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Top Ten Books I Read in 2012Like my last Top Ten Tuesday, full disclosure: I did not read very much (more like barely at all) before this year. So there will be some books on here that make you think, “How on Earth could you not have read these already??” I ask kindly that you do not kill me or judge me. I caught up a lot this year!
1. The Hunger Games/Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Yep, I read these this year. Back in February. I’m sorry. But they deserve to be on number one (yes, without Mockingjay *grumbles*) because they are the books that triggered me getting back into reading. I always loved dystopian novels, but this was my first taste of YA dystopian fiction. I love Katniss as a main character, I relate to her a lot. And I love Gale. Yeah. In your face. Deal with it.
2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (review)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone blew me away!! I can’t say that enough. I didn’t think that I would like this book very much. I couldn’t imagine liking a book about angels, since my other experiences with the paranormal romance genre haven’t been that successful. But Laini just turned it all around. Her writing is so beautiful. I can’t help but keep recommending this book to everyone.
3. Obsidian/Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Lux series… man, if this wasn’t the year I had discovered The Hunger Games it would be defined by the Lux series. Just like Laini’s novel, I wasn’t really expecting to like this series that much, considering the comparisons with Twilight and such. But the Lux series showed that *there is a good way to do clichés*. And love/hate relationships are the best. Always the best. Forget the instalove crap in the YA genre nowadays. Read this series.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (review)
This was on my list forever and I made sure I read it before the movie came out. This book touched me in ways books normally don’t. I was basically crying the entire last quarter. I have never had that experience before! But yeah, I love this book because it just makes you think about your own perceptions and beliefs and everything. It hit very close to home. So this is on my all time favorites list.
I absolutely devoured all of these books, but I think it would be unfair if out of a top ten, eight are from the same series, haha. Anyway, my love of Greek mythology was totally exploited here. Rick is a master storyteller and it’s so enjoyable to read these carefully crafted stories. While some might call particularly the first series middle grade, please, young adult readers, don’t stay away because of that. This is so worth reading.
6. Everneath by Brodi Ashton (review)
I just really loved this book. Greek mythology, particularly Persephone, is just really dear to my heart. But it was a really creative, original story with beautiful world building. The love story was carefully crafted and beautiful. And it ends on a cliffhanger that just tore my heart up.
7. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me is dear to my heart for quite a number of reasons. I loved how Tahereh went against all conventions with her writing style. Before this book I was firmly against first person narratives. I just prefer third person, it’s a really weird personal thing. However, this changed my mind totally. Tahereh showed me how first person can really add another dimension to the story. It was so personal, and I found the writing beautiful. (I currently have a Shatter Me giveaway up!)
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth
After reading The Hunger Games, I totally just wanted more stories like that. Divergent was one of the first titles to pop up and I am really grateful for that. I loved this book. It seemed so perfect. I just didn’t like Insurgent, so that’s kind of disappointing. But I’m hoping the third book will change my mind and restore my love for the series. But in any case, Divergent on its own was a great read, and I should reread it soon.
9. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (review)
I loved The Casual Vacancy! I was nervous because it’s not my kind of genre and it’s adult, but J.K. delivers, as always. Her writing style was just as perfect as in Harry Potter, and reading it reminded me of how much I missed that kind of flawless writing style. Anyway, the novel was wonderful and definitely worth checking out. I marveled at J.K.’s ability to create 20-or-so characters that are all important who are all really distinctive in their personalities. And the questions she raises about humanity and society are really important and insightful. It’s a book not driven by action but designed to make you think.
Yeah, I read them for the first time this year. I’m sorry. But I really enjoyed it and I’m proud of myself. One slight thing was a bit disappointing to me: people always mention the lengthy descriptive paragraphs inherent to Tolkien’s writing style. I thought, hey, if that’s all character descriptions and stuff, I’m cool with that! I’d love to know more about the characters. But that was totally missing. The characters were barely described at all and there was little depth to them. The descriptive paragraphs focused only on the setting, the rocks, the trees, etc. That being said, the story remains really, really beautiful. And I really loved Faramir and Éowyn. They fill my heart with glee. That chapter… my life… ah.