Hope everyone had a happy holidays this last week! I had a really nice visit with my family for a few days, a wonderful Christmas dinner, and of course many pleasing gifts, including a few books. It’s not Christmas without books.
I’ve seen a number of bloggers doing summary posts of their favourite books of 2012 – either books published in 2012, or books published whenever but read in 2012. I thought I’d do one such list, too, of the latter sort. I ended up reading 52 books this year, if you include my CPs’ unpublished manuscripts, and I’m pretty happy with that average of one per week. It’s hard to pick out just a handful that were best, but here are what I feel, after much deliberation, were my top five reads of 2012:
1. The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater
Definitely my favourite read this year. Though it starts out a little slowly, you’ll be rewarded if you stick with it. It’s a beautiful story about independence and survival and sacrifice, and the bond that can develop between a person and an animal (in this case, horses). The ending made me cry; always a sign of an amazing book.
2. Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
About two young women in Great Britain’s air force during World War Two who get shot down over occupied France. They both survive the crash, but one gets captured almost immediately. The book’s divided into two halves, and there’s a twist in the second that makes you totally see the first in an entirely different light, so that when you finish you want to start over again immediately. Also a beautiful and moving book, and surprisingly funny in spots, given the subject matter.
3. Cinder – Marissa Meyer
I loved the concept of this one, of a futuristic Beijing with androids and cyborgs and a lunar colony that’s developed mental “powers” of mind control. The writing is quick and easy and I quickly got swept up in the story, a rather loose retelling of Cinderella. The sequels will all follow other fairy tales, too.
4. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
This was the first John Green book I’d read. Despite the potentially depressing subject matter – two teens with terminal cancer – it’s actually a light and sometimes funny read. Which is not to say that it doesn’t take the subject seriously, because it does. There’s a reason this book has made so many best-of lists, including many dominated by adult titles. Unsurprisingly, it tugs at the heartstrings; I read the last 40 pages through tears.
5. Legend – Marie Lu
It’s sort of a shame that this one came onto the scene so late in the dystopian game, because I think it could have been big if it didn’t have to compete with earlier titles in a, by then, slightly crowded genre. I listened to this one on audiobook while on the road, and couldn’t wait to resume my travel so I could keep “reading”. It follows two fifteen-year-old child prodigies on either side of a civil war in western America; one being groomed for the military and the other the symbolic figurehead of the rebels and the country’s most-wanted criminal.