Welcome to Smugglivus 2013! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2013, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2014.
Give it up for Imogen, everyone!
The first fiction book I read in 2013 was Easy by Tammara Webber, and I loved it. The tortured hero, forbidden love and heroine-in-peril are all familiar elements (and they don’t always work for me by ANY means), but in this book they’re done so well, and I was totally engaged from beginning to end. I also loved the female relationships in this book. I don’t like it when all girls apart from the heroine are nothing but sidekicks—or, alternatively, nasty jealous girls trying to get the heroine’s boyfriend or bitching about her behind her back. This book steered refreshingly clear of both those traps.
I also read the newest Bridget Jones book: Mad About the Boy. Oh, Helen Fielding, you made me cry! I almost couldn’t forgive her for what she did in this book, but it was written so well, and Bridget is so much fun (and, shhh, there is a happy ending), that the author kind of won me over despite myself.
The book that I was recommending to people even before I’d read it was Pretty Girl Thirteen by Liz Coley. The premise was so gripping all by itself, and the UK cover so beautiful, that I was dying to read this book. And it was JUST as good as I wanted it to be. My fourteen-year-old daughter—one of the many people I recommended it to—stayed up literally all night to finish reading it.
Finally, I was kind of stunned by If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. This deals with some of the same themes as Pretty Girl Thirteen, but in a completely different and just as fascinating way. Given the subject matter, it could be a really bleak story, and it certainly has some bits that are hard to read, but overall it’s beautiful and uplifting.
What am I looking forward to in 2014?
Well, I’m hopeful that the next book in the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series will come out this year! George R.R. Martin isn’t the quickest writer, but I’m hoping the next book, The Winds of Winter, will be out in 2014. I have to know what happens to all my favourite characters (the ones he didn’t already kill off, that is).
I’m mourning the end of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris—I’ve been reading those for several years and it was always so exciting when a new one came out. But she’s apparently writing a new series set in the same world, so I’m looking forward to that.
I’m also bracing myself to read Fault Line by Christa Desir. It deals with a teenage girl who’s raped at a party, and I’m really not expecting it to be an easy read. But I am expecting it to be good, if not exactly enjoyable!
Ooh, I’m also promising myself Doctor Sleep, Stephen King’s next book, as my holiday read! Stephen King is one of my writing heroes. Every time he brings out a new book I think he might have lost the magic touch, and yet he never does.
As a giveaway to celebrate the holiday season, I’d like to offer a copy of my book, Linked, plus a choice of any of the books I enjoyed in 2013 (Easy, Mad About the Boy, Pretty Girl Thirteen, If You Find Me). Enter below!
Thanks so much, Imogen!
You heard Imogen! We’ve got a copy of Linked and a choice of one of Imogen’s fave 2013 reads up for grabs. The giveaway is open to all and will run until Sunday, December 15 at 12:01am EST. To enter, use the form below. Good luck!