Top 11 Reads of 2013

Time for the end of year best lists! I’m picking my favorite 11 books of the year. Keep in mind I’m pretty partial to young adult and paranormal, so it may have that bent, but I have a few others I’d like to suggest in there as well. In no particular order, the books I’d like to share with you are below:

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Resurrecting Harry by Constance Phillips
Devastated by Harry Houdini’s unexpected death, his widow, Bess, clings to his promise to deliver a coded message from beyond the grave. She’s determined to provide the bridge for him to cross, just like she assisted him on the stage, even if that means befriending her husband’s sworn enemy.

In order to save the only woman he’s ever loved from self-destruction, Harry puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory’s keeper, who gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch. Even with Harry’s soul and memories, Erich feels out-of-place and disconnected from everything he once called his own.

Will Erich be able to help Bess recover from her loss and will any good come from resurrecting Harry?

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The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan
In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

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Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

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Bound to the Highlander by Kate Robbins
Aileana Chattan suffers a devastating loss, then discovers she is to wed neighboring chief and baron, James MacIntosh — a man she despises and whose loyalty deprived her of the father she loved. Despite him and his traitorous clan, Aileana will do her duty, but she doesn’t have to like it or him. But when the MacIntosh awakens something inside her so absolute and consuming, she is forced to question everything.

James MacIntosh is a nobleman torn between tradition and progress. He must make a sacrifice if he is to help Scotland move forward as a unified country. Forced to sign a marriage contract years earlier binding Lady Aileana to him, James must find a way to break it, or risk losing all — including his heart.

From the wild and rugged Highlands near Inverness to the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle, James and Aileana’s preconceptions of honor, duty and love are challenged at every adventurous turn.

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Savor by Kate Evangelista
Mature and explicit content. Not recommended for readers below 18-years-old. Yup, you’ve got to be that old to read my story. Consider yourself warned.

I’m Dakota Collins, a tough talking, eye patch wearing, workaholic photography student. Why am I important? Well, maybe because I get to spend an entire month with Vicious, only the sickest indie rock band out there.

You see, I needed a subject for my Spring Showcase introspective in order to graduate. During a chance encounter at a club I’d been sent to cover for the Daily Gossip, our ironically named college paper, the features writer I usually teamed up with introduced me to the band–by accident, I might add. It involved a run in with a scary, bald bodyguard. Anyway, long story short, I signed a contract to take pictures of Vicious.

I should have known their handsome yet way too serious for his own good bassist, Luka Visraya, wouldn’t be able to keep his hands to himself. He’s gorgeous and all, but the way he smiles spelled trouble with a capital L. I’m in for a long month with him around.

Crazy stuff happens and then some I can’t explain. So, if you want the skinny on Vicious and the events revolving around my stay at Lunar Manor, read my story.

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Death Lies Between Us by Jody A. Kessler
Saving the life of someone you love should not be the worst thing you have ever done, unless you are an Angel of Death.

Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana’s destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents.

In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother’s drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn’t know that Nathaniel is part of it.

Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?

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Last Keeper’s Daughter by Rebecca Trogner
To the outside world Lily Ayres is the privileged daughter of an old moneyed family. She is young, beautiful, and a talented horsewoman. All of which are enviably qualities, but few know that beneath this thin veneer of societal perfection lies a deeply troubled young woman. For Lily rarely speaks and is incapable of normal, human interaction.

Unable to understand why she is this way, she further retreats inside herself, until memories and suppressed emotions begin to bubble to the surface. Murder, revelations of her family’s hidden purpose and dark secrets are revealed as she is thrust into the supernatural world of Krieger Barnes, Vampire King of North America.

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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….

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Son of a Mermaid by Katie O’Sullivan
Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated.

After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan is whisked away to Cape Cod. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he’s trying hard to deal with feelings of abandonment… and the emotions stirred by a girl he meets along the shore.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. But two things stand in the way of lasting peace: the ambitions of the foreign King’s regent, and rumors of the Princess’s bastard child.

Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

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Color of Destiny by Julianne MacLean
From USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean comes a suspenseful and emotionally gripping tale about destiny and love…

Years ago, a teenage pregnancy changed Kate Worthington’s life forever, but she chose to follow her heart and embrace the future with the father of her baby–and her devoted first love.

At the same time, in another part of the world, Ryan Hamilton made some far-reaching mistakes as a young man, but learned important lessons along the way. Twenty years later, Kate’s and Ryan’s paths cross in a way they never could have dreamed, which makes them question the possibility of destiny. Could it be that everything happens for a reason, and we end up exactly where we are meant to be?

Includes Bonus Content: A Bookclub Discussion Guide
Book one in the series – THE COLOR OF HEAVEN – Free for a limited time! Book Three: THE COLOR OF HOPE – On sale now
Book Four: THE COLOR OF A DREAM – Available March 1, 2014

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and Shadow of Time by Louann Carroll
Kellyn O’Brien strives to create the perfect family. Then, disaster strikes. Her husband is dead. Three weeks later, she discovers her son is heir to Shadow Ley, a nineteenth century estate nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Reeling from Michael’s death, Kellyn moves to Shadow Ley. Soon, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary: broken drinking glasses repair themselves, stair rails that were once old are now new, and suddenly the estate of Shadow Ley is not what it seems.

She turns to the local historian and learns of Sha’ na ho bet, the angry fire god, bound forever to Earth. Native Americans tell her about Coyote, the Trickster who creates chaos out of order. Then the dreams begin with windows into past lives, hints of multidimensionality, and the promise of life beyond death.

Legends abound and so Shadow Ley, the home Kellyn had hoped would bring peace to herself and her children, becomes mired first in doubt, then in terror, and finally in love eternal.

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