June is almost over, and that means that the year is halfway done. While this is kind of a scary thought (where is the time going?), it also means that it’s time to evaluate what I’ve been reading and what sticks out as some of the best books of the year (so far).
I don’t know if it’s reading and blogging fatigue, a lot of changes in my personal life, an increase in the amount of activities I’m juggling, or some combination thereof, but my reading is way, way down this year. That being said, I’ve managed to read a fair amount of 2013 YA releases. Here are the best of what I’ve read so far.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
If you haven’t checked out Rainbow Rowell’s beautiful, moving Eleanor & Park yet, you should get on it. There’s something so beautiful about Rowell’s sweet coming-of-age story that stayed with me long after I finished the book. I’ve since passed the book onto several people, because it’s just a story that needs to be shared.
A great example of a dual-perspective novel that works, this one is not to be missed. Read my review here.
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Ruta Sepetys came onto the YA scene with her excellent Between Shades of Gray, and while I loved that beautifully written story, there was something about Out of the Easy that really resonated with me. Maybe it’s because Sepetys manages to bring the city of New Orleans (a place that holds personal connections for me) to life so fully, or maybe it’s because she manages to craft a truly suspenseful novel with a really great heroine. Either way, this smart historical novel should be on your reading list, whether or not you’re a fan of historical fiction.
Taut, tense, and gorgeously written. Read my review here.
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Erica Lorraine Scheidt’s Uses for Boys is going to be an uncomfortable read for most readers, and that’s part of what makes it so important. Scheidt unapologetically tackles the subject of teen sexuality, and she doesn’t shy away from any of the issues that come along with it. While this isn’t going to be a favorite read for every reader, I find myself continuing to think about this one weeks later. It’s beautiful, haunting, and nearly perfectly executed. This is perfect contemporary YA for readers who like their stories complicated, their heroines flawed, and answers that don’t come easy.
Those are the three that stand out to me right now. There are a lot of titles yet to be published, and there are even more titles I hope to get to that have been published this year, so who knows how this list will grow and change as the year progresses.
What titles have stood out to you this year? What are you hoping to get to still?