Friday, January 31, 2014

Faves of 2013

I had a great reading year in 2013. I discovered a bunch of new fave authors and fell in love with some surprising books. I think my reading taste is mostly the same but it has changed in two ways:

1. I give up on books that are not clicking with me far quicker than in the past. If I am not into it, I don't persevere, and I attempted and abandoned at least 50 books in 2013 (some of them I was over 50% into). This makes it hard for me to say exactly how many books I read last year as so many were returned to my library unfinished or still sit on my kindle half read. I do know I completed 100 fiction books :)

2. I am drawn to more cruise-y, relaxing books lately. This is (I am sure) in direct correlation with how many academic texts I am reading for uni. I am so mentally exhausted after study that I don't have the energy to invest in dense and complicated works. I really enjoyed some light fiction and found some new faves that I may not have loved as much in the past but they were perfect for me in 2013.

My picks are a mix of really amazing books, and also books that I just really enjoyed reading :)

Top Nine picks -- in no particular order

 The Vanishing Moment by Margaret Wild

Loved this so much. Margaret Wild is amazing and this book was really different and completely touching and I loved everything about it <3

 All The Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

This was not at all what I expected ~ it's gorgeous and heart-breaking and lyrical and has this beautiful, stomach-hurting love story and page-turning mystery. I so highly recommend you check this book out.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

I love all of Liane's work and this book was her most addictive, most page-turningly suspenseful yet. I can't wait to see this on the Big screen! Liane is a genius and, IMO, one of Australia's finest writers :)

 Paper Chains by Nicola Moriarty

Gorgeous and sad and serendipitous and completely absorbing. I loved this story and it's characters and it's message. I am so looking forward to more Nicola Moriarty ~ she's amazing and writes exactly the kind of books I love to curl up and read <3

 Haze by Paula Weston

I trust by now you all know how much I love this series -- I am a huge advocate for the Aussie YA, upper YA paranormal series. Shadows (book one) was a surprise love for me in 2012 and the best news is Haze amps it up and is even better. This was ridiculously good and ticked all my boxes (especially the swoon/crush aspect). I love these characters so much and I especially love that I have no idea where Weston plans to take her readers with this series.

 If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

I loved this book so much. Autumn is a gorgeous narrator and I stayed up past 2am to finish it off. This was a sleeper hit which made it all the more awesome. I am so hoping Laura Nowlin has more for us soon!

Swimming At Night by Lucy Clarke

(Also published as The Sea Sisters). I just loved so much about this UK debut. The travel and surfing and Australia and Bali and the twists and turns were compelling and absorbing. Can't wait for more.

 Wildlife by Fiona Wood

Fiona Wood is amazing and Wildlife is a funny, sad, captivating, hopeful and touching stand-out. Bonus: camping (one of my fave settings).

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

I've read all of Kate Morton's work and this one is easily my favourite yet. It took a little bit to get into the book but it was so completely worth it. This mystery is stunning and the review/twist is outstanding (I did not see it coming). I love how her stories haunt the reader long after the last page has been turned.

And some bonus recommendations (because I couldn't choose which book to award the tenth spot to)

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West -- for giving me a late-read-into-the-middle-of-the-night good time (light hearted and swoony!)

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington -- for surprising me and sucking me in and delivering a truly captivating story with a lot of heart and depth.

The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn -- love this Aussie YA debut set in the Blue Mountains (my hometown :)). The plot is compelling and the characters felt real -- this is one for fans of Tomorrow, When the World Began.

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil -- for all the smiles and good times. Such a lovable and fun read.

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane A UK chick-lit novel that was just the right blend of fun and swoon and humour and heart.

Champion by Marie Lu -- for the brilliant ending and June and Day <3

Here's to another brilliant reading year in 2014!

Are any of my faves also faves of yours? 

(I just snuck this post in in January, haha. Winning!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Can't wait for books of 2014

I love the feeling of looking forward to an upcoming book. For me, it's like the night before Christmas/countdown to Christmas feeling. That anticipation and excitement definitely heightens my whole reading experience.

Sadly, I am seriously out of the loop these days -- however I do have a small group of books that I am so incredibly looking forward to reading this year. Here's 9 of them (in no particular order):

Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan
I seriously loved I'll Be There and news of the sequel has me so excited and expectant. I am planning on rereading I'll be There in the lead up. I have been wanting to reread I'll Be There for a while but I always force myself to hold out a tiny bit longer in the hope that I just may forget some of the story and have a first-time reading experience all over again. Does anyone else do this?

The Bridge From me To You by Lisa Schroeder
I love Lisa Schroeder. She is an auto-buy author for me -- one of the ones where I don't even need to read the blurb before getting pumped. This one sounds like Scroeder will work her usual heartache-hope-delicious magic.

Scandal by Sarah Ockler
I have all of Ocklers books and am stoked with her prolific publishing (pretty much one book a year). I am expectant for this one even though the blurb doesn't sound like my usual kind of contemporary I know anything Ockler writes is gold so I am sold on this one.
Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens
I love to get excited over debuts. Zero expectatoins and all the hopes of discovering a new author. I love this cover and, while the premise may sound ordinary, I just have a feeling it is going to be pretty special.

On The Fence and Split Second by Kasie West
Another contemporary YA from Kasie West. The Distance Between Us (her 2013 contemporary) was fun and flirty and relaxing and swoony and so perfectly matched my reading mood that I have the best reading memories of it. Ridiculously excited for this one. (Also very much looking forward to Pivot Point's sequel, Split Second)
Shimmer by Paula Weston
Gaby. Rafe. I miss you guys and I have been dying for more since Haze. Also, this cover is my fave in the series so far. Can't wait to hold it in my hands :)

Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty It's *finally* almost here. The next Jaclyn Moriarty. This is why I know 2014 is going to be a great year :) (I am actually rereading A Corner of White right now)

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke
I loved Lucy Clarke's debut last year (Swimming At Night/The Sea Sisters) and I am so so hoping that I will love her sophomore novel just as much and a have a brand new fave author to follow. Really hopeful and expectant for this one <3

Last year, about HALF of my fave reads were books I had never heard, stumbled upon randomly, new-to-me authors and books where I had zero expectation. This gives me so much hope for all the unknown-to-me books out there that will be new favourites by the end of the year -- alongside the ones in this post (I have high hopes that most these books will be faves for me).

Are you looking forward to any of these books? 
What couple of books are you most looking forward to reading this year?

And Hello! It's been quiet around here for a while as I took a break over summer holidays (which were truly glorious). Looking forward to catching up with everyone again (any of my readers still out there? haha...)

Tomorrow I'll be posting my fave reads of 2013 (slightly late, but tbh, it's never too late to talk about fave books ;) )

x Nomes