In no particular order, here is a list of my favorite reads for 2012:
Rip Tide by Kat Falls – This book is a sequel to one of my favorites from 2010, Dark Life. In Rip Tide, Ty and Gemma find an underwater township that is chained to a sunken submarine. Not only is Ty now in a race with time to save the lives of the trapped people, but Gemma seems distant and Ty is concerned that Gemma doesn’t like her new underwater home. I have really liked this series and hope Kat Falls will add more books to it, I’m also excited to get my hands on a new series that she’s starting in 2013.
Icefall by Matthew Kirby – Trapped in a hidden fortress with her younger brother the crown prince, her older sister, and a band of reckless warriors, it quickly becomes clear to Sloveig that there is a traitor amongst them. Sloveig and her siblings must choose their allies carefully in order to survive the brutal winter and an enemy who seems determined to ensure their kingdom’s downfall.
Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand - The story of Louis Zamperini an Olympic runner and Army Air Force Lieutenant who survived a plane crash into the Pacific Ocean during WWII. Zamperini was captured by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp in Japan. A fascinating and inspiring story, I found it to be a quick read despite it’s nearly 500 pages.
Heaven is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson - In 2008 Stephanie Nielson and her husband were in a plane crash that burned over 80% of her body. This book tells the story of how she has endured and is recovering from her injuries. Through her blog and now her book, Stephanie Nielson has inspired me to be more grateful for what I have, to be a better mother, and press forward during difficult times. I loved this book. Be sure to read it with a box of tissues nearby.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer – It’s not everyday that you read a Cinderella re-telling in which Cinderella is a cyborg. This book was creative and fresh and I really liked the way the author tweaked the well-known fairy tale. I’m really excited for the sequel, Scarlet, which will be released in early February.
The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart - If you like dry, British humor and are able to stick with a story that isn’t a page turner, then this book might just be for you. It’s about a Beefeater (that’s what they call the guardians of the Tower of London) who is given the task of setting up a menagerie to house the exotic pets the Queen is given as gifts. Stuart does a fantastic job creating quirky, lovable, hilarious characters. My favorite was the priest who pens best-selling erotic novels; the proceeds of which he donates to housing reformed ‘ladies of the night.’
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - It’s a tough call to make, but this book was probably my most favorite for the year. The Night Circus is a story about two magicians who are in a competition to see who is the better of the two. ‘The Night Circus’ is the venue selected for the magicians to compete in. This book was absolutely mesmerizing, loved, loved, loved.
Divergent by Veronica Roth – I had been hearing quite a bit of buzz about Insurgent and wowsa, the buzz has been deserved. I couldn’t put this book down. In a market that is flooded with dystopian stories, I found Divergent to be a fresh take on the subject. On an appointed day of every year, all 16-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. Beatrice must decide between staying with her family or being true to who she really is.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth – This fast-paced, and action packed sequel delivered for me just as much as Divergent did. I really enjoyed getting an in-depth look at some of the factions we learned little about in book one. I also thought that Roth did a good job continuing the development of the characters we met in Divergent while also introducing us to new characters.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – When Alina Starkov’s regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant, magical power that saves his life. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. I really liked the Russian vibe this book gave off. A lot of magic, a little bit of romance, mysterious men that might be bad… what’s not to like.
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt – Huge sigh after I finished reading this book because I was sad it was over. Okay for Now is a companion book to one of my all time faves, The Wednesday Wars. And Okay for Now in no way disappointed me. Doug Swieteck’s father has just lost his job and as a result the family must move to a small town in upstate New York. Between his father staying out all night drinking with his buddy, his wounded brother coming home from Vietnam, and having to read Jane Eyre in school, Doug seems to have his hands full. So wonderful. XOXO this book.
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – Sage and three other boys are quietly taken from different orphanages by a nobleman to compete against each other for the throne. I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I had seen it on a 2012 best reads list somewhere, but I wasn’t completely taken by the description of the book. I’m so glad I ended up reading it as I really liked it.
Happy reading in 2013 friends!!