2013: A Year of YA Fiction

In terms of pure reading, 2013 wasn’t as busy as 2012: I had more important exams and three plays I produced, stage managed and directed. So I’ve been kept busy with things other than reading, sadly. That hasn’t stopped me getting my mittens on some cracking reads though; here are my favourite books of 2013. (Here’s my Best of 2012, 2011 and 2010)

Best Bildungsroman

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys coverOut of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys I was a little apprehensive about reading Out of the Easy after the superbly written Between Shades of Gray, and obviously it isn’t as culturally important as her first novel. Out of the Easy is just as good however, if not better; it’s raw, beautiful and heartfelt, and proves that Ruta Sepetys is more than a one hit wonder.

 

Best Contemporary

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry coverCrash Into You by Katie McGarry I’m not generally into books about burgeoning romances, but Katie McGarry has a knack of keeping me hooked. Crash Into You is the third novel in her sort-of series (they can be read as standalones) and it’s by far my favourite with a superb first third full of action and yearning attraction.

 

Best Dystopian

Fuse-Pure-Trilogy-Julianna-BaggottFuse by Julianna Baggott This award goes, once again, to Fuse, the sequel to Pure. If it’s possible, it’s even better than the first book. Julianna Baggott is at the top of her game and really, this series is the best dystopian/post-apocalyptic series out there right now; better than Divergent, better even that The Hunger Games which were let down by poor writing which Fuse is most definitely not. And having just read the third and final novel in this series, I can tell you that it ends magnificently!

Best Fantasy

The Beating of His Wings by Paul Hoffman coverThe Beating of His Wings by Paul Hoffmann I may have got my first reading of this series wrong but thankfully I continued reading and realised the error of my ways! Paul Hoffmann is supremely clever, his prose is sarcastic, his characters are vile but at the same time really likable. This third book in the Thomas Cale series is not at all what you would expect. One of the best fantasy series I have read, ever.

 

Best Historical

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein coverRose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein Last year, Wein’s Code Name Verity won the same award and though Rose Under Fire isn’t as clever, it’s just as good. What I liked particularly is that there is a focus on the ramifications of concentration camps – it isn’t just the thrill of escaping. Lots of lovely poetry, too, which allow you to reflect on the situations Rose finds herself in.

 

Honourable Mention

Infinite Sky by C J Flood coverInfinite Sky by C.J. Flood This great, modern teenage love story is simple but still beautiful, a sort of modern-day Romeo and Juliet that explores other issues such as the integration of Travellers into wider society.

 

 

So what were your best books this year?

About Rhys

Rhys is a 19 year old with roots in the UK and Germany. Aside from reading and blogging, he also produces theatre, loves Kate Bush and hopes to pursue a career in publishing. His reviews have been widely quoted in books such as Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet, Catherine Bruton’s Pop!, James Treadwell’s Advent and Anarchy and he has presented at such events as Book Expo America.

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What did you think about 2013: A Year of YA Fiction?

  1. Caradith Craven January 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I think your Best Books for 2013 is a great list. I loved Between Shades of Gray and agree with your assessment of Ruta Sepetys. I just finished an ARC of Road Rash by a debut YA author, Mark Parsons. The publishing date is February 11, 2014. It is a very descriptive, realistic look at the volatile world of a 17-year-old drummer who joins a rock band on a summer road tour.

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