Best New-to-Me Books of 2013 (so far!)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme over at The Broke and the Bookish.  Today’s topic is



10. Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach | The voice in this one is so great, and it’s not super often I read YA aimed at male readers, and I can appreciate that.  It’s about Felton Reinstein the summer he went “from a joke to a jock,” but it’s really about a family falling apart and about friendship in unlikely places and about keeping things together when everything is falling apart.

9. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos | This was a brilliant debut book by Roskos, and again, great voice!  The main character is an ultra-self-aware high schooler who understands that he is depressed and needs help, only his parents aren’t willing to get him that help.  This is his story of stumbling toward something like healing.

8. Shatter Me by Taheri Mafi | Although I didn’t love the sequel to this book, the first one was riveting.  Juliette’s touch is lethal– to most people, that is.

7. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi | While I didn’t adore the superfastcramthingsin ending, I was very much drawn to this story about Aria, who lives in a biosphere, and what happens to her outside of it in the “Death Shop.”  I mean, come on.  How can you not want to read a book that has a “Death Shop” in it?  (The sequel– Through the Ever Night— is waiting impatiently on my bedroom floor to be my next read.)

6. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker | What happens when the rotation of the earth begins to slow?  Beautiful writing.


5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | I think Rainbow Rowell is my best author find of the year so far.  She has the funniest, cleverest voice I’ve read in a long while.  I really liked Attachments, which is about a computer IT man who falls in love with a woman through secretly reading her emails to her friend.  Awkward.

4. Every Day by David Levithan | Gender-bender!  “A” inhabits a different body every day– but loves the same girl every day.

3. Fire by Kristin Cashore | This is the companion book to Graceling, but I actually liked the characters even more than the first book (I liked them too!).  Gosh, how to describe this book?  Fire is a “monster” with red-orange-pink-gold hair, and she can control most people’s minds– but not Prince Brigan’s.  Swoon-worthy.

2. The Knife of Never Letting Go & The Ask and the Answer, both by Patrick Ness | Okay, so I am loving the Chaos Walking trilogy (I’m on the third book right now, so be prepared for a big review!), which takes places on another planet– “New Earth”– where you can hear men’s thoughts– their noise.  Book one was great– book two was incredible.  

1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell | This book was brilliant.  I love so much about it– the characters and the writing.  Oh my gosh, the writing is unreal.  I am a total sucker for any YA writer whose words are like lyrics.  This book is about two teenagers who are young enough to know that first love almost never lasts … but willing to try anyway.  I am so excited for her next novel (Fangirl) to be released later this year!

My 7 Favorite YA Romances

pinkiesIn real life, I usually think high school dating is silly.

But in BOOKS … well, that’s another story.  A completely other story.  Here, for your reading pleasure, I count down my seven favorite YA romances.

7. Hazel and Augustus (The Fault in Our Stars)

Theirs was a tumultuous, wonderful, devastating romance.  “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”  Wow.

6. Brigan and Fire (Fire)

This is still YA though not technically a high school romance, and it does read like one more mature.  There is something so deep and attractive about the slow burn.

5. Lenny and Joe (The Sky is Everywhere)

I love these two together.  ““He doesn’t have to say it, I feel it too; it’s not subtle– like every bell for miles and miles is ringing at once, loud and clanging, hungry ones and tiny, happy, chiming ones, all of them sounding off in this moment.”

4. Eleanor and Park (Eleanor and Park)

What is not to love about these two???

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

“Damn, damn, damn,” she said. “I never said why I like you, and now I have to go.”
“That’s okay,” he said.
“It’s because you’re kind,” she said. “And because you get all my jokes…”
“Okay.” He laughed.
“And you’re smarter than I am.”
“I am not.”
“And you look like a protagonist.” She was talking as fast as she could think. “You look like the person who wins in the end. You’re so pretty, and so good. You have magic eyes,” she whispered. “And you make me feel like a cannibal.”

I want someone to like me because I look like a protagonist, LOL!

3. Ron and Hermione (Harry Potter)

We watched the friendship and sexual tension build for seven books, until we finally got our kissing scene while, “OI!  There’s a war going on here!”  Delicious.

2. Jonah and Taylor (Jellicoe Road)

Oh, Jonah Griggs and his steady, loyal devotion.  Supposedly this scene wasn’t supposed to be romantic, but I’ve always found it dreadfully so: “He stops and looks at me. ‘I’m here because of you. You’re my priority. Your happiness, in some f***ed way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don’t think that will be happening in my lifetime.”

1. Will and Frankie (Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son)

As it says in my blog bio, I have a thing for cute nerds.  That’s probably why this romance takes the cake for me.  I want a smart, dorky boy in leadership to love calculus and ancient Roman warfare and me.

“Come here,” she says.
“No, you come here.”
“I said it first.”
“Rock paper scissors.”
“No. Because you’ll do nerdy calculations and work out what I chose the last six times and then you’ll win.”
Will pushes away from the table and his hand snakes out and he pulls her toward him and Tom figures that Will was always going to go to her first.”