2013 books in review

In 2013, I read 110 books or 39,592 pages!

Longest book: A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin at 1,179 pages

Shortest book: The Dark by Lemony Snicket at 40 pages.  It's a children's book, but I love Lemony Snicket and it was super cute.

Best book: If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Foreman - these were great books with well-written characters that were vulnerable and believable without being needy nitwits.

Worst book: The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort - seriously, this was AWFUL and I have no idea why it was made into a movie.  It only narrowly edged out The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, based on the fact that Mr. Belfort is, unfortunately, not a fictional character.

Best writing: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I loved that Mr. Green wrote characters that were able to be sarcastic and funny under their crappy circumstances.  He made you feel like Isaac, Augustus and Hazel are your friends.  I cried at the end.

 

I also loved Unteachable by Leah Raeder.  I read the whole thing in one night.  I loved the relationship between Maise and Evan and the way that Ms. Raeder drew you into their world.

Worst writing: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris.  She totally phoned this one in and it showed.  There was no effort put into making the ending to the Southern Vampire series enjoyable.  She should have wrapped this series up four or five books ago, when it became painfully obvious that she didn't want to write them anymore.  

Best plot: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  If you haven't read this yet, I have no idea what you're waiting for.  The twists make M. Night Shyamalan look like an amateur.

Worst plot: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.  I feel like I'm beating a dead horse on this one, but the writing was really, really bad.  These books were basically a bunch of one dimensional characters stumbling through a series of cliche' plots ripped off from Twilight and Harry Potter (among others).  This is another one that I can't believe was made into a movie.

Most disappointing book: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill - it wasn't bad, it just wasn't at all what I was expecting it to be.

Most unexpected pleasant surprise: Serena by Ron Rash.  I picked this one up because I saw that Jennifer Lawrence is playing the title role in the movie adaptation, even though a book about timber magnates in the 1920s sounded kind of boring.  It was not.  I have been recommending this book to everyone and will definitely be seeing the movie when it comes out in theaters.

Best Non-fiction book: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright - meticulously researched book on the creation, founder and history of Scientology.

Best characters: Libby Day from Dark Places, and Nick and Amy Dunne from Gone Girl, all by Gillian Flynn.  They're all so messed up, but totally compelling.

Worst character: Clary Fray from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  She's unforgivably bad.

Books I'm most looking forward to in 2014: Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon.  I LOVE this series and can't wait for the next book!

Skin Game by Jim Butcher - the 15th book in the Dresden Files series out Mat 27th.  These are so much fun and set in Chicago, which is always interesting.

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin.  The third book in The Passage series is set to come out this year, but there's no publication date yet, so I'm trying not to get my hopes up, just in case it moves to 2015. (coughcough*looking at you George R.R. Martin.... Winds of Winter #hurryupandwritealready! #nomatterwhatNeilGaimansaysyouaremybitchGeorge)