I've procrastinated on writing this post out of fear that I'll leave out an essential read. Then I thought about it some more and realized that I'm bound to leave something out anyhow because I didn't read it--some out of the fear that I'm going to be disappointed by my expectations. These include Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna. I also haven't read some books because I'm waiting for more sequels to come out, so I can indulge myself all at once: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead to name.. the only one I can think of right now. (I'd add Clockwork Princess to the list of books in a series I'm waiting to near completion, but it's not out till 2013.)
So, here is the list of ten of the Best I've Read in 2012 in no particular order:
Click on title links to read my reviews.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Somebody tell me why I waited until DECEMBER to read this book. About accepting yourself for who you are and creating a place for yourself among your peers, Wonder is a beautiful read and easily takes the place of best middle-grade book I've read this year.
*I haven't posted my review yet, so I don't have a title link to provide yet.
Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
I've read many amazing paranormal books this past year, but Wings has to take the prize for the most epic paranormal read of the year. Ellie is back with a lot of kickass action, hot makeout scenes, and bigger bad guys. Plus, there are more Cadan scenes (yes, I love Will, but Cadan is just so freaking hot). And that killer of a cliff hanger... it made me so angry that I didn't have the third book on hand.
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Unraveling takes the prize for best debut of 2012. There is action and the fate of the world on the line; at the same time, Janelle is a girl. Elizabeth Norris does a wonderful job of keeping up with the suspense while showing us who Janelle is as a person, as a sister and daughter, as a friend, and as a girl in love. This book can stand perfectly fine on its own, but I have to say that I'm delighted to hear that there's a sequel coming out in 2013. I'm looking forward to seeing more of my favorite characters.
Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown
I'm a sister, and there a few things I like to see more in literature than a family with strong bonds. Unraveling has it, and so does Perfect Escape. OCD also plays a large part in this book in how it impacts Kendra's family and their relationships with others. This is one of the most beautifully written and emotionally loaded books I read this past year. Sometimes, a road trip is really what we need to help us clear our minds and think about what we need.
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
This is a heartbreaking novel. Elliot is a tamer character compared to other dystopians I've read, but she's just as stubborn and can hold her own amongst them. I appreciate her sense of duty to the workers on her family estate and how social mannerisms play a role in her everyday life. I also love how Elliot has to make a choice once again at the end, and as much as I adore the ending, I could have seen her go either way.
Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor has a gift for writing in a beautiful, oftentimes poetic manner. She also doesn't shy away from the brutality and darkness of war. The fight scenes are epic, but the aftermath is gruesome. At the same time, Zuzanna and Mik provide much necessary humor and light. And, wow, the ending! If I though fighting for some semblance of equality was big, I thought wrong. It seems as though book three will be bigger and badder than before.
Every Day by David Levithan
This is a complex and beautifully written novel. Everything flowed smoothly and with grace, giving insight into A's life and what it means to be human and to love.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Incredible. I didn't know what to think when I started this and found out that Tinker Bell was the narrator, but now I can say that it was the right decision. She's a mostly reliable narrator and gives us insight into the brutal reality of adolescence: the joys and sorrows of first love, the conflicts between who you are and who others want you to be, and the ultimate passage from childhood into adulthood. This is a phenomenal read.
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
Shannon Hale has a talent for coming up with incredibly real and relatable heroines and for telling stories in a fairy-tale like manner that readers of all ages can appreciate. Another wonderful thing about this book is the ending. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read this yet, so I won't talk about it.
Wanted by Heidi Ayarbe
Heidi Ayarbe is a master at delving into the human psyche. Mike's world in this book is bleak with no delusions of innocence. This is a real, gritty book about how one slip in such a world can cost you everything.
More to come under specific categories next week.
How about you? What are some of the best books you've read this year?