Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Year in Books: Favorite Young Adult Releases + Giveaway


Here we are at part 2 of my favorite 2012 releases, dedicated to young adult books. 2012 was a very good year for me and there were many books I absolutely adored, but the ones on this list are creme de la creme.  The numbers in front of them mean nothing, they are listed randomly, but if I had to choose just one, my absolute favorite 2012 release, it would be Outpost by Ann Aguirre. I hope you'll find something to add to your to-read list and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win one of these beauties.


     


1. Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi 
As I'm sure you already know, Destroy Me is a very long e-novella told from Warner's point of view. Tahereh Mafi decided to push the release of her second book, Unravel Me, to 2013 and publish Warner's story first and as someone who has read both, I must say I completely agree with her. Mafi's writing is not for everyone, but I've always had a soft spot for daring artists (unless they're abstract painters) so it definitely works for me.


2. The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Although I didn't love The Raven Boys as much as I loved Maggie Stiefvater's other books, they unquestionably belong on this list. What makes this book stand out among Stiefvater's works is the absence of romance. There are hints of one (or two), yes, but she took a step away from her usual pattern and truly surprised me... in a very good way. The writing is also different from what we've learned to expect from her. Those of you who consideded her writing in Shiver flowery or purple will be more comfortable with The Raven Boys. Either way, there's something in it for everyone.


3. Outpost (Razorland, #2) by Ann Aguirre
I almost feel that I could get away with leaving this section empty. Everyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about Ann's books, and she truly gets even better with each one. On a one-to-five-star rating scale, Outpost, and especially Horde, get ALL the stars. Millions of them. I have now finished this trilogy and my God, you guys, you're in for a treat. Enclave, Outpost and Horde are all astonishingly good and together they make a masterpiece.



       



4. Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1) by Sarah Fine
Officially my biggest surprise of the year. Too many new authors have been showing up lately and I often get owerwhelmed and unwilling to take risks, but trust me, Sarah Fine deserves a chance. Sanctum is such a dark and surprising book, but with a strong message of hope. And of course, there's Malachi. You definitely want to meet him.


5. The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2) by Paolo Bacigalupi
This is not something I would choose to read on my own, but it was recommended to me by my friend Catie from The Readventurer, and Catie always knows what I'll like. Although it is loosely connected to Ship Breaker (which I haven't read), The Drowned Cities can be read as a standalone. The main characters, Mahlia and Mouse are unlikely heroes (and not always heroes at all), and Tool, a genetic blend of animal and human, is one of the most complex characters I've ever come across.


6. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Another one of this year's big surprises. When I received the ARC of this book, I was extremely excited, but I kept telling myself not to expect too much. As it turned out, I needn't have worried at all. Elizabeth Norris wrote an astonishingly good debut, full of excitement, heartbreak and with a swoony, epic romance. I was fully invested in the story from the very start, and I'm on pins and needles waiting for the sequel.



     

7. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by R. L. LaFevers
It seems that people either loved or hated Grave Mercy, but I adored every word of it. Why? Here, I'll write it again: assassin nuns! I was completely entranced by Ismae and her world from start to finish, and  the romance was just exquisit.  


8. Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2) by Melina Marchetta
Although it was released earlier in Australia, the US release of Froi of the Exiles was in 2012 so I decided to include it after all. Not only does it belong among my favorite 2012 releases, this is one of my 3 favorite books of all time. There were parts I had to reread two or three times in order to fully process them emotionally, and as a whole, this book packs a powerful punch you won't easily recover from.


9. Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartmann
Here's the best thing I can say about Seraphina and Rachel Hartmann: they made me wish I was better at math. No small feat, I tell you. Seraphina is an unforgettable heroine, and her world a paradoxical combination of medieval etiquette, cold logic and forbidden passion. I could never choose a favorite thing about this book, I simply adored everything in it. *coughs* Lucian Kiggs! *coughs*


  

10. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
A classic in the making! A book that will surely endure the test of time. Code Name Verity is a heart-wrenching story about two friends in World War II. One is Scottish royalty who grew up in a castle, and the other a bike shop owner’s granddaughter. One desperately wants to fly airplanes and the other is a natural born actress. They have nothing in common and they have everything in common. They story will keep you glued to the pages.


11. Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
Gone, Gone, Gone is one of those unassuming books that quietly enter your heart and change your life. I've been talking about this book to anyone willing to listen for a very long time, and I still feel that it isn't enough.

And that's it for this year. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win one of these books! Instead of Destroy Me, you can choose to win a pre-order of Unravel Me. The giveaway is, as always, international- anywhere The Book Depository ships. I hope you guys had a fabulous year and that an even better one is ahead of you. 
Heaps of love to all of you who keep coming back to read my reviews. I am forever grateful for your time. And of course, happy new year to all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

86 comments:

  1. Oh now this is the list I love! :) I love all your pick, some I have read but some I haven't (I'm planing too). I can't wait to start Lumatere Chronicles, cause I have heard only great things about it :) For my list..I think the first place would be The Storyteller :) I love that book. Oh look I'm the first person to enter the giveaway :) Great..thanks for the giveaway :)

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  2. Code Name Verity is defo my top book of 2012 and you're right, it will be a classic (I hope so! It would be a great book for high school students to study.)

    And Gone Gone Gone, I'm liable to forget it when I make my best of 2012 list, it was great. Also, Froi and The Raven Boys are also fantastic :D

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  3. I had such a good reading year that it's very difficult to pick my favorite 2012 release, so I cheated and picked three: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna, Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick, and This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

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  4. Until I Die by Amy Plum

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. I loved Froi of the Exiles! Kind of wished I discovered it after the US release of Quintana though. This is Not a Test, Onyx, Tiger Lily and Days of Blood and Starlight are also my favorites.

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  6. I really enjoyed Grave Mercy too! Destroy Me was an interesting read. I feel like I know why Warner is the way he is now. :)

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  7. oh I've read a few of these and I completely agree, they were awesome!!!!

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  8. Some of my favourites in that list there as well! I need to start reading that Ann Aguire series!
    Happy new year!

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  9. I have to say that I'm a huge fan of JLArmentrout's LUX series, and I recently read Hopeless by Colleen Hoover and loved it. These are both for the slightly older readers.

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  10. I've heard a lot about Unravelling... I'll definitely check it out... My favorite book ?? Well I guess it would be Storm by Brigid Kemmerer (YA) and Kate Daniels series (ADULT)

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  11. My favourite 2012 young adult release are Divergent and Memento!!

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  12. It's difficult to choose only one, but I would go with Destroy Me

    Thanks for the giveaway ˆ^

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  13. I haven't read many books from your list, Maja and I feel like I need to fix that right away. They all seem so good. I've heard great things about Code Name from so many bloggers. I need to get that one soon.
    To be honest, I don't think I have one favorite book. It's too hard to chose.
    Great list, Maja and thanks so much for the giveaway, lovely! :)

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  14. There are so many good ones. I'm going to go with Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier off the top of my head.

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  15. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.

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  16. There were a lot of good ones, but Poison Princess by Kresley Cole was unbelievable!

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  17. I loved Silence by Michelle Sagara.

    Happy Holidays & thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  19. I also don't know if I have a favorite release from 2012! I tend to read books a year or two after they come out, haha, so right now I'm reading Anna and the French Kiss

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  20. Code Name Verity was SO SO good. I was an absolute weeping mess by the end of it. And I agree about Unraveling, I was excited to read it and then pleasantly surprised how amazing it actually was! My favourite 2012 reads are probably Cinder, Something Like Normal, and Meant To Be. I think. Ask me again in a few hours and it'll probably change haha.

    Thanks for doing the giveaway!

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  21. I like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

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  22. My favorites of 2012 include Code Name Verity, Seraphina, and Grave Mercy.

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  23. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini:)

    Thank you:)

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  24. Maja, this is a great list of books! I have added so many of these to my 2013 TBR because of your lovely reviews. Thanks for sharing, Maja!!

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  25. I loved The Fault in Our Stars, Cinder, and Days of Blood and Starlight!

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  26. Yay for Seraphina and Grave Mercy! I haven't read the others but the ones I'm most looking forward to reading from this list are Code Name Verity - so many positive reviews for it! - and Sanctum which seems to have surprised a lot of people.

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  27. I still need to read The Raven Boys, but I like the lack of a huge romance.

    I also really want to read Code Name Verity, Sanctum, and Gone,Gone,Gone. glad those are on your top list!

    I don't have a set favorite of 2012, to be honest. I'm sure there are many I could name. I did really like Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach.

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  28. Unraveled...I'd love to read!
    ivegotmail8889(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. What an amazing list, Maja! I'm quite sad to say that I haven't read a lot of them, though. D: Gosh! I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who hasn't read Code Name Verity yet. Everyone's read it and everyone's loved it! Looks like I need to go book shopping soon. I, however, DO own Grave Mercy! The thickness kind of intimidates me, though, haha. I'll pick it up soon, I promise. :) As for me, my favorite 2012 release is (as to be expected) Insurgent by Veronica Roth. As if I could ever pick something not written by Veronica Roth.

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  30. The Raven Boys, Sanctum, Froi, Seraphina, CNV, and Gone, Gone, Gone would have all made my list as well, Maja! I love your faves this year, especially Gone, Gone, Gone which is so under appreciated, but a true gem! :)

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  31. I have a bunch! I loved Grave Mercy, The Raven Boys, Struck, Hemlock, Renegade, and The Book of Blood and Shadow. Great list!

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  32. I love your list! I SO agree about Sanctum! And Froi! And Outpost was awesome! Oh yes, Grave Mercy blew me away as well. And Seraphina... yes, definitely a great list!

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  33. Definitely The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski <3 !

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  34. Day of Blood and Starlight is one I'm enjoying.

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  35. My favorite book was Pushing the Limits, it was such a great story with really strong characters. My favorite from your list is Outpost. I can't wait for the third book! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  36. I loved Grave Mercy!! Thank you for the giveaway :) Happy new year!

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  37. I really liked Cursed ^^
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    @Tibiux

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  38. Oh some brilliant picks Maja, I loved Code Name Verity, Unraveling and Seraphina. They're not normally books that I would pick up but I really ended up enjoying them. Shadows by Paula Weston and Courtney Summers' This is Not a Test would also make it to my list too! Thank you for another great giveaway hun! :)

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  39. Several of those are on my list and the others are in my TBR. My fav was Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.

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  40. I personally loved The Raven Boys this year. However most of your top books for 2012 are on my TBR pile. Happy Reading!

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  41. I see a lot of similar books on my own list, but so many different ones! January is going to be a fun month catching up on these great 2012 reads.

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  42. I have yet to read any of the books on your list, but a few are on my to-read list. My fave this year was Black City!

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  43. I'm SOOO happy to see Sanctum on here. It was SO GOOD!

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  44. Awesome giveaway!! My favourite would probably be Cinder and The Immortal Rules!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  45. Oh, hello there. My favorite books from 2012 were all of them. Fiiine, I guess Holier Than Thou and The Drowned Cities. Oh, and Six Impossible Things and A Straight Line to My Heart. I read all those in 2012, I think.

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  46. I LOVED so many on this list, Maja! Grave Mercy, Froi, The Raven Boys, and Sanctum. I have Destroy Me, I just need to read it. Tahereh Mafi's writing is wonderful. I want to get to Ann Aguirre's series. Thanks for the giveaway. I'll probably try for Ann Aguirre's book. :)

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  47. I am so excited to read Grave Mercy. On the other hand I loved Destroy Me, it's really awesome to look into Warner's perspective...I think I like him now too! Thanks for the giveaway.

    -Riz Bulatao

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  48. Ahhh Maja! I love this! So many of the books you loved are on my TBR list! I am reading Grave Mercy as we speak! So far, I am on the side of "loving it" =). Looking forward to another year of your great reviews!

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  49. Unraveling I think. Sooo good and original.

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  50. I loved Shadow and Bone!

    Thanks,
    Leanne

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  51. Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway Maja! :) I loved so many of the books you mentioned above. If I had to choose, I'd probably pick The Fault in Our Stars which I just recently read and LOVELOVELOVED. <3

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  52. I just love your list! Great 2012 picks!
    I think I have decided that my favorite read from last year was Divergent and Insurgent. But I also adored the Lux series!
    Ah! It's hard to pick :]

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  53. I LOVED Grave Mercy and The Sky is Everywhere. :) I have you to thank for the later.

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  54. TFiOS by John Green
    I know, I know. Not the most original but I love John Green

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  55. I loved 'Delirium' by Lauren Oliver - am just starting the second in the trilogy 'Pandemonium'. Although young adult books these have been a top hit with my daughter (14) me (43) and my mum (67)!!

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  56. Mine would be The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    Thanks

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  57. Pushing the Limits, The Evolution of Mara Dyer and Opal! They are all incredible books.

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  58. Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

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  59. I'm afraid I haven't read many from your list (I'll have to fix that straight away!)...the young adult book I most enjoyed this year was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (released in 2011, does it still count?).
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  60. Thanks for this giveaway!I really liked Cinder.

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  61. Dizzy by Nyrae Dawn:)Thank u for this giveaway!!!

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  62. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It was amazing. My new favorite book.

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  63. Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick. It was crazy good!

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  64. my fav 2012 release is Under The Never Sky

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  65. Currently my favorite 2012 YA release would be the Mark of Athena, although that kind of MG. I'm currently reading Days of Blood and Starlight and it may be my new favorite!

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  66. Sea of Tranqulity by Katja Millay. Thanks!

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  67. Endgame by Ann Aguirre. My anticipation was through the roof, and it didn't disappoint. :)

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  68. Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent.

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