Monday, December 31, 2012

Books I Read In 2012

People are contantly asking me for book recommendations, which I am always happy to give, but then I always add this little speech at the end of our conversation: "And every year on December 31, I post a list of all (or most, that I can remember) of the books I read that year, with a sentence or two on what I thought of them."

So it's December 31, and here's my list. My Top Reads of 2012 are at the bottom.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This was a fabulous read, full of magic and mystery and a fun sense of play from the writer. It was also such a rich, fully-realized world that was so enjoyable to delve into. I got completely caught up in the romance and the terrible dilemma between these two main characters. I was sorry when the book was over and I had to stop reading.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis. A worthy follow up to an amazing first novel. I will be eagerly awaited the third and final book of the series, Shades of Earth.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I loved this book. It was one of those that is hard to pitch (Cinderella as a cyborg, basically) but it is so well crafted, and the story is so imaginative and compelling. I will definitely be picking up Meyer's next book.

Pure by Julianna Baggott. I have to give Baggott kudos for giving us this wonderful character who just happens to have her hand fused with a baby doll. This was a fascinating read, although as the narrative moved along it became soooo gritty and so creepy that I wouldn't exactly say I enjoyed it. It was a bit much for me, and by the end I was relieved to see it over. Not one I'd recommend for young teens.

Fever by Lauren DeStefano. I was eagerly awaiting this book, as I so enjoyed the first one, and it did not disappoint. I liked the first book slightly better, but this one was definitely a good read.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Another good, solid follow up. I read a lot of sequels this year, I'm realizing.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. This book ROCKED. I kept seeing it featured while I was on tour last winter, and decided to pick it up. So glad I did. I loved the mix of this strong, thoughtful main character and the historical setting. Later in the year I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. LaFevers at an event, and she was lovely and had such good advice about writing. I was inspired. I also picked up a couple of her children's books at said event (The Nathaniel Fludd series), and my son LOVES them. Go Greasle.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. I enjoyed this story. It didn't blow my mind the way the other two of the series did (I think Fire remains my favorite of the three), but I liked Bitterblue and I liked the journey she went on in this book. It's a very political book, but it still maintains that super detailed, interesting world from the other novels. Consider me a fan.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Consider me a fan of VR, too! This was yet another awesome sequel. These books totally live up to all the hype. I can't wait to see where it ends.

Destined by Aprilynne Pike. Aw, snif. The last of the Wings series. It was a good one. I really liked how she wrapped up the love triangle-- it felt like what would really happen, in a book about the war between the fairies and the trolls.

Bossypants by Tina Fey. I read this on an airlplane. I started laughing at the blurbs and never really stopped. Gotta love Tina Fey.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Oh, where to begin? I first came across this book (and John Green) when his name was at the top of the New York Times list the same week that Hallowed was on it. We were the only two YA authors on the list, and I thought, who's this guy? Where did he come from? And so, after a while, I read the book. And I laughed. And I cried. And I felt like Augustus and Hazel were friends of mine, and I marvelled at how beautifully written and heartfelt their story was. So I decided to use it for my Young Adult lit class this fall. And in the process of all that I got just a wee obsessed with John Green. But more on that later. . . .

The Selection by Kiera Cass. This book is marketed as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, and it totally is exactly that! Cass did an excellent job with so many of the reality show elements of the book--like the cattiness of the other girls. Oh, the drama. There were some things I didn't love about this story, but it hooked me, so much that I overlooked everything else and stayed up late wanting to see how it would end. What can I say? I watch The Bachelor. . . I want to see who gets the final rose at the end!

The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell. I am becoming a huge Saundra Mitchell fan. I loved The Vespertine, but I enjoyed The Springsweet even more, especially for its pioneers settling in the West feel. It was different from any other book I read this year. I also liked how independent it was from the first book of the series, like you could easily read it without reading The Vespertine, but it also connected nicely with the first book. Way to go, Saundra Mitchell! I also loved her story in the Foretold anthology, but more on that farther down the list.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. Again with the laughing. I follow Ms. Lawson's blog (The Bloggess) all the way back to the big metal chicken, and it never fails to make me smile. So the book was a no-brainer. The woman is hilarious.

As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender. The final of Katie's trilogy. I have to hand it to her--Alexis faced some really hard decisions in this book, and Katie was so gutsy in where she allowed Alexis to go with the story. I was impressed. And shocked. And sad to see the series over. It was creeptastic.

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky. This book and the picture of a society that is almost completely out of touch with real, human interaction, felt so believable and threatening. Scary.

Revived by Cat Patrick. This was a cool book. Again with the creepy, as this heroine dies and then is "revived" several times.

Endlessly by Kiersten White. I loved this book--I better have loved it, since I blurbed it. The blurb says it all: “There’s not a character in YA fiction that I enjoy reading more than Evie’s. Endessly had me in its clutches from the first hilarious page to the last breathtaking sentence. A fun, heartfelt, and dynamic ending to a marvelous series.” So sad it's over.
Starters by Lissa Price. This book wins an EW award, as in, near the end there was a moment when I went, "EWWWW!" and shuddered. Read it. You'll know what I mean. I thought this was one of the more interesting covers of the year, too. At first I didn't dig the cover so much, but I will admit that it's very different from anything else on the shelf, and once you read the book, the cover makes perfect sense. 

The Talents by Inara Scott. I met Inara Scott in Oregon, where we sat next to each other for an event, and I thought she so cool. So I read her book, which I also thought was so cool.

How To Save A Life by Sarah Zarr. I have lots of mixed feelings about this book. First, I thought it was very well written. The characters were so real and powerful and heartfelt. But (and here's where it gets slightly personal) I am always wary of stories like this, where a young girl finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, and the author treats the subject like, of course, the good and natural right thing to do, in any instance, is for her to keep her baby. As an adopted child, I find this unsettling and mindly insulting. But I thought it was a good book, and a thought-provoking one. Consider my thoughts provoked.

Cool covers!
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. This is an adult book, a Western, that I stumbled over in the line at a grocery store in Oregon, and I was so charmed by its opening pages that I bought it. And I LOVED it-one of my favorite books of the year. It's kind of like Cormac McCarthy with a sharp, amazing sense of humor. I kept reading passages of this to my husband, which I imagine he found tiresome since of course I expected him to laugh and think it was as awesome as I thought it was. But it. was. awesome. It's a dark humor, I will warn you, and not for those who think all books should have rosy endings. (Side note: I was so surprised when, just now, I went to retrieve the picture of the cover and saw this picture on the left. My copy had the picture on the one on the right. Both work, I think, but I love the playfulness of the one on the left. So cool. It's amazing what a good cover can do. . .)

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. Such an amazing dystopian retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. One thing that makes a great retelling is a sense of familiarity with the story, of course, but also a sense of newness. I didn't know how this was going to turn out in the end, which I liked. I heart Diana Peterfreund, although I will confess I missed the evil unicorns. Bring back the unicorns!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. I sort of read this on a dare, and it was surprisingly good. Much, much better than the movie. It was a cool idea and Smith really makes you believe it.

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten. This captured the emotions of that first really young love and first heart-wrenching break-up SO well. And yet, Lucy never turned into a mean girl. Kudos to Lucy (and Lynn).

Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Speaking of awesome retellings, I so enjoyed this thriller that is loosely based on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. This book will keep you on your toes. And Gretchen (and her Army of Ten!--best marketing stretegy, ever!)

Sisters Red by Jackson Pierce. Great dula POV in this book. I like the fiesty one-eyed fighter sister, especially.

Taken by Erin Bowman. Got this one as an ARC from my editor and it made me so glad to have an editor who sends me books! This was a cool idea that was very well executed, and it was nice to have the male POV, which I found entirely convincing. I want to know what happens next.

The Book of A Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. If you'd asked me a year ago, is it possible to write a good book about two girls stuck in a tower for years, I would have said, "hmmmm," doubtfully.  And then I read this book. Amazing. So tense. I was totally enraptured by the story.

Harbinger by Sarah Wilson Etienne. Creepy futuristic boarding school meets Tarot cards. I dug it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Everybody was talking about this adult book this year, so I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about. And it does, I think, deserve some fuss. But there was a point in this book where the story turned, in a major way, and from that point on I felt a bit cheated, like the book was all about shock value. I really liked the first half of the book. I was much less interested in the last half. I don't find crazy/ psychopathic characters nearly as interesting as sane ones. I think I may be the only one who didn't love where the book takes the reader.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. I read this for my YA Lit class this fall, to get a sense of YA history. This was one of the first books marketed for young adults that was really very "literary" in quality. A gritty and realistic and well thought out book. I can see why people are still talking about it, almost forty years later.
Looking For Alaska by John Green. As I mentioned above, I had no idea who this John Green fellow was until last January. But I loved The Fault In Our Stars so much I decided to use it for my YA lit class. Then, in the process of researching what I was going to say about TFIOS and John Green to my lit class, I decided to read all of his other books. Which I did. I concluded that TFIOS is his best book, although I'd put Looking for Alaska in second place. This is a great book. I also remember seeing this book on the shelf in a bookstore some years ago, and assuming that it was about a guy searching for Alaska. Like, the state.

Will Grayson,Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Yay for my John Green research leading me to discover David Levithan. I loved how the two POVs wove together in this story.

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. These books literally creep me out, probably more than any other YA horror. I liked the first book better but I was oh-so-satisfied with how this book turned out. Yay! and (shudder) Anna scares me.

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth. Gotta love a girl who brings the lightning. I was rooting for her all the way.

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda. Sigh. I've missed vampires. This was a great vampire book, a very orginal and riveting telling of this human boy trying to pass as a vampire, who is inadvertantly chosen to participate in one of the last big-game-type "hunts" for humans. I was up late reading this one.
Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction, edited by Carrie Ryan. An anthology. It was so refreshing to read a bunch of short stuff. This was a great read. My faves were the Liani Taylor story, the Saundra Mitchell story, and the Carrie Ryan story, which was ah-may-zing. Made me want to write some short stories!

Every Day by David Levithan. I thought this book was an excellent exercise in thinking about how we know who we are. The main character has no body that is strictly his own, and yet, he still has a sense of himself, and he's able to fall in love, and she's able to fall in love with him, too, even though he looks different to her every day.

Breed by Chase Novak. Whoa. This is a grown-up book, and . . . whoa. I thought it was massively entertaining, and pretty gross, and also a nice commentary on parenting in today's day and age. Another EW book--at times I just had to put it down and grimace. Uck.

Hidden by Sophie Jordan. Sigh, I am so Team Cassian. This was a great finish to the series.

Defiance by C. J. Redwine. I liked the friction and chemistry between the two main characters. They just kept stepping on each other's toes.

Serafina by Rachel Hartman. I really liked this book. The character's voice was so engaging and the stakes were so high for her, I felt like I was leaning forward the whole time I read the book. Plus it has a truly lovely cover. I would recommend to anybody who likes fantasy. This is a keeper.

Promised by Caragh O’ Brien. I really love this series, and was sorry to see it end. That said, it was the least memorable for me of the three books. Not sure why this is . . .

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Ah, more John Green. I was powering through these last two in order to get through them before we stopped talking about John Green in my lit class. This is my least favorite of JG's novel, not because it isn't well written, but because it was a head-book, I thought, instead of being a heart-book.

Paper Towns by John Green. I liked this one. By this time in the John Green research I had watched like 500 videos of John Green (and Hank!) and had developed a bit of a brain crush on him. I like the way he writes, and the way he celebrates intelligence in his characters, and the way he delves into cool little facts like the existence of paper towns. And here, to celebrate Mr. Green, is one of my favorite of the videos: John Green discussing Twilight.

"It's not because we look old. It's because we are old." Ha. Love it.

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. My favorite of the three was John Green's. As I said: Brain crush.

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken. YA fantasies are on the rise, and I enjoyed this one.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. This was probably my favorite of the YA fantasies I read this year, with Serafina in close second. I loved the world that Bardugo build for us with such painterly detail. The characters were life-like and compelling, and the ideas were fresh and well-executed. Incredibly good, one of those books that I was sad to reach the end of, and have to stop reading.

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas. I really liked this one, too. I loved how the main character was plotting how she could kill the obvious love interest for like the first quarter of the book. She's not thinking, oh, he's so cute. She's thinking, I could strangle him by doing this. . . Nice.

Reached by Allie Condie. Another finale! I liked this one loads better than the last one, maybe even better than the first one. The stakes were so high in this book, and I was impressed by how smoothly Condie dealt with the love triangle in a way that felt natural and not forced or sudden. It will be interesting to see what Ally Condie comes up with for her next project.

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak. I'm a little ashamed that I didn't read this masterpiece until this year. An amazing book. I love that it is told from the point of view of Death, as in the Grim Reaper. I loved the use of art and history and bravery and pain.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young. This is the sequel to a book I loved last year: Blood Red Road. I was SOOO excited to read this book. But in the meantime my YA lit class read this book, and they were so angry at Saba's attitude toward her sister and her attitude toward Jack and her attitude in general. I didn't wholly agree with them-- I'd much rather read about a flawed, not-entirely-likeable main character with lots of room for growth and revelation than to read about a character who is clearly a version of the author, minus the flaws, which is a heck of a lot more common-- but when I was reading this book I couldn't help but cringe at how I knew my students were going to hate the questionable decisions that Saba made throughout the book. Anyway, so it lessened my pleasure of reading this novel just a tad. And !!!!!!! I can't believe she did THAT with THAT CHARACTER, Whoa.
Son by Lois Lowry. I will confess that I actually squeed when I saw this book was out. I love me some Lois Lowry. It was, like all the others, a fantastic book.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Speaking of fantastic books. This. Wow. I loved this book so much. I adore the Peter Pan story, and I heart retellings from an unexpected point of view, and I relished every page of this book. It was all about character, this one. Tiger Lily was so powerful and realistic and raw. I was breathless at several moments in the reading of this book. So good. Go read it. Like, now.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. This is another one that a lot of people are talking about, and I can see why. This one will tear your heart out. But it struck me as I was reading this that it didn't really feel like YA to me. Maybe because the characters felt older at the outset on the book, like in their 20s, and of course there's no rule saying 20 something can't be YA, but they usually are in their teens. Still, regardless of what market the book belongs in, it was very good.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I re-read this in preparation to watch the movie. It was lots different than I remembered it. Maybe because I was around ten years old last time I read it. No one can delve into the crazy details like Tolkien.

Mind Games by Kiersten White. Yay for ARCs! Now, we've already established that I heart Kiersten White. This book is VERY different from the Paranormalcy series, a lot gritter, a lot angrier, but I think it is equally awesome. I loved Fia as a character so much. I also loved that my editor's (who is also Kiersten's editor) dog made a cameo appearance. Coming to shelves on Feb 19!

 Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. What's sad is that when I was gathering the links for this entry I had to scroll down a while before I reached BETWEEN Shades of Grey. Sigh. What is our world coming to? I liked this book, although I had recently read The Book Thief, which is a much better book in many ways. This had a great story, which was really compelling and wrenching at times, but I found myself often wishing that the writing was better. Not that the writing was bad, by any means, but it was very, um . . . plain. And this is a book about a girl who is, in her soul, an artist, but the language and the descriptions are are bare of the kind of lyricism or detail that would have made this book amazing.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. Notice how the word STARS is showing up in a lot of titles lately? I wonder why this is . . . This is an adult dystopian. I really liked it--it was kind of a cross between the movie Contagion and The Road. The language in this book was beautiful--I have several images from this story burned indellibly into my brain.

Gravity by Melissa West. YA Sci-fi, an alien book. I enjoyed this one.

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson. Yay, a YA fantasy with a male protagonist. This was one where I suddenly shriked "I knew it!" in the middle of reading. Take that how you will.

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr. Oh, Melissa Marr, how I've missed you. I really liked this book, but I will say that I was greatly unsatisfied at the end. It was one of those where the tension is building and building, and you just know that the big climatic scene is going to be amazing, and then. . . no more pages. It's over. You're going to have to wait for the next book to get to the big climatic scene. *Pines for the next book.* I would really, really like to find out what happens next.

 The Round House by Louise Erdrich. I just finished this book today, and it was amazing. It's an adult book about a 13 year old boy whose mother is brutally attacked--not for the faint of heart or stomach, this one, but really, really good. I've been a big fan of Erdrich for years (my favorite is The Antelope Wife) and this novel was just as poignant and beautiful and compelling as the others. A nice way to round out the year. See what I did there?
And so ends another year, and another 60+ books under my belt. This year I read a bit more adult fiction than usual. Not sure why. And I can't think of a book I genuinely hated (I'm pretty easy to please as far as books go), although there were plenty I started and didn't finish or didn't get to yet.

My Top Choices This Year:

The Fault In Our Stars
The Springsweet
Mind Games
The Sisters Brothers (Adult)
The Book of A Thousand Days
Shadow and Bone
The Book Thief
Tiger Lily
Here's to another year of great books! What books topped your favorites list this year? What are you most looking forward to? What should I read next?
Leave a comment to be entered in the first of the BOUNDLESS ARC giveaways, of which there will be one every week until Jan 22, when BOUNDLESS hits shelves nationwide.
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Unknown said...

Mostly the books that i am waiting for this 2013 are sequel and the follow up books like ofcourse bounless,unravel me,indigo spell,clockwork pricess,siege & storm sequel of throne of glass etc.

Color Blind said...

So Close to You by Rachel Carter
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

Ashley said...

This year is totally the year of the sequels! This year I love and adored "Keeper of the Lost Cities" by Shannon Messenger. Solid middle school book.

Beth said...

Book you must read in 2013: Angelfall by Susan Ee and the sequel coming out in the fall!

Priya said...

Well, I am looking forward to Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent, Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer, Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards and Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins.

Sam said...

You must read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout! It's an amazing books about hot alien boys with a load of romance.

Reading For Fun said...

I recommend Contingency by Peggy Martinez and Tasting Never by C.M. Stunich. Very good books!

Jaz said...

Totally agreed with TFiOS and Shadow and Bone <3

You should definitely check out Jennifer L. Armentrout's Covenant series c: the 4th book Apollyon comes out in April!

Also Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky because book 2 Through the Ever Night comes out like next week!

Aussie author Jessica Shirvington has a really good angel series called The Violet Eden Chapters but it's marketed as Embrace the Series in the US so you should check that out too c:

Hermana FitzPatrick said...

One of my favorites was The Evolution of Mara Dyer. So intense. Also loved Shadow and Bone though :)

Kristina said...

That is such a difficult question. Have you read Lisa Mantchev trilogy Eyes Like Stars, Perchance to Dream and so Silver Bright. Those are fantastic reads a mix of fantasy, Shakespearean characters, awesome characters, and just an awesome read!

ShyStarLoves said...

A book that I really enjoyed this year was The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer... if you haven't read this yet you should totally give it a read! However if You have, the sequel The Evolution of Mara Dyer is promised to be just as good, it will be the first book I read into 2013 and I just can't wait!:)

Bia said...

So many great books. One I didn't see on your list and I really enjoyed this year is Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin.

Is the Boundless ARC giveaway international?

Ashley said...

Some of my favorites this year were Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. I am looking forward to sequels to all of those books, the unnamed third in the Divergent series, Scarlet, and Sweet Peril. I also cannot WAIT to read Boundless! I recommend Defiance by C.J. Redwine and Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. (Also looking forward to those sequels.) :)

Alicia said...

I'm looking forward to get my hands on Of Triton by Anna Banks. I loved Of Poseidon so much and I can't wait to read what happens next.

Liliana said...

Have you read the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep?? If not you definitely should! They're amazing! There's Touch of Frost, Kiss of Frost, Dark Frost, Crimson Frost just came out Christmas Eve, and Midnight Frost is coming out August 2013!

Unknown said...

I'd heard about Tiger Lily, but the description hadn't exactly sold me with the "story behind Peter Pan." The reviews, on the other hand, have convinced me it will be nothing like the Disney classic.

A lot of other interesting books on the list that I plan on checking out.

Unknown said...

For 2013, I'd recommend The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Carson Rae, an excellent fantasy novel with kings, knights, and magic, and Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, a welcome change from all of the recent dystopians.

Ava said...

Oh, gosh, so many to choose from! Um... How 'bout Easy by Tammara Webber? It's a seriously amazing contemporary.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win, Cynthia!
- Ava

Unknown said...

Oh my word! The Fault in Our Stars is so amazing! Glad you liked it. :)

You should definitely read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout - it's sooo good. Under the Never Sky, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Crewel, and Masque of the Red Death were great too.

Tasnia said...

I can't wait for 'Through the Ever Night' by Veroniica Rossi and the last book in the Angel series by L.A weartherly.

The writing isn't the best in the angel series but I love the characters enough to follow through.

Need I say that Boundless is at the very top of my list? Of course not. That is a GIVEN?

Nikki S said...

Definitley look out for all the sequels! Like:
Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Preeti Joan said...

OMG The Fault in our Stars is one of my most favorite read in 2012! You should read the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams, Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, and the Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

Hahahah! I think those are SOME of the few amazing book you should read! There are so much more! :) Can't wait to read Radiant and Boundless! More readers and projects for you this 2013!

Unknown said...

So many good books and so many more to come. I love The girl of fire and Thorns by Rae Carson and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. Definitely worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cynthia!
If you love John Green, I think you should read “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins. I promise it's not as cheesy as it seems! It's beautifully written and recommended by John Green! :)

Anonymous said...

The sea of tranquility by katja millay and any of colleen hoovers books

John said...

Hey Cynthia!

You should definitely check out the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, as well as Nalini Singh's upcoming works!


Gaby Pendragon said...

You should read Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready and her series WVMP.

Shell said...

Have you read any Jennifer L. Armentrout? If not you totally should!

Her Lux series is fan-freakin'-tastic and her Covenant series is good too!

**entered as Rachelle**

Anna said...

Hands down you need to read Trish Doller's Something Like Normal. It's SO amazing.

Karen D said...

The 2013 book to read is Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

alicia marie said...

I'm with you on Code Name Verity and The Fault in our Stars. Loved both!! I also thought The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth and Ask the Passengers by A.S. King were amazing : )

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the chance to win! I don't have a lot of followers on my blog so getting ARC's is hard. A couple of my favorite series this year was The Crossroads series by Mary Ting, anything by Jennifer Armentrout and M. Leighton. Also On Dublin Street by Samantha Young. They were all awesome! Anyway, thanks for the opportunity! Have a great New Year!
Brittany @ Spare Time book blog

Kahlan Alanna said...

Have you read the Delirium trilogy yet? SO. GOOD! The last one is coming out in 2013.

Susy said...

You have to read Cassandra Clare book TMI and Jennifer Armentrout The lux series and the covenant great books!!!

Mickala said...

You should read (if you haven't already):
The Outsider Series by Micalea Smeltzer
The Watchers Trilogy by Karice Bolton
The Gathering/The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett
The Wanderlove Saga by Belle Malory
The Mystic Wolves by Belinda Boring

CrimsonInk said...

My favorites for this year were:

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Evolution of Mary Dyer, both by Michelle Hodkin.

I am looking forward to these books in 2013:

Boundless, of course, is a given!
Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
The Raven Boys Book 2 by Maggie Stiefvater
Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting
And many, many more!!!

Nicole Mainardi said...

Definitely Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder! Also, if you've read the Angelfire books by Courtney Allison Moulton, you should read the final book in that series which comes out right around yours!

Jay McCoid said...

Wow - and I was feeling good that I knocked out 30 books in 2012. I'm still reading whatever sounds interesting to me. My favorite books I've read this year are:
The Complete Short Stories - Ernest Hemingway
Our Band Could Be Your Life - Michael Azerrad
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

As for a suggestion for you to read: Please please read Ready Player One! I guess I haven't read much in the genre, but it was so enjoyable - so satisfying to my inner nerd. So many references to John Hughes movies, D&D, 80's video games... it made me mad i didn't write it (and I don't write books). I just want to know what you think about it - you'll knock it out in, like, a day.
Have a great 2013, and we can't wait for book #3 here! :)

Sara @ Forever 17 Books said...

Ahhh, you've read Taken! So excited for that debut! I also just discovered John Green this year with The Fault in Our Stars and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Have you read the Chaos Walking series? I just loved those books. Such a crazy and unique world with characters I grew so attached to.

Thank you so much for the giveaway! I am counting down the days until Boundless is released!


Cali W. said...

Thanks for the giveaway! There are so many books coming up in the New Year.
Scarlet-Marissa Meyer
Rise-Andrea Cremer
Requiem-Lauren Oliver
If I Should Die-Amy Plum
Essence-Kimberly Derting
Goddess-Josephine Angelini
Everbound-Brodi Ashton
They are all sequels, but a each series are great including Boundless! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

So many good books are coming out this year! Some I cannot wait to read are:
Boundless (obviously !)
House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Vortex by Julie Cross

I'm gonna stop there otherwise the list would be a mile long! But thanks for the giveaway and I'm seriously so excited for your book to come out!

Amanda @Stuck In YA Books said...

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay!!

Happy New Year!!

BookOwl93 said...

You should totally read "Teardrop" by Lauren Kate which comes out in late 2013, "The Essence" by Kimberly Derting which is already out (but if you haven't read "The Pledge" you should read it first), "The Indigo Spell" by Richelle Mead, and "Black Ice" by Becca Fitzpatrick :) I'm awaiting all of those for next year!

Vampire_Aids said...

Spellbound and Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Schultz
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Trylle and Watersong series by Amanda Hocking
The Lying Game series by Sara Shepard
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
Shade, Shift and Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready
On The Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I've read a handful of the books you listed as well but am happy to find some new ones I hadn't heard of before.

Vivien said...

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Wonderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Sever by Lauren DeStefano
Fuse by Julianna Baggott

Unknown said...

Have you read R.E Bluter book she has great e books.

Miranda said...

I am most looking forward to Asunder by Jodi Meadows, Requiem by Lauren Oliver, Everbound by Brodi Ashton and of course Boundless

Victoria said...

I'm really looking forward to the sequels of series that I've been following, especially Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Princess!

Anonymous said...

I'm not too sure if you have read these two trilogies (third book yet to be released) but they blew my mind away in 2012!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
UnWind by Neal Shusterman

As for 2013 releases, I'm SUPER excited for Everbound, Uses for Boys, School Spirits, Antigoddess and of course BOUNDLESS!

Happy 2013!

Cassie Fetters said...

haha it looks like you read just as much as me and my sister :) I totally read most of those this year. And may I just say that it is a crime that she ended up with Will? I mean, hello, Cassian was a wa-y better choice. Anywho, Happy New Year!

Cassie Fetters said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I just forgot. If you want one incredible read for '13, read Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I cried. Laughed. Wanted to chuck it across the room, and loved it beyond most books I've read in '12. Don't miss it :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

omg i am a huge fan of john green too.
he is a genius.
two of my best books in 2012 were :
13 reasons why by jay asher-AMAZING
sweet evil by wendy higgings- if u hadnt read it u should only to get to know KAI *SWOON* beside kai the book is pretty good( more like wonderfuly good:D)

Anonymous said...

I love your books!! Thanks for the great list

Bonnie @ A Backwards Story said...

I loved, loved, LOVED reading this post and seeing your thoughts on all of the books you read.

I've often wondered about how I'll talk about books if I ever get published and have less time for blogging reviews. I love this one post that wraps up your thoughts! So perfect!!

Enjoy 2013! I already have a list of titles to read! *Dies*

I already have BOUNDLESS preordered and can't wait to read it!

Anonymous said...

Books that were awesome in 2012 was:
The Mark of Athena (Rick Riordan)
Hidden (P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast)
Reached (Ally Condie)
Of Poseidon (Anna Banks)
Everneath (Brodi Ashton)
Out of Sight,Out of Time. (Ally Carter)
Carrier of the Mark (Leigh Fallon)

Books that I'm looking foward to reading for 2013 are:
The House of Hades (Rick Riordan)
The Goddess Inheritance (Ally Carter)
Shadow of the Mark (Leigh Fallon)
Everbound (Brodi Ashton)
Of Trition (Anna Banks) and of course BOUNDLESS!!! :)

Books that you should read is The Touch Series by Laurie Stolarz.It' s awesome for mystery lovers!!!

Estela Ayala

Anonymous said...

These are the top 5 I'm looking forward to through June:

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Doll Bones by Holly Black
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Isla & the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

So many good books coming out!

Emily said...

Wow! So many awesome books. I would say that you should definitely add "Shatter Me" to your list. and "Fractured Light." I loved them both so much. And "Transparent" by Natalie Whipple is probably the debut I'm most lookingf forward to. I need to keep this blog post as a list of books to read, just so you know :)

Anonymous said...

So many awesome books! And so many books I didn't even know existed! :O

I read a lot of good stuff this year, although most of them are not as new as yours. ^^U One of the best was the 4th book in Christopher Paolini's "Inheritance Cycle" series, which I had been expecting for a looooong time. I absolutely loved it! I also loved your books, Unearthly and Hallowed. :)

As for 2013, I'm definitely looking forward for the third part of your saga!! I want to read Boundless, but I'll probably wait until the paperback edition, since that's how I have the previous two books and it would ruin the shelf where I keep them if I were to get the hardback edition, as much as I want to read it right away! ^^U

Also, I want to read the third part of Beth Revis' series, which is awesome, and I'm also looking forward to the third book on Amy Plum's Revenants series! :)

Thank you for organizing this giveaway and Happy New Year!! <3

With love, from Chile.

Unknown said...

Some of my favourites this year was:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, so excited for the second one that's coming out soon. The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2), and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa was amaze-balls!!

Brie said...

Cannot wait to read the next book. I have been looking forward to Boundless so much!

I was also excited to see many of the books i read this year on your favorites of 2012 reading list.

Kayley said...

The book I'm to which I'm looking forward the most is PREMEDITATED by Josin L. McQuein. It has a beautiful cover and an amazing description taken directly from Josin's query letter, which has become famous for its awesomeness.

Here's the blurb:

A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.


Even the rhythm of the blurb creates intensity. I expect the writing in the book will be just as masterful.

The only downside of this book is that it doesn't come out until October. :(

precious said...

The third book from veronica roth , the next to pandemonium and lauren kate's newest book

Marie O. said...

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, Everbound by Brodi Ashton,Mind Games by Kiersten White, and so many others. Thanks for the giveaway!

Susan Light said...

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas. Loved both of them and I also discovered John Green this year after a fellow teacher suggested him. Still haven't tackled Fault in our Stars becuase I just haven't found the time to bawl my eyes out.

Heather said...

Stormdancer, by Jay Kristoff, was one of my favorites of 2012.

TheLightAlchemyst said...

You've already read most of the ones I'd suggest! But here goes-
The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
Confessions of Georgia Nicholson by Louise Rennison
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Grave Witch by Kaylana Price
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Sara said...

I really think you should read the "Beautiful Creatures" series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It's AWESOME. :)

Thanks for the giveaway and happy new year!

Anonymous said...

The books that you should read this year are The Tiger's Curse Series by Colleen Houck, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, and Origin by Jessica Khoury.

Thank you for this opportunity!!

Karen Maldonado said...

Maybe the Infernal devices by Cassandra Clare, and Article 5 and Breaking Point (out in February) both by Kristen Simmons.

Also, Boundless is #1 on the "most popular books published in January 2013"

C. Cross said...

My favorite this past year was Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols and I'm most looking forward to sequels to: the Divinicus Nex series by A&E Kirk, the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Angelfall by Susan Ee, and of course Boundless

Stephanie said...

I loved a lot of the same as you. On addition I'd add The Girl of Fire and Thorns series. So good!

Unknown said...

I LOVED your books since I barely started reading Unearthly and Hallowed just this past summer. Also Obsidian and Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout. Such good books I read in 2012, but I'm eagerly waiting for Boundless, Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins, Of Triton by Anna Banks, and Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz.

Anonymous said...



Thanks for the giveaway!!!

Unknown said...

One of my favorite books of 2012 was a sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. Amazing. This year I'm looking forward to a lot of sequels. Boundless, Indigo Spell, Clockwork Princess, Unravel Me, The Bitter Kingdom, and so much more. This year is going to be a great year for books!

Jennifer said...

If Canada is eligible for the arc please include me.

Some of my favorite books of 2012:
Easy by Tammara Webber
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Until I die by Amy Plum
Reached by Ally Condie
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong
The Selection by Kiera Cass

Some books I am looking forward to in 2013:
Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Sever by Lauren DeStefano
Divergent #3 by Veronica Roth
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
If I should Die by Amy Plum
The Elite by Kiera Cass
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Sandy said...

Have you read Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me? Shatter Me was great, but her novella Destroy Me was FANTASTIC for the perspective it gives of one of the characters. I am now counting the days for Unravel Me in February. I hear it's spectacular!

I'm also a huge Ally Carter fan and can't wait for her third Heist Society book, Perfect Scoundrels. Her Gallagher Girls series is top notch, once you get past the first book (which is good, but not AMAZING like Books 4 and 5.)

Liz B. said...

I am looking forward to Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, Perfect Scoundrals by Ally Carter, and the third book in the Divergent Trilogy. When I read Insurgent and reached the end, I screamed. I wanted to throw my book across the room, but I was reading on my Nook, and did not want to break it.

I personally did not really llike Pandemonium by lauren Oliver or Reached by Allie Condie. I felt Reached was EXTREMELY predicatable.

rthady said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway, and of course the reviews! I'm going to have to check out so many of these after seeing what you thought.

rthady said...

Please try the Waterfall series by Lisa T. Bergren! They are so well-written, though not well-known. I believe the first is only 2.99 as an eBook, and the rest are in the 7-dollar range. The beginning was a bit slow, but once the plot began to take shape I couldn't put it down.

makix3 said...

I've added at least 5 more books to my already huge TBR pile! :]
I recommend Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. :]
Thanks so much for the giveaway!
Marijana Sitar

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the 2nd Book in the Legend Series, Prodigy. I think it's seriously made out of awesome <3 Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

Argh! I've only read about half of the books on this list! I clearly have some catching up to do! One of the best books I read this year is missing, though: 'Spark', the sequel to 'Glow' by Amy Kathleen Ryan had me absolutely breathless throughout. It was even better than its predecessor. The characters were so incredibly written, very multi-dimensional (no Mary Sue's here!), and it was so action packed. Can't wait for the 3rd book. Speaking of 3rd books with well-defined characters, I am so so so excited for Boundless! :)

Alina Khan said...

i suggest for you to read tempest by Julie Cross :)

Fatima Kauser said...

thanks for the giveaway :) i think Delirium by Lauren Oliver is a good book for 2013!

Laura BurgandyIce said...

What a seriously FUN post!! I love all your snippets of thoughts on so many great books. You really read a lot of great books. I'm not very concerned about your reading in 2013 - you know how to pick 'em!! Lol.

But since you ask......... I really loved Bloodlines last year, which I got to via the entire Vampire Academy series, and I was glad I did. I discovered Armentrout's fast-paced writing, too... and it is so fast. Very fun. One of my fav's was The Emperor's Conspiracy. Wow. & Anna Banks, I mean, Scarlet's Degrees of Wrong. New-for-me, too, is Kagawa's writing... she really finds the details!!

Thank you for a chance to win Boundless... that is sooooo AWESOME!! Woohoo!!

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to Boundless.

Some of my favorite books this year were the Uneathly series, Divergent series,and Gallagher Girls seris

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I love TFIOS so much too. Crying and laughing both at the same time. Looking forward to Boundless : )

Unknown said...

And I think you should read the Matched series! I also like Slated by Terri Terry



You should definitely read:

Angelfall by Susan Ee and the sequel which will hopefully come out this year! I loved the characters in this, and the plot too.

Happy New Year, Cynthia and thank you for holding this giveaway~


Emma said...

Yey recommendations! I was just wondering what to spend my Christmas vouchers on! I've just finished Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder and LOVED it.
I am also looking forward to SO may books in 2013 - especially Boundless of course!

Emma said...

Yey recommendations! I was just wondering what to spend my Christmas vouchers on! I have just finsihed Maria V. Snyder's Scent of Magic and LOVED it.
I am also VERY excited for lots of 2013 releases - especially Boundless of course!

Kelsey @ Slush Sleuth said...

Happy New Year!

Since I am (safely, I think) assuming that you have already read Boundless, I would recommend Dualed by Elsie Chapman.

If you're looking for something that's already come out, I really enjoyed Girl of Fire and Thorns and the sequel, The Crown of Embers.


Jen@Reading_Lark said...

I agree with an awful lot of your suggestions, but my book of the year (our to the 80 I read) was Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry. It made me sob several times, and I am not a crier.

Melinda said...

We have so many of the same favourites books, Cynthia! Of course Hallowed is definitely in my top ten (I have an ARC as well as a finished copy because I'm a glutton like that LOL). But Shadow and Bone, For Darkness Shows the Stars, Fever, and etcetera make an appearance as well! :')

One book you definitely need to check out is Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. It's hands down one of my FAVE BOOKS EVER, and contains one of MY FAVE BOOK BOYS EVER! Also, I kind of had a heart attack that Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock and Everneath by Brodi Ashton weren't on your list. OH MY GOODNESS. They're also published by HarperCollins imprints, so I think that should be incentive enough!!!

Happy New Year, Cynthia! Thank you SO much for holding this giveaway! :) <3

Bella said...

I'm so jealous you got an ARC of Mind Games; I can't wait to read it! I also loved Pandemonium and Shadow and Bone. My favorite books of the year were probably Endlessly by Kiersten White and Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter. Thanks for sharing your faves of the year with us! I am definitely going to check a few of these out.

Erica said...

Thanks for the list! I read some of the same books you did and added several of your recommendations to my
to-read list. A few books I loved last year (that I didn't already see recommended in the few comments I scrolled through) are: Outpost by Ann Aguirre (book 2 in the Razorland series - book 1 was ok, but Outpost was amazing), Starcrossed & Dreamless by Josephine Angelini & The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. I also loved Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, if you like Regency-type stories.

Anonymous said...

i would like to win an advance copy of boundless because i love the unearthly trilogy

Kate said...

Thanks for putting together this list of books. I have been needing some recs. Last year I read most of the ones on your 2011 good!

Bia said...

Just saw your new interview in which you mentioned loving The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and that reminded me that I should have suggested you to read The Raven Boys if you haven't already. (Didn't check all the comments to see if anyone said it.) I enjoyed it as much as The Scorpio Races, though in many ways it was very different.

You also said that your next project is a contemporary standalone and that made me really excited because most of the times I much prefer contemporaries over paranormal. Maybe that's why I love Unearthly so much because it reads a lot like a contemporary and focuses on issues we don't usually get in paranormals. The ironic thing is that I actually root for the paranormal guy, lol.

Can't wait for my copy of Boundless to arrive, already pre-ordered it. And until then I'll be a nervous mess with all the guesses and anticipation.