In no particular order:
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine may have been my favorite book I read by her this year, but I also enjoyed Ever and The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Although I did not read it this year, Ella Enchanted is also always a great read.
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. A princess is locked away in a tower for refusing to marry the man her father picked for her. Her maidservant, the protagonist, is locked in with her and records their story in her book. This is not some ordinary princess tale, though, as it includes war, starvation, sacrifice, servitude, and lots of danger.
I also read Princess Academy and Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale and I highly recommend those as well.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, along with the 3 other books in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, along with every other book she wrote! The sequels are Dragon Flight and Dragon Spear. She also wrote the Princess trilogy, including Princess of the Midnight Ball, Princess of the Glass Slipper, and Princess of the Silver Woods. And the Tuesdays in the Tower and Wednesdays in the Castle books. And Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, although I didn't read that until January of this year.
Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer - along with every other book she's written. I think at this point I've read them all, and there are too many to list, but they are all wonderful!
The Extra-Ordinary Princess by Carolyn Q. Ebbitt. This was such a beautiful and compelling story. It somehow remained unique while also whispering hints of other fairy tales.
The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker. On the other hand, this book referenced every fairy tale it could get its hands on! After the curse is put on Princess Gwendolyn (AKA Sleeping Beauty), when her younger sister Princess Annie is born, her parents ask a fairy to help them. She places a gift on Annie so that no other magic may ever touch her. This means that when the whole castle falls asleep with Gwen's curse, Annie stays wide awake and must go on a quest to find her sister's true love and bring him back to the castle. There's a sequel, too, Unlocking the Spell.
I've also really enjoyed The Frog Princess series by E.D. Baker.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, along with the two sequels that exist so far.
Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis, along with the two sequels, Stolen Magic and Renegade Magic. Kat is a young girl in Regency England who discovers that she has inherited her mother's gift for a special kind of magic called Guardian Magic. Doing magic is highly improper in the high society of the 1800s and she's discouraged from it by every member of her family, but she is, after all, incorrigible. :)
True (...Sort Of) by Katherine Hannigan. Delly Pattison has been called bad so many times she's starting to believe she can never be good. Brud Kinney wants to play basketball better than anyone else. Then Ferris Boyd moves to town and changes both of their lives. Be prepared to have your heart broken over this book. It is so beautiful. I also recommend Ida B by the same author.
So there you have it - my Top '10' of 2013. How about you? What books did you really enjoy this last year? Do you have any exciting books on your To-Read List for this year?
Love and Literature,