The Youth Catholicism (or 'Youcat') is a fantastic read. It took me almost two years to finish (it isn't a novel) but it was worth it. As a Catholic there is a lot of information in the Catechism, but I find it very dense and hard to understand - which makes the Youcat a fantastic introduction to the Catechism. It is written in question-and-answer format at a vocabulary and syntax level of a young adult (ages 16+). I love this so much that it is my default gift to anyone being confirmed in the Catholic church because it has so much useful, accessible information.
4. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
I finally got around to reading the last book in the Percy Jackson series. So many of my sixth grade students were reading the newest book in the sequel series (Heroes of Olympus) so I figured I better catch up! This book was funny, adventurous and ties in fantastically with Greek mythology. I would recommend this series to anyone fourth grade and above, even boys who usually don't like to read.
3. Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
I love, love, loved Aprilynne Pike's "Wings" series, so I purchased this book for my birthday. It did not disappoint. Although different from her fairy books (Wings), this book still deals with the paranormal (although I won't give the specifics, since the character herself isn't immediately aware of them). The main character has amnesia and cannot remember much of her past, but relies on friends and curiosity to make sense of her life. Although it starts a bit slow, by the time I finished reading it, I was in love and I want to find out what happens! Unfortunately, I have to wait a while for the second one in the series. =(
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
This is another book this year I read due to my sixth graders - I mentioned that I wanted to read the series while discussing the books with one of my students (I love discussing books with my students - I want to encourage them to love reading!) and she let me borrow her copy! This is they type of book you want to read all in one sitting - I definitely finished this one at two in the morning. I'm a big fan of futuristic novels and this one was no different. It is set in a world where there are different factions of society - the Dauntless (courage), Amity (friendship), Abnegation (selflessness), Erudite (knowledge) and Candor (truth). Each faction focuses on different values, creating a fascinating society. I was hooked and I've read the sequel (just as great!) as well. I bought the third and final book on Black Friday, so hopefully I'll get around to reading it soon. If you love dystopian/utopian novels or if you loved the Hunger Games series, you'll definitely love this book.
1. Iron King by Julie Kagawa
I never thought I'd find a series I love just as much as the "Wings" series, but this one takes the cake! This is a fantastic faerie tale dealing with the Seelie court, the Unseelie court and a new faerie court. The main character begins as an ordinary high schooler with a best friend named Robbie Goodfell - little does she know a great adventure is about to follow. The characterization, description and overall story are all exceptional in this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I definitely spent a couple of late nights reading it. I highly recommend this series!
So there are my top five books of 2013. What were your favorite books of the year? Happy reading!