photo courtesy of rickriordan.com
1. House of Hades
This thrilling installment of Rick Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus” series excited series fans with its character development, plot twists, action and romance. It earns the first spot on the list for its stellar entertainment value.
2. And the Mountains Echoed
The author of the bestselling “The Kite Runner” returns in this moving story about Afghan siblings separated during childhood and the different lives they lead. Hosseini spins heartbreaking magic with his realistic, moving tale.
3. The 5th Wave
The post-apocalyptic alien novel produces excellent character development and utilizes limited first-person perspective to its advantage in a unique way. Readers root for heroine Cassie as she struggles to survive the aliens, who are turning humans against each other to wipe humanity out once and for all.
4. The Elite
The second installment of “The Selection” series by Keira Cass continues the dystopian romance love-triangle begun in her first book. Although love-triangles can be annoyingly cliche, Cass avoids this by causing ambiguity with the reader’s feelings-no reader can truly be on one “team” or the other. Even more interesting, however, is the heroine America’s struggle to find out what is really going on in the “perfect” society that she lives in .
5. Clockwork Princess
Author of the bestselling “The Mortal Instruments” series, Clare finishes her “Infernal Devices” trilogy, set in the Shadowhunter world of Victorian London. Clare by far wins the “most interesting end to a love triangle ever” award along with a plot filled with action and adventure.
6. Cuckoo’s Calling
Robert Galbraith (pen name for J.K.Rowling)
Although it originally was unpopular, the “Cuckoo’s Calling” received good reviews and immediately launched as a bestseller when the author was revealed to be famous author of the bestselling “Harry Potter” series, J.K. Rowling. “Cuckoo’s Calling” was a masterfully written page-turner with a plot that could only be expected of the author who invented “the Boy who Lived.”
Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
O’Reilly and Dugard’s addition to their historical series provides an interesting take on the death of one of the most famous historical figures of all time, Jesus of Nazareth himself. Although it occasionally went on historical tangents, for the most part the book allowed readers to connect with the man who some call the “Son of God” in his last moments and be taken in by the political plots and schemes.
8. Sycamore Row
Grisham strikes again in the court drama genre, his writing in which is very well-known, with “Sycamore Row.” In “Sycamore Row,” Grisham revives the main character from one of his most popular novels, lawyer Jake Brigance. A battle over a mysterious will that leaves the family without any money pokes at deeper questions such as the true motive behind the suicide.
9. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is tale woven by Neil Gaiman about the supernatural and magical, friendship and childhood. It became popular due to its ability to transfer across age groups and universal themes. The book opens at a funeral and the protagonist and narrator must battle evil with his guardians the Hempstocks.
10. Doctor Sleep
A sequel to his previous novel, “The Shining,” “Doctor Sleep” follows two psychics with a telepathic connection who must fight a band of evil. This page turner is nothing less than expected from the legendary Stephen King and King fans will be pleased with this long-awaited sequel.
11. Dead Ever After
Harris finally finishes her long running series “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” with “Dead Ever After.” This is the conclusion of the tales of Sookie Stackhouse, which inspired the HBO Series “Trueblood” and has been continuing for 12 years. The final book follows Sookie throughout her adventures in the world of supernatural and romance.
12. Fiery Heart
“Fiery Heart” is the fourth book in the “Bloodlines” series following Sydney Sage, a member of the Alchemists, a group sworn to prevent humans from discovering the existence of vampires. “Bloodlines” is a spin off of Mead’s best selling series “Vampire Academy” and follows some of the characters in a new plot. “Indigo Spell,” the third book, was released earlier in 2013. “Fiery Heart” picks up where “Indigo Spell” left off, following conflicts in Sydney’s family as well as her struggles with her forbidden love, a vampire named Adrian.
Although most of the plot was fairly average and the change of setting took away from the best parts of the book, the characters Beatrice “Tris” Prior and Tobias “Four” Eaton were interesting and had good amounts of development. The controversial ending also added to the book’s charms.