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 Associate Editor Tricia Carr shares her favorites of this past year:
Disclaimer: I love YA dystopian fiction. Give me a pile of Hunger Games-esque teen thrillers and I’m happy. When I read the publisher’s summary of Pawn, which describes an America where citizens are categorized by a number at age 17 that dictates their quality of life, I knew I had to read it. The action picks up immediately as heroine Kitty is running from her fate as a III. From beginning to end, Carter is ruthless in her portrayal of the horrors of the government, the flaws of her characters and the almost impossible choices they must make. But she balances these eerie aspects by successfully creating a realistic, dystopian setting — that could have been completely outlandish if done wrong — and characters who are able to think for themselves despite being thrust into a rebellion. After the pivotal moment when Kitty wakes up Masked, or surgically transformed, as Lila Hart, the niece of America’s Prime Minister (who I picture as the President Snow in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games), I didn’t stop thinking about book every moment I wasn’t reading it. If after finishing Pawn you don't want to read the next book in the The Blackcoat Rebellion series, you're crazy!
Omens begins a story about Olivia Taylor Jones and her birth parents, convicted serial killers Pamela and Todd Larsen, during which we remain just as bewildered by her parents’ supposed innocence as Olivia. Through her heroine, Armstrong expertly takes readers through a mystery set in a creepy gothic town called Cainsville while supplement chapters hint at some sort of underground paranormal society that we’ll learn more about later in the series. Though the setting propels this book to another level, the characters are what make it truly riveting. Olivia is perfectly naive and readers feel each of her frustrations. I shouldn’t have, but I loved Gabriel Walsh, the brutally honest, selfish and super-hot lawyer. There are characters to fulfill some stereotypes, such as the traditional inhabitants of a small town, but Armstrong makes each of them integral to the story. While reading, I was simultaneously fighting off the chills and analyzing the latest clue in relation to the big picture. I can’t wait to do it all over again in the sequel, Visions, coming in August 2014.
Do you and Tricia 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!