Katie’s Top Books of 2013

I have been absolutely horrible about posting this year. Luckily, Melissa has read and posted about the majority of these. So… My top books of 2013 are

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

2. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

3. The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper

4. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

5. Dark Triumph (sequel to Grave Mercy) by Robin LaFevers

6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Since I barely reviewed any books this year, here is a list of all the books (including children’s and adult books) that I read this year.

The Montmaray Journals

by Michelle Cooper

    

This series is incredible. It tells the story of a close knit royal family starting a few years before World War II and finishing up a little after the War. The FitzOsbornes are the royal family of the tiny island of Montmaray. The family is made up of Sophie, her older brother Toby, her younger sister Henry, her cousin Victoria, and her Uncle the crazy king. The only other people on the island are the housekeeper, and the housekeeper’s son Simon. In A Brief History of Montmaray, Sophie writes about their quiet life on the island, which is disrupted when the Nazis arrive. In The FitzOsbornes in Exile the FitzOsbornes are now living in England with their wealthy aunt, and Sophie has her Debut into British society. And then in The FitzOsbornes at War World War II breaks out and England is in chaos. The boys join the air force and the girls join the war effort in London.

Now to be honest, the first book  and the first half of the second book were a little slow, but the absolute amazingness of the last one more than makes up for it. Sophie’s growth throughout the books is so slow and realistic, you barely notice it until you think back to how young and naive she was at first. I highly recommend the whole series.

Drama

by Raina Telgemier

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This is the first graphic novel that I legitimately enjoyed. I’ve thought others were okay, or I could tell that they were good quality, but I just didn’t love them. This one I couldn’t put down!

Callie is in charge of set design for her middle school’s musical production of Moon Over Mississippi. In addition to all the drama involved in making the perfect sets and a working cannon, there’s also  lots of boy drama and friendship drama. It’s practically like a soap opera. So so so fun and enjoyable.

The False Prince

by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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After the entire royal family dies, Conner, a treacherous nobleman, travels to orphanages throughout the country and purchases four boys, including the resourceful thief, Sage. Conner plans to teach these boys to act like the prince who has been missing and presumed dead for years. The boy who does the best will be passed off as the prince, become king, and be the puppet of Conner. The other boys will be killed. Literally competing for their lives, the boys form shaky alliances and struggle to transform from uneducated street kids into royalty. The plot is good, but Sage as a character is amazing. He is funny and tricky. Absolutely wonderful!

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

by A.S. King

So so so so good. But also a really depressing one.

Vera has to deal with a lot. Her parents are divorced and she never sees her mom. She works a full-time job as a pizza deliverer while maintaining perfect grades. And most horribly, her ex best friend Charlie recently died and she is the only one who knows the truth about his death. Now his ghost is haunting her and trying to get her to clear his name. This book dealt with incredibly tough issues while also being really funny. But I still cried a lot. Basically this book made me an emotional wreck and I loved it. So much!

Grave Mercy

by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy is a historical fantasy set in France in the fifteenth century. After her father sells her into an arranged marriage, Ismae runs away to a convent. Unlike most convents, the sisters here serve Mortain, the god of death. While there, Ismae discovers that she has special gifts from Mortain. She decides to stay at the convent and train to be a skilled assassin. Once her training is over, she is sent on a mission to discover treason in the Duchess of Brittany’s court. In order to have access to the court, Ismae pretends to be the mistress of Duval, the brother of the duchess, who she is sort of working with but also spying on for the convent, while at the same time falling for him. There’s lots of murder and betrayal and romance. I could not put it down. It is the first in a trilogy, with the other books focusing on other trainees of the convent. I can’t wait!