Hey everybody! So the new year is getting ready to close and I knew it was time to make my Best and Worst of 2012 lists! I decided to divide them into separate posts, as I made a top ten for each, and here is the Best!
The list will include the book title & author, cover image, & the first “non-spoiler” section of my original review for it, plus a click-through link on the title so you can follow it to the original review!
"This is one of those books where you can’t help but just say, “Wow,” by the end of it; and that is seriously the only word I can find in my vocabulary right now. Bobet has a beautiful and lilting style that feels like poetry while maintaining a narrative. Matthew felt like he should–a real person who has never lived Above–our world–and has his own language, his own way of saying things, which contrasts with the dialogue of those who are Normal people. Unfortunately, it had what I refer to as a “Yentl ending”, which means it has an ending that you have the distinct feeling is supposed to be happy, but actually is sad and heartbreaking and upsetting and all those things that, I feel, make a book spectacular. This is a rare gem, and if you’re in search of a good standalone, you’re in for a treat with this one."
"While I understand that this book may not be “quality” literature, it sure blows almost everything else out of the water in terms of actually making you happy by reading it. The narration of Cammie Morgan keeps you entertained all the way through, sounds perfectly realistic for a fifteen-year-old girl, and can seriously make you laugh out loud (I did on several occasions, having to stop and explain to my mother what in the world was so funny). And that’s only one good part about the book; the plot is actually well thought out, always moving forward, and finally an ending to a first book that, despite it’s not-as-happy-as-it-could-be ending, didn’t make me want to pull my hair out in frustration! I wanted the next book straight away, but more in a “I can’t wait to keep reading because I’m having so much fun!” rather than the usual “I’m going to die if I don’t find out what happens right now!” way!"
"Warning. I am a nerd. So while I loved this book immensely, people who generally read my reviews might feel differently about this book than I do, since Arthurian history is one of my passions. So I wouldn’t trust my word for it on whether or not any reader of this review will end up liking it as much.
That much being said, this was one of the best books I have ever read in my life and after having read it, I feel like a person who’s been living in a cave and has just now first seen the light of day. It was that good. Steinbeck so…perfectly captured the Arthurian tales, taking the originals and modifying them so anybody could read them without having to battle their way through Mallory’s old English. It was stupendous and breathtaking, and I would recommend it immediately to anybody looking for something to read in the historical fiction genre.”
"I’m convinced that it’s impossible to not like these books! Carter strikes again with an entertaining, well-thought out, and well executed novel in the Gallagher Girls series. It also helps that Zachary Goode is about one of the best characters ever. I am not kidding. You can tell that things are starting to get a little more intense, and little more grown up than its predecessor. It’s impossible to tell who to trust and who to keep at a distance; not to mention Cammie had to juggle seeing Josh on several occasions, simultaneously trying to figure out Zach’s motives for the things he does. Again, while it might not be the most educated piece of “literature”, it achieves its overall goal to entertain and amuse."
From this point onwards, the top six are all tied. I simply couldn’t arrange them in a favorite order, so they’re alphabetical by title.They are all simply amazing and I couldn’t pick favorites!
"This book has definitely claimed the position of favorite book of 2012 thus far. So far, it seems like I’ve only been disappointed by highly anticipated novels and debut authors, but this. This was astounding, beautifully written, crafted perfectly. Zhang created a world that was new and intriguing and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Eva’s voice was beautiful and heart wrenching, and her longing for things her sister has that she can’t have is so piercing. I’ll admit, I did have high hopes for this book–and for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t disappointed. My expectations were met and exceeded, with only few flaws. What’s Left of Me is truly a masterpiece; I’m already craving the next book, and the first hasn’t even been released yet!
*A copy of this ARC was provided by my supervisor at the public library.”
"Wow. Wow. I was not disappointed by this book. I finally picked it up because, despite having owned it for some eight months now, it’s my library’s book club book, and volunteering there every week, my supervisor begged me to come for a meeting. So I finally had an excuse to read this book everyone had been calling a masterpiece. And they were right. It was amazing, and took my breath away. Asher writes the narrative beautifully, and I loved how it “alternated” points of view while keeping the narratives together.
Having lost a classmate and friend to suicide barely two months ago, this book took on a different meaning for me than it would have had I read it before the beginning of March. The entire book, I kept hearing my friend’s voice in my head, reading Hannah’s tapes, wondering what would I do if I were Clay. Already having lost her the one time, having that be painful enough, then having to hear her voice all over again and know it’s too late to save her? It was a one-sitting read, and it was hard to see, from an outside perspective, the exact same thing I’ve experienced in the last two months. Painful, but beautiful. I applaud you, Asher.”
"What. I mean, looking at the cover and reading the summary, you definitely wouldn’t expect me of all people to fall in love with it. And sometimes, when I think about it, I can point out a lot of things that were wrong or that I didn’t like, but at the end of it all, I didn’t really care. I devoted my entire day, from three in the afternoon to three in the morning, to reading this book. If you look at my status updates on GoodReads, none of them were encouraging or really all that positive; but for some reason, I hit a certain point where I couldn’t stop reading long enough to update and say that I had totally changed my mind and loved this dang thing. Sure, I hated the perspective of the best friends towards Echo’s situation and that really bothered me, but I really fell in love with Noah’s story, and once that roped me in, everything else just fell into place.
I’ll try not to make this a screaming fangirl type review, because I recognize this book did have faults, but at a certain point, I stopped caring about the faults because McGarry created a story and characters that I really came to love.
An ARC of this was provided by my supervisor at the library.”
"I could not wait to get my hands on this book! I’ve been just about dying to read it ever since I finished Hex Hall and couldn’t even wait for my preorder of the paperback version to get here before I practically tackled my friend’s copy from the library. The waiting to get a copy has been killing me and I am so very, very glad that I’ve finally read it! Not only was it was a great continuation of the first book, but Hawkins’ writing improved immensely, which was one of my primary complains about the first book, and not to mention perhaps the greatest part of all, for those of you who remembered my review of the first book–all the Cal! I was just all-around thrilled with this book, and it was so much better than I first anticipated and everything I could have hoped for it to be! I don’t know if I’ll make it until March for the third book to come out, since this one had about the worst cliffhanger I’ve ever read in my life–but still fabulous, nonetheless!"
"I…I suppose I’ll just start by saying that this was much better than Clockwork Angel. And I regret having ever dared Clare to make me feel the same types of emotions with this series as she did with Mortal Instruments. Because she has succeeded–big time.
My best friend read this book before and warned me that my heart was going to break. But I don’t know if I really, truly believed her until I found my heart cracking into pieces, feeling my very soul being stripped away from me. I finished this book early this morning (around four!) and couldn’t even get my eyes to close until at least an hour later. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, that my entire world was going to crumble; mixed with the fact that we have to wait until December to resolve all of this, to fix what has happened. It’s like it’s crushing me, and that, my friends, is not a feeling I have had since I read ∙the Mortal Instruments.
Usually, I can keep my reviews rather spoiler-free, although I always have a spoiler warning for the more detailed review to follow this smaller one. However, since I will focus mostly on all the feelings that attacked me while reading this, I strongly recommend not reading past this point until you have read the book yourself. Even if you don’t care about spoilers. The only way to find out is to read it yourself, because that’s when it knocks the breath out of you and feel as if you’re suffocating. It’s a surprisingly beautiful feeling, actually.”
"Even as a fan of the Mortal Instruments, after City of Fallen Angels, I was wary it would only be downhill from there. Although this book was different from the others (this was the only one I didn’t end in tears and/or my very soul ripped out), it was spectacular in a way that was different from the others. And I loved it. I sympathized with characters I never thought I’d have an inkling of compassion for, and vice versa, I was bitter towards some I had previously liked without comparison. Where City of Fallen Angels felt like filler, City of Lost Souls finally got down to the nitty gritty plot of it all, and I feel like I’m back in the original series, with different circumstances. It made me seriously think about who I was cheering for, and why–I don’t know if I’ve ever been so torn between who I should think of as good and evil."
* * * * *
And that’s it! The Best Books of 2012! You can see the worst on my blog! Thanks for the great year, everybody!
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