A Year in Books

Books are food for the soul and this year – my soul ate exceptionally well.


On Friday, I shared my top five favorite movies of 2013. The ones that resulted in multiple viewings, collected ticket stubs, and all the smiles, laughs, and tears long after the credits rolled.

Today, I wanted to share my favorite books from 2013 that resulted in book hangovers, re-reads of favorite scenes, all of the notes and more emotions and feelings than one can handle.

It seemed fitting to say goodbye to 2013 by paying tribute to characters and stories that stole my heart this year.

If you’ve ever asked me for a good book recommendation – take this list as a starting point. In the interest of time (and because there are so many books out there to be read, especially a few under my Christmas tree) I’ll share a few lines on why I loved these books and link you to original reviews from earlier in the year that I’ve written: in case you need some additional reasoning.

Oh and be warned: I have the propensity to read a lot of Romance and a lot of Young Adult. So if you’re not into either, these book recommendations may not float your boat.

Again, in no particular order. Oh and because I like to be fun – an appropriate gif to sum up my feelings about the book.

1. Allegiant

One Word: ANGST

Allegiant is the final book in the Divergent series and while the reaction gif above may suggest otherwise: I loved this book till the very last page. I loved how the series ended. I loved how tragically, depressingly perfect it wrapped up and congratulate author Veronica Roth on her brave move.

If you haven’t read this series – do it now. Before the movie comes out in March.

Few links to get you started: GoodReads | Kate (aka book lover extraordinaire)’s Review |

2. On the Island

 Action Item: Falling for a much younger guy

On the Island was read on a whim when vacationing in Florida. I’d bought my mother a copy for Christmas and she had taken it on vacation with her, so after finishing it and raving about it, I picked it up on the beach one day. I pretty much read it start to finish, with the occasional jump in the ocean to cool down as I read.

Don’t let the synopsis confuse you: this was one of my favorite love stories of the year. It was also responsible for me staring inappropriately at 18 year old spring breakers by the pier in Panama City Beach. No regrets.

How to get equally lost on an island in your head: GoodReads

3. Unravel Me

Warning: Love Triangle of the Century

I have basically pimped out Shatter Me and its sequel Unravel Me to everyone I know. Tahereh Mafi is just the best writer and I love her and I want to be best friends with her.

I can’t say much about this book, as most of you may not have read Shatter Me (which you should, it’s so good). But let me just say that hoping for the team I am hoping for does breed eternal misery because I always pick the bad boys. And the guy half the fans hate. So you know.

To Unravel Yourself: GoodReads | My Review

4. Beautiful Bastard

One word: SEX

Beautiful Bastard was originally a fanfic (immediate Crystal approval) but when transferred from the internet to the pages of a book became even ten times better, hotter, sexier than it already was.

If sexy, asshole (on the surface) CEO boss man that loves sex is your thing, combined with strong female character with an appreciation for designer labels, lingerie, and sex: buy this book. Now.

To get sexy: GoodReads | My Review | To buy accompanying lingerie: La Perla (just incase) |

5.  The Fault in our Stars

Action Item: Buy a lot of kleenex and wine

The Fault in our Stars was one of the biggest sobfest novels I’ve read in my life.

Books don’t typically make me cry the way movies do (I think it’s the lack of the saddest score ever accompanying the sad scenes of a book). But this book, about two teenagers both facing cancer, will hit you right in the feels. Soon to released as a film starring Shailene Woodley, this book will leave you with smiles, laughter, and tears but above all, a heartbreakingly perfect experience. Okay? Okay.

To clear your sinuses: GoodReads | My Review

6. Entwined With You

 Disclaimer: This book is a bad influence

I have raved and raved about the Crossfire series, even though its reviews are lukewarm on GoodReads. I’ve forced friends to read it. I’ve sworn time and time again that in many ways, it’s better than 50 Shades of Grey (even though,  Christian Grey is still my favorite broken, smutty literary character). I’ve also noticed that many of my fanfic reading friends hated it but RL romance loving friends, loved it.

Not for the faint of heart – the series of books about Gideon and Eva is sure to please you (pun intended) if you’re looking for juicy smut with a pinch of mystery and a cure for any 50 Shades of Grey withdrawal – pick up this series today.

For all the smut: GoodReads | My Review

7. Gone Girl

Three Words: Psychological Shit Show 

This was the first book I read in 2013. It was also one of the most edge-of-my-seat books I’ve read this year (and quite frankly in my life). Hence the choice gif.

This book is becoming a movie starring Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris and that chick from the Blurred Lines video. I highly recommend reading the book before the movie as the experience is sure to drive you mad, fill you with adrenaline and it’s a rush I promise you never knew you needed.

For all your suspenseful needs: GoodReads | My *Partial* Mid-way Review 


So – if I had to pick, which would I pick as my favorite book of 2013?

Wait for it….

Gone Girl. Definitely Gone Girl, even a year and a couple dozen books later.

What were you favorites this year? What must read books of 2013 would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below OR fire me off a tweet @crystalcrichard!

And from this champagne loving gal who is looking forward to a memorable night on the town with my amazing friends –  wishing you all a fun, sexy, debaucherous New Year’s Eve!

I’ll see you in 2014!

x C x

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