So, I decided to list a few here. There are others deserving of mention, but a blog post can be only so long. I may add another post or two with more. Many of these I have reviewed, and some not. But these are books that have taken my breath away for one reason or another. Every one of these books is either on my shelf or in my Nook, and will remain part of my permanent collection:
Alpha Redemption, by P. A. Baines. Sci-fi. Beautiful and haunting, with slips of Douglas Adams style humor, woven together in a way that blew my mind.
A Star Curiously Singing and The Superlative Stream, by Kerry Neitz. Sci-fi. The most incredible example of "voice" I've read. Could not put them down.
Seabird, Earthbow I, and Earthbow II, by Sherry Thompson. Fantasy. A book series that I was a little skeptical of at first because I was unfamiliar with small presses. But, wow. Turns out it's one of the best fantasy series I've ever read.
The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. Fantasy. Super long book that will make you wish it was even longer when you come to the end. Fortunately the sequel just released. I've been waiting very impatiently!
Incarceron and Sapphique, by Catherine Fisher. Fantasy/sci-fi/steampunk. Amazing mix of genres, amazing writing, amazing originality. Loved everything about this series.
Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. YA suspense. Heart-wrenching and real. Deals with teen suicide. The handling of this topic and the writing are masterful.
Nevermore, by Kelly Creagh. YA fantasy/romance/suspense. Cheerleader main character is nothing like me. But the characterization is incredible, and it's dark and twisted, and it's inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's writing. I was sucked in and didn't want to leave.
There, now you have a summer reading list :).