Saturday, 22 December 2012

Favourites of 2012

As the year draws to a close, it seems like a worthwhile endeavour to reflect upon the books we read and loved this year. We really couldn’t narrow it down to a top 10 and why not present 12 favourites of 2012 (and even that was hard enough)? However, this list is not a ranking among these books, because that would have been impossible ... and Diana and I wanted to avoid a Christmas quarrel. So we each picked six and present them in order of their publication. Click on the covers to get to the books’ GoodReads pages.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Have a few peaceful days, lots of bookish presents, and we hope to see you in 2013. And if you like, share a few of your favourites in the comments.

Diana’s picks:

Incarnate – Jodie Meadows
As book one in a trilogy, Incarnate concentrates on character development. Main character Ana stands out differently, because she is new in a society where everyone knows each other. New, imperfect, afraid - and she brings change. What I liked most was the tender love story between Ana and Sam, which builds upon literature, music, and art.

Scarlet – A.C. Gaughen

A Robin Hood story from the point of view of Scarlet, a young woman with a secret past that only Robin knows about. This change in perspective was what made the novel so fascinating for me. Even though it’s written in first person, the mystery around Scarlet was unravelled step by step, like a puzzle. I would have loved a sequel to this book, because there’s so much potential which could not be met just with one book.

Black Heart – Holly Black

Black Heart is the final book in the Curse Workers trilogy and it is the best last book of a series I’ve read so far. The main character, Cassel Sharpe, comes to a conclusion about his life that seems very natural to me, but I was even fonder of the little twist at the end. Wonderfully unexpected.

The Book of Blood and Shadow
– Robin Wassermann

Here is a mystery about a book, which is paid in blood. The story shocked me a few times with unexpected twists and turns and became unpredictable to me, which I liked a lot. Also, a large part of the story takes place in the old city of Prague - a favourite city of mine concerning history and mystery.

Pushing the Limits – Katie McGarry

 It’s not often that I like books where there’s nothing supernatural to the story, but Pushing the Limits got to me. The romance between the two very different main characters is very delicate. There are pain and fear to deal with and a lot of lines to be crossed for them to trust each other. Beautifully written, it was an amazing read.

The Diviners – Libba Bray

New York in the Golden Twenties, plus a magic murder mystery to be solved. When I got over the fact that it’s really playing in the 1920s, I absolutely fell into the story and only came back out again after the last page was turned.

Julika’s picks:

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
There isn’t much that can be said about this book that hasn’t been said already. The possibly most frequently used phrase: A book about cancer that is not a cancer book, because cancer books suck. And this book definitely doesn’t.

The Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa

Just when I thought that everything that could possibly be written about vampires has been written (and then some), Julie Kagawa proved me wrong. I love Alison (and Zeke) and will only wait patiently for book two for a lack of other options.

City of Lost Souls – Cassandra Clare
There are a few authors that will make me drop everything and vanish into my reading cave once I get my hands on their books. Cassandra Clare is one of them and everyone who dares to disturb me during my reading does so at their own peril. City of Lost Souls was one of my most anticipated books of 2012 and it didn’t let me down. It’s only fault is that the final book is still so far off.

Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness
Vampires, witches, and Victorian London (and other places)! A Discovery of Witches was one of my surprise favourite books of 2011 and even though I found the beginning of this second book difficult to get into, it definitely makes my list of favourite books of this year. If you have only one bone in your body that appreciates well-researched historical novels, you are missing something amazing if you don’t read Deborah Harkness.

Unspoken – Sarah Rees Brennan

I’ll confess that I only picked up Unspoken because Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson were talking about it so highly. And am I ever glad that I did! Even if the end made me want to hurt the author. I mean that as an absolute compliment, because apparently I prefer authors who like to feast on their readers’ despair.

Beautiful Redemption
– Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
The Caster Chronicles is probably one of those series that has to grow on its readers. At least I can’t imagine that it would cause quite the frenzy that other series do, but maybe I’m going to be surprised once the first movie hits the cinemas. As the final book in the series, I thought it was a great conclusion to a wonderful storyline. I am very much looking forward to the authors’ future projects as well.


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