Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ally's 2012 Rewind

This year has been a rather peculiar year for me in the book world. I emerged from my vampire cave and into the other realms of Young Adult categories. It was hard for me, going out into the vast unknown and all. But once I got going, devouring the miscellaneous topics that fall under YA, I found it hard to stop. I guess you can say my book affliction only grew.

Some of the new themes that I have come to know and love include zombies, steampunk, and, dare I say it, contemporaries. Before I was introduced to the magnificent John Green books, I held a strong and quite prejudiced belief that no contemporary book could or would be as a good as a paranormal or fantasy read. Looking back now, I couldn’t disagree more! I wince at my own simple-minded nature and encourage anyone who might even think that way to think again! The Fault in Our Stars says it all.

Now zombies have taken Young Adult books by storm. I find this brilliant! I have read so many zombie titles this year, and it amazes me to see the plethora of twists put onto this one thought. I am currently reading Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, and I absolutely adore it! On the front cover it quite explicitly says, “If you enjoyed Clockwork Angel, you’ll love this.” At first I was a little annoyed. How can anyone compare a book to my heart and soul, The Infernal Devices?! Expectedly, I went into the book snickering and already biased. Three quarters of the way through and I . . . love it! The blurb was correct. Something Strange and Deadly is amazing, and it does remind me of the Shadowhunters and their world. But at the same time, it is completely different.

Another revolutionary idea that seemed to hit me in the head this year was the concept of steampunk. Steampunk. Is. Amazing. It’s just a really roguish and bad-arse idea. The air that surrounds this theme just seems to grab my attention. My third favorite book I have read this year is actually the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. This series is drenched in steampunk!

Before I get into my top two books of 2012, I would like to touch on some of the books that I didn’t quite like. There were only three, and one was the famous The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. For the life of me, I wanted to love this book. Everyone else did, and it was about fairies! For some reason I just couldn’t enjoy the book. I didn’t like Ash or Meghan, and I only sort of cared for Puck. What can a girl do when she doesn’t like the main characters? I’m probably going to try and finish the rest of the series, though. Who knows, I might just change my mind. The other two books I didn’t really care for were Ten by Gretchen McNeil and Eve by Anna Carey. I didn’t like Ten because it seemed too cliché of a horror story. I also couldn’t find the “horror” in the story. It wasn’t scary for me at all; it wasn’t even that big of a mystery for me. Eve was just an impractical choice on my part. I somewhat knew that I was going to dislike the book, but I went ahead and read it anyway. Darn me and my thick head!

Now back to my top two favorites. My second favorite book, or should I say series, of 2012 was the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (I’m also selfishly including Bloodlines and The Golden Lily). This series changed my life! I love everything about it, specifically Adrian Ivashkov! This series made me laugh and made me cry. I still think about it quite frequently. This series was just so different from any other series I have ever read. The characters truly felt real. I could easily picture Rose cracking jokes while killing Strigoi. I think that’s why I love the series so much; it’s because of the characters.

Now my favorite book that I have read this year is . . . The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater! I adore this book so much! When I first started reading it, I quickly connected the Raven Boys to the four Marauders from Harry Potter. In my mind, Gansey was James, Ronan was Sirius, Adam was Remus, and Noah was Peter. I jumped at the idea of having my image of the Marauders live through the Raven Boys. I loved the book for this. But by the end of the book, I came to love it for what it was and not what it represented in my mind. I still saw the connection, but I loved it separately. I loved the quest for the Welsh king storyline, I loved the fantasy, I loved the boys’ friendship and history, I loved Blue, her family, and her unique name, and I loved Ronan Lynch! It’s weird, though. While reading the book, I didn’t “love, love” it. I recognized and appreciated the amazingness of it all, but only after I finished the book and reflected back on it did I truly come to adore it. I think about The Raven Boys at least once a week. I’m simply dying to find out what happens. Reading The Raven Boys just really completed this book year for me. ♥

Honorable Mentions:

Those who are loved but sadly did not make the top three include: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.


  1. It's always interesting to read people's opinions and favorites. I really didn't like the Iron Knight either -- didn't even finish it. But, I also DNF Raven Boys. Go figure... Loved Fault in Our Stars (my favorite of the year) and Grave Mercy. Happy New Year!

    1. The Fault in Our Stars was a really good read! It was so sad, though I think that's why I loved it so much! I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like The Raven Boys. I think it's more of a hit and miss with her books.

  2. I've just read the first in the VA series by Richelle Mead and loved it :) Can't wait to read the rest. Now reading Leviathan (and two other books) and really like it - so far, I think, it's better than Westerfeld's Uglies series

    1. I'm so glad you liked VA and Leviathan! I love both of those series! I haven't read the Uglies yet, I'm going to get there eventually.


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