How did it get to be almost Thanksgiving already? Seems like just weeks ago I was writing the Best Books of the Year So Far post and talking about curbing the Halloween candy this year. Yeah, that happened...
Time has flown by, but there have been a LOT of great books since the middle of the year, some of which made our list of the best teen and YA books of 2013. One thing I really like about this list is the mix of titles from both halves of the year. The early 2013 books that made the top 20 are the ones I'm still thinking about months and stacks of books later. Serious keepers. It's been a great year for reading and there were some hard choices to make, but here is the top 10. You can check out the rest of the list here. What's the best book you've read this year?
#1 - Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: Months later this is still our overall favorite of 2013. Eleanor & Park brings back the magic of finding first love with someone who really "gets" you, but it's no sugary romance--these are teenagers dealing with real issues and finding their way through them, together. It's a great read for someone in their teens or their forties, and every age in between.
#2 - Allegiant by Veronica Roth: I unapologetically loved it. Roth wrote her own book and it's unexpected, moving in all the right ways, and I still just want to talk about it. A book this polarizing means it's bringing out passionate feelings in the reader and I think that's a good thing.
#3 - Winger by Andrew Smith: This one kind of snuck up the list since it released in May because it took up residence in my brain and stayed there for months. One of the best funny, honest, and satisfying coming-of-age novels I've read in a while and Ryan Dean West is a character to love.
#4 - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: Brutal decadence, immortality, desire, and revenge with a horror twist. Put everything you thought about vampires being over aside and read this one. Bonus: this is not a new series, it's one book that rocks. Done.
#5 - The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: Action, aliens, romance, and fantastic twists. This is a book you'll want to read in one sitting. The ending answered questions and also left me wanting more--the sequel comes out in May 2014--can't wait!
#6 - Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson: The first book in a new series, this is science fiction for people who think they don't like it. Old school comic book style characters and a beautifully developed world, what's not to love?
#7 - Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: I loved Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire also takes place during WWII but is by no means a re-hash. Once again Wein writes historical fiction that takes you back in time to experience a totally different aspect of the war.
#8 - The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer: Ten years after her award winning novel The House of the Scorpion, Farmer masterfully picks up the thread and we dive back into the complex world of Opium's clones, cartels, beauty and brutality.
#9 - Champion by Marie Lu: Lu wraps up her Legend trilogy with none of the controversy of Allegiant. A story fueled by romance, sacrifice and loyalty, the outcome is not a tidy bow but it doesn't shred the ribbon, either.
#10 - Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Rowell takes some of the basic ingredients from Eleanor and Park and bakes a new cake, capturing the experience of leaving home, discovering your true voice and clumsy, vulnerable, remarkable, first love.