My Favorite Reads of 2013

This year I read 115 books. 115! Although I didn’t set a specific goal for 2013, I expected I would end up at a similar number to 2012, which was 83. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had read 32 more books than last year. At first I was puzzled as to how I had read that many books without scheduling more time specifically for reading. Then I realized there was a very logical reason. 2013 has been the year of activities for my kids–gymnastics, dance, soccer, Tae Kwon Do–and during all of these things I have time to read. Now it all makes sense. But you didn’t stop by here to learn about my reading habits. You want my list of favorites for 2013, right? Well, here they are, my top middle grade and young adult reads of 2013, not necessarily published in 2013:

Middle Grade

I read more young adult than middle grade this year, but I still had a good list from which to choose my favorites.

5. WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME by Kimberley Griffiths Little – I first learned about Kimberley’s books when she stopped by my blog to comment on an MMGM review. I loved the way her 2014 MG book took the mean girl from a previous book and let us see her story. So well done!

4. RUMP by Liesl Shurtliff – I have an interesting story for how I discovered this author as well. She critiqued my query and first page as part of The Writer’s Voice contest in 2012, so I was anxiously awaiting her book this year, and it absolutely met my expectations. I loved the way she took a familiar fairy tale and gave it new life.

3. DESTINY, REWRITTEN by Kathryn Fitzmaurice – A book about an eleven-year-old who wants to write romance novels? It’s like me 25 years ago. Plus, there was a mystery/scavenger hunt. Go read it!

2. EXILE by Shannon Messenger – This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to my readers. The first book, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, was in my top five middle grade reads last year. The second in the series delivers on the promise of the first, answering just enough questions to keep readers wanting more.

1. HALF UPON A TIME series by James Riley – This series grabbed me from the first page of the first book and wouldn’t let me go until I’d devoured all three books. I loved them enough to review the first and third books within a few weeks. This series is going in my permanent library.

Young Adult

I read a ton of YA this year. I haven’t counted them all up, but it was a challenge to narrow this list down to my top five, and even at that there are a few series, so it’s really more like eleven books …

5. BABE IN BOYLAND by Jody Gehrman – As I mentioned when I reviewed the book earlier this year, I’m a sucker for stories where a girl pretends to be a boy for some purpose. I might even be writing one … anyway, I especially enjoyed the character growth in this story.

4. DIVERGENT series by Veronica Roth – I didn’t start this series until September, so I fortunately didn’t have to wait long for the conclusion. I love it when a series makes me think, and DIVERGENT definitely delivers.

3. SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY series by Susan Dennard - I’ve read the first two books in this series, plus the novella from the love interest’s point of view, and I can’t wait for the final installment. I love the setting, the monsters, and the romance.

2. SCARLET by Marissa Meyer – I almost put this one first, like its predecessor CINDER last year. I loved the way Ms. Meyer wove together Cinder and Scarlet’s stories. I almost wish I’d waited to read these books until they were all out because it’s killing me to wait for the others, but it’s worth it!

1. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – I don’t have a review for this series because I haven’t read all of it yet, but it still makes the top spot on my list.  I devoured the first three books, and if I can’t put something down, it deserves to be here. I’m a little nervous about books four and following because I was satisfied with the way book three ended, so I’m waiting until they’re all out to read the rest. I do, however, have a post with my reactions to the movie.

What were your favorite books in 2013? Do any of mine make your list?

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About Michelle I. Mason

I'm a full-time writer, focusing mainly on middle grade and young adult fiction with some freelance PR writing and editing on the side. I'm also a wife, mom, Christian, violinist, avid reader and St. Louis Cardinals fan. And I watch way too much TV.
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4 Responses to My Favorite Reads of 2013

  1. Marianne says:

    Allegiant was definitely on my 2013 short list. So many new YA dystopian series have been derivative and fairly boring, but I thought the Divergent series was a refreshing change, the dystopia that really wasn’t what it seemed.

  2. Noelle says:

    I’m sad to say I haven’t read any of these! I think my boys would love HALF UPON A TIME, so I’m putting that one on my list. And RUMP too, because I’ve heard so much about it from The Writer’s Voice. As for your YA reads, I still want to check out the Divergent series and Marissa Meyer’s series. Those have both been on my radar for a while…I just never seem to have as much time for reading as I’d like. Maybe I can change that in 2014. :)

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