Skip to main content

Teenreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2013!

Reviewer Picks

Teenreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2013!

There's no better way to start an argument with self-proclaimed book nerds than to ask "what is the best children's book of 2013?" We decided to get our lovely reviewers and Teen Board members involved in the debate by asking them to tell us a few of their favorites. See below for their picks, and a few fun quotes. Do you agree with their choices? 


Alice Dalrymple

  • SIEGE AND STORM: Grisha Trilogy, Book Two by Leigh Bardugo
    A sea serpent, a pirate prince, and a flying machine...this sequel blew me out of the water! Bardugo keeps up the action and excitement the whole way through and starting out with a Darkling encounter was pure genius.
    Just when you thought vampires were over, here comes Holly Black with a completely new take on these fascinating monsters. I loved that she gave some reality to the myth, focusing on how the human world might react if it turned out vampires were real, and the dangers a predator like this would pose to society.
  • THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater
    Ronan happens to be my favorite character in this series --- his anger is so palpable and real that it feels like it’s right in your face as you read. I was thrilled that this book focused on him and I loved that we finally learned his back story. At first I was frustrated that Stiefvater never explained anything and seems to delight in only giving her reader tantalizing bits and pieces of the Glendower/Cabeswater mystery, but then I realized that this was part of her genius.  Real magic shouldn’t be perfectly logical or follow any set rules; it should be governed by emotions and instinct.

Anita Lock

Ashley Bressingham

  • FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
    If you've ever been a part of a fandom, then you need to read this book! The main character, Cath, has such an obsession with the fandom that she's a part of that she has a hard time living her own life. It's great to see her grow and change in this book! 
    I've been a fan of Holly Black for a long time now - I love her Modern Faerie Tale series! And she definitely did not disappoint with this book! Her concept of vampires is very different from the norm and it will leave you wanting another book set in this world she created!
    I had a hard time putting down this book. I loved how the author wrote the main character, Elise, with such a realistic and genuine point of view of high school issues. Plus the cover is absolutely stunning!

Ashley Tran

  • OCD LOVE STORY by Corey Ann Haydu
    I loved the voice the characters had and the energy of the piece. The book was honest but funny, heartbreaking in some ways but also heartwarming in others.
  • THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas
    It brought together the elements I love in fantasy: strong characters, an interesting world, and a plot tangled in romance and destiny.

Benjamin Boche

  • THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE by Jonathan Stroud
    Ghost hunters with a little bit of magic thrown in?  A full-fledged mystery where not everyone makes it out alive? A foundation built off of Sherlock Holmes?  Sign me up!
  • THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey
    You would be hard-pressed to find another book this year that is so reminiscent of what we enjoyed in THE HUNGER GAMES or HARRY POTTER.  The 5th Wave is just the start to what I hope will be an amazing series. 
  • THE FINAL DESCENT by Rick Yancey

Carly Silver

  • BATTLE MAGIC by Tamora Pierce
    BATTLE MAGIC is an electrifying portrayal of the horrors of war and the tolls it takes on mind, body, and soul.
  • BLACK ICE: Sherlock Holmes, The Legend Begins by Andrew Lane
    Sherlock Holmes is cleverer than ever in this globe-trotting mega-adventure.

Christine Irvin

    I was particularly drawn to this story because it is about a British girl who lives in India. I was born in India, of half-British heritage, so stories of this type interest me a great deal. And, the story was well told.
  • BEAUTY’S DAUGTHER: The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy by Carolyn Meyer
    This one was just for fun, a story about the daughter of the great and fabled Helen of Troy. It would have been difficult to live in this woman’s shadow, especially if you were her daughter and were not nearly as beautiful as your mother. Poor Hermoine.
  • VICTORIA REBELS by Carolyn Meyer
    This is a fictionalized version of Queen Victoria’s life, told from Victoria’s perspective. Again, I like books that are set in England.

Emma Kantor

Norah Piehl

Quinn Colter

Sheena Kowalski

Terry Miller Shannon

  • HATTIE EVER AFTER by Kirby Larson
    Thoroughly engaging sequel to HATTIE BIG SKY
    Ignore the not-so-great title, since this is a top-notch novel, much deeper and richer than that title suggests. When Faye and her friends rob an elderly woman, shame drives Faye to develop a friendship with her victim.
  • THE IMPERSONATOR by Mary Miley
    Although billed as an “adult book,” a fabulous read for teens, too, set in the “dirty thirties.” A prohibition-era mystery with a sassy, likable main character.


Alex R.

  • IF YOU FIND ME by Emily Murdoch
    While a somewhat sad tale, this novel displayed more than darkness: it beautifully portrayed the spirit of determination and hope, making it one of the most wonderful books I've read this year.
  • TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz
    This book appealed to me because Moskowitz brought the characters to life --- they weren't two-dimensional words on paper, they were tangible and raw. So ensued an attachment between reader and character that you rarely expect to see in teen literature
    I really enjoyed this novel because although it was a vampire novel, a genre becoming increasingly popular, it was in no way average. There wasn't a guessable plotline, and, if we're using the comparison of books to rollercoasters, this book was definitely one of the most thrilling and unpredictable.

Aliza M.

  • ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth
    The surprises were heartbreaking, but I loved to story and appreciated the closure for the series.
  • THE HOUSE OF HADES by Rick Riordan
    Riordan truly turned this book into a young adult read, which I greatly appreciated. He knows that his readers are growing up, and he's growing up with them. 
  • THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray

Alonzo D.

  • THE FALL OF FIVE: Lorien Legacies, Book 4 by Piattcus Lore
    I am a huge fan of the series, but this book really upset me for so many reasons that I will not get into.  It has an amazing plot and awesome characters. 
  • THE HOUSE OF HADES by Rick Riordan
    I am a mythology geek and it has a good blend of adventure, action, and humor.
  • REALITY BOY by A.S. King
    I truly loved the protagonist and the plot.  It was honest and humorous. 

Amanda P.

  • DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK by Scott Blagden
    Cricket, the main character of this book, was one of my favorite characters of this year. He was bold, sarcastic and brilliantly written.
  • ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
    I was intrigued by the '80s setting and the complexity of the characters
  • THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally
    Kenneally is one of my favorite authors. 

Ashley L.

  • CHAMPION by Marie Lu
    After seeing how far Day and June have come, the conclusion to the Legend trilogy was an emotional journey watching them survive in the midst of another war and fight side-by-side, just as before. 
  • CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas
    I was completely engrossed in the suspenseful series of twists and turns as Celaena uncovers more secrets about the world of magic and begins to realize who she is. 
  • UNITED WE SPY by Ally Carter
    With each book in the Gallagher Girl series the stakes got higher for Cammie, and the last book did not disappoint in delivering an espionage-filled, action-packed story that reminded me why I have always wanted to attend a spy school for girls. 

Brandon L.

  • COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher
    The book was published in 2012, but I only read it in 2013, when the paperback version came out. I am a diehard fan of the now 14-book series, and the core elements of it --- incredibly deep characters, razor-edged wit, and awe-inspiring elements of fantasy blended seamlessly with reality --- are still going strong.
  • FIRE AND ASH by Jonathan Maberry
    The conclusion to Maberry's The Benny Imura Series, this book was a climax worthy of ending its predecessors. With ever-increasing strife, impossible decisions and the answers to intriguing questions that spanned four books, this land of monsters that are alive, undead, and within us all was well put to rest. 
  • THE HOUSE OF HADES by Rick Riordan
    I've been reading the Percy Jackson series since The Lightning Thief came out in 2005, and Riordan's latest addition to the series didn't fail to live up to my ever-increasing expectations. The introduction of more Greek and Roman mythology, further character development, and fun humor and adventure put a smile on my face, even as I've grown older.

Charlotte L

  • NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland
    Although this book has an enticing romantic component, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is not just a typical summer beach book. In actuality, NANTUCKET BLUE is a coming of age novel in which the main character, Cricket, learns a lot about herself while spending a summer on Nantucket. This book was especially interesting to me since I've actually visited Nantucket myself. Nantucket has such a distinct culture and I think this book captured it incredibly well. 
  • INK (The Paper Gods) by Amanda Sun
    As a big fan of the Greek mythology involved in books such as the Percy Jackson series, I was pleased to discover a whole new type of Japanese folklore in INK. The setting of the book (Japan), and the richly developed plot and characters allowed me to tear through this book in just a few hours. It was highly intriguing and fresh! 
  • THE MOON AND MORE by Sarah Dessen
    I'm a huge fan of all the Sarah Dessen books. As an author, she has a knack for honing in on the very essence teenage life in her books. In THE MOON AND MORE I was particularly struck by the main character Emaline because she was likable but also flawed, which made her seem highly realistic.

Emily P.

  • ACROSS A STAR SWEPT SEA by Diana Peterfreund
    Peterfreund writes about a new and different world with a main character who characterizes my dress-up fantasies as an 8-year old: stylish and pretty on the outside but brave, daring and heroic in secret.
    Winters takes the reader back to the 1918 outbreak of influenza in California and mixes fantasy with deceit and trickery as main character Shelley investigates the death and ghost of her sweetheart.
  • OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys
    I absolutely loved this book! Set in 1950 New Orleans, a young girl strives for her dreams and outruns her history in this compelling and interesting novel.

Emma S.

  • JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman
    This was my top book of 2013 because I really connected with the main character, Allyson, and I've always dreamed of traveling around Europe. (Also, the romantic interest, Willem, is just to die for!)
  • OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys
  • THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith
    The quaint setting of a small town in Maine was wonderfully described, and the main characters had such a great compatibility! (Who wouldn't want to be email buddies with a celebrity?)

Harman K.

  • PIVOT POINT by Kasie West
    This book was so unique when it came to people having "powers". It is definitely my favorite book of 2013.
  • RUSH: The Game, Book 1 by Eve Silver
    As a gamer this book really connected with me. It is something that is a recommendation for any gaming fan.
  • ELITE: The Selection, Book 2 by Kiera Cass
    The way that Kiera Cass writes this book just makes your insides get all fuzzy and it makes all the feels come out, and not just because of Prince Maxon. 

Jenna B.

  • EMERALD GREEN by Kerstin Geir and Anthea Bell
    I had been awaiting this book for awhile and I think it tied up the Ruby Red series perfectly.
  • FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
    I liked this book because it was really relatable for teens who maybe spend too much time on the internet and it was just a very fun book.
  • THE ELITE: The Selection, Book 2 by Kiera Cass
    I love the world it takes place in; it kept me reading all night and now I can't wait for the last book in the series.

Kate F.

    In A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY, Susan Dennard combines mystery, romance, action and adventure into one fantastic historical fiction novel!
  • CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas
    CROWN OF MIDNIGHT has a kick-butt heroine and tons of action, and it's one of the best fantasy books I have ever read!
  • THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab
    THE ARCHIVED is written beautifully and is full of humor, action and romance!

Lexibex V.

  • THE TWICE LOST by Sarah Porter
    I have believed in mermaids (hey, don't judge) my entire life, and this dark twist was too much to resist. I was both romanticized and terrified in every chapter. 
  • LIGHT: A Gone Novel by Michael Grant
    To say that I was --- am --- addicted to this series is an understatement. I remember counting down the days for the final two books to come out (FEAR in 2012 and LIGHT this past April). I love --- again, understatement --- everything about this series. There was so much emotion and action and all the other stuff that makes a book truly amazing. I cried when I got to the last page because I didn't want it to be over! 

Lucy S.

  • ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth
    As the Divergent series comes to a close, Roth leaves her readers with an ending that will continue to haunt them for years to come.
  • ALSO KNOWN AS by Robin Benway
    Benway is one of the greatest young adult novelists of this generation, and this book is yet another in her repertoire that does not disappoint.
  • ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
    ELEANOR & PARK takes its reader along a journey of 80s clothes, mixtapes and a different kind of young love. It truly is a wonderful ride.

Lynn W.

  • STAINED by Cheryl Rainfield
    The characters of this book have such strong and passionate emotions, which really made the story come to life.
  • WHEN WE WUZ FAMOUS by Greg Takoudes
    The book really put me in the moment, and I even began fearing for the lives of the characters.
  • WITH ALL MY SOUL (Soul Screamers) by Rachel Vincent
    This book had the perfect combination of romance and suspense, with a really great twist at the end.

Patrick C.

Pranshu A.

  • ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth
    I absolutely loved how Tris's character develops throughout the series, but especially in the third book. She finally figures out what it means to be selfless and brave and kind and honest and intelligent. She figures out what it means to be Divergent and it was amazing getting to see her grow as a character throughout the series. It was the first time I'd ever felt so proud knowing a character, and it was a great feeling.
  • ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
    Everyone needs a little something cute and adorable in their life. But they also need things that will get them to think and ponder. This book does both in such a way that you can't help but love it.
  • PRODIGY: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu 
    Never have I read a book that makes me this anxious. It's just one action scene after another and you never know how any of them are going to turn out. Plus, the ending? FABULOUS. 

Thanh tu N.

  • ALL I NEED by Susane Colasanti
    Not your typical love story that fall in love at the end but keeping that relationship from the beginning to end. 
  • THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau
    This is not a book I would normally pick up but once I did, it blew my mind.
  • THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith 
    The book where I can fancy myself as a fan-girl