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2013 YEAR-END REVIEW: Shelley

PersonalizedBannerShelley

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: 

Fade by Santino Hassell & Ais –

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The culmination of a bazillion pages of fierce emotion. I read Fade in January 2013 and still think of these characters every single day. It’s ridiculous! Like my family, they have a piece of my freaking soul.

4.5 & 5 STAR BOOKS OF 2013:

ShelleyFaves

Overhyped book of the year

(What’s all the fuss about?):

Try” by Ella Frank – A popular hetero author crosses over to M/M and delivers an orgy of lather, rinse, repeat sex. One dimensional characterisation and a non-existent plotline make it not only underwhelming, but just …bleh! I shudder at the effort.

Underhyped book of the year

(Why haven’t more people read this?):

The Foxhole Court” By Nora Sakavic – COME ON PEOPLE!!!!  This is superb stuff; it’s the original misfit fiction. Indescribable, well written, exciting, fantastic dialog, edgy, a bit dark and chock full of intense characters that could easily stand among the cast of ICoS.  You guys are MISSING OUT!

Best surprise of the year

(didn’t know what to expect or the story caught you off guard or anything that just…surprised you…):

The Violet and the Tom” by Eve Ocotillo – This was a random self-pub freebie that I grabbed from somewhere, I don’t remember where. It was then abandoned for months before I casually decided to try a few pages. I couldn’t remember the premise or the genre at the time, but soon discovered a voice and a world that captured me completely.  This book sang to me, my bones hummed with satisfaction and then came the big twist and I was staggered, stunned and so very happy. Definitely one of my best surprises this year.

Auto-buy authors

(I’d buy anything these authors write, without a doubt):

J. Fally

Aleksandr Voinov

Santino Hassell

Jordan Castillo Price

C.S. Pacat

My reading experience in 2013:

So 2013 has been ups and downs, highs and lows, thrills and disappointments, but oh boy … have I loved it! It has been a great year; an educational year (coughs) with so many laughs and gasps, and too many feels!  I’ve learned a few things about this year:

  • I really do need to stay away from YA no matter how excited about the book Susan gets.
  • What Mpreg and tentacles mean. O.O
  • There are a lot of shitty books.
  • Enemas are the new black.
  • Katinka will corrupt me and I’m fine with that.
  • Michael J Fox is NOT the inspiration for all the TeenWolf fanfic.
  • Fiction press is a treasure box of untapped goodness
  • JCP and Ginn Hale are Goddesses.
  • I will pine for the cast of ICoS for the rest of my life!!!
  • On page sex is definitely preferable
  • 9/10 contemporary romance tropes bore me.
  • Originality and good writing is the key to win me over.

What I’m hoping for/looking forward to in my 2014 reading journey?

  • Being corrupted by Katinka
  • Becoming a genre whore in my quest for originality (still not touching Mpreg)
  • Discovering more miss-fit fiction
  • The final book of Captive Prince
  • Bone Rider II (Ha! I wish!)
  • Saying ‘Ha!’ a lot!
  • More fun times with my girls and this blogging thing :)
  • Really looking forward to more shared love, laughs, debates and drama of the m/m community as a whole.
  • And most importantly: Discovering my next 5 Star read!

Thanks for giving a shit about what I read this year. It’s been a great year, with the best of friends and some great reads. Book slumps be damned, I only remember the good stuff. Love you all my fellow readers. May you all be blessed with health, wealth, love and an abundance of five star bliss in 2014!

31 comments on “2013 YEAR-END REVIEW: Shelley

  1. Tracy
    December 29, 2013

    Great wrap-up, Shelley! (And me and you share the underhyped book! I totally agree with you that the Foxhole Court is a really inventive self-published story. Cannot wait until book 3!)

    Like

    • shelley
      December 29, 2013

      Thanks! And between us both I’m sure we’ll get people reading The Foxhole this year, there will be no more excuses of …’Oh I don’t like cliffhangers, so I’ll wait’ ;)

      Like

  2. Sue
    December 29, 2013

    FAAAAAAAADDDDEEEEEEE!!!!!!! HOLLAR!!!!!!

    Funny, I was saying to Jenni just the other day that enema’s are the new go-to for mm.
    Here’s the bits that I loved about your post: Michael J Fox, ICoS, Katinka, on page sex, YA’s a no-no. Agreed to all. xox

    Like

    • shelley
      December 29, 2013

      Hee hee. It HAD TO BE FAAAADDDEEEE!!!!

      And yeah, it’s funny how immune I’ve become to the casual on page enema. I’m just glad my books don’t come with sound effects or scratch and sniff patches (not that I’d scratch at that particular scene, ya know)
      I really wish I could like YA like some do, I really feel like I’m missing out ALL the freaking time, and then I read it and my brain goes to sleep :/
      Maybe I should stick to YA shorts? Do you think Susan would let me?

      Like

  3. ilhem3606
    December 29, 2013

    All the books I could steal from you are stored for 2014 and I can’t wait for us all to discover the new vintage!
    *cheers and hugs*

    P.S. : Fade was a blast!

    Like

    • shelley
      December 29, 2013

      Cheers! and hugs back (((tightly))) This had better be a good year or else you know I will be impossible!

      PS. Fade was the BEST!

      Like

  4. Ami
    December 29, 2013

    If the re-edited version of ICos is out next year, I probably will read it. I just have to be careful about this so-called cult/canon MMs. I don’t have good chemistry with them, yeah, yeah, you all know I DNF almost every single cult/canon MM out there. But at least I thought After Midnight was good

    By the way, I have to giggle about the knowledge you find related to Mpreg and Michael J. Fox/Teen Wolf. Here’s to 2014, hope you find a whole lot of new terms!!!

    PS: Susan, Shels will not touch YA anymore! *grin*

    Like

    • shelley
      December 29, 2013

      Okay, please teach me another term. What is this cult/canon m/m?

      And if you re-read my YA statement it’s not a promise to stay away, just an acknowledgement that I should – ha! :) I’m still contemplating the short ones …maybe.

      Like

      • Ami
        December 29, 2013

        Actually, it is MY own term you know … for those ‘classic’ slash series, like The Administration, ICoS, Special Forces, Mann of My Dreams, Captive Prince, Shadow of the Templar, etc. The pretty much self-published story that gain a lot of fans without it being sold by known publishers, mostly started as online serial/free-fiction.

        I cannot consider them mainstream, and those are like, well, the ‘cult’ MM for me, because it seem that if you want to read MM you need to read those. Something like rite of passage.

        But I found out that I didn’t have good chemistry with these stories at all (well, except ICoS, I haven’t read that series). Maybe because of the serial format. I dunno … I just can’t click with ANY of them. I realize that maybe my taste is a bit mainstream…

        Like

  5. Sheri
    December 29, 2013

    Ha (<— me too!!)
    I absolutely LOVE your list from last years experiences. Book slumps be damned and here's to a kick-ass 2014! Love you girl…
    *hugs*

    Like

  6. Becky Black
    December 29, 2013

    “Michael J Fox is NOT the inspiration for all the TeenWolf fanfic.”

    That made me LMAO. :D MJF was cute, but no, definitely not slash-inspiring hot.

    Like

    • katinka
      December 31, 2013

      I had to Google him..*ahem* and can see what you mean, yeah. I’m sure there’s a market for him (he looks like a grown up Harry Potter), but the word ‘hot’ doesn’t come to mind, no.

      Like

      • shelley
        December 31, 2013

        Oh God! My age is showing if you had to google MJF. Did you not ever watch The Back to the future movies? Classic stuff *snorts*

        Like

  7. Debra E
    December 29, 2013

    Great year end review Shelley! Looking forward to your continued corruption next year and I’m with you on the Mpreg – can’t bring myself to go there. :)

    Like

    • Ami
      December 29, 2013

      Yeah, I’ve read fisting, sounding, enema, beastiality (you know, being fucked by horse, though I still can’t understand the logistic *ahaha*) … but Mpreg, I still don’t want to go there.

      Like

      • Debra E
        December 29, 2013

        Hmm… You’re braver than I am with the horse lovin! I can read the other stuff no problem, though the insect play in one of the LHNB shorts pushed things for me. I also don’t think I can read the tentacle sex I’m seeing a lot of lately but you never know. :)

        Like

        • Ami
          December 29, 2013

          It was P.O.R.N. Debra — for porn, I pretty much read anything *lol*

          Like

  8. Jenni
    December 29, 2013

    Ahhh, I love your post, Shelley! Now I’m off to compare your favs to my TBR and make sure I haven’t missed anything! :)))

    Like

  9. Trix
    December 29, 2013

    Awesome list! I’ve got Foxhole Court on my to-read list ;) And I definitely have to get started on the ICOS series.

    Curious how many of those wishes you will have marked by the end of 2014 XD

    Like

    • shelley
      December 31, 2013

      YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FOXHOLE????
      Good God woman! You will love it.

      Like

  10. syleegurl
    December 29, 2013

    I feel this might be our last year as twinsies as you’re moving increasingly to the dark side and I’m swimming increasingly in the sticky sweet syrup! ha!

    But it warms my heart to see Glitterland and Blessed Isle on your list!!!! :)

    Maybe 2014 we need to Buddy Read at least once a month and take turns choosing…so you can roll your eyes at all my YA’s and I can scream and pound my chest at all your twisted’s. ha!

    Like

    • shelley
      December 31, 2013

      I would LOVE for you to read some of my stuff :) It’s not horrible at all and it’s not a conscious thing you know, me moving to the dark side. It’s just where I seem to find more original fiction that gets my heart rate going. I still like the lighter reads but I agree, I am less tolerant of the contemporary fluffies. I think we will still find some common interests (Like Glitterland, Blessed Isle, PsyCops and hopefully Channeling Morpheus) but I’m definitely going to explore some other sub-genres this year because the 95% of the contemp stuff I read is really very meh.

      Like

  11. s0ph1ar0s3
    December 30, 2013

    The Violet and the Tom has been recommended to me. Glad to see it made your list. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  12. Ana
    December 30, 2013

    I hope to read in 2014 mostly of the books you’ve loved this year Shelley, except ICoS, that I already read it and loved it.

    Like

    • shelley
      December 31, 2013

      Oooh I hope you love them like I did Ana :)

      Like

  13. katinka
    December 31, 2013

    THE GREEN PEEN!<3

    Like

    • shelley
      December 31, 2013

      *Giggle snort* I love that book! Ha! maybe I’ll challenge Susan to read that one later this year :)

      Like

      • katinka
        December 31, 2013

        I’m surprised she hasn’t read it already: it’s an absolute classic. Perfect for one of her transatlantic flights. >:)

        Like

  14. katinka
    December 31, 2013

    I’m laughing so hard about your lists! Enemas are the new black. Oh my gosh, they are, HAHA! They only barely beat the obligatory rimming sessions in my eyes though. Jesus. I’m just glad overexposure tends to dull the senses. Here’s to exploring new levels of depravity in 2014!<3

    PS I'm not exactly sure who is corrupting who here…considering that you had to hold my hand during a fisting scene and discovered nasty trucker fuckers long, long before I did. I think you might just play the innocent here, mm..;)

    Like

    • shelley
      December 31, 2013

      Re the corruption of my will: You cannot deny that you encourage me even though I admittedly, bend easily. Ha! You are my excuse, my partner in all things icky and I will blame you till the end. So there. Ha! :)

      One thing though: I WILL get you to overcome this whole aversion to rimming that you have. Honestly, it’s totally safe (with the right antibac soap application which in my mind our heroes use liberally) and very hot. Hmmm…musk and sweat and the essence of … MAN. Lovely. *lol*

      Like

  15. Lorraine
    January 4, 2014

    I read The Violet and The Tom based on your Goodreads review. I couldn’t agree more with you; it was a fantastic book! Stunning to think that it is a freebie, it was perfectly edited and just a great overall read. Thanks for the great review!

    Like

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