If I keep up the pace I've set the past couple of days, I will definitely be hitting my 100 books reading target for this year. Looking back at the books I've read this year, these are my top ten.
TOP TEN BOOKS READ IN 2013
10. THE HOLDERS BY JULIANNA SCOTT
While The Holders isn't one of the best books I've read this year, it is one that really surprised me, which is why it occupies this spot on the top list. The interesting twist on YA Paranormal, plus a really tender and unusual love story made this one of the most enjoyable books - and one I kept coming back to.
9. THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER BY MICHELLE HODKIN
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was one of my favourite books last year, but I knew better than to hope that Evolution would be as good. I've read SO many disappointing second books in the past two or three years, that I come at second books with gritted teeth. So the fact that Evolution was as good, if not even better than Unbecoming was such a relief. I'm now awaiting the final instalment with baited breath.
8. HUNTING LILA/LOSING LILA BY SARAH ALDERSON
Sarah Alderson's Hunting/Losing Lila duology is a quick, easy read that was perfect for the summer. I love superpowers, and this was a hugely enjoyable tale.
7. SAVE THE CAT BY BLAKE SNYDER
I've read a lot of books on writing this year, but this was definitely the one with the most advice packed into easily digestible snippets. Though I'm not a screenwriter, nor do I have ambitions to be, there was loads I could take and apply to the novel writing craft.
6. PARADISE BY SIMONE ELKELES
For someone whose chosen genre is Sci Fi/Fantasy, I have a lot of books I've enjoyed this year that are straight contemporary romances. Of those, Simone Elkeles 'Paradise' is definitely the best - with challenging relationships and themes, it was an absorbing read that I ploughed through in a matter of hours.
5. BURN MARK/WITCH FIRE BY LAURA POWELL
Laura Powell's vision of an alternative England is a brilliant one, second only to her two main characters - Glory and Lucas. From two as opposite situations as it's possible to imagine, their relationship was ripe with conflict and romantic tension. Watching them eventually work towards the same goals, and each other, was one of the most rewarding reading experiences of this year.
4. A CLASH OF KINGS BY GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
The second instalment in Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series that I am SO late in the day to. This epic builds on all the brilliance of the first in the series, bringing back all the blood, gore, incest and betrayal that made it so great.
3. LOSING IT/FAKING IT BY CORA MCCORMACK
While Losing It wash't especially any better than the other NA books I read this year, this was the one that started the NA thing off for me. The mix of steamy romance and light, enjoyable, fast paced prose made NA books a holiday winner for me this year.
2. WORLD WAR Z BY MAX BROOKS
With my current obsession with all things zombie, this nearly had to top the list. Terrifying, utterly believable and ultimately quite uplifting, the audiobook of this oral history of the Zombie apocalypse made driving to work in the dark something I actually looked forwards to.
1. UNDER THE DOME BY STEPHEN KING
Speaking of terrifyingI read this because the (abysmal) TV series was about to start. While the series did disappoint (Stephen King based series so often do) the book was far and away my best read this year. It may not feature horror movie style monsters, there is a level of horror and terror here that transcends the cheap thrills of werewolves and ghosts. Because Big Jim as a villain could easily be your next door neighbour - a guy who believes he's doing the right thing for the best reasons, but whose twisted morality ultimately leads him to make the best choice for himself. The rapid downward spiral that the town under the dome experiences was brilliantly conceived. And it's testament to King's story telling that in the end, the Dome - the story's central conceit - doesn't even matter. It's the characters and their story arcs that keep the pages turning.