I'm not leaving 2013 without telling you about my favorite book of 2013. It's ironically called My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger. It's a YA book, but unlike most YA books I've read, it doesn't involve fantasy, depression, sulking or angst. If I could do my teenage years over again, I'd want the main characters, T.C., Augie, and Al, to be by my side growing up with me. They are asked to write an essay of their most excellent year, and they have experienced a few ups and down for such a young age, but they have an uplifting attitude, and not just for teenagers. I wrote this on my Goodreads review, but it's worth repeating- This is one of the cutest books I've read. It's written in unconventional formats of letters, emails and IM's so it goes by quick. The characters are funny and charming, and I found myself smiling, and occasionally laughing, the whole time I was reading. The writing is sincere and Kluger does an excellent job making the reader feel like they're part of the story. After I read the last page, I wanted to give the main characters a hug. My Most Excellent Year is one of the inspiring books I've read.
I also can't leave 2013 and write about books without talking about Ned Vizzini. I remember blogging about one of his books, and thinking about the depression that almost took my own life as a teenager, and how it slowly followed me into my 20's. I also remembered how his books were one of the best I've read on the topic. I don't know how it happened, but even after the death of Max, I haven't struggled with it like I used to, but I'll always remember how awful it was. I grieve for his family and even his fans. I can imagine he saved many lives with his writing, and that's the legacy I want to remember him by. Not by the legacy that what he tried to warn others about took his own life. I hope you're at peace now, Ned Vizzini, you'll always be one my favorites.