My favorite book I read this year wasn't published this year. Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli was actually published thirteen years ago, (thereabouts) and if I had read it then, there's a good chance I wouldn't be a writer today. This is the book I started writing so that I could read.
This is a story about a strange girl names Susan, who goes by Stargirl, and the normal boy who falls in love with her. I don't hardly know how to talk about it, except to say that it's a thin little book with my entire teenage experience somehow stuffed inside. And I didn't relate the most to Stargirl either, although I was a weird kid. The person I related to the most was Leo, this teenage boy who wanted to be normal but liked something he knew the crowd would hate.
And they did. They hated Stargirl. Hated her for daring to be herself. And she's the kind of crazy, that you get it. You get why they treat her the way they did, you get that she's doing something wrong, even as she's doing everything right. You get why Leo is sad and happy, blessed and hurt by loving her, and why he's hurt by wanting to let go of her.
This is a beautiful, powerful, truth-filled story about teenagers in love who do nothing more than hold hands. If you haven't read this book yet, I don't care who you are, read this book.
My next favorite book I read this year could only be second in line because Stargirl was ahead of it. I read this book because Sabrina mentally punched me in the face when she heard I hadn't read this book, and that I had no clue who Peter Beagle is.
I do now. Peter Beagle is a freaking genius.
This book took me a week to read, which since it's so small, is far out of my custom. I read books in one sitting usually. That's just what I do. I had to keep stopping when I read, because the language and the words were so beautiful I had to give them time to settle in my brain and change the way I think and write. Let us hope anyway. He made me cry with a sentence. He inspired chapters in my books with a throwaway detail.
This book, (I apologize in advance for blaspheme) felt like scripture. It's so powerful and beautiful, and it's a children's book about unicorns. Amazing.
Number three on my list of favorites has to be The Dream Thieves. And may I say again, only on a year where I read The Last Unicorn, and Stargirl could this book possibly be number three on my list.
First of all... The prologue.
I read it eight times in a row before moving on to chapter one. Eight times. I called my sister and read the prologue to her while saying READ THIS BOOK. I typed the first few pages out in a comment with Melanie and Sabrina to say holy crap you guys it's THIS good.
I did like the Raven Boys very much, it's kind of a modern Fellowship of the Rings with kissing, or death. But the Dream Thieves takes the first book, and say's, "Ooh, so you liked that book huh, well here's everything you like, plus RONAN!"
RONAN!!! I love your POV so much. You break my heart, you darn sweartastic angry broken boy with a secret that haunts you. Oh. Oh, I loved it.
And then at the end, they bring back elements from the prologue, and it's like ten times better, and I'm like I know this! These words and I are friends.
The amazing thing, is I'm out of review room, and I didn't even mention the Gansey. GANSEY, or BLUE. BLUE! Or Noah, Or Persephone, or the Gray Man, or that jerkfaced dude with the glasses who needed to die, or ADAM, or BLUE AND GANSEY (Love them so much I must say their names three times.).
Or that ENDING.
Dang. Such a good book.
Dear 2013, what have you done to me? Only on a year with Stargirl, the Last Unicorn and the Dream Thieves could this book possibly be my number 4 favorite book read of the year.
If you haven't read the Fault In Our Stars yet, there is something wrong with your soul. Don't worry. The Fault in Our Stars will heal you. Okay?
What can I say about this book, except that I remember every strange vivid detail from this book, and I only read it once. This is not a book I'll be rereading, because I didn't just read this book, I lived inside it, and it scarred my soul forever. I honestly don't know how they're going to make any money out of the movie, because do you really want to live through this again?
Answer, yes. Yes, you do.
Dang John Green. I want to be your best friend, and also punch you in the face for this book, but I won't because the vlog brothers is the best thing ever, and I'd hate for that to end.
I guess the clearest way to describe this book, is that it will give you an emotional response. It may also leave you in an emotional coma. But read it anyway.
2013 makes me want to swear, because honestly, how on earth can Eleanor and Park be my number 5 favorite book read?
This effing book.
Oh man, I loved this book.
Sometimes when I rate a book, I regret the other times I gave a book five stars because it did the job, because this is a five star book that deserves every corner of those five stars.
This is a book I will carry with me, also literally, for a long time. My kind of imperfect characters. My kind of romance. My kind of twist ending. My kind of messed up.
This book is not the innocent love story that Stargirl is, but there's a very similar theme and feel. If you don't like casual drops of the f bomb, or romance that goes beyond hand holding... like a bit...ahem...beyond hand holding, then just read Stargirl over and over, and you'll be fine. But if you're like me and do all your sinning behind imaginary character's heads, please read this book, because it's powerful, truthful, dangerous, beautiful stuff.
I'm stopping at 5, because I'm making myself mad for the rankings on these books. I'm not going to over think it, this just is what is. I read almost a hundred books this year, and there are plenty that will stick with me, but these five may just stay in the favorite ever category for...maybe ever.
Can't wait to see what 2014 brings.*
Sheena Boekweg's name is on the cover of these books, Alchemy, and Funny Tragic Crazy Magic.