take more of these two, and don’t feel like spending the money to find out. And I hated The Host. No it wasn’t the same as Twilight, but there were moments that just annoyed me. I kinda skimmed from halfway on to the end. I couldn’t take the non-action action and love triangles. Or whatever they were. I was glad I borrowed this one from the library. I don’t have tons of money. I hate it when I spend it on disappointing things (A Discovery of Witches *cough*).

April

 

Now for the month of April. Please let this month be one of just loving or liking books. I intend to read five books this month. Yup, a shorter list than normal. School is about to get into that pre-final intensity of projects and papers and heavy-duty studying. I figured I’d cut back for a bit. The first book I’ll be reading is The Battle of the Labyrinth in the Percy Jackson series from Rick Riordan. If it’s anything like the others, I’ll love it. But I’m going to do my best to slow down on reading this one, because after it I only have one left (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!). But I still can’t wait to dive into it.

I’ll also be reading Origin in Death by J.D. Robb. I’m always happy to go back to the world of Eve, Roarke, Mavis, Peabody, McNabb, and Sumerset (who just made me so happy in Survivor in Death). Every adventure is fun and sad at the same time. But please don’t let it be as sad as Survivor was for me. I can’t take another In Death book that actually makes me cry. This is 21 in this series. Calculated in Death, the most recent one, came out in March. It’s number 36 in the series. So maybe I’ll actually catch up soon. Haha, probably not before she puts out the next one.

I’ll also be reading The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen M. Beckett. I have no clue what this book is really about, I found it in the thrift store (oh yeah baby, I pop tags. Books there are cheap, and there are so many!) for $.40. It looked pretty interesting, and I can’t wait to see what it’s about.

I’ll also be reading Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I like these books so far. Tessa is a much less annoying heroine than Clary was. Will is very like Jace (does she just have a Jace template she pulls out?), but Jem is a good character. I think if I’d have to pick a “team” (which I kinda hate saying so yeah), I’t pick Jem. I like Charlotte and Henry, so I hope everything turns out okay for them. And I love that it’s set in London in the past, because historical fiction is awesome for me.

And finally I’ll be continuing with The Fiery Cross (Diana Gabaldon, you know the deal now). Things keep staying good in the book, and I’m over the halfway point. So I may even get it finished. I’m going to try and not read any other books until I actually finish this reading list, including this book. I’ll probably bring it to lunch every day at work to read. It’s a little too heavy to carry in my schoolbag though.

So that is this month for reading. Sorry about the rant on the three books earlier. I debated giving those books their own “why I can’t stand them” post, but I think I’ll avoid that. So we’ll see how this month goes!

Goodreads links for April books:

Clockwork Prince

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Origin in Death

The Magicians and Mrs. Quent

The Fiery Cross