Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Rewind

My mom always used to tell me that as I got older, the faster time would fly by, and she could not have been more right about that. I cannot believe that 2013 is just about over; I truly, truly feel like I just wrote the look back post for 2012.

Where to begin with the past year? I met my Goodreads reading goal for 2013 despite reading about 10 fewer books overall, mostly thanks to adjusting to some real life changes. On the bright side, I now have the financial means to support my book buying habit, so hooray! I'd happily give up some reading time to be able to buy books (and other necessities, like, say, food).

I admit that it's been hard for me to sometimes watch the blog go for days without a post because I haven't had time to write one or simply because I can't review any books if I haven't read any books. At the same time, though, taking unintentional reading/blogging breaks has made me appreciate both more. For a while I was too caught up in worrying about whether I'd have enough posts for the week, and I was racing through books so I'd be able to post some reviews. I feel like I'm reading for fun again, and I needed to regain that perspective. And, despite my anxiety, the blog is still here, and I thank all of you with all of my heart for sticking around. I absolutely love talking about books with you, and that is what keeps me blogging. I seriously can't imagine life without you guys, and now I need to change the subject before I really begin blubbering.

And now for the hardest part of this post: choosing my favorite books from 2013! Two of my picks were finales to series that still make me sad to think they're over. Two are parts of series that I love so much I wanted to pick all the books I've read from both series during the past year, but I didn't because I'm trying not to cheat with the list. So here is the list, in no particular order:

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The most beautifully written novel I read in 2013, hands down.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

It was every bit as amazing as I'd hoped, and I cried every bit I thought I would. Will, Jem, and Tessa—I'll never forget you.

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

It's insanely difficult choosing between this and Quintana of Charyn, the last book in The Lumatere Chronicles and which I also read this year, but Froi's incredible transformation from Finnikin of the Rock to the book that bears his name gives book 2 in the series the edge.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Dear Captain Westfall, I know you're a fictional character, but will you marry me?

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Another tough choice between two books from the same series. I loved Warner even more after reading this, and I already loved him a ton before, so that's why Unravel Me gets the spot on the list over Shatter Me.

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

A fantastic end to a fantastic angel series.

Sanctum by Sarah Fine

A stellar debut with a unique premise, a kick-ass heroine, and a swoon-worthy hero.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

This is the book that made me laugh the most this year. It also has the honor of being the book whose ending most made me want to scream in anger.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

A superb fantasy novel featuring dragons.

To wrap up this post, I thought I'd give an update on the handful of last-minute bookish goals I'd hoped to accomplish by the end of the year:

  1. Read Divergent. I'm working on that right now. I'm not sure I'll finish it by December 31, but at least I finally started reading it!
  2. Complete the Australian Women Writer's Challenge. Done. The review for the last book was posted two days ago.
  3. Read a Christmas-Themed Book. Done. I even read the title I mentioned in my original post, Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.
  4. Buy Some Bookshelves. Sadly, this isn't looking like it's getting done before year's end. Buying new bookshelves is not a decision to be made lightly, and I just haven't had time to shop around.
  5. Go to the Library. I went once in November, and only to pick up a book I had on hold, but it was soooo nice to set foot in there again after such a long absence.

And that's it. It's been another awesome year in books, and I'm looking forward to beginning a new reading year!


  1. Ah, A Clockwork Princess...such a sad but also perfect ending. Just the right place to finish it. I finally managed to get a new bookcase today after talking about needing one for months!

    1. Congrats on the new bookcase! I'm trying not to buy any more books until I have space for them, but that's proving to be a very difficult task for me, lol.

  2. It took me longer to get back to the "hobby" mode of book blogging. I don't know why but I felt loathe to keep on declining book review requests but I've eventually come back to that this December. I've had an amazing month and it's the perfect way to end my book blogging year.

    You know I love my Raven Boys and I agree with CPrincess! Happy New Year, Lee! Show off your goodies in IG.

    1. Happy New Year to you, too Braine! Glad to hear you had an awesome December!

  3. I know what you mean by watching your blog go days or even one day without a post. Sometimes it's like we get to caught up in the work of blogging that we forget the fun and the fact that it's suppose to be a hobby. I also agree that taking blogging breaks really makes it more fun when you come back. I took the whole month of November off and when I finally came back this month I was so happy that I was finally blogging again.

    A lot of your fave books are also on my list as well. I loved, loved, loved Crown of Midnight!! It was such an amazing book!!

    Happy 2014 reading :D

    1. I almost forgot to include Crown of Midnight on the list! I'm so glad I noticed it was missing before I published the post. That book just blew me away; I kept going back and rereading some of my favorite parts for days after I'd finished it.

  4. I still haven't read Finnikin yet! I know! I need to!

    1. You do, lol! That whole series is just perfect and a reminder why Melina Marchetta is one of my favorite authors.

  5. Oh some great book choices here!! I am glad to see Unspoken - I'm planning to reread the first book before finally picking up the second one! I loved the humor in it! And of course the Lumatere Chronicles tops my list of faves for this year - but I can't even pick one, I had to pick all three together. :D But I agree with your reasoning for picking Froi - I was so impressed by his growth in the books.

    1. Unspoken was a PERFECT match for my sense of humor! I loved that it was really dark and creepy, too. I'm so glad to have met another fan of The Lumatere Chronicles; those books- I can never love them enough!

  6. Oh we certainly agree on Crown of Midnight...and Chaol *swoon* but I won't go on since I'd end up gushing for ever LOL Asides from that almost of your favorites are books I wanted to get into this year, but didn't. :( Seraphina, the Shatter Me Series, The Infernal Devices, The Raven Boys books, the Unearthly series AND Unspoken!! But like you, real life had other plans but at least now we have the funding to buy more books eh? :D I saw you were reading Divergent on GR, I hope you're loving it and that you finish by the New Year ;-) All the best for 2014 Lee and Ally and Melissa as well ♥ I can't wait to chat books with you all in the new year xx

    1. I LOVED Chaol so much in CoM! Ally is thinking about reading it soon, and it's no surprise that I'm really pushing her to start it, lol. I wholeheartedly agree- having book $$$ is definitely sweet! :D Sadly, I did not finish Divergent before 2013 ended, but I'm finding the world and the story very intriguing so far. Happy New Year, Micheline!

  7. Ahh, Warner. I have such high hopes for him in the series ender. If it doesn't go how I want it to...I may actually cry. I love that lunatic!

    1. I love him too, and I love him because he's psychotic! I don't know why, but I'm really worried about what's going to happen to him in Ignite Me. If anything bad should befall him, I will be joining in on the crying!


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