Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: A Year in Books

Book of the Year

The Catcher in the Rye
By J.D. Salinger

This book was on the summer reading list for AP English, and I'm really glad it was. It's so full of symbolism, gorgeous writing, and insight into human nature, and I know that it's one of those books that will stay with me for the rest of my life. 

Author of the Year

John Green

I discovered John Green this past spring when I read The Fault in Our Stars, which is without question one of the best books I have ever read. I immediately fell in love with his writing and his video blogs. He was the author I chose to research for my final project in English, and since then I've read two more of his books, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns. All things considered, he was the obvious choice for author of the year. 

Best Classic

The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald

We read this book in English class at the end of last year, and I'd been dying to read it since the beginning of the school year. It did not disappoint. This is a beautifully written novel that I could read over and over again, and by far the best classic I read this year. 

Best Collection of Short Stories

The Curiosities
By Maggie Steifvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff

This was a lovely and strange collection of short stories that fully engaged my imagination. The authors' notes on the stories showed a lot about the process of creating them, too, and overall, it was a delightful read. 

Best Dystopian

The Road
By Cormac McCarthy

This was another book on our AP English summer reading list, and it was without a question the best dystopian I read this year. It was bleak, creepy, and terrifying, and I loved every second of it.

Best Fantasy

Clockwork Princess
By Cassandra Clare

I'd been waiting for the last book in The Infernal Devices series ever since reading Clockwork Prince two Christmases ago, and it did not disappoint. The characters were fantastic as always, the writing made me laugh and cry, and I simply could not put it down.

Best Historical Fiction

Code Name Verity
By Elizabeth Wein

Words cannot even describe this book. It was beautifully written, heart-wrenching, and overall just a gorgeous story. Not only the best historical fiction of the year, but one of the best books I've ever read. 

Best Thriller/Suspense

Confessions of a Murder Suspect
By James Patterson

This book was original, fast-paced, and impossible to put down - everything needed to make it the best thriller/suspense I read in 2013. I just found out there's a sequel, and I can't wait to read it - it might be holding this title at the end of 2014.

Best Realistic YA Fiction

The Fault in Our Stars
By John Green

If you've read this book, I don't need to explain. If you haven't, I'll tell you what I tell everyone who hasn't read this book: read it. Immediately. It will make you cry, but it will be one of the most unforgettable books ever. 

That's it for this year. I've read some fantastic novels and discovered some great authors this year, and I can't wait to see what lovely bookish discoveries 2014 brings.