Sunday, July 14, 2013

2013 Book Challenge–I finally hit 50 books!

In celebration of finally, finally, finally making it to 50 books on my 2013 Reading Challenge (my goal is to read 100) I thought I’d share a little post about books! I’m going to say a little bit about each of my favorite books I’ve read so far. Enjoy!

2013 Book Challenge Favorites 1 - Life as Their Momthe only order those are in is alphabetical

I thought about coming up with a nice number of favorites (as in something in a group of 5’s), but I couldn’t narrow the list down to just 10 and I couldn’t think of another one to add without it being one that I just added to add. So, without further ado – here’s a little about the 14 books that I have loved so far.

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – Starting with this book sort of makes me wish I didn’t go in alphabetical order, because I’d rather go over the other Gaiman book first, but here we go… This was a great book. The premise of it is what would happen if when other people came to America they brought their own countries old gods with them and what would happen to them here in America where we aren’t particularly big on old world gods. For a book that was so long (it’s the longest so far of the year at 624 pages) it wasn’t a slow or wordy read at all. The story kept moving and there weren’t really any parts that I found myself just dragging through, I always ended up reading way more than I planned to at each sitting because I wanted to just keep going.
  2. Broken: A Paranormal Romance by David H. Burton – This is one of my more recent reads from the list and part of the newly dubbed New Adult genre. I got to say, I’m loving finding more books in this genre as it is more of my age. It gives me the elements from YA that I love, but hello, they’re my age and not a bunch of teens. I loved this adult spin on fairies and the like. I can’t really just pin down one or two or even three things to say that just made me really like this book, I just did. I found myself drawn in and really loving the main character and by the middle I found myself really hoping that there would be a second book. (Which I haven’t seen anything about that.)
  3. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau – I added this one to read after seeing two friends give it good ratings and seeing that it was immediately available on my library’s website. The pre-teen age of the main characters made me a little hesitant about it, but once I got started on the book I just couldn’t put it down. I read the whole book in one day, practically in just two sittings. Not only did I love it, I can totally see Zach liking this book as well. I know there’s a movie version of it, and I’ve got it flagged as one to rent one day when it’s just me and the big boys. (It has fairly good reviews from what I saw) Normally I don’t go for dystopian societies, but I really loved this one, especially for the fact that it all comes from a child’s point of view.
  4. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare – Clare’s Mortal Instrument series is getting a ton of hype right now because of the soon-to-release movie adaptation of the first book, but me, I’m not in love with that series of hers. I love the Infernal Devices that take place before the Mortal Instruments. I super love Tessa and Will – but even more I loooooove Jem. I’d been waiting and waiting for this book to come out as it is the final book in the series and I was dying to know how the whole story would be ended. And wow. This was just the best and most perfect ending for it that I could imagine. Bonus, it’s a great stand alone series, you don’t have to read Mortal Instruments series and enjoy it. The characters are slightly older – always a plus to me. And this is a historical fiction which is also something I love.
  5. The Cutting Season by Attica Locke – This book showed up as a recommendation for me on Goodreads based on a few books in my read shelf. I went back and forth on it, and then decided to just go for it when I found it was immediately available through my library. Just plain murder mysteries usually aren’t my thing, but I have a hard time turning away from any book that takes place in the South. The parallels of the two murders in the book and the whole fact that the whole time you just have no idea WHO the murderer could be were great. It seemed like every few chapters I was revising my idea of who it was. And the wrapping up of the old murder – perfect. However, I do almost wish it had ended just a little differently, but I do still like the ending.
  6. Fallen by Lauren Kate – I actually just finished this book as #50. It kept showing up in my Goodreads feed as Read or Want to Read from my friends, but I just wasn’t sure. I’m kinda eh about most angel based series, and am also trying to move away from YA books. But then one day I was like “You know what? I want to read that!” So I did. And I liked it so much that I was only about 30% into the book when I went and found book 2 in my library and placed a hold on it. I really love the character and how she reacted to the situations that she was put in. And I can’t wait to read the second one.
  7. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips – This book actually kicked off a run of me reading books based on mythology, though this one, like American Gods, is a favorite because of the way they presented them – immortal, extremely spoiled people stuck in today’s time where no one really even believes in them anymore. This one is heavy on the humor, however it is also heavy on the foul language and sex as well. But it’s a really good bit of fun fluff to read.
  8. Graveminder by Melissa Marr – I loved Marr’s Wicked Lovely series. That gritty urban fantasy always gets me every time, so I was excited to find another book of hers. I will admit – because I um, didn’t actually read the blurb when I got it – I was a little shocked and put out when in the very beginning that I found out that it’s a zombie book. But I soldiered through, and I’m glad I did because zombies aside, I really liked this book a lot. Plus, it was my first experience with the whole New Adult genre.
  9. Illuminate by Aimee Agresti – Here we are – more angels. I won’t lie, I totally do judge books by their covers, and if a book looks pretty I’m more willing to give it a chance. A book with an ugly cover better have several good reviews from people I know or I won’t be trying it. Well, Illuminate has a gorgeous cover. And the actual story was pretty good as well. I like the way that the main character stood up to temptations and challenges thrown at her. I found myself rooting for her and hoping she’d give the cute boy who was perfect for her a real chance. For a YA angel book – it was a lot better than I was expecting.
  10. Keeping the House by Ellen Baker – There is nothing I love more than a good book or series that spans several generations of a family, and this book does it in a pretty unique way. It goes back and forth between the book’s present (the 1950s) with the family’s story from when they settled in the area to then and the family’s downfall. At the same time it follows along with a young housewife who is new to the area, unhappy, and obsessed with the house that the family lived in because she is just sure that it will save her marriage. I will admit the switching back and forth was a little confusing at first, especially since some of the parts on the past aren’t consistent on whose view it is. But this book is now up there as one of my favorites.
  11. The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen – This is one of the books out of what I’ve read during the challenge that jumps out the most to me because I probably never would have picked it to read if I wasn’t on the hunt for books. While I don’t mind repeating some books I have previously read, I’m trying for mostly books I’ve never read before. I can’t remember what prompted me to give this one a try, but it was so good. It really makes you wonder what you would do if you had been put in the position that Philip (main character) was. I mean really sit and think. The ending of it is just so sad and heartbreaking, but realistic to what was going on in the book. And before you think it’s just an epidemic book, it’s really not. It’s about the whole changes in society and social standings in America at the time.
  12. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – This was the first book by Gaiman that I read. Like the last book mentioned this is another of those books I’d have probably never read if it hadn’t been for the challenge. Which just seems unbelievable to me now because Gaiman has now moved up to one of my all time favorite authors. I’ve read several of his books since starting the challenge and I’ve yet to not just be completely drawn into any of them. And Neverwhere just hooked me right in from the beginning. He paints such a detailed and amazing world. His London Below seemed so real and the characters so full. If there was ever a book that I wish I could read for the first time again it would be this one.
  13. Roses by Julie Meacham – When I first looked at this book it seemed instantly like something that I would enjoy reading, and then I started looking at some of the comments and saw many calling it a Gone With the Wind wannabe, and that almost turned me off of it. Don’t do that! This is another of those books that follows a family through 3 generations and you see them making the same mistakes over and over again. I kept finding myself hoping they’d just open their eyes and see what was right in front of them, and praying that maybe the next generation would get it right. I was so hooked into this book. It is so long, but it really was so good. If you love historical fiction, and you love sagas, you will love this book.
  14. Touched by Cyn Balog – This was an odd one for me. I had never read a YA fantasy book (that wasn’t Harry Potter or Percy Jackson) about a teenage boy. I’m not sure what all it was about this book that I loved so much. I think it was a combination of a unique storyline with just plain good writing. It was refreshing. There was the standard teenage love interest, but unlike more female driven YA there was no silly love triangles. Also, the boy had to actually make more of a decision than just do I love this person? Or do I love that person? He actually had to decide on doing something to help himself, or to help the girl he liked, or to help someone else. Plus, his ability he had just made it all the more interesting since every time he tried to decide on something you could see every possible outcome of it all.

Wow. Talk about a long post. When I started this post I had no idea it would be so long or take so long to type! I figured I’d have a sentence or two to say, but I guess not! Don’t forget you can check out all 50 books that I have read so far by clicking the 2013 Books tab at the top of the blog. Also, feel free to add me on Goodreads! I love seeing what others are reading and what they like and recommend.

Have you read any good books this year? Or have an all time favorite? I’m on the lookout for books to read – like I said, I’m trying to read as many new to me books as possible for this.

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