Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favourites of 2012

It's here. The end. The end of 2012, and finally a wrap-up post from me because I was convinced the very best books I'd read would be the ones I didn't get the chance to til winter break. This post is a odd mix of my last year's wrap-up, hosted by the ever-lovely Nomes at Inkcrush, and the popular 2012 survey hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner.


BOOKS

1. favourite book read in 2012!!!

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta.

I feel this might be partly because this is the most recent book I have read, but trust me when I say it's amazing. But having it fresh in my mind sure helps with the selection process... I gave this book a 9.5/10 so yeah..



2. book you were excited about but didn't live up to your expectations

Beautiful by Amy Reed (I pretty much hated this book.. yeah), Insurgent by Veronica Roth was a disappointing sequel as well :(


3. brilliantly funny

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book fits under "brilliantly funny" because of the brilliant way the humour is incorporated into a novel that deals with heavy subject matters. It is not heavy handed or forced, the laughs are thoughtful, surprising, and perfectly induced.






4. best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read

ache-y:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
there's something in Charlie's innocence and the way he writes with such vulnerability and honesty that got to me

heart-breaking:
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
because my heart hurts. It actually hurts.

tearjerker:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
because not every character can escape heavy subject matters.



5. delicious, rainy day comfort read

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
this is the absolute perfect post-exam read, it stars a fantastic heroine, an engaging story, swoony romance, and a letter to melt your heart. I've never read Persuasion by Jane Austen but now I want to.




6. adrenalin-filled, unputdownable read

The second half of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, because wow.








7. the beautiful prose award

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta.
the words are heavenly.

Honourable Mention: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie is undeniably a powerhouse in the field of beautiful prose, but she uses such graceful and gorgeous phrases, sentences, and paragraphs in her latest novel that I couldn't not notice. Funnily enough, I had this as the original recipient of this award... until I read Quintana a few days ago. Sorry, Ms Stiefvater.





8. most atmospheric and vivid setting

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
*sigh*
it really felt magical. 






9. best under-appreciated, hidden-gem book

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
okay, maybe this isn't as hidden-gem-y, but I still want to recommend this to everyone, even those who don't like zombie books. This book is soooo good. 





10. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love-this-so award

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Steph Su, I owe you big time for the rec. This book just blew me out of the water when I least expected.



11. outside my comfort zone but gosh how i loved it

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
An adult book! 




12. an unfinished series that i'm loving 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer 
I just finished Cinder recently.. such a great read. 

Honourable Mention: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys was excellent as well! Those boys. That writing. Love.) And of course, the Dustlands trilogy by Moira Young.






13. can't believe i waited so long to read this
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


14. book that lived up to (or superseded) the hype

The Fault in Our Stars by John Gren
It's hard to comprehend the amount of hype surrounding this book, I think it owes to the fact that John Green has such a huge following due to the Vlogbrothers, but yeah. Plus the early reviews were so gushing, and the hype was basically insane.. and the book was wonderful. Yay!


15. want to re-read already

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
*le sigh* was this book amaze-balls or what



MOMENTS

1. best plot-twist (no spoilers!)

Rebel Heart by Moira Young
there are more than a few holy shit moments in this one.

Honourable Mention: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
let's just say everything after the halfway point of the novel was a twist. this book is brilliant.



2. best swoon-worthy moment

Kai's letter in For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
oh dear, what a piece of beauty.
I had a lot of trouble thinking of an answer for this category, so I'm sure there are so many other swoony moments out there that I didn't mention, sorry!


3. best cliffhanger

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
SRB WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!

Honourable mention: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.. what a twist :)


4. best ending for a stand-alone

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
like holy shit.


5. best ending for a series

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta (The Lumatere Chronicles) because it was so utterly beautiful and perfect and just the best ending I could ever dream of.

Honourable Mention: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
because the book was quite the epic, wasn't it? This is another book that narrowly placed first, until I read Quintana...hehe


CHARACTERS

1. most memorable female character

Quintana - Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
for the girl who was brave beyond measure and so, so beautifully written.


2. most memorable male character

Augustus Waters - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
this was a tough one, I was debating whether to give it to Froi, but I'm going to go with Gus. For his views on heroism, his simultaneous young-ness and old-ness, for that cigarette he has in his mouth unlit. For using big words and not being afraid to love. It's odd, I never swooned for Augustus, but I sure loved him.


3. favourite friendship

Maddie and Verity - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. 
oh my god. these two. sensational.


4. favourite relationship 

Elliot and Kai - For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Okay okay, I just didn't want to put down Finn and Isaboe, or Froi and Quintana from Quintana of Charyn (oh sorry, am I getting predictable?). But yeah, Elliot and Kai are awesomesauce because I love characters who have a painful history, yet don't have like, instalove based on "history" (looking at you, Daughter of Smoke and Bone)


5. new literary crush

None! WHAT! I know. I mean, I don't remember seriously swooning this year, unless you count my reread of Where She Went by Gayle Forman (hellooooo Adam). And yes, I'm equally shocked at this revelation.


6. favourite sibling relationship

Arjuro and Gargarin - Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
these two. I could cry for days.


7. best villain

Leck - Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
why are you so creepy?



OTHER

1. favourite cover (of a book i read)

There's something so striking about that picture. And the font is perfect.

Honourable mentions include Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern



2. book you're looking forward to the most in 2013

My current list: Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, More Than This by Patrick Ness, The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness, The Howling Boy by Cath Crowley, Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter, and Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan.
Also, Markus Zusak, when does The Bridge of Clay come out?!?!!?!??!!?!?

**



And... there it is! The long, exhaustive, and slightly repetitive list of the best books in the funnest categories, if I do say so myself. I hope you liked reading it! Thanks to all of you who have stuck around the blog for this year, I really appreciate it. I hope you have read wonderful, wonderful books and explored fantasy lands and fell in love with characters like I did. I'd love to know what your favourite read was in the comments below :)

And Maggie Stiefvater, I'm sorry that you were the official bridesmaid for this year-end list... maybe next year ;)

Have a fabulous new year, love you all! xx

-Audrey

10 comments:

  1. I seriously cannot, cannot, CANNOT WAIT for Just One Day! And Isla. And Moon and More. And whatever the next Raven Boys book is. You know what, basically we're waiting for the exact same books haha! I really liked the Night Circus, Raven Boys, and Fault in Our Stars.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I know right?! gah, 2013 is going to be a good year for books :D

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  2. Lately, The Ask and the Answer. This is so brilliant it hurts.
    Have a nice New Year's Eve!

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  3. Oh so many books I LOVE on here - The Raven Boys, Code Name Verity (sobbing so hard at the end of this), Unspoken, For Darkness Shows the Stars (and swooning at the end of this) Gone Girl ~ they were all amazing. I am dying to read Quintana and love your favourite sibling pick :D

    I agree that there was a distinct lack of swoon this year, I loved couples together, but there was no one I really loved (until I re-read The Scorpio Races that is!)

    Happy New Year! Hope 2013 is full of amazing books

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    1. Yeah, I don't even know why but the swoon/couples part just tripped me up! Like, there's no Sean Kendrick, that must be the problem...

      Hoping next year will fix it ;)

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  4. So many great choices!! You know my love for Code Name Verity, and TFiOS was amaaaaaazing. So was Perks, I adore that book. I'm reading For Darkness Shows the Stars right now, so I'm so glad to hear you liked it!!! And I NEED to read Finnikin of the Rock!!

    Great list, Happy New Year's :D

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    1. Ahhh so good! And I really hope you like For Darkness Shows the Stars!! :D Happy New Year to you too Chloe, hopefully I'll see you at a signing sometime! :)

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  5. So many good books like TFiOS and Perks! Oh,I really have to read Code name verity

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    Replies
    1. it's so good, I'm so happy to see it on so many best-of lists!

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DFTBA :)
for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*