AH! Happy New Year! I've been waiting for this day--well, year--for quite a while; I mean, just look at all of the awesome books coming out this year! (Which you will, because we'll be showcasing some 2014 books we've read that are certified awesome, and ones we will do almost anything to read.) But 2013 was a pretty awesome year for books, too. I mean, for the most part. But to celebrate the awesomeness that will be 2014, we're giving away some Winter 2014 ARCs! (Most if not all of which I, Blythe, have read, and are awesome.) We'll be giving away each of the Winter ARCs sporadically throughout the next few weeks when the book's review is posted, so be sure to keep your eyes open for that! And, to celebrate both 2013 and the great year that will be 2014, Mel and I have compiled a list.
Yes, a list! I asked on Twitter what you guys wanted to see, and practically everyone answered that they want to see our bests and worsts of 2013. And here they are! (Note: the best and worst of 2013 lists are only of 2013 releases; we've both definitely read some 2014 releases in 2013 that would make our best/worst list, but this part is about 2013!)
Blythe's Top Five Best of 2013
- Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith - This book is one of the most gorgeous books I've ever read, simple as that. It was wonderfully strange, hauntingly beautiful, and down right euphoric. Reactions will be mixed, certainly, but Wild Awake is one hell of a ballsy and stunning debut, and I love love love it.
- Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn - This book has lingered with me like crazy. Charm & Strange is absolutely stunning (two books into this list and it seems I'm already running out of adjectives) and it has one of the most emotional plot twists I've read in my life. Beautiful novel.
- Golden by Jessi Kirby - This one is also achingly beautiful. Are you seeing a pattern here? *sigh* This is just...lovely and breathtaking. The friendship in this is so amazing, as is the romance. No backstabbing "best friends" here. The mystery is amazing, the writing is amazing, the characters are amazing. Everything in this book is just amazing. Sensational.
- Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas - Now, this book is not beautiful. It angered me more than probably any book I've read this year, including the worst five books I've read this year that you'll see below. I'm still floored by the ending, honestly. In the end, I almost hate this book as much as I love it. Which is a lot. This all makes no sense. Whatever.
- The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider - This is actually my only non-five-star book on this list, but it still manages to beat out all of the other five star reads I've read this year into my top five. Weird how that works, but whatever. The characters in this book are some of my favorites, ever; and the puns and wit, in this book you guys? The PUNS AND WIT.
Blythe's Top Five Worst of 2013
- Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard - LOL, no surprise here, huh? Some of the worst writing I've ever read in my life. Bottom line. It read like a how-to manual on how to be a psychopath.
- September Girls by Bennett Madison - Really, none of the books on this list should surprise you. Especially not this one, duuude!
- Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts - Yes, because during the apocalypse, teenage girls will be abandoning their families for boys they just met, but with whom they are madly in love. And nothing paints a better picture of the apocalypse than buying your son a prostitute. Such a poignant portrayal of the apocalypse. So touching. So beautiful.
- Pulse by Patrick Carman - This almost didn't make the cut for this list. Almost. Honestly, if we were counting 2014 releases read in 2013, it wouldn't have. And neither would the last book in this list, either. But, since we're not counting 2014 releases, this book definitely does deserve to be on this list. Awful world-building, awful characters, a love interest who drugs the MC, a stalker who video tapes the MC sleeping (but the MC forgives him, because obviously)...just no. No.
- Rise by Anna Carey - OH, how this book hurt me so. I loved the first book in this trilogy, and the second one. But I honestly hate this book. It's been ten months since I've finished it, but I'm still angry when I discuss this book with people. So I think ten months of withstanding anger warrants a spot on this list.
(For those curious, if we were counting 2014 titles, No One Else Can Have You would replace Pulse, and Her Dark Curiosity would replace Rise.
Mel's Top Five Best of 2013
- All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill - I think one of the best things about All Our Yesterdays was how intricate the plot was. The ending swept me off my feet and honestly, Cristin Terrill is a bloody genius. If you haven't read this book, I don't think we can be friends. *shakes head*
- The House of Hades by Rick Riordan - I waited one entire year for this book after that horrible, horrible cliffhanger. And, I was in tears when I finally got my hands on this book. The characters, the romance, the action and everything about this book was perfection. I love this series, and honestly, I don't know what to do with my life after the last installment is released.
- Everbound by Brodi Ashton - It's Greek Mythology, and there's a really cute love interest, and a really kick-ass main character. And I really need the sequel. Like, NOW.
- Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas - This is one of those books that I hate. A lot. Because that ending. THAT ENDING. Just. Woah. DID NOT SEE IT COMING. I love this book more than everything.
- This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales - *kisses book* This book was so heart-wrenching and had an authentic representation of what high school is like for some people. A really important book for all those people who have felt/feel left out.
Mel's Top Five Worst of 2013
- September Girls by Bennett Madison - This one can be easily placed as the worst book I've read in 2013. Actually make that the worst book I've ever read. The amount of slut shaming and general gross-ness was just appalling.
- The Elite by Kiera Cass - Haha, no. I wanted more of a focus on the rebel attacks and plot which was practically non-existent. This was just a cheesy love story with an overly jealous main character. She got pissed when she saw one of her love interests dancing with someone else. Calm. Down!
- Teardrop by Lauren Kate - What a cookie-cutter. I DNFed this because of how painful it was. Insta-love, annoying and stupid main character and love triangle. My favourite.
- Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black - Despite the gorgeous cover, Dance of Shadows was not at all likable. The main character was infuriating and missed all the clues that were practically laid in front of her. Also, the love interest is a cliched mysterious bad boy.
- Asylum by Madeleine Roux - The writing was so juvenile. All the characters were depth-less and felt fake.
And now for the best of 2014 that we've read so far! This was actually really tough for Mel and me, and I'm still really conflicted about some stuff. I don't knoooow, too many awesome books. But here they are for you!
Blythe's Certified Awesome Books of 2014
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - THIS BOOK, you guys. Its mystery creeps up and you and it's completely shocking, and when it is revealed, it RUINS YOUR SOUL. I promise.
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - Probably my favorite read of 2014 so far. I literally love every single thing about this book. It's a weird, weird book, and it will not appeal to every reader, but I adore it. Beauty and the Beast retelling, plus Greek mythology, plus an awesome romance. Yessss.
- Split Second by Kasie West - I love this book. I gave it four stars because of some reasons revolving around one of the romances and how I felt it could have wrapped up better as a series, but I still really do love it. Kasie West is the Master of snark and amazing characters and swoon-worthy love interests, and she always will be.
Mel's Certified Awesome Books of 2014
- Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott - I actually read this one very recently and despite what a lot of people are saying about an extremely bitchy and unlikable main character, I ended up enjoying this very much. Emma's grief and anger felt real and I could understand her situation completely. The strength is in the family dynamics, for Heartbeat.
- Split Second by Kasie West - Kasie West delivers once again! This one is told in Laila and Addie's POV and both are extremely lovable and smart lead characters that I will miss greatly. There were some things at the end of the book that were still left unanswered but still, overall a pleasing sequel.
- Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor - This one focuses more around a friendship instead of a romance. Basically, we have two best friends however one of them has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has a possibility of dying. Zoe and Olivia's friendship was written brilliantly and while I felt that Zoe cried way too much, I was left in tears at the end as well.
And now for books we're looking forward to in 2014! I'll admit, this was pretty difficult to gather up, too, since there are just so many 2014 releases we're looking forward to. (Also, has anyone realized that Mel and I have exactly one in common for each category? Weird.)
Blythe's Highly Anticipated 2014 Releases
Mel's Highly Anticipated 2014 Releases
I mean it, you guys, 2014 is going to be the year of amazing books. I know that I said this when it was 2012 about 2013, but I mean it even more so now. So what books are you looking forward to in 2014? We know that the amount of books above doesn't even begin to touch the amount of awesomeness that 2014 will bring, and we're curious to see what you're all looking forward to. But more than anything we'd like to thank all of you for an amazing year of blogging and friendship and books. (And I mean, this year was pretty eventful, right? Mel joined Finding Bliss in Books and she's an awesome co-blogger.) So thank you to our loyal and lovely readers; we look forward to another amazing, book-filled year with you guys! (Blogger is annoying and won't let me do a less-than-three heart, so just imagine me giving you guys, you know...a less-than-three heart.)