2012 was a really interesting reading year for me. The year started out super strong where I was just reading a lot of stuff I really enjoyed, I reread the Harry Potter books which was time consuming and fun, and then I ended the year rather weakly by struggling to get through some reads. I read more classics than I normally do, a trend I plan to continue, and a lot of books for movies. I'm actually really satisfied with my year in reading and I hope I feel the same way at the end of 2013.
Instead of giving you a list of my favorite books, I thought it was kind of interesting how I ended up reading things with similarities and so I'm going to just kind of go through them like that. If I had to pick favorites this year, they are probably Anna Karenina,Jellicoe Road, and A Monster Calls. They are all utterly gorgeous wonderful books that should be widely read! (and are as it happens to be!) Also, click on titles to see my reviews!
This...probably comes as no surprise, but Anna Karenina is the clear winner, since I really didn't like The Bronze Horseman that much. It might seem unfair to compare them, but they are both well loved. To The Bronze Horseman's credit, I do still remember the book pretty well. And it made me want to read more stuff in Russia, so there's that. But Anna Karenina is such a full and rich book with characters that I just genuinely loved. I'm so glad I read it this year!
This one is a lot harder!! I'm going to go with Carnival of Souls, though. Even though I really appreciated The Casual Vacancy, I can't say that I actually loved it. Carnival of Souls was less of a departure and I loved the feel of the new world, not to mention that I always love Marr's characters and relationships. I'm looking forward to the next book!
Probably a shocker, but I preferred The Beautiful and Damned. I think The Great Gatsby was wayyyy too built up for me as this like ultimate American novel and it fell a little flat for me, while I found it easier to pick at the issues and themes in The Beautiful and Damned. I can't really say that I loved either book wholedheartedly, though. By the way I've seen two different Gatsby trailers at movies I've seen recently and it looks crazy, like I wish I had felt that level of energy while reading the book. Also, I'm like one hundred percent against the casting, what were they thinking??
Neither of these were truly great, but I'm going to pick The Selection for the potential of the series. I will be reading the second book this year when it comes out and I'm crossing alllll my fingers the author capitalized on that thematic potential. Still in mourning it was never a show, sigh. 666 Park Avenue is a cute fun read but I have zero motivation to ever read more in the series.
This is such a hard one because I really loved both of these books. But...I'm going with Code Name Verity. Partly because it gave me one of the things I love best in any story...a strong relationship that wasn't romantic but still deeply meaningful. But I kind of want to give John Green a little shout out for completely inspiring me when I saw him at the LA Times Festival of Books earlier this year, he was so wonderful.
I enjoyed ALL of these zombie books, but my favorite was probably The Reapers are the Angels. So much beautiful writing. I really did love This is Not a Test as well, I mean it seems Courtney Summers can do no wrong. But The Reapers are the Angels was a different kind of read for me that took me by surprise and gave me some very memorable zombie scenes!
There are so many other wonderful books I read this year. Like, I tried to figure out how to fit in The Ask and the Answer and say BOOK THAT TOTALLY CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT A SERIES, but I didn't read another book that changed my mind about a series. I really wish I had written about the rest of the trilogy after I finished, but I hear Jodie read The Ask and the Answer and she'll cover everything far more brilliantly than I ever could. Also, Beth Kephart's Small Damages was lovely, and I adored Sara Zarr's How to Save a Life,Donna Freitas's The Survival Kit, and Francisco X. Stork's Irises and I highly recommend these books, THEY ARE WONDERFUL.
It's just been a really wonderful reading year! I feel happy and blessed with it. I hope you enjoyed my sort of silly way of looking back and I hope you'll be back tomorrow when I discuss one of my favorite things--reading goals!
What's the best book you read this year?