Let's be honest...it's pretty much impossible for anyone to compose a list of the top ten best books released in any given year. And yet, there must be that end-of-the-year top ten list. So, how about this--here is my selection of my top ten favorite contenders for what I think are the best-written, most entertaining books of 2012, in no particular order!
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This pick is obvious--only John Green can make you cry and laugh equally as hard in the space of just a few pages. Not many writers can pull off such a tragically sad book as this and still inspire readers to call it funny.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This is probably the most surprising book I read this year, but also one of the most brilliant. I am in awe of Wein's talent for storytelling, and how she wove two different narratives together, one riddled with deceit, to tell an amazing story of love and friendship.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
When I think of fantasy books, I think of swords and daggers and evil and action. which is why this book surprised me a little. Seraphina may not have a ton in the way of swords and daggers, but evil and action (and political intrigue and magic) abound in this clever and unusual story of the assistant music mistress in a great palace with an affinity for dragons and a big secret to guard. I absolutely adored this book.
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
I fell in love with Cashore's writing after reading Graceling, and by the time I finished Fire, I was head of over heels. Bitterblue, the sequel to Graceling and companion to Fire, is yet another brilliantly plotted and emotional book. Cashore's writing really speaks for itself--just read the first few pages.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
It seems to me that the more Maggie Stiefvater writes, the better she gets! I was blown away by her incredible talent in the opening chapters of The Raven Boys, and completely sucked into the story. Her twists and turns, emotional characterizations, and special brand of weirdness are so enticing, and I cannot wait for the next installment!
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
There were so many things about this book that surprised me--the protagonist, the setting, the length of time the book spanned--but I couldn't help but get completely sucked into Cameron's world. Danforth is an incredible writer, and I hope to read more by her in upcoming years!
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
King has rapidly become one of those authors I absolutely trust to deliver a story that I will like, no matter what it's about. She's surprised me on occasion, but luckily for me, I needed no convincing to fall in love with this book. King is just so sharp and smart and she knows exactly what to say to get you thinking.
Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
I love a comedic, light, and fun summer read, and this book fits the bill perfectly. It has three used-to-be best friends, a road trip, a boy band, a green VW bus...really, what's not to love? This book is probably one of the most entertaining ones I've read in a very long time!
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Jennifer E. Smith takes all of the conventions of insta-love and throws them out the window in her book about romance, love, and serendipity. This book isn't so much about romance and rush of finding love as it is about chance (and second chance), and not being afraid to live life. I loved it.
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues
This book surprised me so much when I first read it that I had to immediately read it again. This story of back-and-forth between three characters over the death of their friend and sister spans a lot of time and was brilliantly paced, with some surprises I didn't see coming. I loved this book, and I hope to read more by Rodrigues soon!
What were your favorite books of 2012?