RT Editors' Best of 2013: Elissa's Picks

This blog post is part of a series that the RT Editors will be taking part in during the month of December. Please check back all month long for each editor's installment!


With 2013 winding down, the RT editors thought December would be a good time to reflect on what each of us read this year and which books stuck with us long after we finished them. While this year's RT Awards winners won't be announced until our convention in May, we've decided to share our personal favorites of 2013, in no particular order. Today RT Web Editor Elissa Petruzzi shares her favorites of this past year:



by S.J. Bolton

I’m a romance and YA buff, but every once in a while I like a mystery palette cleanser. And that’s when I turn to former RT editor Stephanie, because the woman knows her mysteries. She told me to try SJ Bolton’s Lacey Flint series. In the first 10 pages of the first book, Now You See Me, I must’ve texted her six times, ARE YOU SURE? THIS IS DARK. But she urged me to keep going, and I’m really glad I did. Bolton is a master of suspense, and her protagonist Lacey Flint is as damaged, smart, prickly and loveable as a mystery heroine could be. I quickly gobbled up Dead Scared and 2013’s Lost — a terrifying, vivid, awesome piece of fiction — and am eagerly awaiting the next title.


Along Came Trouble
by Ruthie Knox

I know, this is old news for some of you, but I was delighted to discover rising contemporary star Ruthie Knox this year. Knox proves what all we romance fans know, that the genre can include deep, thoughtful and heartwrenching stories. Along Came Trouble features a trope I adore — the hero refusing to take no for answer, albeit in a non-creepy, non-stalkerish way. The way Caleb slowly wins the overly cautious Ellen over has stayed with me, and the scene where he admits to his sister that he wants to marry Ellen? Proves exactly why romance fans love Ruthie Knox. Swoon.


Wait for You
by J. Lynn

In 2013 the New Adult explosion continued, and YA superstar Jennifer L. Armentrout joined the crush with the addictive Wait for You. Cam and Avery signify everything that’s great about New Adult: He’s superhot and a little damaged, she has serious issues that she’s working past through, and also there are frat parties. Reading New Adult as, ahem, a regular old Adult, part of the fun is remembering your own college days. Not that I ever met a Cam of my own …



How to Lead A Life of Crime
by Kristen Miller

The special school YA trope is one that can feel done after awhile, but in Miller’s surprising, thrilling, twisty offering, it’s a true winner. This book stayed with me long after I finished it, for its daring, dark storyline and thanks to one of the best female YA characters I’ve read in a long while.



Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson

For me, Atkinson is an auto-buy author. I stalk her webpage to find out when her next release is coming out — and then I often weep, because the U.S. releases take longer for this British author. Atkinson’s books are always a surprise — even her Jackson Brodie mystery series is layered and magnificent. Her latest is nothing short of a work of art, as it follows Ursula through Life After Life.  




Do you and Elissa share some favorite books of the year? Which reads did you love in 2013? Let us know in the comments, and check back all month long for more editors' picks!