Sunday, December 16, 2012

Best of 2012 (7): The BEST of the BEST (aka My Favorite Books of 2012)

And here we are! A week (okay, a couple weeks due to my lack of time to actually write these lists) of bests and favorites has gone by and it's time for the final list! So, without further ado, here's my list of my favorite books of 2012!
Honorary Mention: Burn for Burn 
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn is such a guilty pleasure read and not because you don't want to admit you love it, but because it reminds you of every angry, vengeful thought you've ever had. And, admit it, you've had some. This book drags you in and completely immerses you into this crazy plot and into the heads three wicked gals. Mary, Lillia, and my favorite Kat were a dynamic trio and their quest for revenge was addicting. Seriously, I just had to know how it would end and I could not stop until I knew. I loved every bit of it of Burn for Burn and can't wait to get my next fix.   

Honorary Mention: Black Heart
Author: Holly Black
Cassel Sharpe, how I miss you already. Black Heart was a better ending for The Curseworkers Trilogy then I could have ever imagined. It was riveting, and the characters were seriously at their best. I actually love every single character in this story, including the villains! Lila was a brilliant character and love interest and she finally won me over in this last installment (I always liked her as a character, but not as a person). And Cassel. Oh, Cassel Sharpe has to marry me and marry me RIGHT NOW. He's an amazing, messed-up, gorgeous person. He's always trying to help those he cares about, even if they're not the nicest people. Fantastic idea, fantastic characters, Black Heart was simply fantastic.

Honorary Mention: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Okay, I made a pact to myself that I wouldn't have more than 10 on the list, but I really really wanted to break that rule for Anna Dressed in Blood. Because it was so so good and original. And the characters! My dear Anna Korlov is, hands down, one of my top characters ever. A bloodthirsty ghost as a love interest? Gah! It's just too awesome! Anna made me love her with her ferocity her personality, and that warm heart inside of her. And Cas with his hardened walls and determination was her perfect match. Together, they were two people surrounded by death but filled with so much life. I will be reading Anna Dressed in Blood and its sequel Girl of Nightmares again and again just to get another glimpse of these fabulous characters.

10. Clockwork Prince 
Author: Cassandra Clare

I didn't think I would have such a physical and emotional reaction to this book. My heart literally hurt after reading Clockwork Prince. These characters have cemented a place in my heart and I felt every painful moment they did. And this book was chalk full of painful moments. And filled with fantastic, realistic and developed characters. Seriously, this characters were spectacular! I loved the steampunk elements of the story as well, and I never doubted the plausibility of any of it. Cassandra Clare is a masterful at world building, and I was enchanted by this story. I wish I had read it sooner so I could have read it a bunch of times by now!

9. Shine
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is so insanely awesome. She writes fantastic stories, creates superb characters, and is just such a genuinely great person. I have loved her Shade series for years and Shine was the perfect ending. I was so nervous to read Shine because I didn't want this fantastic trilogy to come to an end! You'll hear more about it in my review, but it was one of the most amazing experiences to read about Aura's trip to Ireland while I was on my own trip there. It added an extra element to an already excellent story. Zach and Aura really grow as people in this novel and have to face some really rough challenges. But, as always, they did it with strength, persistence and heart which they have so much of. It was a seriously spectacular novel, and I miss the world already.

8. The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin

I literally sat with my jaw agape for a good ten minutes reading this book. The Evolution of Mara Dyer left me completely breathless, terrified, and maybe questioning my own sanity a bit. I kept wondering how in the world Mara was surviving these horrific events and not just curling up in a ball and crying. She is a tough gal, and she really impressed me in this book. So did Noah, who really changed in my eyes and I loved it. He was such a fantastic guy and the rock that Mara needed most. I love the whole insanity aspect of this book and that you never know if Mara is telling you the truth or not. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was just as addicting as the first one and I loved every second of it.

7. Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta

I know this book has been out for a long while but I only just read it earlier this year. Jellicoe Road is a radiant story filled with impacting characters that had me in tears. The writing was gorgeous (it made my Best of 2012 Writing list at #4) and the way the story flitted back from past to present just displayed Melina Marchetta's extreme talent. I didn't really know what to expect when I cracked the spine of this novel but what I got was a book that gripped my heart and has yet to let go.

6. Incarnate
Author: Jodi Meadows

I became entranced by this story from page one and sometimes I still feel caught up in the magic. Jodi Meadows took an old idea (reincarnation) and put a creative and unique spin on it. Throw in some dragons, sylphs, bigotry, and a musical old-soul and you have one of my new favorite series. When I think about Incarnate it almost has a light, gauzy feel to it because it was just so enchanting. But, there's also a sharp edge, because of the themes Meadows so expertly wove into the story. It was just such a well written, well thought-out, and beautifully done story.  

5. Crimson Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep

Okay, I think everyone now knows my insane love of the Mythos Academy series (it made four of my lists). It's addicting, and Crimson Frost was the best of the bunch. I literally could not put the book down because I hadtoknowwhatwouldhappenrightnow. The plot was absolute perfect in the most anger inducing way. My heart was racing the entire book and I found myself literally shaking the book at points. The characters took it to a whole new level and really impressed me. Gwen Frost is a fierce, sarcastic gal and I love her to bits. Logan had me in tears and Daphne and Carson made me so proud. I could not imagine not having Crimson Frost on my Best Of list!

4. The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green

Two words that will forever make me cry: Augustus Waters. Seriously, the amount of tears I've cried over this book is insane. My mom, at one point, came into my room asking if I was okay cause she could hear the sobbing from the living room. Yup, it's a tearjerker. But it's also a brilliantly written, powerful story of kids learning to live as they're surrounded by death. I had been waiting for John Green's next book for years and The Fault in Our Stars blew me away. These characters will stick with me for a long time to come. And so will my jealousy over John Green's writing talent.

3. The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead

I'm not even exaggerating when I say that my heart has not recovered from this book. It literally hurts to think about it. As I'm typing this, there's this little hole in my heart that keeps throbbing and I have the desire to shout "WHY" and shake my fist at the world. Man, this book. The thing about The Golden Lily is that Richelle Mead is a master at character development and I feel like I know these characters so well they could be my friends. Sydney is such an adorable gal, and I love watching her grow as a protagonist. Adrian is just such an amazing person and my love for him just grows every single page. I adored that my dear cowboy (aka Dimitri) was in this book! I missed him so. Gosh, I just adore this book so much.

2. The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater

How in the world goes Maggie Stiefvater write like that? Her words lift right off the page and bury themselves in your heart. The story of The Raven Boys had me captivated and spoke to me on so many different levels. I felt like a part of this story and wanted nothing more than to crawl into the pages and search for Glendower with these broken boys. And then there was Gansey. I haven't felt such complete connection to a character in a very long time and my goodness was it fantastic. Gansey was such a brilliant character and his desperate quest had me fascinated. The Raven Boys was a detailed, spectacular novel with some of the best characters I've read about, ever. It was magical, moving, and everything amazing about storytelling. 

1. This Is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
I know, you're shocked right? I haven't been mute about my absolute adoration of Courtney Summers and her (in my opinion) best book to date. It's was, without a doubt, my favorite book I've read this year and is possibly my favorite book I've read period. I bussed an hour and a half just to get this book and, once I had it, I barely let it out of my hands. Not only is Courtney Summers writing absolutely breathtaking, this story and these characters were impacting and spectacular. This book petrified me because the writing was so engrossing. I felt like I was in the story, and I could not separate myself from it. I still don't think I have. Sloane stunned me, broke me, and had me searching for some hope in her destroyed world. These messed up, heart-breaking, broken characters made this story beautiful. Courtney Summers, you are brilliant, insanely talented and are one of the best authors out there.

And there we have it! My Best of 2012 lists are done! What do you think? What were YOUR favorite books this year?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)


  1. Jellicoe Road was fantastic as was Black Heart and Anna Dressed in Blood. Great picks!
    My 2012 favorites!

  2. I really need to read Holly Black's series and Incarnate. I've heard so many great things. And I LOVED This is Not a Test. Great #1 pick!


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