Best Book of 2013

January 6, 2014 Challenge 48

When Bec came to me on Skype and casually mentioned the New Year’s Challenge I knew she had an ulterior motive: get me to join in. She knows I can’t resist a challenge like this! Plus it’s like our 2013 wrap up all in one challenge! The challenge for each day is posted on the left in the picture, but here’s a little more about it:

The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge will begin on January 1st and run 14 days. It is going to be fun, it is going to be easy and hopefully it will get you motivated in 2014.  Each day I will post my own prompts and at the bottom I will add a linky so you can add your own posts. (Parajunkee)

I won’t be participating every day because I want to post some reviews I promised would be up, but I will be doing most of them! Bec is doing the challenge over her blog Ransom Reads every day so go check her posts out!

Best Book of 2013


Finding the best book of 2013 was pretty hard, considering I was lucky enough to find around fifteen reads this year that I gave five stars. However, only a few of them were published this year and to be fair and follow the rules, I picked two from that list.

For contemporary fans:



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Read my review here

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

All of you that have read FANGIRL are probably nodding your heads right now, and those of you who have yet to experience the amazing-ness are probably saying, “This book? Again?” because you most likely see it everywhere. Let me tell you something-there’s a reason it’s all over Goodreads and book blogs everywhere. This book is something special.

For fantasy fans:



City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Foster
Read my review here

An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.


A book that gets far too little attention is my other pick: CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS. I would have never discovered it if not for the Debut Author Challenge but I am glad I did. This book is a hidden gem, it may sound like it have some traits of an average fantasy, but it is everything but. Totally unpredictable, and completely surprising, this book makes one of my favorite of all time.

What were your favorite books of 2013? Have you read these?

48 Responses to “Best Book of 2013”

  1. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    I’m guessing that my favorite book published in 2013 was either These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner or Crash Into You by Katie McGarry. If it’s a book NOT published in 2013, then Sanctum by Sarah Fine. Those three books were the ones I most enjoyed in 2013!
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…It’s Three Kings Day!

    • Alise

      I’m reading Crash Into You right now and am loving it! These Broken Stars is a book I have heard nothing but good things about so I can’t wait to read it!

    • Alise

      I read E&P and Fangirl and it was like reading from two different authors! So if you dislike one, you may just like the other :)

  2. Wendy Darling

    Well, I feel silly–I’ve had City of a Thousand Dolls forever but never got around to it! Clearly I have to try to get to it soon if it made your favorites list for the year. I liked Fangirl too–maybe not quite with the love that everyone else has, hah, but RR writes incredibly readable books. I read both that and Eleanor & Park in two days, and I definitely want to read more. Hope you have a great and bookish 2014, Alise!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Starters series & Social Club series: giveaway

    • Alise

      It’s an incredibly unique book, I so hope you enjoy it. So funny because on one hand I strongly disliked E&P but on the other hand I loved Fangirl! Thanks, Wendy-you too :)

  3. Leigh @ Little Book Star

    Okay I am definitely reading Fangirl. I just have to finish all of my ARCs haha. Made a deal with myself. I’m not really a fan of fantasy books so I’m not sure if I’m going to read that one soon. But if I’m looking for a fantasy read, I’ll check that one out first since you recommended it! :)

    • Alise

      xD I wish I could follow my rule about that but, alas. ;) Aw, that’s okay! Some genres just aren’t for everyone!

    • Alise

      Yes, that is inspiring, isn’t it? :D

      I so agree! I almost wonder why the book would have been like if the POV switched between the two sisters.

    • Alise

      Yeah, that’s how I read the two as well. Although I have to stay if you do not enjoy E&P you could still totally enjoy Fangirl, that’s what happened to me!

  4. Emily

    YAY for Fangirl!! :D It was such a lovely book :3 I have to reread it soon!! And I’ve actually not heard of City Of A Thousand Dolls before :O (I’ve been hiding under a rock??) And since you recommend it so highly, Alise, I simply must read it soon!! :)
    Thanks for sharing, Alise!! ^^
    Emily recently posted…Making Friends in the Blogsphere

    • Alise

      Nah, a lot of people haven’t heard of it! I’m just glad people know about it now haha. It’s a really great fantasy.

  5. A Canadian Girl

    I still need to read City of a Thousand Dolls but loved Fangirl. My favourite reads of 2013 ended up being Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Shadow and Bone series – I finally read both books – and Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest.

    • Alise

      Ah, I love Taylor’s books too :) I still need to read a title by Marillier but my coblogger LOVES her writing!

  6. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    As you know, I have already read Fangirl and it didn’t quite work for me. But I think I am one of those few who didn’t enjoy it which kind of made me feel bad. Bahahaha. As for the City of a Thousand Dolls, I’ve heard of it just now. :D Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Alise.

    I might give it a try this year since I am a fantasy junkie. I even checked GR to read the synopsis. And wow, it’s really cool.

    I have a lot of 2013 favorites and some of them are:

    1. Cinder
    2. Scarlet
    3. The Lumatere Chronicles
    4. On the Jellicoe Road
    5. Pushing The Limits series
    6. Red Rising
    7. Mistborn
    8. The Way of Kings

    and many many others.
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Book Review: The Promise Of Amazing

    • Alise

      Aw, don’t! I was like that with the Fifth Wave! Everyone has different tastes.

      It’s a great book. If you ever read it-let me know? :)

      I need to catch up with Scarlet and start the Lumatere Chronicles, I’ve heard nothing but great things about that book. The Way of Kings is also a new name to but I like the sound of it!

  7. Rad

    I have Fangirl on my Kindle, need to bump this on my TBR pile because I have only heard things about it. I’m not really a FanFiction person but it is rather interesting to read about someone who is so dedicated to it. So many books that I should’ve read last year! I need to up my game!
    Rad recently posted…Amir’s All-Time Favorite Books!

  8. Summer/Sunny

    I have read Fangirl (LOVE LOVE LOVE), but not City of a Thousand Dolls and now I know I NEED to. I saw it floating around, but then it’s like it disappeared and I completely forgot about it!

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