Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Books of 2012

Today is the last day of 2012 as I know it. So it's time to compile some of my favorite books of the year, and I'm simply going to make a list of ten. The list isn't going to be in any particular order, and the books are simply going to be the ones that I read this year; not the ones that were released this year. I'll only be numbering them to make sure I hit ten and no more. On a side note, I went back to my old posts and added pictures of the books to go with the post. YAY! On a sider side note, all of these books are in my personal collection.


1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? I simply loved the world building of Divergent, I loved the characters of Divergent, and I am still looking forward to reading the third one in the trilogy. I enjoyed the follow up sequel Insurgent (my book review found here) and was incredibly pleased with how all the concepts came together for a cohesive plot. I just really freaking want the third one!

The thing that has stayed with me from these books as I continue to read, is the haunting images of how far the city fell. The different and graphic details of the setting shows more than the characters can sometime, and I think the author did a great job of utilizing that tool.

2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I read this book when it first came out which was long before I started this blog. I am a 'nerdfighter' of sorts in the sense that I watch all the vlogbrothers youtube videos and also love John Green's books. Because let's just face it, he's awesome. DFTBA.

Why did it make this list? For many, many reasons. John Green managed to capture a lot of intimate truths about his characters while they struggled with cancer. The story isn't about cancer, it's more of showing the world of a young girl where her 'lens' on the world is clouded a bit by cancer. We get to see her meaningful relationships, the horrors she faces as she braves every day, and Hazel's views on different aspects of life. The book is so raw, heart warming, and tear wrenching that I have reread it quite a few times and it sits proudly in my personal collection.

3. Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Again, these are not books that are found on my blog because I stumbled across them long before I made my blog and probably will not make a book review blog post about them because I'm just evil or something. I'm also cheating a little and lumping them all together because I love all of them equally.

Why did they make this list? If I've ever read an awful book (and you're probably aware of how many I've read recently) I consider each of these books very refreshing and a 'pallet' cleanser if you will. I will honestly say that I'm in love with Katsa, and I dearly wish she were a real person so we could be friends. Fire is a fierce female role model who has a different set of dilemmas, but forges her own way. Bitterblue has such an acute sense of having the world on her shoulders and yet having hardly any power to fix what is so terribly wrong. The world building through all three of these books is so descriptive, consistent, and I strongly wish to see more books take place in the Graceling realms.

4. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? Because it was a breath taking science fiction adventure that was relate-able, easily understood, and I'm still eagerly anticipating the sequel. I still find it stunning how seemingly easy it switched from a high-tech world to the very low-tech death shop. I loved the stunning contrast between 'sophistication' and 'savagery'.

The aspect of the book that has stayed with me the most, is the sense of emotional motivation that both Perry and Aria had. They were very driven characters by their emotions; Aria was driven by the love for her mother, and Perry was driven by the he had for his community and nephew, to see a better world for people.

5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? This book haunts me a little bit. The gothic tones to it, the concept of Grisha with it's references to the culture of Russia, and the friendship that transpires between Alina and Mal. The settings of the little palace, the attitude of the royalty, the attitudes of the Grisha's towards each other, and most of all the creepy nature of the darkling.

There is still a lot of this book that remains in mystery when I look for the deeper concepts to it and I find myself picking it up every now and then just to reread bits of it. Then I sit and think for a while about how that could relate to other parts of the book and it just seems far too clever of a book if read only once.

6. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? I wish I could write songs that had musical value to them so I could LITERALLY sing this book's praises. I stated in my review that this book really revived my immense interest in the young adult literature that incorporates dragons into the stories. My interest had been mortally wounded by many books that seemed to simply have dragons in them because dragons were, well cool. This book set up the culture of dragons, the culture of humans in regards to dragons, and the world building was simply flawless. The characters in it were quirky but not over the top, and the book was very believable despite being about dragons. I want more of the series so badly and have the sincere hope that all sequels will maintain the high enthusiasm and quality that Seraphina possesses.

7. Wither by Lauren Destefano

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? I enjoy books where the world seems to end  because the humans tried to fix a major flaw with it. So by trying to fix themselves they've doomed themselves. I'm a little evil like that I suppose. This book stuck with me because it has such interwoven tragedy. The character Rhine is still very vivid to me, I can remember acute details about the world even though I've read many novels since Wither, and I really rooted for Rhine throughout the whole book.

I did read Fever, (review here) and enjoyed it and I really would love to read how the series ends in the third book.

8. Starters by Lissa Price

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? Because it's another end of the world book. Notice a theme here? I thought this book was particularly gripping because of the chilling premise, old people take over your body for a while for a large amount of money. Let's disregard everything else about the book and just let that concept sink in a little better. You submit yourself to being completely controlled for a certain amount of time for a lot of money.

I'm still fond of how the book kind of started to run away from the teenager problems and delved into the world's politics that contained a deep menace to it. The book was spine-chilling with just how far people were willing to go to satisfy their greed.

9. Shade's Children by Garth Nix

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? Because I love Garth Nix. Ever since he won my literary love with Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen I can't stop seeking his works out.

I loved this book because it was by Garth Nix which means the characters, world building, and story telling were right what I wanted them to be.

I acknowledge that I have shared this book with a few close reader friends of mine and they in general like it, but they admit it creeps them out a bit. I just want to say that I think it's an interesting interpretation of an alien invasion.

10. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

My book review is here.

Why did it make this list? Because this was the book that really got me back into reading. I said it in my post about this book, but it really captured my attention and rekindled my thirst for the inked word. It was also my inspiration to start this blog because if I was going to get back into reading, I wanted to share what I read in a very accessible way. It was also a fantastic book.

I suppose it just has a special place for me. I really enjoy reading books by Maureen Johnson and I hope to continue to read more books by her. I thought this was terrifically creepy, and I might reread it and write a more in depth blog post about it. I suppose it would be a nice way to say thanks. Or something.

So those are my top ten books from 2012. I hope 2013 will be full of more books to read!

Happy reading!

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