Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week a new list is posted for us to complete. This week’s list is the Top Ten Books I Read in 2013.  This is going to be so hard as I really do think I’ve read some amazing books this year! I’ve picked the first 10 five star books on my read this year shelf on Goodreads!

In no particular order…

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Crash Into YouKatie McGarry– I really got into the Pushing The Limits series this year, but Crash Into You was my favourite. It was a very emotional read.

These Broken StarsAmie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner– I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did.

Cross My HeartCarmen Reid– This book really touched me. I thought it was superb!

Stay Where You Are And Then LeaveJohn Boyne– Another touching read!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer– Michelle Hodkin–  I absolutely love this series. It messed with my head, but I can’t wait to see how it concludes in 2014!

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DivergentVeronica Roth–  I fell in love with this series. Divergent gripped me right from the start!

BoundlessCynthia Hand– I loved this series (well apart from the second Hallowed, which I was pretty indifferent to!) and Boundless was the perfect ending to the series!

The Flavours of LoveDorothy Koomson– Dorothy Koomson is a superb author. I always pre-order her books and so far I’ve never been disappointed! This book is actually quite dark, which I don’t think you’d expect from the cover.

Magic Under GlassJaclyn Dolamore- This story was so magical. I loved it and can’t wait to read the next in the series!

Losing HopeColleen Hoover– For some reason I loved this book much more than Hopeless. I just love Holder!

I could have added so many more to this list!

What are your favourite books of 2013? I hope you all have a Happy New Year! May your 2014 be full of awesome books!

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End of Year Book Survey 2013

Click on the image to get to Jamie's blog!

Click on the image to get to Jamie’s blog!

I am linking up with Jamie from the fantastic blog The Perpetual Page Turner to fill in this bookish survey for 2013.

BEST IN BOOKS 2013

Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist -)

YA – Ooh this is a tough one. I’ll go for Undone by Cat Clarke!

Dystopian – This is so hard. I love dystopian reads. I think it has to be Divergent by Veronica Roth though. I read all of the Divergent series this year as I was so late to it. Divergent was by far the best!

Historical Fiction – It has to be Cross My Heart (And Hope to Live) by Carmen Reid.

ParanormalPivot Point by Kasie West.

Science FictionThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Gutted by this answer, but it is definitely Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I couldn’t finish it. I was just so disappointed!

Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

And For Your Information by Denise Deegan. I loved The Butterfly Novels, (which I wasn’t expecting to love as much as I did) but the second book in the series nearly made me cry, and completely changed my opinion of a character I had previously disliked.

Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. I’ve got most people at my work to read it. It’s about autism from the point of view of a young boy with autism. It really opened my eyes.

Best series you discovered in 2013?

I’ve discovered so many new series this year, but I haven’t finished all of them yet. So I’ll go with one I have finished. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. I loved Unearthly and Boundless, but I think Hallowed suffered from middle book syndrome. Other than that, I really enjoyed the series!

Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Katie McGarry.

Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t often re-read books any more, but I could possibly re-read Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2013?

I hate to mention it again, as I want to try and mix things up, but this cover is absolutely stunning…

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Most memorable character in 2013?

There could be SO many answers to this question. I think I’m going to have to say Tris from Divergent. I LOVE her.

Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Another hard question. I’ve read so many beautifully written books this year. I think it might have to be Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne.

Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

So many books have had an impact on me this year. But I guess, it’s one I’ve already mentioned, The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. Purely because I could relate to it so much and it had an impact on my working life.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

From The Reason I Jump:

“True compassion is about not bruising the other person’s self-respect. That’s what I think, anyway.”

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

(How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.)

Shortest– Confession of A Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson (80 pages- novella)
Longest — Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese (541 pages)

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. I’m just waiting for my sister to read it so we can discuss it! Hurry up, Beth 😉

Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Would it be completely pathetic to say Todd and Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go? Yes, I’m totally going with a friendship between man and dog!

Favourite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier! (Review to follow!)

Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else

A lot of my books are recommended by awesome people but I’d go for The Quietness by Alison Rattle. Recommended by the ever so lovely Luna from Luna’s Little Library.

Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Young Adult!

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Holder from Hopeless/Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover.

Best 2013 debut you read?

There could be so many answers for this, but I’ll go for The Name on Your Wrist by Helen Hiorns.

Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Divergent or These Broken Stars.

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Adorkable by Sarra Manning.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

And For Your Information by Denise Deegan and Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma.

Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I wish that OCD, The Dude and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn was wider read!

READING LIFE 2013

(optional)

New favourite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I can’t really highlight a particular favourite as I love so many book blogs. The blogger that inspires me the most is Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner/The Broke and The Bookish.

Favourite review that you wrote in 2013?

Hmmm… I quite like my Losing Hope review, but I often have issues of thinking my reviews are crap as I don’t have confidence in my writing! I just love to read and share my thoughts!

Best discussion you had on your blog?

By far… Is Reading An Admission of Defeat?

Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I loved Jamie’s post about her experience of working with a life coach.

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I loved going to Hay Festival with my sister Bibliobeth!

Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Meeting some brilliant book bloggers in person!

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Boys In Books Are Better– Carrie Hope Fletcher

Review: Billy and Me– Giovanna Fletcher

(Side note- a bit weird that these girls are related! Sister-in-laws!)

Watch the brilliant video of Boys In Books Are Better:

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Sometimes (quite rarely 😉 ) I’m quite proud of reviews I write and they don’t seem to get as much love as I want them too.

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I really love Ashley’s new book blogging community website. Check it out HERE!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed the British Book Challenge. I was supposed to read 12 British Books and I smashed that challenge. See how many I’ve read so far HERE. I didn’t quite complete my Classics Challenge. I’ve read some classics this year, but not all that I’d hoped I would.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

There are so many books that I need to get to, it’s insane! I really want to read Trish Doller though. So I’m going to start with Something Like Normal.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy. I’ve seen it on so many Top Ten lists that I’m very intrigued…

Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Either Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi or again.. I’m sorry.. I’m a big fan.. The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I want to keep book blogging, continue to read awesome books and blogs and hopefully connect and meet with many more bloggers.

If you have filled out this survey, please feel free to link me to your posts. I love this sort of thing! I’ll be sure to stop by and check out your posts.

Top Ten Books I Would Love To See As A Movie/TV Show

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re imagining it’s a perfect world and TV and movies don’t butcher our favourite books. Here are my Top Ten Books I Would Love To See As A Movie/TV show. (Click on the image to take you to Goodreads!)

In no particular order…

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Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford– I was swept away by this book. It was a beautiful debut. Great writing and a heart-warming story. I’d love to see this as a movie.

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Cross My Heart Carmen Reid– I know, I know I keep adding this book to my Top Ten lists, but I can’t recommend it enough. I think it’s such a touching and poignant read. If transferred carefully to the big screen (not changing anything because it’s perfect!) then it could be an amazing movie.

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CuckooJulia Crouch– Sometimes I like to watch darker things, and this would be perfect. It was incredibly gripping but very disturbing.

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UndoneCat Clarke– I’ve really enjoyed Cat Clarke’s book, and Undone is a particular favourite of mine. An incredible ending!

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Gone GirlGillian Flynn– This fulfils my need for a darker story. I loved Gone Girl.

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Me Before YouJojo Moyes– This book was a perfect read for me. I think it could be an incredible, emotional movie.

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My Best Friend’s Girl- Dorothy Koomson– I was really touched by this book.

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Johnny Be GoodPaige Toon- I can’t resist a good chick-lit/flick and this would be perfect!

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The Book Of TomorrowCecelia Ahern– Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors. Her writing is always magical and I think this could be a beautiful movie.

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The Boy With The Cuckoo Clock HeartMathias Malzieu- This would be a quirky film for sure!

Please feel free to leave the link to your Top Ten list so I can see what you’ve listed!

Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us bloggers to make. This week it is the Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools.

At my secondary school (high school) there weren’t nearly enough contemporary reads. In fact, there weren’t any. We studied Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and Lord of The Flies by William Golding. Whilst I’m grateful that I read those books, I really do think there are better books out there. Because I’m not in the school environment (in a high school anyway) I don’t know if these books have crept their way onto the required reading, so take my list to be what I wish I had read when I was at school.

So here are my top ten, (click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page) in no particular order:

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Cross My Heart- Carmen Reid- I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It’s just SO good. One of my favourite books of the year. Carmen Reid is such an amazing talent.

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Sarah’s KeyTatiana de Rosnay- This is another incredible read that’s stuck with me for a very long time.

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The HelpKathryn Stockett- I know I feature The Help on quite a few Top Ten Tuesday lists, but it’s awesome. Such great characters.

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The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night TimeMark Haddon– This is another book that frequently visits my Top Ten lists. I just think it’s a wonderfully original piece of writing.

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The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak– I truly believe that everyone should at least try this book.

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The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins- I think this is a great series. If I had read it in school I would have been totally engrossed.

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Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson– I’m aware that some schools do teach this book, but that it has been banned in a lot of states. I think it’s such an important topic, one that shouldn’t be avoided, but handled sensitively.

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The Time Traveler’s WifeAudrey Niffenegger- I know not everyone would enjoy it, but I think it’s an interesting concept.

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The Sky Is EverywhereJandy Nelson– This is a truly beautiful read. The writing is superb.

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Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and SweetJamie Ford- I have a lot of love for this book. It’s beautifully written.

Please feel free to leave your link to your Top Ten posts so I can be nosey and see what you’ve included this week!

Stacking The Shelves #30

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to its Goodreads page!

I have a HUGE haul this week. This comes from Random House’s blogger brunch, NetGalley, the Amazon kindle sale, my friend Luna lending me books and spending too much time in Foyles. Oops.

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This is me simply sitting behind Luna and I’s book haul after spending time in Foyles book shop in London.

So first things first- Random House. To read my account of my time at Random House click HERE

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This book is out now! I’ve finished it and reviewed it already, it’s an incredible read.. review HERE.

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I haven’t read any Lauren Kate before, so I’m intrigued.

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I’m very intrigued about this book. I’ll try to read it soon!

NetGalley:

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I like a crime/thriller read every now and again and this seems like a great choice!

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I’m so excited about this one. I did a little happy dance when I was approved.

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I love Jojo Moyes, she’s one of my auto-buy authors.

Bought in the Amazon Kindle Summer Sale:

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I adore Lindsey Kelk. Her books are so easy to read!

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These books just look like FUN and they have awesome titles.

Borrowed from Luna’s Library:

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Thanks to Luna for these beauties!

Foyles haul:

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A lot of these were recommended by Luna. So if I don’t like them I’ll blame her 😉

Gifts:

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A book from the queen of chick-lit. Don’t mind if I do!

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I’m intrigued by this book!

Phew! So that’s it for this week! Please feel free to leave links to your hauls and I’ll come by and see what you’ve got!

Cross My Heart

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How did I get it?:
Received from publisher- many thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers

Synopsis:

Brussels, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Nicole watches as the Nazis invade Belgium. Determined not to stand by as her country is brought to its knees, Nicole vows to fight back and joins the Belgian Resistance. Under her new alias – Coco – Nicole embarks on a dangerous new life as a spy, where the only question is not if you’ll be caught, but when…

Thoughts:

I’ve read some of Carmen Reid’s books before so I knew she was a talented writer. I stupidly didn’t realise that she wrote outside the ‘chick-lit’ genre, so I didn’t immediately make the connection when I was given this book in Random House’s goody bag. When I eventually did make the connection I was incredibly intrigued to see what Cross My Heart was like. It’s a book ‘inspired by real people, real places and real events.’

If I had to sum it up in four words, those words would be ‘this book destroyed me.’ It was such a tough, harrowing read. There were moments when I had to put it down and just process what I was reading even further. It’s not often I have to stop reading a book because my emotions are taking over, but I found it happening frequently with Cross My Heart.

The protagonist Nicole is a fantastic character. She’s strong-minded and passionate. Her relationship with Anton is heart-breaking. Her love for her family really shines through.

I found myself racing through the book, torn between wanting to know what would happen to Nicole and her family and savouring every last moment of it! It’s not particularly an easy read. The subject matter is incredibly heavy going and as you can imagine there is a lot of violence within the book. Yet, it is written so well that you can’t help turning the pages, hoping that things will get better for Nicole.

This book is one of my favourites of this year so far. Read it.. (and weep!)

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

Reading next:
Under The Never Sky- Veronica Rossi

WWW Wednesday #27

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday post!

To join in with WWW Wednesday you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book images to find out more about the book!

What are you currently reading?

11594257This is the first of the ten books I said I would read over my summer break. I’m just starting it this morning so I haven’t got much of an opinion on it yet.

What did you recently finish reading?

17456967Oh my goodness, this book was just amazing. It was one of those books, where I just had to shut it at some points to collect my thoughts and prevent myself from sobbing. My review will be up within the next few days.

What do you think you’ll read next?

15850926I’m looking forward to reading this one! The synopsis sounds intriguing!

Please feel free to share your link to your WWW Wednesday posts in the comment below, or answer the same questions! I love to see what other people are reading!