The YA Superlatives Blogfest is hosted by Katy Upperman, Tracey Neithercott, Jessica Love, and Allison Miller. It’s a chance to highlight the best, most affecting, most entertaining YA reads of 2013. Get ready to add to your TBR pile!
Favorite Cover —
Cutest Couple —
Eleanor and Park from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I love these two more than almost any two ever.
Gansey and Blue from The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I know they aren’t a couple yet, but that scene in the mountains by the Pig…oh God.
Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz Winner.) —
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Honestly, this book is a love story to fandoms, and nerds, and authors (which often overlaps), and should be recognized for that.
Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (Book you just couldn’t put down!) —
Eleanor & Park because all the feels.
The Dream Thieves because obviously I am obsessed. I read it in just over a day.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black because I sat in a chair a read it while my husband gave me dirty looks and tried to convince me to do anything else.
Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up. —
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I am a broken record.
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Runner up: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.
Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel—
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. One of the most satisfying series enders I’ve read. We could all learn a thing or ten from Rae Carson.
Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath—
Wren and Charlie in The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle. I mean, if you’ve read it, you’ll know. I am actually a twelve-year-old girl who giggles and blushes when she reads sexy scenes. These two embarrassed me.
Celeana and Chaol in Crown of Midnight. Oh my holy geez.
Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.) —
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. The voice is so unusual, and the story has a quiet power that sneaks up on you. I don’t know what a “debut” should feel like to read, but this book definitely read like it was written by a seasoned storyteller.
Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2013.)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry—
Eleanor & Park. If this book doesn’t make you cry, your heart may seriously be stone. Like, get it checked out pronto, Tin Man.
Most Pleasant Surprise (Best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.) —
OCD Love Story by Cory Ann Haydu. I won this on Twitter from Alison Cherry, and was bummed because I wanted The Dream Thieves. (I entered every ARC contest I came across for The Dream Thieves. It was a admittedly, not my finest hour.) I ended up being totally enthralled and emotionally invested in this book. I wouldn’t have read it otherwise, so I’m glad I ended up with it.
Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle —
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. Or quadrangle. She’s with Mal. She’s wooed by Nikolai. She’s seeing visions of the Darkling. It’s all very sexy and confusing for Alina and me.
Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.)
Poison by Bridget Zinn. The frothy, fabulous narration. The magical, whimsical world-building. Bridget Zinn passed away before her book debuted, and that made it extra sweet and special to read this already brilliantly done debut novel. If you haven’t read it, do!
Favorite Outlier (Your favorite middle grade or adult 2013 book) —
I don’t have any. This is really, quite sad. I have problems.
Now for my own Superlative category…
Twist Ending/Plot Point that Most Caught You Off-guard (Spoiler Free) —
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. Just so unexpected and so much more painful than I was prepared for.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I couldn’t turn pages fast enough. Then I just wanted to go back and un-know what I knew.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I still don’t know how I feel about this. I may never. I will just have to accept that.
I read an article once (and this isn’t it, but it’s basically the gist) that no matter how many books we read per year (40 for me this year so far) we will NEVER read all the books published. We will never get “caught up”, because every year there will be books published we can never get to, and there are always classics we haven’t made time for, and etc., etc., etc.
Putting together my responses for the Superlatives, I was overwhelmed by the volume of books read in 2013 that truly exceeded my expectations, and even more by the amount of books I can’t wait to read, and again was reminded that I will never read them all, no matter how hard I try.
Having a problem of too many books to read, that is a very good problem to have!