Dec 24, 2012

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Top 10 of 2012: Best Books I've Read in 2012


Welcome to the first day of the Top 10 of 2012! This event is hosted by the awesome people over at Fiktshun, A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic, Two Chicks on Books, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. You can learn more about how this is going down over here, but I'll let you know what you have to look forward to this week.

We've already got today's, the best books we've read this year, so here are the others:







So let's get on with today's books! There have been so many incredibly amazing books that I've been able to read this year, but these have to be some of my favorites. Because choosing only ten is hard enough, I couldn't possibly attempt to rank them, so there is absolutely no order among these. They're all awesome!

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(This summary is hidden because it contains spoilers if you haven't read the previous books. Just higlight the text to read it.)

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.
Anything.



This book.... I know I said I wouldn't be ranking these, but I'm making an exception because this is without a doubt THE BEST BOOK I'VE READ THIS YEAR. Everything that I'd been waiting for to happen came out in this book. Nearly everything in it made me so happy I was about to explode and I just couldn't stop smiling as soon as I finished it. You can read my review of the novel here.



Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.



Okay, this book was so awesome, I made my mom read it. And was then horribly insulted when she didn't think it was nearly as wonderful as I had assured her it would be. This book is amazing. Whether you've read Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series or not, this book is still amazing. Apparently she's going to be writing another spin-off series where the characters from these books and the ones from the Darkest Powers novels come together. I'm so excited!



What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and                                                                      unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

This book was able to create one of the most realistic and entertaining stories that I've read so far this year. The clarity of the story in my head as I read through the novel was absolutely incredible. More than probably any other novel that I've read so far this year, I could imagine everything down to the very nail. I absolutely loved all of the characters (especially the gargoyles!) and it was such a light and fun read.



Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books - but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

                                                             I am next.


For those of you who saw the movie, I'm so terribly sorry. Not that it was bad or anything, it's just that there were quite a few discrepancies between it and the actual book. Namely, the portrayal of the characters. But the special effects weren't too shabby. Anyway, back to the book. IT. WAS. AWESOME. It was probably my favorite new idea/series so far this year. Everything that happened was so interesting, there was absolutely no filler text, and all of the alien creatures were completely fabulous.



 (This summary is hidden because it contains spoilers if you haven't read the previous books. Just higlight the text to read it.)

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.


I really, really liked this book. Were there things in it that made me so mad I almost threw it against the wall? Without a doubt. I started to really dislike some of the characters, but there were also others that I grew to love even more. A whole lot of stuff went down in this book, so if you haven't reached it yet, I suggest you hurry up and read the other books so that you can get to it as soon as possible. This isn't one you're going to want to miss.



Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.


If you ask any one of my friends which book I've insistently shoved at them this year, I'm pretty sure the answer would unanimously be Under the Never Sky. Well, that's because it's awesome! The writing is beautiful, the story is even more incredible, and I've never been able to resist a good dystopian novel. I loved all of the characters (with Roar being my undivided favorite), and I really liked that it didn't just follow the path of most novels of it's kind. There are no zombies and whatnot that apparently always have to appear after the world ends, and Aria is actually concerned with things that normal humans would be concerned with in her situation, instead of just wanting to go out there and save the world. She's human, and she's got her human issues too, just like everybody else.



Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the President of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are not defined by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.









This is a book that I actually just finished a few days ago, so it's one of those that I just had to squeeze in. This is in no way the funny, light hearted, and happy ending kind of book that I usually enjoy. Not at all. This book is dark and very disturbing at times. Many people die horrible, bloody deaths, and some bad stuff definitely goes down. The thing about it, though, is that it's so incredibly poignant and emotional. I always felt bad for the plight of the characters, even when they were doing some really stupid things. I was intrigued by how the disease affected humanity, and not just those it changed, but those it left behind as well. This is a book that really makes you think. You can read my review of it here.



Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? 

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.




Yeah, I kinda dropped the ball on this one. I read it waaaaaay too late. The movie had already been out for a few months, and a lot of it had been spoiled for me, but I still really loved it. The characters, oh the characters. I loved pretty much all of them, even the really annoying ones. I'm pretty sure that this one was my favorite in the series, mostly because the others just made me too sad. A lot of unfair things happen to everybody in these books, and even though nobody deserves it, it's very true to what could happen in real life.



Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


While I haven't reviewed this book yet, I did partake in the read-along that was created for it. This book was very interesting and seemed to take a lot of turns that I didn't really expect. The beginning road trip portion of the novel was my favorite, simply because we learned so much about our two main characters during this time. The only thing that I didn't like about this book was that it ended! We were nowhere near close to hearing the end of their story, and I ran out of pages to turn! I'm not exactly a patient person when it comes to sequels!



Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

                                                                 If I don't kill him first, that is.


I had heard a lot about this book and its sequel on various blogs this year, but, much to my dismay, my library hadn't stocked it yet. It seemed like I was completely out of luck, until I decided to go against all of my instincts and buy a book by an author that I'd never read anything from, which I almost never do, which you can read more about here. But I decided to take a giant leap of faith and trust the opinions that I'd heard already and just get a copy of the book for myself anyway. I was not disappointed. This book rocks. It is hilarious and riveting all at the same time, and all of the characters are just so freakin' amazing that it's not even funny.


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So, have you guys read any of these books before? Are there any that you think I should have included? What have been your favorites so far this year?




2 comments:

  1. Hi, from a new GFC follower.

    A great selection: I haven’t read all of these, but quite a few are on my TBR list! :)

    My Top 10 Reads: http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.blogspot.com/2012/12/top-10-of-2012-best-books-read-in-2012.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! And I don't seem to have read many of yours, except for the Hunger Games, but I LOVE Neil Gaiman.

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