Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry: Best of 2013

Inspired by Book Buzzers, Book Girls Don't Cry is a weekly feature where we each discuss/vent/advise on the chosen weekly bookish topic. Don't miss Jenni on Mondays, and Amy on Saturdays:

Best of 2013 (so far)

Since we're hitting the half year mark very soon, we decided to do up a list of the best books we've read so far this year, and the top ones we're excited for that are releasing before the year ends.

Let's start with my top 5 books of 2013 so far:

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1)
by Karina Halle 

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.
This is an adult book and it's absolutely fantastic with some of the best, most realistic characters. Plus the romance puts the woo in swoony (yeah I'm cheesy like that!)

 Hopeless (Hopeless #1)
by Colleen Hoover 

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies.In this #1 New York Times bestselling novel by Colleen Hoover, author of Slammed and Point of Retreat, Sky meets Dean Holder, a guy with a reputation that rivals her own. Holder has the ability to invoke feelings in Sky she's never had before. In just one encounter he leaves her terrified yet captivated and something about him brings up a rush of memories from the past that she’s worked so hard to bury away.

Sky knows Holder is nothing but trouble and tries to keep him at a distance, but he is adamant about learning everything he can about her. Sky finally caves to his unwavering pursuit, but she soon finds out that Holder isn't the person he's been claiming to be. When the secrets he's been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky's life changes forever.
My favorite New Adult novel that gutted me and shredded my heart. The sequel through Holder's POV can't get here fast enough!

Game. Set. Match. (Outerbanks Tennis Academy #1)
by Jennifer Iacopelli  

Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world's most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant.

Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus?

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up.

With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court.
As a New Adult book this was just so refreshing. Finally a fun, romantic, and original plot with incredible characters to boot! Any Miranda Kenneally fan should give this a try!

 The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave #1)
by Rick Yancey 

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
This is probably one of the only dystopian/end of the world novel I have read this year that I enjoyed. An exciting read and actually original which is SO rare in this genre, now!

If You Find Me
by Emily Murdoch  

There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
Another one that really got my emotionally involved 100%. I loved the rawness of this story and how, in such a horrifying story, it's really about hope.

And now for the top 5 I'm most excited for that will be coming out in 2013. Note that since any sequels of the ones above are a GIVEN, I will not put them in this list since it would be just all 5 of those.. ;)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown #1) 
by Holly Black 

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
Aaaah Holly Black rocks my face so much! I may just die if I don't read this soon! *faints dramatically*

 Made of Stars
by Kelley York 

When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?
I really enjoyed Kelley's other novel and it's s till now very fresh in my mind (for me that's the biggest sign of originality and a book that's memorable) so I know I can expect some awesomeness in here!

Ashes on the Waves
by Mary Lindsey  

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make awager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, "Annabel Lee," Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.
Edgar Allan Poe inspired! Yep. That is all.

  Parasite (Parasitology #1)
by Mira Grant 

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives... and will do anything to get them.
Mira Grant! She only wrote one of the most realistic zombie stories out there and she is a master at suspense and horror. 

The Waking Dark
by Robin Wasserman

They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.
Another author that I've loved in the past and proved that she can write something well worth reading, plus this just screams my name!

I see a theme here! Mostly thrillers/gothics to come, and contemporaries have been good to me so far!
What are your top reads and most anticipated books of 2013? 

Also, don't forget to leave suggestions for future topics you'd like to see! :)

You know you love me!
Xoxo, Book Girl!