I know, I know... It seems that I'm a few days late for this one. We're already IN the New Year, but I decided this year that I wouldn't post this list too early to give myself more of a chance to read as many 2012 releases as I could.
So without further ado... I give you my list of the top reads for the 2012 year!
10. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
This book was a surprise I received in the mail from Scholastic, and I wasn't familiar with it at all until I opened up the package in the mail. However, I was so surprised by it - there's some really fascinating steampunk aspects to the story, and turned out to be one of the most touching books and remarkable characters I have ever read about. Plus the writing works so well to give off a distinctly gothic creepy vibe.
9. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Epic high fantasies are some of the best fun there is when it comes to books. I loved the political intrigue and multiple perspectives which made Falling Kingdoms stand out in my mind from many other stories I've read. It's dark and full of magic and mysteries and has just enough of a mature/grown up feel to it.
8. 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Reviews have been mixed for this book (I recommended it to one friend who turned out to be a bit disappointed) but I was totally freaked. right. out. I loved the suspense and the space setting! And the ending is one that really left me guessing. I'm just dying for a re-read of this one.
7. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Another great fantasy pick. There was a whole lot of hype surrounding Shadow & Bone, and it was definitely well-deserved. Fascinating character dynamics, and magical world building is a great start to a new series.
6. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Contemporaries have rarely moved me the way Pushing the Limits did; the romance is intoxicating, and Echo's past is mysterious and leaves you guessing and turning the pages as fast as you can to figure out the puzzle. Shocking and so very, very touching.
5. Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell
The Widdershins books have quickly become some of my new favourites - I love clever, brave heroines and the world created here felt so lively and real with its developed religions and society. Furthermore, the villains in these books are some of the most terrifying I have ever read.
4. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
I loved the take on magic, dragons, and mystery in Seraphina! The romance is so unlike other YA books (or other books in general, actually) and I loved the depth Rachel gave to her fantasy world. And it has a traditional mystery feel to it, very "whodunnit". Oh, and the musical take to Seraphina's character! So creative and thoughtful.
3. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Re-tellings can be fairly hit-or-miss but Scarlet is one that I would absolutely recommend. It was so much fun, and thoroughly brought Robin and his band of merry men (and one woman) to life. The characterization was phenomenal, and the romance delightful.
2. Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
Historical fiction tends to be a favourite of mine and the assassin nuns found in Grave Mercy make for a thoroughly enjoyable alternate historical story. PLUS: witty banter, I love thee.
1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I'm really surprised that Code Name Verity made my top spot for the year - why? Because this is the only 4-star book on my list. And I struggled through the first half of the book. But very, very rarely has a story ever left such a mark on my heart and become unforgettable. I cried and my heart breaks every time I think "kiss me, Hardy! Kiss me quick!"
So now I'm curious - have you read any of these? And did you LOVE them as much as I did? What were your top picks for the year (which was a FANTASTIC year for books. It was so hard to narrow these down, but you can totally tell what types of books I really love).