I know, now that it’s the middle of January 2014, that no one is interested in 2013 anymore. But I feel obligated, to myself, to post my Top 10 (or 15) books of 2013. So, here goes:
Are You Experienced by Jordan Sonnenblick – time travel back to the 60s, find out about the peace and love and music of Woodstock, and maybe meet your dad when he was your age. Having lived during Woodstock (but not attended) it just brought back great memories. You can count on Jordan Sonnenblick for a fun read.
Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone – The Triple Nickles were the first Black paratroopers in America. While they did not see combat in World War II, they were instrumental in showing that Black soldiers were equal to White soldiers and, along with a farsighted General, began the process of integrating the U.S. Armed Forces. Another wonderful non-fiction book by the author of Almost Astronaut: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – an unlikely pair falling in love. There is just something lovely about this book. And having met Rainbow Rowell at a book signing, I can see how she could author such a wonderful romance.
Find Me by Romily Bernard – Wicket and her younger sister, Lily, are living with foster parents. Their mother committed suicide and their criminal, dope dealing father has disappeared. Wick earns a little extra money hacking computers to find out things like if my husband/boyfriend cheating, etc? When the diary of Tessa, a former friend who recently committed suicide, winds up on Wick’s front porch with a post-it note saying, Find Me, Wick knows that what she has to do, using whatever means necessary. A suspenseful YA mystery!!!
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool – It is 1945, Early Auden is searching for his brother, thought to have been killed in France in World War II. Jackie Baker, uprooted from his land-locked Kansas home and relocated to coastal Maine soon after his mother died of cancer, is searching for redemption because he wasn’t at home when she died and he was supposed to take care of her. An unlikely pair follow their quests and find solace in each other.
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – Josie has to escape her past and live up to her potential. That’s not easy when you’re mother is a prostitute who ran away and her madam is the person who raised you. A great vision of New Orleans in the 1950s. Marvelously written.
17 and Gone by Nova Ren Suma – Seventeen year old Lauren sees girls who have gone missing. They are all seventeen. However, she doesn’t know what to do, now that she’s seen them. Somewhat surreal, 17 & Gone has twists and turns I never saw coming.
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver – Everyone knows that the spindlers come at night and steal children’s souls, replacing them with spindler eggs so that more spindlers can be born. When Liza wakes up one morning and her brother Patrick isn’t really Patrick anymore, with his glassy eyes and lack of emotion, she is panic-stricken.
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz – From the Association for Library Services to Children website: “Lizzie Rose, Parsefall and Clara are caught in the clutches of a wicked puppeteer and a powerful witch in this deliciously dark and complex tale set in Dickensian England, where adventure and suspense are interwoven into nuanced explorations of good versus evil.” It is deliciously dark and scary. You can feel the London fog wherever Lizzie Rose and Parsefall travel.
Starting From Here by Lisa Jean Bigelow – Colby lost her mother to cancer and her girlfriend just broke up with her. In trying to entice a dog to follow her, she almost lost that when a car hit it. This is the tender story of Colby and the dog, Mo, recovering from their pains. Tender is the operative word. Wonderful.
The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates-Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson – Yikes!!!! I loved this book. The most FUN book I read all year. Have you ever wondered what would happen when the Terror of the Southlands combines forces with a High Society Girl, her gargoyle and her Governess to sail the piratical high seas? It behooves you to find out.