Monday, January 14, 2013

Silje's favorites and least favorites of 2012

In 2012 I read 50 books which was my goodreads goal so I'm satisfied about the quantity but what about the quality of those 50 books? I have had some really good experiences, a lot of good and mediocre ones and only a couple of dissapointments. Here are the best and worst of 2012:

The best:

Best contemporary:
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: an emotional, gripping, unexpected and beautiful read about a 17 year old girl who struggles between mourning after the death of her sister and falling in love. The writing is tender, grandiose and almost dripping with emotions. I fell in love with the characters and the story and this is definitely one of my favorite books not only this year.
The Sky Is Everywhere

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I guess this has gotten all the praise in the world already but I think it deserves it. An honest, funny and really heartbreaking story about love, life and death that makes you laugh out loud, cry, think, read out loud to anyone nearby and maybe even give them a hug. I am so grateful to have finally discovered this author and I'm really looking forward to the rest of his books.
The Fault in Our Stars

Best beginning of a series:
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: an original story I think with a mix of urban fantasy and high fantasy. I did like the high fantasy-parts the best but I enjoyed the entire book and Prague really is a magical place:-)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Most magical:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: my first Gaiman-experience and I wasn't dissapointed. Bod Owens is a little boy that after the death of his parents are "adopted" by the Owens' and grows up in a graveyard. The story has been compared to The Jungle Book and I had certain associations to Harry Potter. Most of it because I find the same childhood magic in both of them. It's a fantasy/fairytale about growing up and being different told brilliantly and elegantly by Mr. Gaiman.
The Graveyard Book

Best horror:
Carrie by Stephen King: this book is quite sad and a lot different from what I expected. The mix of  the sad story about Carrie being bullied and feeling leftout, the descriptions of a small town society, the paranormal aspect all done in the writing of the great Stephen King really works for me.

Best dystopia:
Variant by Robison Wells: this dystopian YA had something I've missed lately It was unpredictable and that gave me that uncomfortable but yet exciting feeling of not knowing what's goin to happen and how far the evil will go. The evil didn't go any further than I can manage and the storyline is very interesting.
Variant (Variant, #1)

Best graphic novel:
Aya by Marguerite Abouet: a funny and warm graphic novel about Aya, a teenager in The Ivory Coast in the 70s, experiencing and feeling all the things a teenage girl everywhere in the worls does.
Aya (Aya #1)

Most original:
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak: an original structure and a good story made this read worth the while. The young  taxi driver Ed Kennedy is given the opportunity to do something about his rather empty life when cards with adresses and other messages show up at his house. The big mystery is who's sending him the cards.
I Am the Messenger

Least favorites:
As I already wrote I have had a lot of mediocre reading experiences this year but very few bad ones. Sometimes you're expectations aren't fulfilled and that defines the experience of a book for you even thoug the book itself isn't necessarily as bad. This year I was a little dissapointed in both one of Mari's favorites this year, the swedish fantasy-book The Circle, and Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler's The Future of Us. I still liked them to a certain degree but I found the Circle to be a little too unoriginal and The Future of Us had a very good plot that didn't live up to it's potential in my opinion.

But here are my least favourite YA-books of 2012 (I could't find more than two so that's pretty good):

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margareth Stohl: a lot of you probably liked this book and I really thought I would too. Maybe I'm just fed up with the Paranormal Romance but this didn't entertain or move me at all. The romance took too much part in the story and I just didn't feel any tension or emotions for the couple. The characters and environment also felt a bit too constructed.  I would probably never have finished it unless I had signed up for a norwegian book blog tour and feel no need to continue with this series.

Hush, hush: The graphic novel: in this case I don't think it was a good idea to make the book into a graphic novel as it seems happens to many paranormal YA-series. The characters didn't look right and the story lacked too many details from the book even though it only included a small part of the first book.
Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush: The Graphic Novel, #1)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)