Better late than never, right? Here comes my End of Year post!
In 2011 I fell short of my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal – 4 books short, to be exact. My total for the year ended at 96. So, when 2012 came around you’d think I’d go a bit lower. Of course not. I’m not really sure why, but I was determined to read 100 books, and succeed. That summer my library was having a reading challenge, so I thought, What the heck?, I’ll do it. I read 50 books that summer.
Which left me with a grand total of 152 at the end of 2012. Reading-wise, this was a great year for me. I read many new books, and re-read old favorites. I discovered new series, re-discovered the old. But what would I consider my BEST books of 2012? That’s a good question.
SO, I was gonna do a top 10, but seriously? I’ve read 152 books, and you want me to pick 10?! So here are my
Top 20 books of 2012:
1. Mark of Athena – By Rick Riordan
This. Book. Was. Incredible. By far the best book I’ve read this year.
Everything about it was amazing. Especially getting inside Annbeth’s head (finally!). I can’t WAIT until House of Hades this year!
2. Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan – By John Flanagan
Okay, so 2, 3, & 4 were all VERY close…but Ranger’s Apprentice has got to take the cake. :) I actually read the entire (released) series this year, along with the companion series, The Brotherband Chronicles, but I decided to just stick with listing Ruins of Gorlan, the book that started it all. :)
3. Legend – By Marie Lu
A debut novel recommended to me by my friend Emmeline, this book was phenomenal. I can’t say much more than I’ve already said in my review except for 3 words: READ. THIS. BOOK.
4. Divergent – By Veronica Roth
Wow. This book was stunning. And, the best part, NO LOVE TRIANGLES! Yay! I loved the world, the characters, the author, (I even got a signed copy!). The third book comes out this year…I’m excited.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – By J.K. Rowling
So I know what you’re thinking…How come Harry Potter only made #5?, Well, I decided, that, in order to be fair to all the NEW books I’ve read, I’d put some of my NEW favorites ahead of Harry Potter, though nothing could ever truly surpass Harry Potter’s amazing-ness.
6. The Rise of Nine – By Pittacus Lore
I must say, even though it had been a long time (and a lot of books) since I had read Power of Six, I really enjoyed this book. You meet a lot of new characters, and learn more about the old ones. It was definitely a roller-coaster-ride of a book. :)
7. The Serpent’s Shadow – By Rick Riordan
At this point, it’s pretty hard to choose which book gets which position, because they were ALL so amazing!
The Serpent’s Shadow was the last book in The Kane Chronicles, and I loved it. It was a very complete ending, and Riordan really takes you for a wild ride…
8. Gregor and the Code of Claw – By Suzanne Collins
I actually read this entire series last year, but I picked this one, because it was the last. I can’t really say much without giving anything away. But this book and I had a serious love/hate relationship going on, but I loved every second of it. Incredible writing. ;)
9. Claim to Fame – By Margaret Peterson Haddix
One of the things I liked the most about this book? It was a stand-alone. Which is a very welcome relief sometimes. :) Anyway, this was a great, fun, and yet incredibly thought-provoking book. Typical of Haddix’s books, I loved it.
10. Do Hard Things – By Alex and Brett Harris
“A growing movement of young people is rebelling against the low expectations of today’s culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God. And Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge.“ Written by teens for teens, this inspirational and action-provoking book about teens going above today’s expectations of them, this book was incredible. Maybe it doesn’t sound very interesting to you – but trust me – every teen needs to read this book. I mean, heck, even adults can benefit greatly from this book. PLEASE, read this phenomenal book.
11. Reached – By Ally Condie
Stunning and beautiful, this book made the disappointment of the second book worth every second, just so I could read this one. My review pretty much sums up all my feelings about this incredible book, but, long story short, I loved every second of it.
12. The Zochtil – By J.A. Dalley
Once more the review should speak for itself, but if not, I’ll give a quick summary of why this book made my top 20. Debut novel by self-published YA author J.A. Dalley, The Zochtil, was an amazing read. I loved the world James created, and how he brought it, and it’s characters to life through his writing. The second book came out last month, and I can’t wait to read it! If you haven’t yet read this amazing book, please do. You won’t regret it.
13. Tunnel in the Sky – By Robert A. Heinlein
When I picked up this book, I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t half as good as the real book! Among the first Science Fiction books I’ve read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the plotline; when a test goes horribly wrong, a group of teenagers are stranded on an uninhabited island – with no idea if a rescue will ever come – and must band together simply to stay alive… All in all, I loved this book! It was a lot of fun.
14. The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank – By Anne Frank
I thought that this book would be boring and hard to get into, but it really wasn’t! Anne, especially for a 13 year old, had an amazing talent as a writer, and this was, in fact, her dream. Unfortunately she didn’t survive long enough to see that dream realized. A touching, heartwarming, and heartbreaking diary; At some point in their lives, everyone needs to read this book.
15. Out of Sight, Out of Time – By Ally Carter
Over the course of the year, I have also read the Gallagher Girl’s series. Aside from the disappointment of the first book, I adored the entire series! Fun, exciting, girly, suspenseful, and action-packed, spy stories, I highly recommend these books. :)
16. The False Prince – By Jennifer A. Nielson
The first book in a brand-new trilogy, I thoroughly enjoyed The False Prince. It was full of excitement, action, and unexpected revelations. The characters were fun, and the story was great. I love the medieval-ish books about royalty, so I ended up really loving this one.
17. Hamlet – By William Shakespeare
This is probably my favorite Shakespeare tragedy – it was just so amazing! I’m not sure what exactly it was about it that I liked so much, but I just found the whole book fascinating. I really liked this book, the politics of it all was really fascinating, and the story itself was really cool. I read the Shakespeare Made Easy version – Which was definitely a good idea. I mostly stuck to the original script, but occasionally I would switch over to the translation; It was very enlightening, and I caught things I never would’ve realized before.
Dystopian novel AND by one of my favorite authors? Heck, yeah!
The world? Scarily realistic. Could totally see it happening. Really, really, terrifying how realistic it seems. The characters? You fall in love with them. You get very emotionally attached to them. The plot? Incredible, heart-wrenching, intense, phenomenal. The emotions? No book has made me cry this much over a death since HP 7 and PJ&O 5. This series (Also completely read in 2012) was SO amazing!!!
This is actually a sequel to the amazing Cinderella re-telling Just Ella, which, in fact, is one of my favorite Cinderella re-tellings. Though this is meant as a sequel, it works great as a stand alone novel. I really LOVE this book. The story is just amazing, and though a lot of it is all mystery and suspense, this book is just as much fun the second or third time around as it was the first! One of the things I really, really, enjoyed about this book was the character development. I loved seeing how the characters thoughts & attitudes changed over time. This is a very well-written, exciting book.
19. The Girl Who Owned a City – By O.T. Nelson
Just the premise of this book immediately drew me in – Children/Teens trying to survive and create a government in a world that is suddenly devoid of adults – and the rest of the story didn’t let me down. The characters were engaging, and I got very attached to them. I loved the rivalries and overall plot. The writing was very well-done. Nelson really created an amazing book.
I read both of these series in their current entirety over the course of 2012, and I loved them all. The first book I liked. I didn’t LOVE it, but I definitely liked it. So I read the next one…and the next one…and the next one… Long story short? Ever heard of the snowball effect? Yup. That’s pretty much how it worked. Each book is fairly short, I can read one in about an hour and a half. I love the story – schemes hidden within schemes, character rivalries, and the educational uses also. I learned a lot about foreign histories and cultures. I LOVE this series! It’s so engaging and suspenseful, and overall amazing!
There you have it! Lynette’s Top 20 for 2012!
Happy New Year, everyone!