30 Days of Thankful: Books and The Ones I Loved in 2013

As you have probably guessed by now, I’m trying to catch up on my 30 Days of Thankful Challenge. There is a reason, and you will see why tomorrow. So, you get four posts from me today! Woot. Aren’t you lucky? :)

I always do an end of the year, here are my favorite books go back and read my links so I get better stats post, so I’m doing a two-fer here and posting a think I’m thankful for and following tradition. ‘Cause I’m awesome like that. Also, everyone else is posting their favorite books and I have to jump on the bandwagon now, cause I’m good at that. Some times. Ok, like every once in a while.

Hoo, boy this is difficult. I read a lot of books in 2013 and a lot of really good books in 2013 and some I haven’t even gotten around to reviewing yet. Here are my favorites.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (click on the link to read my full review)

Summary: Code Name Verity is a historical fictitious tale, Wein writes the struggles of two friends as they help their country in a time of need. The story is written from both girls’ perspectives, and I guess it could also be termed an epistolary tale, as it is told from the letters one girl writes and the reports another girl writes.

Why I loved it: I liked the period that it was set in and the way the story unfolds. There are a lot of twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I especially love the relationship between the two girls, their friendship is inspiring and amazing. Wein’s writing is excellent and makes the amazing (could be true, but wasn’t) tale all that much better.

Cinder by Melissa Meyer (click on the link to read my full review)

SummaryCinder is a fairy tale retelling of the classic Cinderella story, but this one has cyborgs, plagues, and a Moon Queen who threatens the Earth’s existence!!!

Why I loved it: This book has all sorts of elements that I absolutely adore. It had cool sci/fi centered around androids and cyborgs, a dystopian future because of a plague, and a really cool take on retelling fairy tales. Meyers takes all of these elements and brings them into a cohesive story that has heart, great character development, and interesting relationships. I read the second book immediately, and I greatly anticipate the third book in the series, Cress, when it is expected to be published in February 2014 (there is a count down on the author’s page).

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (click on the link to read my full review)

Summary: When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London pavement, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternative reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere. Blurb from GoodReads

Why I loved it: Honestly, this is when I fell in love with Neil Gaiman, and then I discovered his wife Amanda Palmer and they became my favorite people that I’ll never know in real life of 2013. Gaiman has an amazing way with words and story telling, that I even got my hands on a copy of his comic book series The Sandman. And long time readers know how much I hate to read graphic novels. This was also the year I started really listening to audio books and I enjoyed listening to Gaiman read his own creation.

Gaiman has an excellent speaking voice, is a good voice actor, and  hearing the story from the author was one of the best parts of this audiobook. The minute I started listening to Neverwhere I was entranced.  I also like how Gaiman writes stories that discuss greater human themes in subtle and engaging ways. He does this without preaching, he does it with out pointing it out, he just makes his comments about society fall at the right moment from the right person.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (click on the link to read my full review)

Summary: The Raven Boys follows the story of Blue and four boys from a local prep school set in the Virginia nowhere. Blue, daughter to a psychic, goes with her “aunt” to the corpse road on St. Marks Eve as amplifier for her psychic aunt who sits on a wall drawing a strange symbol waiting for the soon to be dead people to walk down the path. Every St. Marks Eve those people who will be dead within the next year appear as ghosts traveling the corpse road and Blue’s family takes down names to tell clients if they are soon to die. Blue never sees any of them herself, merely an energy amp, she is tasked with writing down the names and waits for her aunt to be finished. But this fateful St. Marks Eve (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) she sees a ghost, a boy who calls himself Gansey. No less shocked her aunt tells her “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

Why I loved it: I know a lot of people had some difficulty with this book, even devoted Stiefvater fans. But I loved it. It was dark and startling and unsettling. If felt like and unfinished tale, a beginning, and it is. I don’t mind the first book in a series, being a bit raw, I think it was done on purpose. Once again, Stiefvater is a masterful storyteller, pulling pieces of the story from each of the five characters. The magic of the book is just as entrancing as the story itself, and I have high expectations for the finished product (supposedly there will be four books).

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