Monday, January 13, 2014

14 Our Favorite Books of 2013

We're so excited to share our favorite YA books of 2013 with you. We were supposed to list our favorite books that came out in 2013, but you know what? We cheated. That's just how we roll. :)

The Adventures in YA Publishing Team


I never cheat on these (like Martina!), but I'm going to cheat this time. Because I'm posting it, and I can. :)

1. My number one favorite book I read in 2013 was BEHOLDEN by Martina Boone. And I swear I'm not just sucking up. The writing is beautiful, the atmosphere is gorgeous, the characters are so real, and the plot is fast-paced in all the right places. I just finished reading it for the 7th(?) time, and it still left me breathless and in tears.

2. Second on my list is ASUNDER by Jodi Meadows. I can't say enough how much I love this series. The little details Jodi adds make the world so magical and yet so real. For example, the city wall has a heartbeat. Brilliant! Plus I love Ana and Sam so much! It's funny that sometimes I call her "Erin" in my head, because I've been stalking following Jodi since that was her name. And on a side note, I'm going to meet Jodi in a couple of weeks, and I am SO EXCITED!

3. Third is CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. I was late to the party on this one, but I'm so glad I finally found my way. This book really surprised me. I generally prefer books with some sort of speculative element, so I was pretty sure I wouldn't like it. And boy was I wrong. It's beautiful and suspenseful and heartbreaking.


1. The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. The epic conclusion to an incredibly brilliant and fleshed out world ended the series perfectly. There was not a dull moment throughout the entire book, and I absolutely loved how Carson chose to end Elisa's journey, and the character development through the series is the best i've read in YA. I can't wait for Carson's next trilogy, The Goldscryer Saga!

2. Winger by Andrew Smith. This was the type of contemporary that stuck with me long after I read it. The male protagonist was different for me, and it was so effortless being inside Ryan-Dean West's head. The hand drawn comics, humour, boarding school, witty banter and beautiful friendships made this one of the most memorable books of 2013 for me.

3. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I don't even know where to begin with how beautifully written this book was. The enormousness of space, the luxury of the spaceship, the desolation of the planet Lilac and Tarver ended up on, and the eventual bond between the two was so well done that I absolutely cannot wait to read the companion novels in the series and see what else Kaufman and Spooner can do together.

I read so many amazing books in 2013 that it's hard to narrow it down! Honourable mentions go to Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle series, Laurie Halse Anderson's The Impossible Knife of Memory, Michelle Hodkin's Mara Dyer series, Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Curse, Suzanne Young's The Program and The Treatment and Craig Thompson's Blankets!


1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
3. Allegiant by Veronica Roth and The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill are tied. I couldn't choose between the two!


1. INDELIBLE by Dawn Metcalf
2. BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz
3. SONGSTONE by Lena Goldfinch

Note: I didn't read as much as I would have liked to due to personal issues this past year. I look forward to making up for that in 2014 though!!


With such a crazybusy year of revising Run To You Book One and writing Run To You Book Two, I am shamefully far behind on my TBR. But I did read a few books released in 2013. Among my favorites:

1. Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell
2. The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau
3. Stir Me Up - Sabrina Elkins
4. Another Little Piece of My Heart - Tracey Martin

Can we list a book that's not YA? Because I'm reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King right now and I'm loving it.


1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
2. The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
3. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. Ok, so I didn't read Shatter Me until 2013 and was so happy Unravel Me was already published when I finished. I can't wait for Ignite Me!


Oh, my gosh, picking just three books out of the many is impossible. I love books for different reasons, and once I fall in love, ranking them is like trying to pick a favorite child. Not going to happen. So instead, I will give three that I loved. And I'm going to go purely contemporary this time, because citing a second novel in a series I've already shouted about would be unproductive, and because you've all heard about some of my raves already.

And of course, I'm going to cheat. Multiple times, in multiple ways.

Rainbow Rowell's FANGIRL and ELEANOR AND PARK are both so special that it's impossible to pick between them. The characters are stunning, human, real, and each so vulnerable and spectacular in their own ways. There isn't enough love in the world for these books.

Cath Crowley's GRAFFITI MOON touched me deeply. Partly because I have a WIP about a graffiti artist, so I'll admit I was a little invested in the book from the start, but mostly, I loved the characters. Their strength, their cluelessness, their heartbreaking determination. And I loved the premise, which was fresh and kept me turning the pages.

Marcus Zuzak's I AM THE MESSENGER--this is older--but is, again, a wonderful premise with a character that filled me with love and heartbreak from the very first words. Zusak has a particular brand of hope that he laces into the most heart wrenching things, and a way of describing the awful that both slices your soul to ribbons and makes the pain beautiful. The very uniqueness of the phrasing makes me pause to reflect on the emotion of his descriptions, and that makes me feel the emotion even more. Such powerful writing, and such enormous, marvelous characters.

I have to also throw out a shout-out to a novella: NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS by Laini Taylor. (I know, you already KNOW I love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE and Laini's writing.) But the relationship between Zuska and Mik is so wonderful, and did I mention it's set in Prague, where I'm from? I was just there for Christmas and my birthday, and one of my sisters and I had a blast doing a DOSAB photo tour, which I will be posting later. In the meantime, if you are a friend on Facebook, you can see a sneak peak in my Prague album. I'm trying to figure out how to share that onto my Facebook page as well, but I'm on deadline reviewing BEHOLDEN copyedits, so I may be slow--I am definitely lame about Facebook, so bear with me please!

And while I'm at it, I also want to mention IF I LIE, by Corrine Jackson. Stubbornly, self-destructively chivalrous characters just get to me, and Quinn is so valiant that she burrowed straight into my heart and took up residence. It's one of the books I think about repeatedly at odd times. (Do you do that too?)

Happy New Year, everyone! May your 2014 be filled with the best of everything, and may it give you what you need as well as what you want. XO!


  1. Loved seeing all your favorite books of 2013. Many of them I haven't read so you've given me lots of new books to check out.

  2. Love reading everyone's picks (well, except my own, since I already knew those). And Jan? WOW. That means the world to me. YOu know how much I doubt, and you know this process and all that goes into. Heck, you practically know every word of this book! So the fact that you can still say that, and that you still feel the book, chokes me up with gratitude. And this morning, as I finish my copyedit review and frantically try to take another pass through, it is exactly the thing that I needed to give me a shot in the arm.

    Have I mentioned how very much you ROCK?

  3. Hey! Thanks for picking Breaking Glass as one of your fave books for 2013, Lis!! (And NO I did not choose myself, :))

  4. Great choices! We have many favorites in common. Glad to see THESE BROKEN STARS getting love... It's next on my list of books to read!

  5. There are some wonderful choices for me to shuffle through and update to my TBR list. Thanks!!

  6. Lots of awesome picks! I just finished These Broken Stars and loved it. :) I'd say my favorite from 2013 was Scarlet by AC Gaughen.

  7. Great picks! I keep hearing about Eleanor and Park. I think that one just moved up on my TBR pile.

  8. What a wonderful pat on the back to you, Martina, from Jan. I want to read "I am the messenger" too.

  9. Awesome titles! I have most of these on my wishlist!! :)

    My top 2 YA favourites would be Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis & Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - great stories!!

  10. Great picks. It is hard to choose. I really have to get to Eleanor and Park. My top two are Rose Under Fire and Orphan Train: A Novel.

  11. These sound great! Does anyone know if some of these are available on audiobook already? Most of my reading time is actually during my commute.

    Thanks! Christine @ Better Novel Project

  12. So sweet Jan, saying Martina's book is one of your faves. It makes me SO excited to read it when it comes out! :) I am saving this post so I can read all these wonderful-sounding books. Thanks, everyone!

  13. Just finished Days of Blood and Starlight. WOW. Diving straight for the novella next. I love Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, and the novellas in her series. Can't wait for Book 3 in both these series.

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