December 17, 2012

Favorite Reads of 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/Top Ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. I'm so obsessed with lists!

Top Ten (Fourteen) Books I Read in 2012

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - From so confusing to so amazing, this was one hell of a ride. I loved every minute of this book, and it was so worth all the confusion in the beginning.

2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - I'm still thinking about those horses and that romance. Still. And I totally just bought a hardcover copy because I absolutely had to have a copy in my house.

3. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund - I didn't know this was an Austen re-imagining, so I wasn't really interested in it at first. Then, I started seeing a bunch of great reviews AND realized it was inspired by Persuasion. I'm so glad I did because it's wonderful!

4. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - A simple story told brilliantly. This is one of those quiet books that sneaks up on you and just worms its way in to your heart. Funny, touching and relatable - I adored Saving Francesca.

5. Graceling by Kristin Cashore - A book that proved me wrong. I thought for sure that I would hate this book and hate fantasy, but I was so wrong. I was totally wrapped up in this story and these characters. Who knew that I'd love fantasy?!

6. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor - Because who comes up with this world?! I mean, seriously. After my high from Graceling, I knew I had to dive in to this one. It was so different - unlike anything I'd ever read. And I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - A true testament to the power of friendship. "Kiss me, HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK!" Be right back, I need to go cry...

8. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - Who knew the Middle Ages were so exciting? This is like a soap opera in a book, but I totally understand why it's so popular. It's engaging, exciting and actually informative. It's intimidating, but it's definitely worth it.

9. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - Cricket, please make me a crazy machine! Seriously. As Mr. Rogers would say, won't you be my neighbor? Please. I'm asking nicely. One of my favorite book boys this year.

10. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - It made me cry. The real, can't stop these tears from falling kind of cry. Do I need to say more?

11. Divergent by Veronica Roth - Tris and Four totally lived up to the hype. I also read Insurgent this year and loved it, but I had to give the award to Divergent since it obviously got me hooked on the series in the first place. It was so good!

12. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - Assassin nuns have never been so fun. Is it fantasy or historical fiction? It's like it can't quite decide! And I still really liked it. So much so that I read the 500+ pages in a day. Just say on my couch and couldn't get up until I was done.

13. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - One of the books I've recommended most this year. It was one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read, and I've been telling people that they have to read it left and right.

14. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - I am so in love with Cassandra Mortmain's voice. I'm calling it a classic, even though it might not be considered that by everyone, and I loved the English countryside and crumbling castles.

42 comments:

  1. LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone! I feel like Jellicoe Road and Code Named Verity are two books I need to read very soon because EVERYONE raves about them! Thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library--My Top Ten Christmas Picture Books!

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    1. You definitely need to read them! I quickly realized that everyone raved about them for a reason :) They're wonderful!

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  2. Graceling and Grave Mercy made my list as well. I love fantasy, and these heroines were the best to read about: strong and assured and powerful.

    I also loved Divergent, though I still haven't read Insurgent :(

    I haven't read any Melina Marchetta yet, but I know everyone who has just LOVES her. I have to get on that in 2013.

    Bekka
    My TTT

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    1. Love that Graceling and Grave Mercy made your list as well! Such good reads with kick-ass ladies!

      Hope you get to read Insurgent soon!

      And YES YES YES to Melina. She's amazingggg!

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  3. Great choices. I read Divergent last year but I also loved it.

    Here's my top 10

    ~Danica Page
    Taking it One Page at a Time

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    1. I know - I was totally late to reading Divergent. I was scared it had been over-hyped, so I decided to wait and read it later when I didn't have so many opinions fresh in my mind :)

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  4. Glad to see you liked Lola and the Boy Next Door, I have it on hold for me at the library & am excited to read it! :) Here’s my TTT list: http://aliceinreaderland.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/top-books/

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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    1. Hope you love Lola! I thoroughly enjoyed it and absolutely fell in love with Cricket!

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  5. It's this time of year when I see the same books popping up on lots of 'Best of..." lists - I might not ordinarily have chosen them, but so many people can't be wrong! This year it is 'Code Name Verity' (for the record, last year it seemed to be The Fault in Our Stars'. So, I best add it to my TBR stack!

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    1. I don't know if I would have picked up Code Name Verity (even though I love historical fiction) if I hadn't read two awesome reviews that had me convinced. And I'm so glad I trusted those bloggers because OMG it was amazing! Slow at first but really incredible!

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  6. Oh so many of my favorites too! Graceling, Divergent, Grave Mercies and Lola, what great books.

    marissa
    my TTT

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    1. Yesssss! Glad you like some of my favorites, too :)

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  7. Oh this list is glorious! Look at all that Marchetta! Also Divergent and Smoke and Bone. Brilliant reads!

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    1. I'm a recent Marchetta fan, but I'll love her for life now. Can she do anything wrong? I think not!

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  8. Second Chance Summer is on my list too this week! It made me sob. I also loved Graceling! I really need to hurry up and read Jellicoe Road. Great list :D

    Books of Amber

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    1. Please read Jellicoe Road soon! It really is wonderful! And yayyy Graceling and Second Chance Summer!

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  9. What a great list...I loved Divergent and Code Name Verity! Graceling is on my list of books I'll give a try (it's not my usual genre) and Second Chance Summer looks great!

    This is my top 10: Coffee Bean Bookshelf

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    1. Graceling isn't my usual genre either. Far from it, in fact, which made me really nervous to read it. But I fell in love with it!

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  10. I read I Capture the Castle this year too and I loved it. I would totally call it a classic!

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    1. Isn't it so good?! I'm almost mad I didn't read it sooner - that's how much I loved it!

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  11. You made it through Pillars of Earth? SO PROUD OF YOU! I couldn't make it!

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    1. I switched between reading it and listening to the audio, which really helped hold my interest and keep me excited about what I was reading.

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  12. I like how you cheated there. Very very sneaky. haha.

    You hae some excellent books here! Jellicoe, Lola, Saving Francesca, Second Chance Summer! Such good ones!!!!!

    P.S. Have you read Raw Blue yet?

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    1. Haha totally gotta find a way to cheat to include more books! It's so hard to pick only 10!!

      I have not read Raw Blue yet. Do I need to? If you say yes, then I'll definitely add it to my TBR.

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  13. I completely agree about Jellicoe Road! The beginning was incredibly confusing but once you get past those first 100 pages it becomes this incredible book! And oh geez. I would love if Cricket Bell was my neighbor, we could talk inventions all day long.. But I wouldn't mind having Etienne St. Clair either!


    Great list!
    My Top Ten

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    1. 1. I could talk Jellicoe Road love all. day. long. SO WITH YOU!
      2. Oh Cricket. Sigh. Adorable!

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  14. Great list! I loved Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca. I still need to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    My Top Ten
    http://areaderintime.blogspot.com/2012/12/top-ten-books-i-read-in-2012.html

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    1. If you haven't read The Piper's Son yet, you need to! It's a companion to Saving Francesca and I loveddddd it!

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  15. So many amazing books! Second Chance Summer and Lola and the Boy Next Door were two of my favorite contemporary novels this year as well. (I lovelovelove Cricket Bell so much, and I cannot tell you how teary I was reading Second Chance Summer - such a brilliant, poignant story). Though I haven't read a lot of the other books on your list, they're books I've wanted to read for a while, and I hope to get to them in the following months! Great list!

    My Top Ten Favorites

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    1. So with you on the lovelovelove for Cricket Bell :) And I know all about the tears in Second Chance Summer. You nailed it - "brilliant, poignant" is so right!

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  16. Grave Mercy and Graceling are so darn good! I have Daughter of Smoke and Bone waiting on my shelf now and I can't wait to try it! Everyone seems to have really liked it!

    Top 10 @Libby Blog

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    1. Hope you enjoy Daughter of Smoke and Bone if you get a chance to read it soon. It's very different, but so good!

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  17. Both of your fantasy books make my heart go pitter pat!

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    1. I'm totally falling in love with fantasy. Who am I?! :)

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  18. Oo, I've seen Scorpio Races a couple times now, I'll have to check it out :D Here is my TTT

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    1. You should definitely check it out! I ADORED it :) Happy reading!

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  19. I'm scouring the blogosphere for more blogs with similar tastes in books to me, and stumbled across yours :)

    I loved both Graceling and Daughter of Smoke and Bone! Both great books. I totally agree with you about how Laini Taylor came up with that world in Smoke and Bone... HOW? So amazing!

    Pillars of the Earth is such an action packed historical novel! I loved it. I also love what a wide cast of characters it has and how you see all walks of life from that time period.

    Lola and the Boy Next Door was my favorite contemporary read of the year! I'm a new Stephanie Perkins fan. I love her quirky characters with all their hobbies. And I really, really loved Cricket. Such a crazy name, but swoon!

    Divergent was GREAT. I was a little less enthused by Insurgent. Have you read it yet? I'm definitely eagerly anticipating book three and hoping she'll wrap the series up perfectly...

    I started I Capture the Castle a longggg time ago and got halfway through it before life interrupted. I should go back and finish it because I remember loving the setting and characters.

    Scorpio Races is near the top of my to-read pile because I've read ALL OF MAGGIE'S BOOKS and I LOVE THEM. Grave Mercy and Code Name Verity are also at the top of my pile!

    I'm really looking forward to following you! Yay to great taste in books!
    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

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    1. Yay for scouring the blogsphere and finding me! This makes me SO happy :)

      Ah Graceling and Daughter of Smoke and Bone were so awesome! I really do not know how Laini came up with that world, but I'm really glad she read! I have book two on my Kindle, but I still haven't gotten to it. Have you read it, too?

      You nailed it on Pillars of the Earth - it's huge but it really does give you such a great picture from all walks of life. it was one of those books where it didn't bother me that there were a million characters. They were all so unique, and I never felt like I was trying to keep everyone straight.

      OMG YES I LOVED CRICKET SO MUCH I CAN'T EVEN! Weird name, but I didn't even care. Swooning was strong with that one :) Have you read Anna & The French Kiss, too?

      I loved Divergent and still enjoyed Insurgent. I didn't think it was a perfect read, but I liked it okay. It wasn't as disappointing as some second books I've read recently, but I agree that it wasn't as strong as Insurgent. I have high hopes for book three! It better live up to our expectations :)

      Yes, go back and finish I Capture the Castle! It was such a lovely read, and I absolutely fell in love with the writing and the characters. Such a great read!

      OMGGGGG LAUREN! Read Scorpio Races and Code Name Verity right this second. They are so fabulous! Grave Mercy is awesome, too, but I have strong feelings for the first two and seriously want you to obsess over them.

      I'm so glad you found me and can't wait to talk books with you! Yay for book twins :)

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