Best Young Adult Books of 2013

I, the Young Adult Librarian, cannot read every young adult novel published in a year. These are my favorite books from all the books published within the past twelve months that I have read.  Books are listed in alphabetical order by title unless an author has written more than one book on the list. I will do my best not to spoil things. However, some of the books are sequels, and I assume some knowledge of previous books.

All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

Judith disappeared a few years ago. She returned with a portion of her tongue gone. Her secrets slowly unfurl and affect her small community. Judith is a complex character, and I liked how things in the story were not always black and white. The romance was interesting as each of the pair had to overcome their own issues. Wonderfully written with a timeless quality.

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Maggie Silver, safecracker and teenage spy, faces her toughest assignment when she is enrolled in high school to get close to the son of a journalist. Maggie knows how to pick a lock or crack a safe, but her social skills are pretty non-existent. Half the fun of the story is how she navigates new friendships and first love. A delightful story perfect for fans of Ally Carter.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Death's assassin Sybella must return to the home she finally escaped in order to carry out her duty to the order. While helping the knight known as the Beast escape, she gets caught up in romance and intrigue. Sybella is a conflicted yet strong heroine, and the story has plenty of action.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue and the Raven Boys continue their pursuit of Glenower and face personal problems that affect the friendships. I enjoyed learning more about Ronan and his ability. Blue and Gansey share an emotional scene that broke my heart.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park sit next to each other on the bus and slowly begin to interact and form a friendship. The friendship turns into a bittersweet first love. Eleanor has devastating secrets, and the characters (and readers) learn that first love cannot always last. I cried a lot but was glad to have shared their story.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath and her twin sister Wren are in their first year of college. Wren wants to forge a separate identity and chooses not to room with her sister. Cath struggles with being without her sister and finds comfort in writing fanfiction about her favorite fantasy book series. As the story progresses, Cath begins to find her way. I rooted for a romance with Levi, and I related to Cath's struggle. I also enjoyed reading Cath's fanfiction.

Indigo Spell by Richelle MeadThe Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell and The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

In the third and fourth entries in the Bloodlines series, alchemist Sydney Sage gets over her vampire prejudice when she falls for the alluring Moroi Adrian Ivashkov. She must also deal with the ramifications of this relationship and her changing feelings about being an alchemist. Sydney and Adrian appear to be complete opposites, but they balance and support each other. This series has become one of my all-time favorite young adult series.

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

From birth, Stephen was cursed with invisibility. Living alone in an apartment complex, he meets Elizabeth, the only person who has ever been able to see him. They move towards first love while attempting to break the curse. Yes, their love is convenient since she is the only one that sees him; yet, I still bought their feelings for each other. A very interesting story.

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Sisters Fia and Annie were raised in a school for psychics and used for corporate espionage. Fia must play by their rules or her sister will be killed. Each sister has her own ability, and the story alternates between their perspectives. Action,romance, and a thrilling story.

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Hale inherits his family's empire and distances himself from Kat and the rest of their crew. Kat realizes that the will might be a forgery, and she must attempt one of her most personal cons ever. Kat and Hale are one of my favorite young adult couples. I really liked finally reading about their first meeting. I did get mad at Hale for his treatment of Kat, but he proved himself in the end.

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Kyra tries to save the kingdom by murdering the princess who is also her best friend. After the attempt fails, Kyra goes on the run picking up a charming companion and a piglet along the way. Magic, mystery and romance combine in this charming tale. I appreciated that the story neatly ended but still had room for sequels. Unfortunately, Bridget Zinn passed away.

The Rules by Stacey Kade

The Rules by Stacey Kade

After escaping a genetics lab, Ariane's guardian instructs her to live by a set of rules. When she and classmate Zane pretend to have a romance to get back at a mean girl, the romance starts to become real which most definitely violates the rules. Lots of adventure and great characters.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Graham accidentally sends an email to Ellie, and they become pen pals. She does not know he is a famous actor, and he uses his fame to get his next movie to be filmed in her town. As they date, Ellie tries to decide if the attention from the press and fans is worth it. A sweet teenage romance.

 

Honorable Mention:

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Caymen works in her mother's doll shop that barely makes any money. She knows better than to trust a rich boy, but Xander changes her mind. A nice, quick romantic read with a happy ending.

Just One Day by Gayle FormanJust One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Allyson and Willem share one day together in Paris. In the morning, he is gone, and Allyson tries to move on and find her way during her first year in college. In the second book, the reader follows Willem during the same year as they try to find their way back to each other. A little too light on romance for my usual tastes, but great books about finding yourself whether it is through attending college or traveling.

 

Stay tuned for a blog post about what books I am looking forward to in 2014.

 - nb

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