4th Annual End of Year Book Survey – 2013 Edition!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
best books 2013 end of year survey
Survey and graphics courtesy of Jamie at Perpetual Pageturner 
I've been on the internet for a long time now, and I've seen the rise and fall of a lot of different memes and activities, but the one I still can't resist is a survey. I think they're delightful and I love reading other people's answers and seeing how we compare. So when I saw Jamie hosting her annual End of Year Survey, I knew Jessie and I had (ABSOLUTELY! -J) to hop on this. So, without further ado, the best books of 2013.
Best YA book 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Danielle: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. It's one of only five books I gave five stars to this year and I still think it's practically perfect. A flat out amazing contemporary about finding yourself, depression, and music.
Jessie: YA: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith. The quotes I could pull from this book would show you how gorgeously it is written. Just a beautiful book.
Adult: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. This is hard to find in the US, but the story of both the Sun King and Rapunzel is atmospheric, exquisitely written, and wholly engrossing

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Danielle: I read several disappointing sequels this year, but I think the worst was Dance of the Red Death. I really don't know what happened with that book or series.
Jessie: Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. I hadn't expected much when it first came out, but then everyone LOOOOVED it. So I bought it and...eh. It's cute, but nothing super special. See also: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer, (sorry Morgan Matson) and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Danielle: I think it was Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. The opposite of a disappointing sequel. It blew me out of the water and made me love a series I was on the fence on.
Jessie: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I had liked the first book, but this was leaps and bounds better. The writing is smoother, the characters more aware and realistic... and there's buckets more of Chaol.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Danielle: Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown!
Jessie: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch! LOCKE LAMORA AND JEAN TANNEN FOREVER. (I ship it so hard! - D) Also, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. It made a bit of a splash a few years back but seems to have been forgotten and IT IS SO GOOD.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Jessie: Ann Anguirre's Sirantha Jax series (Grimspace, Wanderlust, Doubleblind, Killbox, Aftermath, Endgame). I read Bronze Gods by the author and her husband earlier this year, and when that had no sequels out, I decided to try her science fiction and OMG it is amazing. Epic stories, wars, tumultuous love affairs, alien races... it's got it all.
Danielle: I really enjoyed the Oona Crate Mysteries, (The Wizard of Dark Street, The Magician's Tower) this year. MG series about a trainee wizard who decides to solve crimes in the space between Earth and Faerie. Delightful, weird, and surprisingly deep for the 9-12 crowd (these ARE really good. - J).

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Jessie: Ann Aguirre, Helen Maryles Shankman, Patrick Ness, Kasie West
Danielle: Kat Zhang, Jay Kristoff, Sean Thomas Odyssey

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Danielle: I hate to be a broken record, but This Song Will Save Your Life. I do my best to avoid "issue" books, but it tells a really personal story in a great, funny way that made me love it forever.
Jessie: Out of my comfort zone... hmm.... Well, I finally tried Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. And it was not good. I read the first, read + skimmed the second, and super-skimmed the third. And... I'm good. Hard pass on the rest of those books.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?


Danielle: The Gathering Storm by Jordanderson (I like the portmanteau! -J). I read all 1100 pages in about 20 days, which is absurd for me. For context, A Dance with Dragons is 80 pages shorter and took me a week longer, and I lived and breathed that book.
Jessie: Pawn by Aimee Carter was definitely one. I don't think I left my reading chair AT ALL until that was over. Also, Parasite by Mira Grant. Mostly because I knew if I put it down, I might overthink it and gross myself out too much to keep reading. 

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?


Jessie: I want to say Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein and Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. RUF because I plan to reread both it and Code Name Verity (because I want to break my brain, apparently) and Kinslayer to prepare for the third book! There will be probably more. I am a mood reader and sometimes, I just need to know what I am reading will be fantastic.
Danielle: I'm not a big rereader, but Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels deserves a second go though. It is so smart and insightful and really puts the romance genre in perspective. And I never did finish the MadLibs.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Jessie: Oh this is  hard. If I had to pick, I'd chose the two covers for Kate Forsyth's novels: Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl.

Danielle: Unfortunately, both of my favorite covers are books I hated! Still, they at least look pretty.

11. Most memorable character in 2013?


Danielle:  Sabetha! We've been waiting so long to meet the woman who broke Locke Lamora's heart, and she did not disappoint in The Republic of Thieves.
Jessie: I am going to second Danielle's pick of Sabetha because she lived up the hype of YEARS and hundreds of pages. She was freaking awesome. Second place would have to go to Sturmhond because damned if he didn't steal every scene he was in in Siege and Storm.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Jessie: Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Amy McNamara was beautifully written, if short on plot and characterization. Wild Awake was starkly and uniquely gorgeous. Kat Rosenfield's Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone also has lovely prose. Stiefater's work in The Dream Thieves is wonderful, as is Danielle's fave aka This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales.
Danielle:  I've got to say Kat Zhang's What's Left of Me. The last line of the novel is an absolute knock out, and the skill involved to write from the passive soul? Perfection. 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

Danielle: I know I'm belaboring the point, but This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. It was really emotional for me because it hits close to home, which made the end very cathartic.
Jessie: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith was a really emotional read for me. I connected and empathized so much with Kiri that by the end, I was emotionally drained. Illuminations by Mary Sharatt was also surprisingly the same. For the first time, I could see and understand how faith can move another person. It was a new experience.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 


Jessie: The first three of the four books in the Alanna series (Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant)! I can't believe I waited until I was 25(cough) to finally start the first Tortall series! (Verdict: Good, but not as good as The Immortals. As expected. Numair forever.)

Danielle: The Dunk and Egg Tales, (The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, and The Mystery Knight.) Holy crap, these really are required reading for any Martin/ASoIaF fan, especially The Hedge Knight. (I am deeply ashamed to say I have never read any of them. One day! - J)


 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Danielle: "There is power in words.
There are words that bid us laugh and make us weep. Words to begin with and words to end by. Words that seize the hearts in our chests and squeeze them tight, that set the skin on our bones tingling. Words so beautiful they shape us, forever change us, live inside us for as long as we have breath to speak them. There are forgotten words. Killing words. Great and frightening and terrible words. There are True words.
And then there are pictures." - Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff


“But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.”
― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave 

"For a single, golden second I breathe galaxies."
 ― Hilary T. Smith, Wild Awake

"As he read, I feel in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
 ―John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

"The real gift is time. Now. Each other, this night and the wide, wide moon-silvered sea."
 ―Amy McNamara, Lovely, Dark, and Deep

“The ship shudders as we make the leap, passing into grimspace. Pleasure spikes through me, as if I'm taking a hit of my favorite chem. It sings through my veins, echoing the mad whorl of colors outside the view screen. If I had to describe it, I'd say it's like entering the heart of a dying star.”
― Ann Aguirre, Doubleblind

“I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.”
Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight   (If I hadn't read it in 2012, this would be on my list! - D) (It was a reread but I am totes counting it because that quote is pure gorgeousness! -J)

"But the truth is, the longer you love the same person, the more mysterious they become. March is like a pocket universe, full of stars, and I will never learn all his light."
Ann Aguirre, Endgame

 "March knows what I want and what I can offer. He gets me down to my breath and bone; he will not try to change me. For him, I need not yield that which makes me Jax; I need not surrender the universe for March's sake. He will share it with me."
 ― Ann Aguirre, Endgame

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Danielle: Shortest - Origins: The Fire (Mila 2.0 #0.5) (15 pages.) Longest - The Gathering Storm (1098 pages.)
Jessie: Shortest: Praying for Rain by Jay Kristoff -The Lotus WAR #0.5 (19 PAGES) Longest: A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson (909 pages). TECHNICALLY I could put DFW's Infinite Jest since that was the book with the most pages (1,377 to be exact) that I read some/most of. But I didn't 100% finish, so the title goes to the last Wheel of Time novel.

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Danielle: That scene with Michi in Kinslayer. I immediately DMd Jessie to flail. I'm still flailing. Does anyone want to flail with us? (CONTINUAL EPIC FLAILING - J).
Jessie: Michi's big moments/more to Hana than meets the eye in Kinslayer. Elsewhere in Pawn. THE LAST 75 PAGES OF LADY THIEF BY A.C. GAUGHEN.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Danielle: Locke and Jean from Red Seas Under Red Skies, (and The Republic of Thieves.) Could not ship it harder.
Jessie: Ditto Danielle's pick and also Cricket Bell and Lola Nolan from Lola and the Boy Next Door. And Jax/March from the Sirantha Jax books -- they were my main ship for MONTHS. Also Mia and Adam from If I Stay/Where She Went. I ship it so much. And Katsa and Po from the Graceling books because Po <3

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Danielle: Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. A twisty, suspenseful end to one of my favorite series. I'm not sure I loved the final reveal, but overall a great book.
Jessie: The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I am a HUGE Morton fangirl and though I read her first book last, it's just as fabulous as the others. Atmospheric, intricately written, clever, and full of twists.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Danielle: Guards!Guards!/Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett. It's my secret shame that I never liked the Discworld novels, but my husband got me to read the first Watch books this year and they were really fun.
Jessie: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn. I had decided not to read this one and then my friends LOVED IT. And Margot shot that amazing fauxto. So I gave it a chance and was utterly blown away. Her next book is one of my most anticipated for 2014 due solely to how fantastic ALP was.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Danielle: YA fantasy and romance. Those two genres, (not always mutually exclusive,) account for half of the books I read this year.
Jessie: Fantasy, contemporary, historical fiction, and science fiction. A mix of adult/YA titles in all four genres.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Danielle: Sabetha Belacoros. (✿ ♥ ‿ ♥ )
Jessie: Sturmhond. Sabetha. Adam Wilde. Beast from Dark Triumph. March from the Jax series. Andevai from Kate Elliot's Spiritwalker series. ROAR. Po. Cricket Bell. Lola Nolan. 

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Danielle: I want to say Cruel Beauty, but that doesn't technically come out until January! Runner up is Amy Tintera and her Six-Million-Dollar-Man-Zombies in Reboot. Really action packed sci-fi dsytopian that stands on its own, (I am not here for another dystopian with a "to be continued" end with no resolution.)
Jessie:  The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.  Also Reboot, Pivot Point by Kasie West and Born of Illusion by Teri Brown.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Danielle: Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner. Sequel to my favorite book of 2012, I'm totally captivated by the city of Lethe, where, for the first time in the series, we get to see magic and technology side by side.
Jessie: A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix or When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen. 

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Danielle: The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty or The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. Lafferty's world and plot are the most fun, but Quinn's banter. I die.
Jessie:  The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. It's this weirdly British novel about a supernatural MI5. It's insane. It's violent and weird and really, oddly funny. Lola and the Boy Next Door runs a close second, though, due to sheer charm and cuteness.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Danielle: I'm sorry, have we met? Kinslayer, Lioness Rampant, The Gathering Storm, (how dare you be mean to Tam?!,) What's Left of Me, Cinnamon and Gunpowder, The Perfume Collector...I'm a disaster pretty much 24/7 from books. 
Jessie: The Supreme Macaroni Company, Revolution, Where She Went, If I Stay, Lovely, Dark and Deep, Wild Awake, Froi of the Exiles .... I used to be able to hold it together. I don't know what happened. And you know what strangely DIDN'T make me cry? Rose Under Fire. I would've bet I'd drown in tears from that one.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Danielle: I wish Maybe We'll Have You Back by Fred Stoller had gotten more love. I think it's a very funny autobiography, not quite Mindy but funnier than Bruce Campbell's. Sadly, it's only got 20 reviews on GR. I'm also holding out hope that once The Jupiter Pirates passes its official release date, the hype for it will pick up.  That one's too cute to be ignored.
Jessie: Hmmmm... Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel was really really good and I am surprised it's not more popular. I've never thought that The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman got enough attention. Painted Hands by Jennifer Zobair was a nicely done and smart look at American/Muslim culture that went largely unnoticed. Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe is crazy and needs a bigger audience. Jasper Jones is one of the best Aussie YA novels I've read and no one has heard of it. The India Black series by Carol Carr is one the most fun, zany, funny series ever.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 


Jessie: The list would be shorter if I listed those I didn't find. I found Gillian, Gaby, Ash, both Christinas, Meg, Ellis, Bekka, Renae, Pixie, Bonnie, Debby, Lili.... and there are more. I don't have time to list them all but besides the few I knew before (Lyn/Kara/Dani/Audra/Ashleigh/Blythe/Keertana), I feel like I found the perfect sub-community of book blogs.
Danielle: I lurk a LOT of these blogs, but I can't remember if I started following this year or last year. I'm also extremely partial to the BBA Whisperer.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

Danielle: I'm one of those nasty, mean, snarky people, so I'd have to say the 1500 words I wrote just on how wrong the world building in The Selection is, is probably my favorite.
Jessie: AAAH I hate reading my own reviews! Making me go through that... Uhhh... I would say my Crown of Midnight review was one of which I wasn't deeply embarrassed.  I also did like my Republic of Thieves review, mainly because I reined in my fangirling pretty well. Restraint: I have it.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Jessie: I am not much for discussion posts. I pretty much post reviews, book hauls, a few Top Ten Tuesdays... I do mean to get more into that side of blogging in 2014. I think I posted one discussion -- and that was just a summary of how I felt about the new changes instituted in September.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? 


Jessie: This is hard, because my town is so small and far from these type of events. I did have Jay Kristoff name a doomed character after me. That was cool.

Danielle: Same, I haven't been to an author signing in 21 years, (when Ann M Martin came to Toledo). And I'm trying to get better at interacting online, but...how about this survey, eh?! (lol, you're silly. -J)

5. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Danielle: Hosting my first giveaway! I was so excited to be able to share an ARC of a book I really liked with someone new.
Jessie: Seeing my review quoted in both the ARC and finished copy for The Last Confessions of Marie Antoinette! That was incredible. I was in shock. I also recently found myself quoted in Megan Miranda's Vengeance ARC. The feeling is just as awesome the second time around!

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Jessie: My most popular post was my review of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Traitor. I reallly have no idea why it's so popular or where the hits are coming from. But people seem to like it and that makes me happy. (Though I wouldn't say that was my best!)
Danielle: Mine is Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown, by a lot. I think that's fantastic because it's a book I obviously loved and didn't get a ton of reviews by people I follow, so I hope I introduced it to some people!

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Jessie: All Danielle's reviews. (Here is her "reviewed by Danielle" tag.) They're so fun and funny and SMART. She picks such good books -- often ones I would have never considered -- and makes me want to read them. Even when she is ripping apart a book for misogyny or sexism or what have you, she keeps it spicy. I call APR "my" blog, but it really is just as much hers as mine. (*screaming and blushing* - D)
Danielle: Jessie's discussion post on BBAs and GR was so well written and really important. It got some great comments, but in a situation that effected so many, I wish the word had spread a bit wider? She's a genius and we should all listen to her.

8. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Jessie: Well, I started using TBD more and more. But I am also proud I learned how to search for discounted books on Amazon. Is it sad that those are the two first things I thought of for this question? As for bookstores --- Changing Hands in Tempe is SO COOL.
Danielle: I really love Booklikes, though I wish more of my friends felt the same. I love the Tumblr-style interface. Offline, I got to go back to the Book Loft in Columbus, which might be the best bookstore ever. I went once in 2011, so maybe that doesn't count, but my wallet certainly felt a discovery. 

9.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Danielle: Yes and no. I set out to read 75 books, and I've read 96, so that's a resounding success.
I wanted to write a review a week, and that's gone in fits and starts all year. I've posted 40 on the blog, so more yes than no?
And I set out to reread the Tortall series before the new companion book came out. That book got delayed until next fall, but I also only reread 7/18, so...a push. Maybe next year. (Although since I can't find half my Kel books, maybe not.)
Jessie: I don't really do a whole lot in the way of setting any reading goals. My main one is to read more books than I read the year before. And, well, in 2012 I read 255 total. In 2013, I read 365.  I would say I met my goal, wouldn't you?


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Danielle: Besides the score of ARCs I have outstanding? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Jessie gave it to my for my birthday and I still haven't gotten to it! (THEN YOU WILL KNOW MY LOVE FOR DUVAL! - J)
Jessie: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Another that everyone loves and I ignored until I just had to buy it. It's due up early January. Also Vicious, Premeditated, Swimming at Night, and Night Film.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Danielle: Cress. Everyone's saying it's the best in the series, and I love the series!
Jessie: Definitely Cress. Also The Winner's Curse, (Don't You) Forget About Me, Isla and the Happily Ever After, DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS OMG

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Danielle: Defy by Sara B. Larson. Unstoppably badass girl fighter disguised as a boy? Evil sorcerer? GIVE IT TO ME.
Jessie: The Fire Wish by Amber Lough. Fantasy and djinnis and magic and more! Or Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. I have high hopes due to Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity, but this sounds freaking fantastic and absolutely heart-wrenching.

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Danielle: Dreams of Gods & Monsters! I want it, but I also don't want Daughter of Smoke & Bone to end. I will cry.
Jessie: Dreams of Gods and Monsters definitely. Into the Still Blue is another one. I don't love the books, but I do love Roar. 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Danielle: Read more books! (Will this be the year I hit triple digits?) More pages. More audiobooks. More outside my comfort zone. But also DNF more if it's not working. 
I'm also trying to be grateful for what I have and not compare myself to bloggers who get more/more anticipated/unsolicited ARCs. That goal's a lot harder.
Jessie: Post more consistently and be less afraid to reach out to publishers. I am really bad about both things. I've never gone a whole month posting every day (my longest is December 2013 --- 21 posts for 21 days!) and I want to be more on time with ARC reviews.


  1. *cough* We hardly have any books in common this year, girls. But I am glad we remain as close as ever and I do trust your opinions wholeheartedly, so I am going to check some of these out.

    For the record, I did very much enjoy This Song Will Save your life and I am glad Jessie discovered Ann Aguirre this year. :D

  2. Someday, Someday, Maybe was a big disappointment for me too. I listened to it on audio because she narrates it but ehh. Nothing special. Ohmygosh, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. I do not understand the love for this. So many more on your lists I still need to get to!

  3. It looks like I need to read Ann Agguirre's Jax books ASAP. Or possibly Bronze Gods, which would be easier as I have it on my shelf already. Logic.


    I'm with you guys on Dreams of Gods & Monsters.The wait has reached killing me proportions (it swaps with The Lady Thief on a daily basis for the #1 spot on my most anticipated list).

    Happy New Year!

  4. 1. YES TO THIS SONG. Wild Awake was only okay for me. I struggle with the drug-soaked thing. OMG, Bitter Greens. I bought both this and another of hers at high cost and I want to read them. So badly.

    2. I am sad to hear that about Dance of the Red Death. Maybe I won't bother. OH NO, JESSIE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THESE ARE ALL THINGS I AM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT (AND I BOUGHT TWO). Bad Jessie.

    3. I approve of all that is happening here.

    4. I added Cinnamon and Gunpowder to my list on your rec! OMG, I need to read anything you ship so hard, Jessie.


    8. I was disappointed with Parasite. Where are my feels?

    10. Jessie, YES.

    11. This is a book three. I am so behind. It hurts us, precious.

    12. The way Kat writes is seriously impressive. I could not get that POV right in a million years.

    13. This point deserves belaboring, Danielle.

    14. WUT. Jessie, I am shocked.

    16. No interest in torturing myself with Infinite Jest. NOOOOPE.

    17. Or just ALL of Lady Thief? haha.

    19. Another book to add. Ack. My list is not shrinking.

    24. Did you read the sequel to Hellisen's book? It's SO GOOD.

    This sub-community of book blogs is a very happy place.

    Jessie, I also HATE reading my own reviews.


    (I'll leave off on this odd note.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.