Caffeinated 2013 Top Ten Favorite “Young Adult” Reads

December 31st, 2013 Kimberly Event 97 Comments

31st Dec

I read three hundred books in 2013 and quite a few were from the Young Adult shelves. My favorite genres for YA tend to be dystopian, paranormal, fantasy, historical and horror. I read some fantastic books this year and bringing the list down to my top ten favorite reads was not an easy task.

Top 10

In no particular order my Caffeinated 2013 top ten favorite “young adult” reads

The Waking Dark
The Waking Dark
by Robin Wasserman
Genre: Horror
Purchase: Amazon

They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn’t even know why she killed—or whether she’ll do it again. Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander’s, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who’s not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

The Waking Dark was a chilling tale. Set in the small town of Oleander, Kansas it shares what happens when things go terribly wrong and the small-town is cut of from the outside world. Part science-fiction, part psychological thriller this tale kept me engaged. My review of The Waking Dark

by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Genre: Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth… Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I loved Cinder, and was worried when I cracked open Scarlet but Meyer quickly cast aside my fears and gave us another action-packed tale. I loved everything from the humor to the suspense. My review of Scarlet/Cinder

by Sherry D. Ficklin, Tyler Jolley
Series: The Lost Imperials #1
Genre: Steampunk, Science-fiction
Purchase: Amazon

Welcome to the war. The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it. The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream. Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war. When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.

As a Whovian and lover of time travel Extracted captured me from page one and never let go. I loved the two different time traveling groups and the side romance. From gadgets to fixed points in time this had the geek in me drooling. My review of Extracted

Star Cursed
Star Cursed
by Jessica Spotswood
Series: Cahill Witch Chronicles #2
Genre: Paranormal
Purchase: Amazon

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves. Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war. In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

From the historical setting to the prophecies and dark world Spotwood has captured my attention with Cahill Witch Chronicles. Star Cursed was a worth predecessor to Born Wicked. My review of Star Cursed/Born Wicked

5th Wave
The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
Series: The Fifth Wave #1
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Purchase: Amazon

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey. After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Incredibly captivating, Yancey brought us an Alien invasion in 5th Wave. From the characters, to the bone chilling waves I could not put this down. My review of 5th Wave

by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Genre: Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon

There are no heroes. Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

From the prologue Sanderson had me. This was a thrilling beginning with a mind-boggling twist, cool abilities and an unlikely hero who captured my heart. My review of Steelheart

Crown of Midnight
Crown of Midnight
by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt. But her heart never wavers.After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

An outstanding second book Crown of Midnight impressed me from the world to the character growth. Celaena is a wonderfully complex character and I became complete swept up in her journey and pain. I cannot wait for the final book. My review of Crown of Midnight/Throne of Glass

Unravel Me
Unravel Me
by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #2
Genre: Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon

Tick tick tick tick tick it’s almost time for war. Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

I have crazy mad love for Mafi’s lyrical writing style and have quickly consumed all of the books in this series, including the novellas (a must in my opinion) I was torn between Adam and Warner. After reading Fracture Me I have chosen a side..LOL  I cannot wait to see how this all ends. My reviews of Unravel Me/Shatter Me/Destroy Me/Fracture Me

Dark Triumph
Dark Triumph
by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
Genre: Dark Historical Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for? This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

Robin LeFevers has created such an amazing tale from the young assassins to the men who love them. Steeped in history with a captivating plot and kick-ass characters I was completely enthralled while reading Dark Triumph. This is the first book I ever bestowed six cups of coffee too. The first book Grave Mercy was excellent and I never imagined that Dark Triumph would blow it out of the water..but it did! My review of Dark Triumph/Grave Mercy

Bone Season
The Bone Season
by Samantha Shannon
Series:Bone Season #1
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing. But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army. Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

From the breathtaking world to the characters Bone Season by Samantha Shannon stole my breath away. The first in a new epic series, I was fascinated by the complexity of the world and drawn to the characters. I cannot wait to continue this journey. My review of Bone Season

Honorable Mentions: Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa,  Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay and Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

What were some of your favorite YA reads during 2013? 

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

97 Responses to “Caffeinated 2013 Top Ten Favorite “Young Adult” Reads”

  1. Lauren

    Wow I could not agree more with this list! I’d put all of these on my list too, except for Extracted, only because I haven’t read it yet. But based on the other books, I should probably do that, it’s in fantastic company! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh Lauren, you are a time traveling Whovian right? You must read Extracted it was so good! I am so glad you like my top ten picks, it was hard but I think I got it right 🙂

  2. Jan

    Great list, Kimba! I’ve read some of the books or prior books in this list and some I’ve bought, but not read yet so this will give me incentive to read some more of these authors!

    As always I’m in awe of you, Kimba, reading so many books!

  3. Danie

    Okay, really, how is it possible that the only book I’ve read from this list is Unravel Me. What is my deal!? I have so much love for Tahereh Mafi, it’s ridiculous. She’s doing a signing in February, on my birthday, about 40 minutes away from where I live. I’m totally going and am SUPER SUPER excited. Happy birthday to me!!!

  4. Dani

    Great picks! It is just so sad I haven’t had the time to pick any of them up to read. Hopefully this year…. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I read over 300 books and didn’t read everything I wanted …it happens 🙁

  5. Alexa

    I enjoyed Scarlet but not as much as I liked Cinder. I really hope Cress is on par with Cinder for me.
    I loved loved Unravel Me! It was my number one read of the year and I can’t wait to see how it all ends.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Cyn

    yay young adult! I love your list. Scarlet & Dark Triumph, was so amazing, I can’t wait for more the series. There’s definitely a few I have on my TBR list that I’m hoping to get to. I heard Steelheart is super funny. Thanks for sharing!

    PS. Here’s my Top Ten lists if you like to some out (:

  7. Sarah

    I adored Scarlet. I was a little worried too before I read it, but I actually thought it was even better than Cinder. I have high hopes for Cress.

    And Crown of Midnight was wonderful too. I definitely think that Maas continued with some awesome world building.

  8. Michelle

    I almost read 200 this year, just 11 books short. You have such amazing books on this list! I’m reading Steelheart this month and I can’t wait. Happy new year!

  9. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    Congrats on reading so many books Kimba! That’s wonderful 🙂 I only just reached my reading goal of 170.

    The 5th Wave, Unravel Me & Crown of Midnight were amazing, I’m going to have to check out the other books on your list.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Woot..congrats on meeting your goal. I laugh because I read 307 books but didn’t get to even half the books on my wishlist..LOL I hope you get to read all of the books on my list..they were amazing!

  10. Kristin

    I had no idea The Bone Season was YA! I had heard it was a good book but I’ve JUST now read the synopsis and I think I must read it 🙂 Great eclectic list!!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am pretty sure it is and 267 others readers on GR have it in their YA folders. Ooo you must read it 🙂 Happy New Year!!

  11. Ginny

    Well crap. I haven’t read any of those but as you already know, I received Extracted for Christmas. I will be reading it very soon. Happy New Year’s!

  12. Pamela D

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but I am planning on reading Scarlet, Steelheart, and 5th Wave soon. 🙂

  13. Lark

    I am so in awe of your 300 books! I beat my own goal of 140 by 30 books, but some of those were re-reads.

    As for your top 10, I haven’t read any of them yet, but about half are on my TBR list (Scarlet is on my read-as-soon-as-I-get-home-to-my-library list). And I bought a copy of Extracted when it went on sale, so I’m glad you liked it so much!

  14. Lindy

    Oh Wow! You have so many books on this list that I want to read! The 5th Wave, and The Bone Season are at the top of that list! I’ll have to check out the rest since they’re your top picks for 2013!

  15. Farhanac

    I think I added all of these to my to read list on goodreads lol. They all look interesting and I haven’t come across them before so I look forward to reading them in 2014.

    Thanks for the recommendations and happy new year! 🙂

  16. Carmel

    As you know, I don’t typically read a lot of YA so at least now I have a few more options when the mood strikes. Are there werewolves in Scarlet? I think I looked into possibly reading that one at one point… *shrugs* ANYWAY, Happy (almost) 2014 top commenter Kimberly! 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes there are evil weres in Scarlet..LOL Happy New Year Carmel. My adult top ten comes out tomorrow and one has weres in it..LOL

  17. Candace

    I added The Bone Season to my WL because it’s on so many favorites lists. I thought it was adult though for some reason.
    Extracted is on my WL too and I’m REALLY wanting to read it. I might even have to visit the bookstore here soon because I’m dying to read it so badly.
    Steelheart is on my kindle. So one day…
    I agree with several you listed like Scarlet, Unravel Me, Dark Triumph and Crown of Midnight. Wonderful list!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Candace and I hope you enjoy both when you read them 🙂

  18. Jess

    300 books! Holy cow! I am jealous. Thanks for sharing your favorites with us. Four of the books you mentioned are on my TBR list. I am hoping to get to them soon. The Bone Season is one I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get to read in January. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  19. ShootingStarsMag

    I own The 5th Wave but I still need to read it! I also really want to read Steelheart and The Waking Dark. So many books, not enough time! thanks for sharing your top ten.


    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy them and and I so agree “so many books and not enough time” Happy New Year Lauren 🙂

  20. aurian

    I have read none of this list! I posted my own lists of great reads today, and did not whittle it down to 10, I just listed them all 😉

    • kimbacaffeinate

      To be fair I broke mine down into New Adult, Young Adult and I chose thirty books..and wait till you see my list tomorrow I added like ten honorable mentions 🙂

  21. Tammy

    ARG!! So many of your top ten are books I just couldn’t find the time to read, that were on my list: Steelheart, Scarlett, The 5th Wave–and I’ve heard amazing things about The Waking Dark. Great list! Wish I could read as fast as you do:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Three hours a day every day minimum and I still didn’t read all the books on my wishlist Tammy..LOL

  22. Michele

    Congratulations on 300 reads — that is amazing, my caffeinated reading friend!! *bows down to you* I love this post — you have several of my favorites featured, too! Wishing you the happiest New Year, and hope 2014 is your best yet *hugs*

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Happy New Year Michele..I hope it brings you joy and lots of books 🙂

  23. Jenny

    I’ve only read two of the books on this list. How is that even possible Kim? It’s sad is what it is. I of course loved The Bone Season so, so much, it definitely tops my list of favorites for the year as well. Scarlet is up there too. I need to read everything else on this list, but I’m particularly interested in Steelheart. I’ve heard amazing things about it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehehe..I feel the same way when I see other peeps list and I had 307 books..darn it!! LOL You read way more YA contemporaries than I am not surprised. I am curious to see if you have read any of my top ten adult reads tomorrow.

  24. Rachael

    Such an amazing list. I definetly agree with Scarlet. I read that book this year and fell in love with Scarlet and Wolfe. I think Marissa Meyer put such a unique spin on the story. Looks like 2013 was a great year. I hope 2014 is just as good.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I cannot wait for Cress Rachel and agree Meyer can spin a tale 🙂 Happy New Year!!

  25. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    300!! Holy Guacamole! I barely made it over 90 this year and I cheated and included some short stories and novellas! You are amazing!!

    Great choices too…most of these are all already on my wishlist and now I will make sure to bump them up!

  26. Christa

    I just read Star Cursed and it was amazing! And Scarlet and Unravel Me as well. This year was a great year for sequels wasn’t it?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet I am loving the Cahill series and cannot wait for the next book :)totally agree we had some awesome sequels.

  27. kindlemom1

    So many of these I need to read still! One day I really will get to them all…well maybe not but I will have fun trying!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehehe..yes I may never read all the books in my tbr pile but I sure enjoy trying too 🙂

  28. Mary

    Dang! Around 300 books?!? You’re even faster than me. 🙂 I only have about 170 marked on Goodreads but, I think if I’d put ALL the books I read this year on it and kept it up, I’d be around 250. Maybe a little less. I loved all but three of these — and those three I haven’t yet read (though I’ve now added them to my TBR pile!). A good reading year. Here’s to an even better 2014!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Glad to see those three are in your tbr pile! Congrats on your reading goals 🙂

  29. Renu

    Ahh, I loved TBS! It was such an epic read. Dark Triumph and The 5th Wave also made it to my faves. I like Unravel Me, but I have to admit that I enjoyed the first book more.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I can agree Shatter Me would be my fav of the two, but nonetheless Unravel Me stood out for me 🙂

  30. Trish

    I plan to read Scarlet just before Cress comes out and I’m really looking forward to it. And The Bone Season and Throne of Glass were in my Christmas books so I’m really looking forward to these. Great picks, YA for the win!

  31. Lupdilup

    I’m almost done with Throne of Glass! I’m so glad to see a book from that series on your list 🙂
    I also came to wish you a great, healthy and happy New Year to you and your family!!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love that series and cannot wait for the final book. Happy New Year to you too Loupe 🙂 I hope 2014 brings you “Happy”

  32. Angie

    I love the 5th Wave soooo much!! I have heard a lot about Scarlet too!! Plus I remember when Bone Season came out and everyone was talking about it. I really need to read that one like NOW!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Bone Season was unbelievable from the world building to the characters. Hope you get to read both 🙂

  33. Asheley Tart (

    You have some really good ones up here – Unravel Me made my list too and Dark Triumph was so great, but I didn’t think to add it to my already-over-10 list! I really really really want to read Steelheart and hope that I can get to it pretty soon in 2014. I’d love to listen to the audio – I love the narrator for that one, MacLeod Andrews.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo I bet Steelheart sounds great as an audio read. Narrowing down the list to ten is really hard, and you see I even had honorable mentions.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed it grabbed me during the prologue and never let go 🙂

  34. Angie F.

    I’ve only read three of these (Unravel Me, Scarlet, and Star Cursed), but two others (Dark Triumph and The Fifth Wave) are on my to-read! Oddly, I absolutely hate her writing, but Unravel Me is easily the best book I read this read. I read it in one sitting and actually forgot to eat that day, I was so into it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      OMG I love her writing style..LOL Yes you need to read 5th Wave before book two releases 🙂

  35. Brittany

    I loved soooo many of these too!

    Brittany from the Passionate Bookworms.

  36. Christine

    300?? I am so jealous! I wish I could read that fast & that much 🙂 What is your secret? You probably get asked this all the time…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Christine I read 3 hrs a day every day. 🙂 Not all in one sitting and sometimes more if the mood strikes. I am an addict and prefer reading to tv, movies, games etc.

      • Christine

        Of course the “secret” would be so simple! Now I’m thinking I should cut back on TV in the new year so I can read more books 🙂 Happy New Year Kimba!