Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Reading Year in Review

According to Goodreads I read 167 books in 2013 and 57037 pages. My goal was 150 books, so this is a great number for me. If you add my re-read of The King of Attolia the number becomes 168, which is much more nice and even. I'm not going to up my goal in 2014, because it's just not realistic in my life.

In 2014 I want to be better about choosing books that I'll love, avoiding triangles, not being afraid to DNF and writing reviews that are concise, thoughtful and don't take hours to compose (haha!). 

I'm also terrible at bookish surveys. I love to read other people's, but trying to break down my own books and answer a series of questions about them gives me the hives. I do love the idea of looking back at my reading year, however, so I'm breaking down my favorites in terms of genre. 

I'm not at all good at editing myself, and I like the idea that I enjoyed so many of the books I read. Thus I've listed a lot of them. After the first two sections, I've done almost no title overlapping. 

2013 Year in Review

1) Favorite series I read in their entirety this year

Just One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman 
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan.
Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

2) Favorite series ends

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. 
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. 
Eternally Yours by Cate Tiernan. 
Champion by Marie Lu. 

I put a lot of books in this category because I needed to remind myself that I loved how many series ended in 2013. Also it's interesting to note how many series crossover between the first two categories. reading series in chunks is still my favorite way to experience them. One reason for this year's Summer Series Challenge that I helped to host. I did like the end of Just One Year too, but the first book remains my favorite so I didn't put it in this section. 

3) Most disappointing sequels

Boundless by Cynthia Hand. 
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson. 
Allegiant by Veronica Roth. 
The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Three of these are series conclusions. One is just a middle book, but what happens in the installment is so final that I'm not sure how it will be turned around.

4) Second books in series that I liked better than the first (and as a result, fell in love with the entire series.) 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. 

I also read Cress, book three in the Lunar Chronicles and it was even better than Scarlet! This series is also my favorite fairytale retellings. 

5) Best Historical Fantasy

The Diviners by Libba Bray. 
Blythewood by Carol Goodman.

I'm so happy I finally read The Diviners (I almost put it in the straight Historical Fiction category, but then I remembered that it has strong paranormal elements too). Both of these books were perfect, creepy October reads. Dark Triumph could also fit in this category.

6) Best Alternate History

Margot by Jillian Cantor.

7) Favorite book in second person (I struggled where to put this book - alternate history? historical fiction? but I wanted to mention it)

All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry. 

8) Favorite Paranormal

Shadows and Haze by Paula Weston.

9) Favorite Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic (I am declaring a break from this genre in 2014, unless I'm already invested in the series, but I did find some that I really liked.)

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi 
(I also enjoyed Into the Still Blue, another good series end). 
Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu - for the way the world building developed after book one. 

10) YA Contemporaries I loved

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith. 
Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy Tintera. (The language in this book was gorgeous)

11) New Adult (College) Contemporaries I loved 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
One & Only by Viv Daniels

12) Favorite Adult Contemporary

Unsticky by Sarra Manning

13) Best Adult Fantasy

Written in Red by Anne Bishop. 
(I also just finished the sequel Murder of Crows and loved that too)
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

14) Best YA Fantasy

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

15) Books I was excited about reading that greatly disappointed me

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West 
Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan

I know I'm the only person who felt this way about the West book. Also, after loving one series by Tiernan, not liking her new book made me really sad.

16) Favorite novella

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor. 

WOW! Taylor is amazing at romance with a little bite. I'm hoping we get some of that for Karou and Akiva in Dreams of Gods and Monsters!

Not pictured: I also LOVED Shattered by Jeri Smith-Ready, which is parts of Shine from Zach's perspective. His friendship with Martin is aching and beautiful. 

17) Favorite Science Fiction 

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

18) Favorite YA Indies 

Destiny by PT Michelle.
Scorched Treachery by Rebecca Ethington. 

These are two series that had a big dip for me in book 2, but picked up again in #3. As a whole, they're both definitely worth reading. My liking of these books has nothing to do with those boy covers

19) The 'I need to read more adult books again because I read some great ones this year' category. In addition to what I listed above:

Biggest Feels: 
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Best Feel Good Adult: 
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion & Nowhere But Home by Liz Palmer

20) Favorite early 2014 books read

Infinite by Jodi Meadows.
Cress by Marissa Meyer.
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. 
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama. (This book needs a cover!!)

EXTRAS (because 20 was enough but I don't want to leave anything out!):
Best spies/thieves: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
Best Historical Romance: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson 
Favorite Adult Fantasy Indie: House of Sand and Secrets by Cat Hellisen
Most shocking end to a series book: Everbound by Brodi Ashton. 
Best Gothic Fiction (with gorgeous prose): Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by by April Genevieve Tucholke  
I would have liked this even better without the second love interest: The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Favorite Vampire book: Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

WHEW! Now I can officially welcome 2014. 
I've even read my first book of the year: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. 

I'm slowly getting back into blogging after posting lightly for the past two weeks. I'll be by to visit you all and answer my emails soon (sorry for the delay! My house has been plagued by sickness and children running amok). I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!


  1. Yay Lauren for doing an end of year wrap up--I know these kind of summary posts tend to make you sweat a little (me too!) but I love this one. You and I read many of the same books this year and I agree with you on so many of your choices! And I love this list because it also helps me remember those books you have read and loved that I didn't read yet but really want to get to soon like the Liza Palmer and the Anne Bishop and the Carol Goodman.

    I totally agree with your feelings on DNF-ing and feeling more free to do so as well as your choice to try and be more selective in the books you choose to read. And 167 books--that is awesome! I finished the year at 157 and don't think I'll go that high this year--that's a lot of books and probably led to some of the burn out I felt towards the end of the year. :)

    So excited about some of the upcoming books of 2014 though--and I can't wait to discuss with you:)

  2. Ooh, you'll have to let me know what your final thoughts on Cruel Beauty are! As you know, I pretty much love all the books you mentioned in this post - it really was a good year for YA wasn't it? I'm hoping this year will be even better (hopefully with less disappointments!) and I can't wait to read Winner's Curse, Cress, or Plus One, all of which you've already read. Fantastic post, Lauren, and Happy New Year!(:

  3. I love how you broke up your favorites! And I agree with so many of them, though there's one on your disappointing sequels list that I actually enjoyed quite a bit. :P Congrats on meeting your reading goal, and good luck for this year. I only increased my goal incrementally based on what I read in 2013, and it seems that I tend to increase it by 25 each year anyway.

    I'm hoping to master the DNF this year, too, and start reading more for pleasure. Not that what I read isn't, but I read a ton of review books, and only listened to my own picks for the most part.

    Great wrap up post, Lauren! Cruel Beauty is coming up on my list...hope I can make it through that weird triangle I've heard so much about! And, yes, we really need a cover for Plus One! Such a good book!

  4. Great list -- so many of these made my lists, too including Fangirl, Just One Day/Just One Year and Dream Thieves. I actually liked Boundless and thought it was a good end to the series but maybe I'm in the minority

    Regardless, giving away any of my 2013 favorites here!

  5. I agree with so many of these! I just reread Dark Triumph the first time, and while the emotional shock wasn't there, I appreciated it just the same. It's such an amazing, dark book.
    The Bone Season and Written in Red are among my adult favorites too. Both are exquisitely well-built. Murder of Crows will be out soon, I hear it's absolutely wonderful.
    And oh, The Clockwork Princess! I STILL have bags under my eyes from all the crying.
    Happy new year! Hugs!

  6. Lauren, this is about the most complete year in review I have read! Well done, and good job adding the Extras in. :-)

  7. Looks like you had a great year! I am really excited for Cress since you seemed to enjoy it so much. I have only read the first of the Under the Never Sky and Legend series and am excited to read the conclusions. I still haven't read Allegiant (though I own it) and I am a little hesitant. Happy reading in 2014!

  8. Me iz making it a mission of reading Fire and Thorns series this year. BECAUSE. I DON'T NEED A REASON OKAY. Everyone talks about this series and I want to see how they're not tired of raving. Yes. Plus, you know. YOU loved it, so. It's a go go go for me. I'm so scared because you didn't love Boundless :( As soon as it arrives sometime next week (I hope), I'm going to try and read Hallowed and Boundless. Plus, you loved Scarlet I know!!! I can't wait to start this because I've heard that these get better and better and I truly started to see the magic of Cinder and Marissa Meyer when I gave it a second go. Shadows and Haze by Paula Weston are on my tbr thanks to you, Nick, Jasprit and everyone else. Gahhh.... SO MANY BOOKS TO READ I CAN'T EVEN. I'm going to stop now, because I'm going to comment on every book otherwise. Although, I must say that I was pretty sure I was going to hate The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, but I'm so glad I didn't. I really enjoyed it O_O Oh oh oh and Everbound, yessss!!! That ending! I need the next book bad. I hope your house will be free of sickness soon and happy new year, my friend! :) <3

  9. So. Many. Good. Books. (A whole lot of meh, too, but yay for awesome books!) Loved A Murder of Crows...just finished it and want to reread it already. I'm obsessed with this world. I can't wait for Cress, though. Sadly, I asked for it too late so now I have to wait. *sigh*

  10. 167/168 books read in 2013? I cannot even imagine reading that many in a year - that's super impressive. :)
    These surveys though always make me realize how many books I still need to read. "Night of Cake and Puppets" is going to happen soon. As is Unsticky, Fire and Thorns trilogy, Nowhere But Home, These Broken Stars, All the Truth That's in Me. And then some more.
    I've also come to the conclusion that I need to read more adult fiction. It's difficult knowing what good adult fiction is being published, though, since most bloggers I follow read YA. We should totally swap some adult fic recommendations!

  11. You have so many of my favorites on this list Lauren! I'm going to make it my mission this year to read Shadows and Haze though, I know you adored those and I want to experience them for myself. There is a third book on the way though, yes? I might wait until it's out and then read all of them at the same time. Win.

    We discussed Birthright (I put my review up yesterday) and you know I was equally disappointed in that one. Jaguar shifters had so much potential and I wanted to love it, but Vivi was a challenge for sure.

    And I read Cruel Beauty a little while back and LOVED it. It was so dark and different, I can't wait to find out what you think. I have a feeling it's going to be one that inspires a lot of widely varying opinions though, which always makes a book more interesting for me:)

  12. I'm so glad to see that we share so many favourites Lauren! I absolutely adored All These Yesterdays, Shadows, Haze and Fangirl. And I can't wait to read Unsticky and The Winner's Curse, here's hoping that I end up enjoying them both, just as much as you did. I hope that 2014 is another year full of amazing reads for you! :)

  13. You're not the only one who was disappointed in THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. I loved that it was cute and clean, but it seriously lacked in the plot and character development departments.

    Also, I'm jealous that you've read CRESS already. I love The Lunar Chronicles and cannot wait to read CRESS.

    Happy New Year!

  14. These end of the year re-caps are daunting! There is so much here I love. I'm thrilled to see you liked The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because I did, too, but it seemed like I was the only one! I really want to read All These Broken Stars, All Our Yesterdays, and Written in Red. Like you I loved: The Dream Thieves, Into the Ever Night, All the Truth That's in Me. Dark Triumph was even better than the first, IMO as well! The Diviners was oh-so-good even though it was oh-so-long! Wow, brick of a book, lol! I'm not touching Allegiant with a 10 foot pole, but my husband loved it! Go figure. I'm sure I'm leaving things out.

    I'm not going to the Mid Winter ALA this year, but I'm going to the one in Vegas this summer. I haven't been to the BEA, so I'm not sure how it compares. I'm sure it's similar. Will you be going to the one in Vegas?

  15. Great list! Quite a few of my favorites are there...Dark Triumph, These Broken Stars, Shattered, Written in Red to name a few.

    I'm surprised how many people have Night of Cake and Puppets on their list. I downloaded it but haven't read it yet.

  16. Number 4 YES YES YES!!!!! DUDE. I listened to the audio book of Dark Triumph. Picture me on the highway, headed to a wedding, balling my eyes out. Seriously, last week, I THOUGHT about Beast and Sybella and started crying.

  17. Such a great list, Lauren--I still haven't gotten over CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, and I don't think I'll ever be over it! And yeah, sometimes I think about BOUNDLESS and am sad/disappointed all over again.

    I loved seeing ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME, BLYTHEWOOD, DREAM THIEVES, ONE AND ONLY, SIEGE AND STORM, TBS, and WILD AWAKE on your list, too. I also finally finished SCARLET this week and totally agree--it's better than CINDER for sure. Hope the new year brings you lots of amazing books, Lauren!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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