2013 Best Historical/Contemporary Realistic Reads

So I am starting my Blogoversary/Yearly Review posts with a bang! This year I have read MANY fantastic realistic fiction books, a lot more than I have in years past. So this list will be massive, and will cover both historical and contemporary reads. Some of these books I reviewed earlier this year, so I have included the links to the full reviews. Many of the books I have read this year I didn’t get a chance to review, so I will take the time to mini review them now. =)

These books are listed in no particular order.

13477676Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Leonard Peacock

My Snippet Review: It’s a book about hard subject matter, but Matthew Quick tackles it in a really realistic way. Leonard is a character that you know, that you relate to, that you just want to reach out and hug. And throughout this book, Leonard goes through some emotional thought processes. This book is powerful. Powerful and overwhelming and heartbreaking. But it deals with issues that are so relevant in culture today.
(Link to My Full Review)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell16068905

My Snippet Review: From beginning to end, I was engrossed with all of the stories being told. Cath’s journey through navigating starting college with family issues and trying to keep up with her passion of writing fanfiction. But there is also the fanfiction story itself, which we get at the beginning of every chapter as well as snippets within the chapters. All of the characters–both real and fanfictional–are unique and intriguing. I fell in love with every single aspect of this novel. There is something about a coming of age, new adult story revolving around a HUGE story in and of itself. LOVE LOVE ALL THE LOVE!
(Link to My Full Review)

17237214Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

My Snippet Review: This book is one of the most powerful stories I have ever read. These are the stories that need to be told, and David Levithan tells them with such beauty and grace and poignancy. The words on these pages are hauntingly beautiful with truth abounding. This is truly one of those stories that sticks with you long after you finish. Levithan tells many stories simultaneously, weaving in and out of each moment by using the omniscient collective narrator. Two Boys Kissing is a book that you just have to read, and it will affect you. Love.

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler 16058645

My Snippet Review: I love emotional reads–and The Bookstore is one of those stories that immediately sucks you in! I felt an immediate connection to Esme, and that connection was deep and full of understanding and empathy. I experienced this story with her. And I fell in love with the bookstore–The Owl–and all of its unique quirkiness and cozy comfort. This story is enchanting and has ALL THE FEELS, and it is one that you don’t want to let go of anytime soon.
(Link to My Full Review)

13069935Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

My Snippet Review: Oh wow. Yet another powerful and thought-provoking story. This book is such an emotional and imaginative read. A.S. King has created a character that you as a reader can immediately connect with. Sending love to the passengers and receiving comfort from far away, Astrid stuggles and grows, and as a reader you go through all of the emotions with her. A.S. King is an affective writer–this was a story that stayed with me for a really long time after I finished. Love.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 15790873

My Snippet Review: Holy Crap Cute-sicle! I enjoyed this book from beginning to end! This is one of those books you pick up because it just looks so adorable. But Jennifer E. Smith throws in some not so fluffy family matters that gives this sweet read some depth. I love You’ve Got Mail, and this is a very similar storyline. Smith’s writing is so addicting that it was really hard for me to put this book down! A fun, cutesy, feel-good read!

15745753Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

My Snippet Review: What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said? Nothing really. This book is every bit as great as you have probably heard! Eleanor and Park represent two sides of the same coin. Both individuals haven’t found a place to fit in. Both deal with their own unique sets of family problems. Both can stand on their own two feet. And both find solace in each other. Some of the best characters I read this year. This one is an emotional ride.

Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzpatrick 15818082

My Snippet Review: This book is all sorts of awesome! From a loveable MC to a great storyline to the quirky, nerdy banter between characters, Destiny, Rewritten is nonstop entertainment! This story is about a search for self as well as a lost book, and it’s about finding (or rewriting) your destiny. Emily is such a hoot of a character, you just can’t help but love her and cheer her on! A great one-sitting read for any age!
(Link to My Full Review)

12842115Just One Day by Gayle Forman

My Snippet Review: This is the story of a girl who spends one day acting completely out of the norm for her and spends a year really trying to figure out who she is.  Just One Day pulls you in immediately and sends you on the same emotional roller-coaster ride that Allyson goes through. She is such an easy character to relate to (though sometimes you might want to poke/prod/slap/hit her on occasion), and her story is everyone’s story at this turning point age. So don’t give up on her.
(Link to My Full Review)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz12000020

My Snippet Review:This is a story about friendship, but it is more than that. It is a story about family, but it is more than that. This is a story about finding yourself, but it is more than that. This is a story about love and truth, but it is more than that. This is a story about living, but it is more than that. This is a story about life, but it is more than that. Aristotle and Dante really do discover the secrets of the universe. And it is beautiful.

15753740The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

My Snippet Review: An adult fiction novel that incorporates tragic memory into difficult present situations, The Storyteller is a book that will definitely make you think! This is a story of the Holocaust that is told in such a unique, intertwining way, and told with such a lyrical voice. Jodi Picoult knows how to take a taboo subject and create an engaging and unpredictable story around it. This is yet another emotional and impacting story that will leave you speechless.

Once by Morris Gleitzman 7061392

My Snippet Review: Once is the first in a series telling the story of a boy trying to survive during the Holocaust. This book has such a unique narrative voice, told by a young boy who really doesn’t understand what is going on. He just wants to find his family, but many things get in his way. Felix is a boy with a big imagination, and he leans on the stories in his head to get him through the difficult to understand days. Morris Gleitzman has such a way with words that makes this story incredibly beautiful.

19063The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My Snippet Review: This is a book of many stories, all of which center around a young girl named Liesl. And I loved every single one. As every story develops independently, Death weaves them all together into one complete story. Every character that Markus Zusak writes is written so purposefully that you cannot help but falling in love with all of them. And Death’s narration was so incredibly unique, it set such a somber tone for the book. I am looking forward to seeing this story on screen!

~*~*~*~

So, these are my 4 and 5 star realistic reads. I know I use the word beautiful a lot, but seriously….all of these books are just so beautiful. Did you just love one of these? Let me know, we can discuss!

Love and Scented Candles,
Jennifer

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