Tammy’s Top Ten Books of 2013 – Young Adult

Best of 2013 banner copy

Welcome to Part Two of my favorite books of the year! Yesterday I posted my Top Ten Adult Books of 2013, and today I’m focusing on the Young Adult category. I have to confess I tried my hardest to keep this list to ten books, but I had a short list of eleven and I could NOT cut one of these out. So technically, this is a Top Eleven list:) Going back over my list, I’m very surprised that most of these are books by debut authors. You will also see Chuck Wendig and Victoria Schwab on my adult list (link above), two new-to-me authors that I happily discovered this year! These titles are listed alphabetically, and you can click on the book covers to go to Goodreads. I’ve also given each a *special* designation, because hey, each book is special in its own way. (This post is linked to The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday)

most creative story idea

The Archived

The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Victoria had a very busy year! She published at least two novels (including Vicious and I think maybe a middle grade novel as well), and the follow-up to The Archived, The Unbound is out this month. I’m so glad I finally sat down to read this, even though it was near the end of the year. Lovely writing, an intriguing story, lots of surprises and a swoony boy! What more do you need? You can read my review here.

most emotionally satisfying


Bruised by Sarah Skilton. This was only one of a very few contemporary books I read this year, but it was a good one. Bruised has so many layers that it’s hard to say just what the story is about. Sure, it’s about a girl with Tae Kwon Do skills who freezes in the face of violence, but it’s also a story about her many relationships with the people in her life and how she comes to terms with things she can’t control. You can read my review here.

best mystery

Charm & Strange2

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn. The “mystery” in Charm & Strange kept me guessing the entire story. I thought it was a book about one thing, but then it turned out to be about something else! Throw in gorgeous prose, perfect pacing, and some very intriguing characters, and you have a winning story. My review of Charm & Strange.

Best Characters

InTheAfter - hi-res

In the After by Demitria Lunetta. Dystopian may be falling out of favor as a genre, but In the After is a fresh take on dystopians that gives the reader more than just the normal tropes. Lunetta’s writing is so beautiful, and I fell in love with her characters. You can read my review here.

most evocative writing

In The Shadow of Blackbirds

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. Winters brings the time period of 1918 San Diego to life with her colorful descriptions of what life was like during the Spanish Influenza breakout. Not only is this a historically accurate story, but there is a paranormal element—ghosts—to it as well. I fell in love with plucky Mary Shelley Black, and you will too. You can read my review here.

best twist


Pantomime by Laura Lam. When I say “best twist,” I’m referring to a twist with the characters themselves, not the plot. If you don’t know much about this fantastic debut, it’s best to go into it blind and be surprised. Lam’s world-building is also high on my list of favorite fantasy worlds! My review of Pantomime.

scariest future

Ends 9/6. International.

Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard. This chilling story deals with cloning, so right away you know things are going to get dicey.  But Girard’s concept of cloning famous serial killers from history is what makes this stand out. I also loved the narrator and all the grisly facts about serial killers that the author includes. My review of Project Cain.

best book boyfriends


Splintered by A.G. Howard. OK, I’m cheating a bit here because technically I read this at the end of 2012. But hey, it came out this year, so I’m taking some liberties…I could have awarded this book any number of *special designations*, but this one seemed to fit it best. Two of my favorite boys this year, Jeb and Morpheus, live in the same book. Bloggers fight over which they love best, but I have to say I’m a Morpheus girl all the way. The second book in the series, Unhinged, is out next week! My review of Splintered.

most heartwrenching

These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner. I was able to sneak this book in at the end of this month (I didn’t have it for review, but I was dying to read it) and boy am I glad I did! It’s everything bloggers have been saying: a wonderful non-insta-love romance, exciting story, and tension and surprises galore. I can’t wait for the next book!

Best World Building

Under the Empyrean Sky

Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig. This guy is super busy. He publishes YA. He publishes adult. He self-publishes writing guides. He blogs. He has a family. I’m tired just thinking about what his daily life must be like. But he wrote this amazing YA dystopian which he refers to as “cornpunk.” It’s crass, it’s got nasty bits and swear words (although many of them are “made up” swear words). But it’s got HEART as well. Read it, damn you! You can read my review here.

best job in space

Zenn Scarlett

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon. When I say “best job in space,” I mean it. Zenn is an exoveterinarian, a vet that cares for otherworldly creatures from other planets. How cool is that? Why be a regular vet and take care of dogs and cats, when you can visit another planet and care for sunkillers and seepdemons? Schoon’s imagination never stops, and I’m really excited for the second book in his series, Under Nameless Stars, which comes out in 2014. You can read my review here.

And of course, I have more than just the eleven books above that I loved. Here are more favorite YA books that I read this year: The Outside by Laura Bickle, Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn, Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes, The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, Insomnia by J.R. Johansson and Thin Space by Jody Casella.

You can also check out my 2013 End of Year Book Survey, which goes into much more detail about my favorites:)

Have you read any of these books? Did you do a top ten list? I’d love to read yours! Please link me up in the comments.

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Posted December 31, 2013 by Tammy in Top Ten Tuesday / 15 Comments


15 responses to “Tammy’s Top Ten Books of 2013 – Young Adult

  1. lisa

    So many interesting books there, Tammy! I confess, I never heard of most of them, but Bruised is definitely in my TBR list. Must check out the rest!

  2. *clears throat, craddles statuette lovingly* I’d just like to thank my Cloister-mentor and… seriously, tho, thanks Tammy for the Zenn pick. It’s an honor and ya made my day. Happy New Year & hope your 2014 here at BB&B is spectacular. Cheers!

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  4. Such great choices! I need to try a few of these in the new year, like In the After and Blackbirds, and These Broken Stars finally.

  5. I wouldn’t have guessed that you would be a Jeb and Morph fan. I can’t stand Jeb, but I totally get the Morph thing! Also I totally agree with In the Shadow of Blackbirds! One of my favorites of the year for sure!
    My TTT

  6. Lovely picks! I loved both These Broken Stars and Splintered! I didn’t love Splintered for the same reason though–I’m not a fan of either love interest, but I do love the world and all of the fantasy elements in the novel. 😀

    My Favorite 2013 Reads

  7. A Project Cain is still on my list and I see it’s available as an audiobook? That is awesome and I think I’m going to get a copy now!

    Also, I really want to read Pantomine, I love the Strange Chemistry books, they are always pretty unique!

    Happy New Year!

  8. I Loved charm and Strange! That was such a unique read! I also really want to read The Archived I read Vicious by her and she’s an amazing writer! Lots of great ones I wanna put on my TBR list, too! Happy New Year! 🙂

  9. Great list. You’ve got some really amazing books on your list – These Broken Stars made my list too. I just got The Archived for Christmas and I am so excited to finally get to read that one. Happy New Year 🙂 My TTT.

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