Monday, December 31, 2012

Shannon's 2012 End of the Year Book Review

The Perpetual Page Turner Blog is hosting a great end of the year book survey and I thought it would be a lot of fun to join up and take a look back on my reading "journey".  If you are interested, you can join up here.

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? 

This was really hard to decide on just one, but the two that really stand out for me are Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Under the Never Sky/Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi. Through the Ever Night comes out in January, but I read it this year and it was SO amazing.  Also, I loved loved loved the Divergent series by Veronica Rossi. 

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)  Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)  Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)
 Divergent (Divergent, #1)  Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Unfortunately there were a few that could make this list.  I'm quickly learning that book critics and I don't always see eye to eye (I'm looking at you Swamplandia and Once Upon a River)But the two books that comes to mind are ones I really thought I would like.  The first one was Changeling by Phillipa Gregory.  I really like her other works, but if I am being completely honest then I thought her young adult book was a hot mess.  The other one is Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  I didn't get it.  Even though every one else seemed to love it. 
Changeling (Order of Darkness, #1)   Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
I would have to say Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I don't generally read contemporary YA (unless it is written by Sarah Dessen) because I find they can be a little cheesy and "twee".  But I had heard such good things about this book that I finally caved and read it...aaaannnddd ended up loving it.  I thought it was funny and touching.
Anna and the French Kiss 
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Shadow and Bone, hands down.  But a close second is the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I discovered so many great series in 2012.  But I am going to pick two series that I had put off reading, thinking that I wouldn't like them.  But I ended up really enjoying them!  
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)  Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2) Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)  
The other series was Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series.  I put this one off for a long time because all I could think was "ugh, werewolves", but it was so much better than I expect.  Maggie Stiefvater is a great writer.
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)  Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)  Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3) 
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
 I actually did a whole post about it here.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Hmm...this is kind of a hard one because I generally only read books that I think I would enjoy.  But  since I generally have no desire to read werewolf novels (and I already mentioned the Wolves of Mercy Falls series), I would have to go with Andrea Cremer's Nightshade series.  There is so much in this series that I would normally hate (and the covers alone would make me run and hide), but some how it all worked and I had a lot of fun reading it.
Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)  Wolfsbane (Nightshade, #2) Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3)
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Definitely Shadow and Bone and Through the Ever Night.  Although, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth were also right up there.
9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
I will probably reread Shadow and Bone before the sequel comes out.  I also would like to reread The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
 Divergent (Divergent, #1)  Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2) Everneath (Everneath, #1)
11. Most memorable character in 2012?
The Darkling from Shadow and Bone.  I get shivers.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
I loved Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking series.  It had some really neat topography tricks but I also liked the plain, sparse, yet thoughtful writing.  I really felt like I was in the characters' heads.  
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)  The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2) Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak tore my heart out and stayed with me for DAYS.
The Book Thief
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
 Graceling by Kristin Cashore!  How did I not know about this book until this year?!
 Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
These two passages made me swoon (and I am a hard one to make swoon):
“Did you miss me, Alina? Did you miss me when you were gone?"
"Every day," I said hoarsely.
"I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something I wanted to tell you about, or because I just wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me we don't belong together," he said fiercely. He was very close now, and my heart was suddenly hammering in my chest. "I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone 
“I say, 'I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.'
Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, 'It's late for that, Puck.”
Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races
  
And this has to be one of the best opening lines of a book:
“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say.
About anything.
"Need a poo, Todd."
"Shutup, Manchee."
"Poo. Poo, Todd."
"I said shut it.”
Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go  
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
The Shortest was War Horse by Michael Morpurgo: 165 pages
The Longest was Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness: 608 pages 
17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The cliffhanger of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Manchee in The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The questionable decision Saba makes near the end of Rebel Heart by Moira Young
The reveal in The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The twist in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Darkling-Alina-Mal triangle in Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo  
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Saba and her crow, Nero in Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Todd and his dog, Manchee in The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Tris and Four (Tobias) in Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Aria and Perry in Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Sean Kendrick and Puck Connolly in The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater   
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
I'd go with The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa.  Such a fun book and different from her Iron Fey series.
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1) 
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
The owner of this blog recommended The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater to me.  I hadn't given it much thought, but decided to give it a try.  I ended up loving it and it sparked a Maggie Stiefvater fever.  It is such a unique book and beautifully written.  Love, love, love.
 The Scorpio Races
Looking Ahead:
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Oh man, too many to name!  But one like to read very soon is For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund.
For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1) 
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
There are a TON of sequels coming out that I am excited about, but one I am super excited about is Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo!
Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2) 
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
My goal for 2013 is to get through my backlog of books.  I have a bunch sitting on my kindle and a few on my bookshelf.  See, what happens is I go to the library and start looking around.  And then I come away with like, 20 books.  I feel like I need to read those first because they are on a "deadline".  So I want to get through the books I have in my possession.  That is my main priority in 2013.  

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