That time has come to say goodbye to 2013 and embrace the new year. I think we can retroactively dub 2013 as the year that Steph and I burned out. Big time. It’s been a long slog to make it through the year intact. And we almost quit many, many times. Thankfully, we had some awesome blogging friends to help us through!
Kara and Lynn from Great Imaginations, Christina from Reader of Fictions, Wendy and Kate from The Midnight Garden, Renee and Sparky from Fangs for the Fantasy and many, many more. We also had Kate helping us out with Buzz Worthy News this year which was an amazing effort.
Steph and I are dubbing this 2014: Year of the Buggery. Cause damn. I mean DAMN do we have some things lined up for you! But first a recap!
1. What were our favorites of 2013?
This was a really good reading year for me because I ended up loving more books than disliking. In fact, I have an entire Goodreads shelf devoted to all my 2013 favorites. But these are ones the ones that really stood out:
Fault Line by Christa Desir
This book haunted me! I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, but it tore at my feels. I try to avoiding books I know will leaving me sobbing in a corner, but I just couldn’t resist and I’m so glad I didn’t. This is probably one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve read this year.
Unteachable by Leah Raeder
All I have to say is HOT, HOT, HOT. I know a lot of people might be completely turned off by the whole “teacher & student” relationship, but Raeder really wrote this book in a way that made me feel uncomfortable and intrigued at the same time.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
This book, guys! I can’t stop thinking about it and I’ll be doing a re-read in January!
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
I pretty much loved all of West’s books, but this one was just so incredibly cute. No one writes sarcasm that sings to my soul like Kasie West.
For squeals and giggles and feels: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I love, love, love Rainbow Rowell’s writing and Fangirl was such a fun, lovely story. While it does have it’s serious parts, overall this book gave me giggles and heart flutters and one of the most adorable love interests I’ve read all year.
Best mindbending brain puzzle: Vicious by Victoria Schwab
Vicious is like Breaking Bad except not at all beyond the fact that they’re both dark and epic morality stories. A superhero book about what it means to be a villain? It may as well have ‘written for Meg’ across the cover.
Total Nervous System Collapse: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
You could argue that this is cheating because this book has been out for forever but a) I only read it recently and b) your argument is invalidated by the powerhouse that is this book. It’s like Beyonce, don’t ask questions, just experience it.
Favorite Series Conclusion: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
This book came out before I wrote for Cuddlebuggery, but check out my Goodreads review to see how much I loved it. 2013 was a pretty big year for trilogy conclusions and of all of them, The Bitter Kingdom was my favorite. It was a completely satisfying ending to a series I’ve come to love dearly.
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
It’s weird and a rather difficult story to get into, but Fforde’s latest series is near bursting with charm, quirks, and some of the most interesting worldbuilding you’re like to find in any work of fiction. It’s only flaw lies in the fact that the sequel is as of yet on the far, far horizon.
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
As plodding and indulgent as it is, the latest monster of an installment in Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series is great reading regardless, giving fans time aplenty to catch up with all of their favorite characters and see their many storylines spin off in some interesting new directions. The entire affair is adrift in filler, and works mostly as an elaborate buildup to the final two books in the series, but it’s riveting storytelling nonetheless.
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Grisly, twisted and a great deal more depressing than its more whimsical predecessor, Taylor’s sequel to her acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a hard story to swallow, but a worthwhile one. Taylor’s writing is as lovely as always, and her imagination takes the characters to intriguing places that should ensure her forthcoming conclusion is a worthwhile one.
2. What book(s) most surprised us in 2013?
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
This is one that I haven’t reviewed yet because I’m a blogger who is extremely behind in reviews (*smacks hand*), but it was amazing. Surprisingly, I almost DNF’d it because it’s such an odd book. The last 10% brought everything full circle and blew me away.
The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima
This year I discovered audiobooks and was so surprised at how much I loved it. The Seven Realms series was pushed on my by Andye from Reading Teen and boy am I glad. This was me while listening to this series (especially The Crimson Crown):
For Darkness Shows Stars by Diane Peterfreund
Here I am, cheating again, but For Darkness Shows the Stars deserves a mention because I connected to this book, er ship, in a way I did not expect and cannot fully explain. Kai and Elliot go down on my list of OTPs and the rest of the book is pretty damn fantastic as well.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
A quiet little tale of woodland magic and love, Ivey’s novel isn’t particularly exciting, but it is beautiful. Its premise and buildup lead to a thoroughly unexpected second half, and culminates in a startlingly bittersweet finale that ensures the book is memorable, sweet and powerful.
3. What were our worst reads of 2013?
September Girls by Bennett Madison
I don’t think anyone is surprised September Girls shows up on my worst reads list. I understand what Madison was trying to accomplish with the novel, and for that I applaud his efforts, but it just didn’t work out for me. I raged a bit. Well, okay, I raged a lot.
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
I’ve yet to review this one because I just finished the other day, but wow, what a let down. All my friends loved this one and it felt so flat for me. Poor characterization, terrible world building and a romance that made zero sense.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I’m a black sheep when it comes to disliking this well-loved novel, but the romance killed my happy cat.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
UGH. Reading this book was like wading through a mind field filled with commas. The writing style was definitely not my thing.
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard
I haven’t had a chance to review this one yet, but spoiler alert: it pissed me off really bad. It should have been so good, the writing was gorgeous, the premise was fascinating and the plot utterly failed to deliver. So much potential squandered on pointless romantic wangst.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
Even when read with prior knowledge of its infamy and a bracing for its dire quality, James’ debut excuse for a fictional romance is a vile and thoroughly unpleasant experience. Poorly written and offensive, a disservice to every theme and topic that it tries to handle, this courtship of one very stupid girl and her revolting monster of a suitor lacks even the “so bad, it’s good” quality to make it remotely worth picking up.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Marketed as a cynical sort of take on the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia series, this “adult” story of schools of sorcery and enchanted worlds is too haphazardly plotted and cynical to prove much of a comparison to either of the works that it so clearly resembles. Shallow worldbuilding and unlikeable characters make this adventure a mildly entertaining one and nothing more.
Steph’s diary. All she wrote about was how I didn’t respect her authoritah.
4. Book of 2013 that we felt was underrated?
Gated by Amy Christine Parker
Gated was a pleasant surprise this year with its addictive plot. I wish more people would pick it up because it’s a fantastic debut. Deranged man lures broken people away from society to create a cult? Strap in because you aren’t going anywhere!
Croak by Gina Damico
While you may think I’m cheating again, I am not because the series concluded this year and my thoughts apply to the whole thing. It seems like the Croak books haven’t received a ton of attention and they totally deserve it. Damico lures you in with laughter and then sucker punches you in the heart. These books need more love guys, they are love deficient.
A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
Though rightfully regarded by many fans as the weakest installment thus far in his Song of Ice and Fire saga, Martin’s fourth book is filled with enough fascinating character moments and narrative twists to make it an excellent sequel to the wonderful A Storm of Swords. Many dismiss the novel for its lacking of several fan-favorite faces, as well as its several fairly unassuming storylines, but the emphasis on the female figures of Westeros is refreshing and thought-provoking, and makes certain that things come an end with a series of shocking cliffhangers.
Quokkas. Here’s a picture of a Quokka I met three seconds before it bit me.
5. Review that we’re most proud of for 2013?
I’m really proud of a few reviews this year. For some reason, there were times in 2013 when I found it difficult to find the motivation to review. Yet, there were a few reviews that I look back on and feel I did a decent job.
The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf
I had a nice rage moment in this review that really reminded me of when I first started reviewing before this blogging thing came along. Heh.
The Collector by Victoria Scott
To be honest, the main character Dante was so funny that writing that review was super easy and fun. I think it was the most fun review to write out of the entire year.
Fault Line by Christa Desir
I was so emotionally touched by this book, that I feel I poured my heart into that review. Something like that doesn’t happen often for me.
Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
Trying to sort out my feelings on this book completely fried my circuits. I’m amazed I was able to scrape together any kind of a coherent review at all.
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
This one was so much fun to write. Plus, themed gifs!
Any review I wrote whilst heavily intoxicated.
6. Books of 2014 that we’re most anticipating?
There are tons of books that I can’t wait to get my hands on, but here are my top picks!
Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
Breakable by Tammara Webber
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir
On the Fence by Kasie West
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Oh boy, there are so many. Top of the pile are Dreams of Gods and Monsters (epic conclusion in the works), The Raven Cycle #3 (I NEED MY BLUE/GANSEY FIX STAT. Plus, MOAR RONAN) and Lady Thief (gender-bending + Robin Hood + another OTP, I needs it now). Other ones I’m looking forward to: Second Star, On The Fence, Isla and the Happily Ever After, A Mad Wicked Folly, Cruel Beauty, Cress, Split Second, The Winners Curse, Sinner and many more that I am not thinking about right at this moment. Basically, ALL THE BOOKS. GIVE THEM TO ME.
And since Kat can’t be fucked to take anything seriously (I’m guessing she’s drunk), I’ll lay some 2013 stats on you. This was a busy year for us and I’m blown away by the fact that people actually cared what we were doing in our little part of the internet. I mean, GUYS, we hit over a million page views this year! That’s epic!
Busiest day of the year: February 14th with 3,398 views and the most comments of the year – Blogoversary Day 4: Guest Post by Author Leigh Bardugo
Most popular posts of the year:
- Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Seriously? Why?)
- The First Five Days on Goodreads (I’m amazed this post is still going strong after 2 years now!)
- Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (This was a pretty badass review, Paul. 😉 )
Top search engine terms that lead people here:
- Cuddlebuggery (Wait… people went looking for us?!)
- Henry Cavill (Clearly, you all have excellent tastes)
- Fuck you
- Sally ride
Top referring sites:
Where do you all come from?!
Golden Commenters (you guys rock!):
- Christina from Reader of Fictions
- Fangs 4 Fantasy
We have a good feeling about 2014. Mostly because we are psyched up and ready to go. What can you expect?
Well, for starters, you can expect to see a lot more of our pretty faces! Want to watch your YA News instead of reading it? Want to listen to it as a podcast on the way to work? Steph and I are here to help. You can even watch us livestream and contact us in real time as we relate and discuss the latest news in the Young Adult Genre.
We’re also secretly planning a secret project with a super special blogger… secretly.
With all the changes to the site, we won’t be posting Buzz Worthy News such as it is. Buzz Worthy News is DEAD, people. Dead. We killed it! Since you’re seeing it and hearing it with us, we won’t be posting it to the site anymore. But you’ll still be able to read it… elsewhere…soon. We’ll be coming back in the New Year with a new Buzz format. The Buzz.
And, by popular request, MORE DICK JOKES! I did have some prepared for this post, but they were all too long.
Steph and I feel so utterly blessed and honoured to be part of this community. We’ve had so much support and love from you guys, even though often we don’t deserve it! So we want to say thank you. If you’re thinking this means end of year giveaway then you would be 100% correct.
All the reviewers are giving away some books!
Pick two other books mentioned in this post. Yes, even 2014 titles.
Any two of Meg’s favorite books of 2013.
- To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
- We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
- The giveaway is open to International.
- When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond! Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.
- Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.
- Also, please understand that we reserve the right to disqualify any entries we find gaming the system. Cheaters never prosper.