Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Best Books I DIDN'T Read in 2012

I'd love to read everything, I really would. But inevitably I get interrupted, or my mood changes, or circumstances just mean I don't get around to reading the books I should. Here are the five books I really wish I could have read already, and the reasons that I haven't. Rest assured they will all be read very, very soon!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

There is a very good reason that I haven't read this one yet. Without going into too much detail, my Grandma was diagnosed with Leukaemia just before Christmas 2011. Much of my early 2012 was spent hoping that she'd get better. Unfortunately she didn't. So you'd understand why the premise of The Fault in Our Stars didn't exactly thrill and fascinate me. It's only been in the last few weeks that I've felt that I can finally handle this book. 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This is that one book that I am truly gutted I didn't read early on. I have heard nothing but good things about it, and I honestly have no good reason why I haven't picked it up yet! 

The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo

I'm naturally very hesitant when it comes to fantasy. Letting yourself get lost in an entirely new world always fills me with trepidation, which is probably why I let this one slide by me in 2012. I really wish I hadn't though. The proof is still on my shelf, and having been reawakened to the joy of fantasy writing by the luscious Seraphina by Rachel Hartman at the end of last year I'm now really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this!

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Every time somebody buys this from me in my bookshop I find myself a little more annoyed that I haven't read it yet! Everything I've heard just makes me more sure that I will love it. 

Hollow Pike by James Dawson

I have heard people reference one of my favourite films ever, The Craft, when talking about this book, which basically means that I am destined to love it! Hollow Pike feels like it's been sitting on my to-read pile forever, but I think I've been too nervous to pick it up, as the subject of witches is one very close to my heart and I'm just scared that I won't enjoy it as much as I want to! Yes, I know that's a lame reason to not read a book and I absolutely promise to read it very soon!

Monday, 14 January 2013

My Best Reads of 2012

So I'm a little late to the '2012 round-up' party, and to be totally honest I can get very critical of such round-ups. How can anyone say what the best books are when they haven't read all of the books? Also, these lists are incredibly subjective. With that in mind, what follows are not the Best Books of 2012, but the Best Books That I've Read in 2012!

In Darkness by Nick Lake

Date Finished: January 8th 2012
Read my review HERE

A staggering novel that opened my eyes to a part of the world I had no previous thoughts or feelings for. Nick Lake showed himself to be quite frankly 'possessed' by his narrators in a way that left me tingling.

Heaven by Christoph Marzi

Date Finished: February 3rd 2012
Read my review HERE

A Gaiman-esque ride through the London I know and love. Romance and fairytales combine with urban fantasy.

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Date Finished: February 12th 2012

For some reason I never got around to reviewing this one at the time. Probably because it left me too stunned and traumatised! A post-apocalyptic dystopian nightmare that made every other bit of sci-fi I read last year second rate. This is the book that set the standard. 

Look out for my review of the sequel Fuse coming soon!

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Date Finished: March 7th 2012
Read my review HERE

The book that makes you want to be a better person. Enough said. 

Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

Date Finished: April 3rd 2012
Read my review HERE

This book gets under your skin and stays there. So accomplished, I still can't quite believe that this is Tanya's first novel. A writer to watch!

Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Date Finished: April 24th 2012
Read my review HERE

Flying the flag for UKYA, Sarra gives us a couple of protagonists who I initially found it hard to like, yet won me over with all their flaws! Proof that the Brits can do great contemporary YA just as good as the Yanks.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Date Finished: July 10th 2012
Read my review HERE

Crikey I loved this one. Filled with heart as well as sublime illustrations, this is something special. If you missed it this year, please find a copy and give yourself to it for an afternoon. Just wonderful.

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

Date Finished: August 12th 2012

This is the first book I read on my Kindle, and the structure is so unusual I found that I had to read it again in proper book form to make sure that I hadn't missed anything! One thing I knew instantly was that this was a special, special book. 

I think I must have been on a bit of a blogging holiday when I read this one. Rest assured that in light of the Costa win, I will be writing my review very soon!

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Date Finished: August 22nd 2012

If there was one writer who I wish I could be, it's Libba Bray. I adore everything she does, but this book was an inspiration for it's sheer scope and the joy it takes from the characters and the plot. Set in the 1920s and featuring a range of kids with mysterious powers, there is nobody else writing quite like this in the world of YA right now. I am so jealous of Libba it hurts. It actually hurts.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Date Finished: August 31st 2012

This woman is my queen of paranormal romance. It would be easy to shrug her off as a writer who rose to prominence in the post-Twilight world, but Maggie is so much more. First with the Scorpio Races and now with this, the first in a proposed four-part series, Maggie proves that she is a writer with skill and wit, who brings intellect to a genre so often written off as silly. You can tell that she loves what she does, and her passion seeps from the pages of The Raven Boys. Paranormal Romance with brains - you can't get better than that!


So there you have it, these are the ten best books I read last year. If you want to follow all the books I read, a lot of which I just don't get time to blog about, then you can follow my updates on Goodreads.