Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back: Best Books of 2012

It's been a long year and it hasn't always gone according to plan. But despite its many ups and downs, 2012 hasn't been that bad for me. I got to attend two blog related events, have now completed two drafts on my first novel and have a cover for it and did read some very good books--even if I admittedly suck at keeping this place as up to date as I'd like. (I'm working on it--I have a WoW list ranging from the start of January up to July 18th...) Anyway, here are my picks for best books read in 2012. These are in no particular order, excluding my favorite book read in 2012, which I will post last.

BZRK  
by Michael Grant

Why It's Great: I got this book as part of Bookurious, so it's not something I naturally picked up off a shelf for myself. Because of this, I had no idea what to expect. What I discovered was a book that I found so deeply compelling that I literally carried it in the car with me because I refused to put it down. (Fortunately, I don't drive.) I would strongly recommend this for anyone looking for a fast paced read with great characters and a fascinating plot that will make you ask a lot of questions.

The Fault In Our Stars 
by John Green

Why It's Great: I had wanted to read this for a while, and right after my grandma was diagnosed with multiple myeloma I decided the time had come. This was my first book written soley by John Green (I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson last year and liked it a lot.) and it definitely did not disappoint. I think what I said in my review was that The Fault in Our Stars is the kind of book that will break your heart in order to put it back together. I'd recommend that anyone who hasn't read this yet bring tissues.

Critical Failures 
by Robert Bevan

Why It's Great: If I were giving out actual awards, Critical Failures would get one for being the funniest book I've read all year. As an avid gamer, especially back in my early to mid twenties, I felt very able to relate to the characters in this novel, who are sucked into a Dungeons & Dragons like game called Caverns and Creatures. I'd recommend that anyone looking to get this also grab Robert's two short stories, Cave of the Kobolds and Zombies Attack . (This is NOT YA.)

Wicked As They Come 
by Delilah S. Dawson

Why It's Great: Yet again with those imaginary awards: if I was giving them out, Wicked As They Come would receive one for best world building this year. I absolutely loved how Delilah set up her world and the creatures in it. Everything had such a fresh, unique take that exploring the world with the characters was just as much fun as getting to know them. Add to this that the characterization was excellent, the romance was paced well and the cover is gorgeous and you have a recipe for greatness. So glad I read this! (This is NOT YA.)

Throne of Glass 
by Sarah J. Maas

Why It's Great: A kick-ass heroine who has surprising vulnerability and depth, a love triangle that actually works (read: I like both guys), terrific world building and great writing combine to make Throne of Glass one of the most compulsively readable books of 2012. I absolutely loved this and if you haven't read it my one recommendation would be to go and buy it. Now!

Dark Horizons 
by Krystle Jones

Why It's Great: This is an extremely high energy book--it's full of action and emotion, love and betrayal, hope and despair. Yes, I realize how vague that sounds. But I don't want to spoil what goes on here, and this is the middle of a trilogy so that could happen very easily. I can tell you that the plot moves quick and the characters are memorable. If you haven't started reading The Red Sector Chronicles, and you like vampires and dystopia, you really should give it a go.

Dragonswood 
by Janet Lee Carey

Why It's Great: I have a love hate relationship with fantasy novels. I do love them, and I want to love them, but they don't always *let* me love them. Dragonswood is one of the fantasy novels I bought and read this year that seemed willing to go out of its way to make me like it: an interesting and complex heroine, a beautifully drawn world, great myth / lore and a hero I totally adored combine to make this an easy recommendation. I could not put Dragonswood down and if I had to pick a book to re-read next year, this would be it.

Legend 
by Marie Lu

Why It's Great: I read this roughly a year ago and I can still remember recording my first IMM video and telling people "Run, don't walk!" in relation to whether they should pick this book up. I really liked a lot about Legend--the fast pace, the dual narratives, the main characters' personalities, the connection that forms between them... It is just all around awesome. Who wants to bet Prodigy is on my must read list for 2013? You'd be right.

The Game Changer 
by Marie Landry

Why It's Great: As with her debut, Blue Sky Days, The Game Changer shows two things about its author: Marie Landry clearly loves contemporary fiction, and she writes it well. Her characters are believable yet dynamic, she has a way of describing the places she creates for her stories so that they come to life and have an almost magical charm and the romance and chemistry between Melody and Julian was totally awesome. Look for my review very soon--the only reason it isn't up yet is because I was writing it when my hands were messed up. If you haven't read this yet, what's keeping you? (This is NOT YA.)

Under the Never Sky 
by Veronica Rossi

Why It's Great: Sometimes it's fun to be surprised, and at other times its fun to have high hopes for a book ... and have them not only met completely, but also to be utterly blown away. Under the Never Sky had a kind of gamer feel to it when I read the description and I knew I had to read it. I actually got this for my kindle and paid something like $13 for it (I *never* do that, people. Like, ever.) because I wanted to read it so bad. I loved everything here: the romance between Perry and Aria, the friendship between these two and Roar (and Roar's great sense of humor!), the world building... You name it.

Devoured  
by Emily Snow

Why It's Great: This is one of those books that pretty much screamed at me to read it and I am so glad that I did. Remember those awards I was pretending to hand out a ways up? Well, this book would likely get one for hottest chemistry / sexual tension in a novel. Ever. Oh my God I loved reading about Lucas and Sienna together. They had this whole underlying tension because of their current situation and they had chemistry built up from their past. In short, I could not put this down. I was totally obsessed. If you haven't read it... you get the idea. (This is NOT YA.)

And my FAVORITE book of 2012 is... 


You just had to see this coming. Anyone who knows me must have been scrolling down and thinking "Where is it?" "Where is it?" "It has to be here!". 

This was my most anticipated new book for 2012 and it gave me everything I wanted from it and more:

-- I absolutely LOVE America, despite her ridiculous name.

-- Both Aspen and Maxom are great love interests, although I must confess that Maxom has my heart and, in addition to being one of the LI's in my favorite book this year, is also likely my favorite new book boy this year.

-- The world was designed well enough that I got a decent feel for it, but it didn't bog the story down or take away from the important things going on. It did a great job of setting up danger via the rebels, the rules of The Selection, the choices America must make, etc. and yet balanced this with not making things so perilous that I wanted to scream at America to run for her life. This is not a "trapped" character and I think Kiera walked a good balance in making sure it made sense for America to stay.

-- The ending drove me totally batty, yet made me want to read the next book rather then toss the one I held in my hands. I hate this type of ending normally, yet The Elite is at the top of my must read list for 2013. Nice work.

So, what is your favorite book of 2013? Feel free to let me know in the comments! 

5 comments:

  1. I also loved Under the Never Sky. Great picks. I'll definitely need to read more of these.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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