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