Book Reviews

Best Books of 2012

After much deliberation, I managed to pick out seven of my favorite books from 2012. A couple of these books actually released in late 2011. But I didn’t read them until 2012, so for the sake of this list I’m including them!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, you soon will—I rarely read anything but Young Adult (YA) books. It’s the genre I write, and it’s my favorite genre to read. Of the seven books listed below, six are YA and one is Middle Grade. I did read a few “adult” books this year, but they weren’t good enough to make this list. Don’t dismiss the epic quality of a well-written YA book!

Four of these books were written by seasoned pros, but three were by debut authors (which is pretty amazing when you think about it). As for the settings of the books, three are dystopian (set in a messed-up, futuristic society), three are contemporary, and one is historical. I love audiobooks, and I listened to all but one of these books on CDs or Playaways. I highly recommend the audio versions—very well done.

Without further ado, my best books of 2012!

Best Realistic Fiction:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This book is topping “Best Book” lists all over the Internet, and rightly so. You will laugh. You will cry. You will marvel at the brilliance of John Green. Of all his masterpieces, this one is my favorite.

Best Paranormal:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

It’s hard for me to explain everything I love about this book, the first in a new series. It could easily make a run for Best Romance or Spookiest Supernatural. The characters are superb, and the Welsh legends are a refreshing departure from paranormal books of late. It’s an all-around awesome book. But my favorite thing is what I love about all of Stiefvater’s books—her lyrical use of language. Even if the plot wasn’t stellar I would still read it. She makes everything sound beautiful.

Best Fantasy:

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

If you haven’t read Riordan before, you’ll want to start with The Lightning Thief and work your way through seven books before getting to The Mark of Athena. But it’s not work at all—it’s a fantastic ride of adventure and humor. Each book is better than the last. I am now so invested in these characters, I would happily read a hundred more books about them.

Best Romance:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

This debut isn’t strictly romance. It’s a dystopian with superpowers, and the use of strikethrough language is amazingly original. But the romance made the biggest impression and kept me turning pages late into the night.

Best Fairy Tale Adaptation:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I love how Meyer took something old—the Cinderella fairy tale—and made it new in a dystopian world. It’s funny, exciting, romantic, and intriguing. And I was lucky enough to get an ARC for the sequel, Scarlet, an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood. Can’t wait to read it!!

Smartest Thriller:

Legend by Marie Lu

If I said this was a political dystopian, it would sound boring. Legend is the opposite of boring. It has a kick-butt heroine, an equally talented hero, a budding romance, and a race to save a life. You won’t be able to put this book down. 

Spookiest Supernatural:

The Diviners by Libba Bray

If you haven’t read Libba Bray, you’re missing out. This book is the start of a new series, and it might be her best yet. Set in New York City’s Roaring Twenties, the dialogue and cultural references are perfection. The characters are well-developed with various superpowers. But the most amazing thing about this book is how spooky it is. Gave me chills. Some of it is supernatural, but the scariest parts are based on real historical people and events. As a bonus, it’s one of the best audiobooks I listened to all year, complete with songs and multiple accents.

So that wraps up 2012 for me! What were YOUR favorite books this year??




5 thoughts on “Best Books of 2012

  1. Dear Erin,

    I just wanted you to know that I did get to read your book over the holidays and really did like it. I know I’m not your target audience, but I can still enjoy a good young adult story line, thank goodness. Maybe that’s from being a mother of four – I did have four teenagers in the house at once – or from teaching high school so many years. But I do remember that one of my favorite authors as an adult (Phyllis Whitney) turned out to have written some of my favorite books from junior high, though I didn’t realize it until much later. Good luck in whatever you do. Linné Gray

    • Mrs. Gray, thank you so much for your comment! And thank you for letting me know you liked the book. I hoped it would be enjoyable for adults as well. Young Adult is my favorite genre to read when it’s well-written. That point in time has so much tension and potential. Teenagers are on the brink of life-changing decisions. It’s a scary and exciting time!

      Thanks again for your kind words and support, I greatly appreciate it!! 🙂

  2. Great list. I included “The Fault in our Stars” on my Top five list as well, wonderful fiction. I just read “The Raven Boys” and I was completely obsessed. I know I would be. I love Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle Trilogy, but haven’t gotten to “The Diviners” yet. It is on my TBR list though. I am now checking out the other books on your list that I haven’t seen before. Thank you for the new book info!

  3. Pingback: Hey you guys! My first solo novel! « Ellie Ann

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