Welcome to the final day of the 2013 YA Superlative Blogfest. If you’re keeping up, here are our picks (click for a link to everyone’s blogs) to our Head of the Class, Popularity Contest, and Elements of Fiction categories.
We’ve saved the best for last: Best In Show.
It’s an eight-way tie. (Click the covers for the Goodreads description of each.)
My first reaction was to say Reena and Sawyer from How to Love, but while their love is complicated and satisfying and really, really great, it’s not what I would call cute. That is how I’d describe Leah and Chris from Leap of Faith, though. The love she has for her sister, who she’s passing off as her own baby, and the love Chris has for her and her “child” is beautiful.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED (OR, PICK A PRINTZ WINNER.)
Not sure if this is Printz worthy, but it’s definitely one of the best books I read in 2013.
MOST LIKELY TO MAKE YOU MISS YOUR BEDTIME (BOOK YOU JUST COULDN’T PUT DOWN!)
The book is quickly paced with a twisty plot that had me up way, way past my bedtime. And that’s saying something considering I’m practically nocturnal.
BEST REPEAT PERFORMANCE (YOUR FAVORITE SEQUEL OR FOLLOW-UP.)
I didn’t think it’d be possible to love this book more than the first, Under the Never Sky, but I did. I really, really did.
FAVORITE FINALE OR END OF SERIES NOVEL
Thankfully I read the first two books the same week the third came out so I wasn’t waiting endlessly for the last book in the series. Which would have felt like forever after the first two stellar novels. I reviewed the first, Ruby Red, here. What I didn’t blog about: The fact that the following two books, including Emerald Green, which came out this year, were equally as great. A series you definitely want to pick up.
ROMANCE MOST WORTHY OF AN ICE BATH
These two opposites find love with one another and, well, they love each other. A lot.
BREAKOUT NOVEL (YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BY A DEBUT AUTHOR.)
As if I needed to put this book into one more category.
BEST OLD-TIMER (YOUR FAVORITE READ OF THE YEAR, PUBLISHED BEFORE 2013.)
Told through letters and alternating among three girls and their guy pen pals, this story is hilarious and smart with well-written and distinct teen voices for all of the characters. (My fullreview is here.)
BOOK MOST LIKELY TO MAKE A GROWN MAN CRY
Whether you loved or hated the ending, you can’t say it wasn’t emotional. I was a complete mess, single-handedly keeping Kleenex in business.
MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE (BEST BOOK YOU DIDN’T THINK YOU’D LIKE, BUT TOTALLY DID.)
This was my first Rainbow Rowell book, and while I thought it would be fun, I didn’t expect to love it like I did. Rowell is a master of creating amazing characters and writing hilarious dialog.
MOST CREATIVE USE OF A LOVE TRIANGLE
She loves him. She loves him not. She wants to spill about her love. She wants to kill him. Best use of a love triangle ever.
SLEEPER HIT (BOOK YOU FOUND SO AWESOME YOU WISH IT HAD BEEN HYPED MORE.)
I don’t know why there’s been so little fanfare about Leap of Faith, which was a strong YA contemporary about a girl who saves her baby sister by stealing her and passing her off as her own child. The romance was strong, the main character’s conflicting feelings were great, and the ending (while I wished it had gone on for another chapter or two) was hopeful.
FAVORITE OUTLIER (YOUR FAVORITE MIDDLE GRADE OR ADULT 2013 BOOK)
After reading Fangirl I immediately picked up Rowell’s first book, an adult novel called Attachments. (I knew Eleanor and Park was getting rave reviews, but I felt like something a little less serious.) Told from the POV of a twentysomething guy and including e-mail correspondences between his two female co-workers, this book was laugh-out-loud funny and filled with the same well-rounded characters Rowell is known for.
MY CATEGORY: FAVORITE SELF-PUBBED NOVEL
(LEAVE YOUR FAVORITE IN THE COMMENTS!)
I expected Secret Life to be a light, breezy read, but Bria Quinlan hits readers hard with protagonist Rachel’s body dysmorphic disorder. I’ve never read a book from the POV of a character with this disease, and the struggle was sometimes difficult to read, but so worth it.
And that’s it, guys! A giant THANK YOU to everyone who participated. It’s been a blast reading your picks (and adding to my already mile-long TBR list). Stay tuned when we’ll pick four winners from the group of people who participated every day of the blogfest. Each will win one of our favorite 2013 books!