Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rachel's Top Ten Standalones of 2013

The time has come for the book community to share their lists of their favorite books of 2013. I've seen some overall top tens and some overall top thirteens. I've also seen people separating the books into different categories based on genre or when they were released or whether they are part of series or not. There are so many different options for how to share your favorite books of 2013.

After much deliberation, I've decided to share three lists. The first one (today's) will be my top ten standalones, and the next list will be my top ten series books. Then, I will share my final list in video format on my YouTube channel of my overall top ten books, which will just narrow down the top ten list a bit and give me something a little different to put on my YouTube channel.

Originally, I'd planned on just doing a regular old Top Ten Books of 2013 list, but then I saw fellow blogger/BookTuber Monica's videos (one and two) in which she separated her favorite books into two categories: standalones and series books. I thought it would be a good idea for me to follow her lead with these categories. This way, I can share more of my favorite books. :) So thank you Monica for the idea, and I'm sorry for stealing it from you!

These ten books are all books that I read in 2013, though they weren't all released in 2013. Without further ado, here is my list:

10. The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg- This book was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2013. I went into it expecting something short and sweet, and came out of it absolutely in love with everything about it--the writing, the characters, the story. Most notably, this book made me cry while I was reading it in English class, and I was only 20 pages in. Any book that can capture my heart that quickly deserves a place in my top ten list. *

9. Parallel by Lauren Miller- This book was another pleasant surprise. It started off a little shaky for me, but by the time I was about halfway through, I was completely hooked on this book. Parallel blew my mind with how awesome and complex and science-y it is.
-(I apparently never wrote a review for this book? Oops. Just trust me and read it please? :D)-

8. The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr- This was the third Sara Zarr book I've read, and I'm continually amazed by her beautiful writing style. The Lucy Variations is about a complicated family and how important and powerful music can be to some people. It doesn't have an epic plot or any huge conflicts. It's a very simple story, but I think the simplicity of this book is what makes it so beautiful.

7. How to Love by Katie Cotugno- How to Love is not your typical YA love story. It's powerful and emotional and heartbreaking. I became emotionally invested in the lives of Reena and Sawyer, and these characters stuck with me for a long time after reading this book. I expected this book to be a fun romance, but instead it ended up breaking my heart a little bit (in the best possible way). *

6. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan- I thought this book was going to be a fun story about two boys trying to break a world record for kissing, but Two Boys Kissing turned out to be so much more than that. I was shocked by how powerful and emotional and thought-provoking this book is, but I'm not complaining. *(Do we see a pattern here?? I guess I was really into books that seemed light and simple but turned out to be full of FEELS this year.)

5. The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White- Another amazing book by the amazing Kiersten White. This Egyptian mythology story set in contemporary San Diego made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The Chaos of Stars explores an unusual family dynamic, and it's also a ton of fun. Not to mention the totally adorable romance. :D

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- I might be the last person in the world to read this book, but hey, at least I finally read it. All I have to say about this book is: WOW. I mean, what else is there to say? I think most people are familiar with this book, so you probably all know what I mean.
-(I haven't been able to put my feelings about this book into words yet. Check back later? Maybe?)-

3. Poison by Bridget Zinn- I read this fantasy story in the beginning of 2013, but it stuck with me ever since, and I found myself thinking about it countless times throughout the year. As soon as I started reading this book, I could tell that it was something special. I cannot rave about this book enough. It is absolutely fantastic, which is why it's here in my number three spot. :)

2. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West- If you're at all familiar with this blog or with me, then you know how much I love a good contemporary romance. The Distance Between Us is one of the best contemporary romances I've read...ever. Honestly, it feels like this book was written especially for me. I connected with the characters and the situations so perfectly, and I've found myself rereading bits and pieces of this book countless times since I first read it in June.

And my number one favorite standalone book of 2013 is...


1. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen- Everyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with Sarah Dessen. Her books are so important and special to me for a number of personal reasons, and I waited anxiously for The Moon and More for what felt like an eternity. When it finally was perfect. Not the book, because no book is perfect, but the experience. Reading this book stirred up a whole lot of nostalgia and strong emotions, and I cherished the opportunity to fall in love with a new Sarah Dessen book for the first time. I only get to read a Sarah Dessen book for the first time once, so I try to savor it as much as I can. This book is my favorite standalone of 2013 mainly because of the experience I had reading it, which is something that is so personal and specific to just me. Although, objectively, I do think The Moon and More is a fantastic book. ;)

What are your favorite standalones of 2013? Do we have any of the same? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. So glad to have my idea stolen! I forget who it is off the top of my head, but there's actually a blog that sponsors a HUGE end of every year survey for those bloggers who have difficulty narrowing down their favorites. I'm so glad to see I wasn't the only one who adored Chaos of Stars and Distance Between Us. Some great books here and Happy 2014!