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Best Books of 2012

It's that time of the year again - that is to say, the last day of the year! Without further ado, here are the best books I read in 2012, even though not all of these were actually published that year.

The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff. THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 quite simply gutted me. Each character outwardly seems unlikable from their initial personality characteristics, but as the author delves deeper into each of their individual points of view, the "true" characters begin to emerge. There's not too much to say about THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 other than that you should absolutely  read it if you haven't already. This book pulls a massive emotional punch, but just the kind you want to receive. Everything is so heart-breaking and so authentic and so heart-breakingly authentic that you emerge from this book feeling almost changed.

 Choker by Elizabeth Wood. The plot is fascinating, grabbing you in from the first page and refusing to let go, and while it's not the most super unique plot to be floating around, it's definitely not derivative. Most importantly in a novel of this genre, there are plenty of plot twists that make you reel in shock at what just happened. CHOKER was a fantastic book and there's not really much more to say than that. From a plot that basically never lets you go to an ending accompanied by many plot twists that makes you want to put down the book and stare at the wall, this is a novel that everyone should read - especially fans of psychological suspense!

 Her and Me and You by Laura Strasnick. This is a book that overall got some rather negative reviews, and I chalk this up to the book's, well, quirkiness. There's something about this plot that's very, very different from what you typically see, and that's the kind of thing that's going to really appeal to some readers and really turn off others. In my case, it was definitely a case of major appeal. HER AND ME AND YOU was disconcerting in just the right way to strike me as completely awesome. It was quirky, it had heart, and it had an amazing romance that honestly ranks among my favorite YA romances ever. If you're fans of quirky books that don't always necessarily get great reviews, I can't recommend this enough.

 Hush by Eishes Chayil. HUSH was truly eye-opening, a novel told through elegant writing that slowly peeled away the layers of this dark, dark story. There are a lot of books out there that cover topics like abuse, ranging from within a family to external forces, but it provided a unique look at this issue by telling a story about the not-so-well-known Chassidim culture. HUSH was a phenomenal story, the rare kind of book that you can only come across once in a while. It is moving and complex, with an emotional beauty that will rock even the hardest of hearts. I cannot recommend this book enough, and encourage everyone, particularly fans of "issues" books, to give it a try.

 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I originally picked up ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL because of how completely gorgeous the cover was, and the actual contents of the book certainly did not disappoint. Every word was just as beautiful as the outside, but not in the way you would normally expect from your average "issues" novel. One of the reasons I really loved, loved, loved this book was because of how refreshingly honest and different it is from other books of its type. It was such a strange reading experience, but so rewarding at the same time.

 Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser. All I can say about this book is wow. Just wow. I didn't expect PIECES OF US to pack the emotional punch it did, and boy, was I ever surprised. This novel hit me on an unexpected level, with its gritty and dark themes striking me so profoundly that there were places in the novel where all I could do was just stare at the pages. The story was raw and painful and absolutely beautiful in every single way. PIECES OF US ripped me to pieces and built me back up again in a thousand tiny little ways, and all I can do is try my hardest to recommend this to you. This book is gritty and dark and thoughtful and raw and honest, and every word strikes like a bullet and stays forever.

 Cinder by Marissa Meyer. It's obvious straight away from the cover that CINDER is a different book, but even so, I was pleasantly surprised by how inventive this story truly is. Though it is clearly based loosely off of Cinderella, Marissa Meyer takes an entirely new spin on the fairy tale that puts all other retellings to shame. This is set in a dystopian world that is far different from any other dystopias I've read about and has a quality that is at once dreamy and gritty, and practically brims with creativity. There's a swoon-worthy prince, creepy aliens, cyborgs galore, a virulent plague, and world-building that will have any writer green with envy. What more persuasion could you possibly read? I'd recommend this book from the top of my lungs.

 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Um, John Green, duh.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. Oh, WHY WE BROKE UP, how I love thee? Let me count the ways. Oh, wait, I can't because there are too freaking many. And you know why? Because this book brims with awesomeness. I mean, you can already tell it's going to be epic because, well, I'm willing to bet everyone of you knows who Daniel Handler is... or perhaps, you know him by his pen name. Lemony Snicket? Ring any bells? Yup, I thought so. So as you can see, it's no surprise that from the creator of A Series of Unfortunate Events came this stunning masterpiece.

Do you agree with any of the books on this list? What are your favorites of this year?


Stephanie Ingrid Sarah Kristan said...

TFIOS was on our list too! Here's our complete post:

sprite said...

How We Broke Up was one of those books that I kept reading aloud bits of to my partner. Laugh aloud funny when it wasn't punching you in the gut.

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