It was hard to choose this one but ultimately the book that stuck out the most for me last year was Angelfall by Susan Ee. That book sparkles, the premise makes it sounds like every other book out there, the apocalypse has come and the main character's sister is abducted and must be save. With this book is not so much the plot but the journey and the characters.
I will admit that the book is probably popular because it has heavy Paranormal Romance inclination, what with the Raffe being this hot angel dude with the body of an Olympic winning swimmer. However, Raffe as well as Penryn are well flesh out characters who start out this journey as unlikely allies and possibly end the book as friends.
While the journey part may sound boring to some people there was character and relationship building interaction happening which is vital for the rest of the story. There isn't a lot of world building because everything is reserve to be develop later in the story but I don't terribly mind as I was swept away by the characters.
What really makes this book is the ending where everything turns supremely creepy and you realized that nothing, nothing folks, is ever going to make what happened okay (No, the heroine doesn't get rape.) I also sort of pledge my eternal love and devotion to Raffe after the ending, he was just... dazzling.
Refer to book challenge initial post here.