Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best of 2012: Books edition

Now that we're rapidly heading for the pointy end of the year, I figured that I'd take the opportunity to do a couple of posts covering my favourite things from this year. As is to be expected with me, we'll start with the books!

To date, I've read 171 books this year, and I foresee passing 175 before the end of the year. Some of them REALLY sucked. Four of them I couldn't bring myself to finish, which shows just how terrible they truly were - leaving books unfinished makes me twitchy. But a decent chunk of them were made of awesome, and they deserve to be honoured accordingly.

NB. A good chunk of this list is going to be young adult books, because I've read a crapton of awesome YA this year. Sorry I'm not sorry.

Everything by John Green
2012 was the year that I discovered John Green. While his writing has kind of ripped out my heart and stomped on it, it's been worth every single second of it. He creates stories that stay with you well after you finish reading, and I can see most of them being regular rereads. Especially Paper Towns. Holy crap, I loved that book.

Everything by Gail Carriger
I mean, come on. How can you not love her books? They're equal parts paranormal and steampunk, with a good dose of hilarity. I'm just gonna sit here waiting for her next series to start, and hoping like hell that someone decides to make movie versions of the Parasol Protectorate series. Because THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett
This was so completely different to any of Pratchett's other work. It's a fantastic mix of fiction and actual historic characters, including Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, and Robert Peel. I particularly loved how lots of Dickens' titles were sneakily written into the story. It's a mixture of fantastic characters, humour, and incredibly serious issues, and I'm not sure anyone but Pratchett could pull it off quite as well.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
ALL THE UGLY CRYING. It's beautifully written, with fabulous illustrations. The plot comes to a fairly predictable ending, it's true. But the number of lines that I wanted to read over and over again was truly astonishing. So yeah. Heartbreaking, but a must-read nonetheless.

Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
These books, you guys. These books are so stinking cute that I can't even handle it. The teenage voice in both of them is perfect, and both of these books fell into the "I'll just read one more chapter HOLY CRAP IT'S 2AM" category. Sure, they're overly dramatic and kind of predictable. But I can't wait for the third book in the sort-of-series to be released next year. I may camp out at the library and fight a bunch of 16 year old girls to be the first to get my hands on it.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
This book is like Mean Girls and Groundhog Day had a baby. Except in a less creepy way than it sounds... The character development that the protagonist goes through in the course of the story is amazing. The ending was kind of inevitable, but I still wish it could have been different. SIGH.

The Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld
A steampunk alternate history of World War I with big secrets all around? YES PLEASE. I love the characters, the boffins, the beasties, and the illustrations. Sure, it's intended for 14 year olds, but pff. It's still made of win.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
OHMYGOD. On the surface, this book is completely and utterly hilarious. But then every so often, you come across a line that gives you a moment of "Huh. I hadn't thought about that before..." that you end up reflecting on for days afterwards. It's equal parts Miss Congeniality, Lost, and Lord of the Flies, and it's brilliant.

The Rogue Agent series by K.E. Mills
Oh my God, I love this series. If you like Rincewind from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, you'll probably enjoy Gerald Dunwoody. It's a perfect combination of humour, excitement, fantasy and adventure. I'm VERY curious to know if the series is going to continue, and if so, where it's going to go from here! Also? The first book has the greatest dedication of EVER:


The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik
Must Be Thrifty gave me the first three books in this series for my birthday, describing them to me as "Hornblower, but with dragons." Basically? Napoleonic Wars rewritten with dragons = WIN. Things occasionally get a little insanely hilarious (teenage dragons, y'all...), which may have something to do with Novik's background as a fanfic writer. But the whole series is made of awesome. Although possibly don't read the entire series back to back - there's only so much dragon sexy times the brain can handle!

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
If you don't read The Bloggess, then you should go and rectify that situation right the hell now. And then you should track down this book. Because holy HELL, was it hilarious. Public service announcement: do not read on public transport, because you will probably bust an organ trying not to laugh hysterically in public.

Mr. Darcy's Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Okay, so this one is fan fiction, pure and simple. The author acknowledges it in her In a kind of weird sequel to Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy is a werewolf, and wants to tell Lizzie before he proposes to her. It was completely and utterly cheesy, and featured more bodice-ripping than I usually like in my books. But I loved every single second of it, and if I ever come across it in a bookstore, I *may* have to go ahead and buy it. BECAUSE OF REASONS.

So. What were the best books you read in 2012??

K xx

11 comments:

  1. Someone dedicated a book to the Tenth Doctor - BRILLIANT!

    I'm actually planning on doing a 2012 book wrap up at the end of the month. I might even make it a link-up. We'll see. I've never tried a link up before.

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    1. I briefly thought about making this a link up. But that seemed far too much like hard work!! ;)

      And seriously - I got as far as the dedication and had a little fangirl moment.

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  2. I'm planning to do a book wrap up this week, too! We have some sameness on our list, of course :)

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    1. I'm now inspired to do a book wrap-up and I have some sameness from here too! A Monster Calls --> Holy Ugly Crying. It was so beautiful.

      EXCITING TIMES.

      I can't wait to see everyone else's. :D

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    2. YAY, ALL THE BOOK WRAP-UPS!!! I also feel the need to do a movie wrap-up, a TV wrap-up, a music wrap-up, and an all-the-worst-things wrap-up. We'll see how that goes...

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  3. I rarely physically react when I read books. I don't jump in my chair at horror. Possibly some tears if it's super emotional but it won't turn into all-out bawling the way I will with a movie or TV (unless I'm in one of "those" moods where anything can set me off). And I never laugh out loud.

    I was laughing out loud ALL over the place with Lawson's book. My husband thought there was something wrong with me. (So then of course when I was done HE read it so he could see that my reactions were totally justified.)

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    1. I usually don't physically react when I read books either. But the books I've read this year? Holy hell. I blame Doctor Who. It broke me.

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  4. I've just reserved The Bloggess's book in the library and I'm very excited about it. I have no been doing as much of the reading as I would like - and I blame my job. So that should be ONE bonus of being unemployed :)

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    1. Absolutely!!! Also, I've just remembered that I said MONTHS ago that I'd lend you The Bloggess's book and I forgot to actually follow through on it. LAME. And also whoops.

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  5. I loved Anna and the French Kiss - I still have to read Lola, but I have high hopes!

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    1. I read Lola first and Anna second, so I might be biased. But I liked Lola more. Either way, they're both seriously adorable!

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