Monday, December 30, 2013

Jenn's 2013 Books in Review

It's that time of year where we share our favorite reads, but I have a confession to make... I haven't read a lot this year.  Well, at least not a lot for me... I'm usually a 60+ book a year reader, but this year...

My Goodreads Challenge Goal: 75 Books
Books Read: 31

Of course that doesn't count books I've re-read, but still... I haven't completed a single one of my reading challenges.  It's not that I don't have anything I want to read, my pile is growing daily.  

How is this possible?  This year I started working an extra hour a day, which doesn't sound like much, but it's huge.  My now six year old dances three times a week and does Tae Kwon Do twice a week.  You would think that would afford me some reading time while I wait for her, but I have been using it to catch up with friends, family, and errands.  The weekends, you ask?  My daughter is at an age where she wants to spend time with me and I take full advantage of that while I can.   So, while I'm a little disappointed that I didn't accomplish what I set out to, I'm okay with it.  

That being said, I still read some awesome books in  2013!

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare  -  This is the last of the Infernal Devices, and it was my favorite of all her Shadow Hunter books so far.  (Granted I haven't read the last two of the Mortal Instruments series, but everyone I know who has read those is agonizing over the wait for the last book, so I'm trying to spare myself that.)  The effect Clockwork Princess has on both series is mind blowing.  I can't wait to start the last chapters of the Shadow Hunter series.  If you haven't read Cassandra Clare, I highly recommend it!

Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter -  I picked up this series after hearing Ally Carter speak a few years back. She said it was inspired by the cult classic TV show, ALIAS and, if you know anything about our blog, you'll know that show is very near and dear to all of us.  While I enjoyed the first novel, it was a light casual read, but as the series progresses and the characters grow, the series became a fabulous must-read for me.  The last two books in the series were some of my favorite reads this year (Out of Sight, Out of Time, and United We Spy).  I was sad to see Gallagher Girls come to an end.  If you like spy-fare and strong women, this series is a must.

Heist Society series by Ally Carter - Yes, Ally Carter has become one of my favorite authors this year.  If possible, I like the Heist Society Series even better than the Gallagher Girls.  Ms. Carter writes an amazing con story and usually manages to take me in every time.  I adore her characters and the way the supporting cast all get character development and growth.   Uncommon Criminals and Perfect Scoundrels accounted for another two of my favorite reads of 2013.

Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel  - I have long been awaiting the second novel in the Vampire Queen series.  The first book, Infinite Days, is what made me fall in love with vampire stories again.  The sequel gets into the heart of Lenah's and Rhode's back story.  Rebecca Maizel is a master at constantly surprising the reader with the plot twists in her story line. I have no idea where this series is headed but I can't wait to find out.

The Shadow Tracer by Meg Gardiner - If you love suspense and thrillers and you haven't tried Meg Gardiner, you don't know what you're missing:  smart, sassy women who solve terrifying crimes.  Meg Gardiner makes my list every year.  She has two series, but this is a stand alone novel and it doesn't disappoint. Honestly, I wouldn't be upset if Sarah Keller made a reappearance in another of her books.  

Wishcraft series by Heather Blake  - Whenever I need a book that I know I'm gonna love I turn to Heather Blake/Webber.  Whether it is her Lucy Valentine series, Wishcraft  (The Good, the Bad, and the Witchy was one of my best reads this year.) or Nina Quinn, I know it will out a smile on my face. She has a new Magic Potion series out this past fall and A Potion to Die For near the top of my teetering TBR pile.   

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde - This was the dark horse of my reads this year and I loved it.  It is witty and clever and chockfull of references to other literature.  The characters are flawed and twisted and nothing is ever quite what it seems.  Every time I see an orange VW bug now, I can't help but smile (see the cover).  I also have the next book of this series near the top of my TBR pile.

I think I will be more modest with my Goodreads challenge for next year... and maybe not sign up for any other reading challenges.  I look forward to diving into my TBR pile in 2014.  It promises to be a good one.

Jennifer's 2013 Reads

Beautiful Creatures
Legacy of Lies & Don't Tell
Blue Bloods
Stolen Nights
Along Came a Spider
The Lost Prince
Uncommon Criminals
Out of Sight, Out of Time
The Lost Art of Mixing
The Alchemyst
Clockwork Princess
The Magician
Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story
The Good the Bad and the Witchy
Chosen at Nightfall
Saved at Sunrise
Trouble in Spades
The Sorceress
Beautiful Darkness

Jennifer's favorite books »


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