Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Best and Worst of 2012 and Most Coveted of 2013

Whee, end-of-year recap posts! I've got a second cooked up that's about a hundred times more fun because it recounts how wild this year has been in books and bookish drama, but this is the basic, slightly less offensive one that's about the books I read.

First comes the best books I've read in 2012 (not ranked, just listed):

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
  • There's just something so powerful about this book and its portrayal of Stockholm Syndrome. It hit me in so many of the right places that I couldn't not love it. The ending even made me cry!
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
  • Like most of my friend insist, there must be something in the Aussie water! The romance and tour of the city Ed and Lucy take, both location-wise and artwork-wise, is one of my favorites. I always said I'd get my own copy after I read an ARC of this fantastic novel and I did a few months ago.
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
  • My introduction to this author and the book that made me fall in love with her. I'm totally going to marry her. Sexual orientations? Relationship statuses? Pfft, who cares about any of that? I hear wedding bells! But yeah, despite Parker being a generally terrible person, she was written so well that I kept reading about her.
This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
  • Got to read this one as an ARC thanks to the beautiful creature that is Amazon Vine! 
    Couldn't have come at a better time, seeing as I read it maybe a month or two after Cracked Up to Be. I ain't even into zombies, but the characters and how easily Summers tapped into their darker emotions really hit me hard. Why is her next novel so far away?!
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
  • This was my year of Courtney Summers, in case you didn't know. This Is Not a Test beats this one for best Summers book by a hair, but Regina's story and how she endured the bullying by her former friends hit me as hard as it did everyone else. I can't even with words for the moment. Just check out the review.
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
  • Dystpian novels rarely strike a chord with me, but Zhang did something right because hers did.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • You've probably seen this on many end-of-year lists and it's for a very good reason.
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
  • Words for this = I can't even. There's something about Hubbard's books that strikes me speechless; I wasn't even able to put together a review for Wanderlove despite how much I loved it, and writing the review for Like Mandarin was a little like pulling out a tooth.
Reality Bites Back by Jennifer L. Pozner
  • Yeah, nonfiction. I know. This one gave me a lot to think about concerning both reality television and YA. Most of the points she makes can be applied to YA too, especially books like The Selection by Kiera Cass that have deep roots in reality TV. I thought about reading said novel and writing an article on it, but I lack the time and interest at the moment. Maybe one day.
The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
  • This one was a recent read, but its whimsical feel and the girl power rocketed it up into my top ten for the year. AND THEN THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION.

And because I'm honest to a fault and refuse to keep anything bad I have to say to myself, here are the worst books I've read this year, narrowed down from the many stinkers I've read this year (listed, not ranked):

The Raie'Chaelia by Melissa Douthit
  • To say nothing of the author (that will come in my drama-recap post), this book was awful. Typos, lots of telling-not-showing, predictable plotting, and too many other issues I don't care to recount.
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  • Slut-shaming, glorifying an abusive relationship, inconsistent characterization, and more are why this book is actually an ugly disaster. The only reason I'm not raging harder at this is because of the rainbow of ninety-one sticky notes I put in it. They make me calm.
Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto
  • Well, I can't say I expected anything different from her. She still made me mad by proclaiming through Gabriel that marriage is only between a man and a woman. That sentiment can put on some fiery red lipstick and kiss my ass.
Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
  • Couldn't even finish it. Cheating is one of my big no-nos unless there are extenuating circumstances and Kiera does it like it's no big deal. Way too much melodramatic schmoop for me too handle.
Phantom by Laura DeLuca
  • A complete and utter desecration of The Phantom of the Opera, one of my favorite works of all time. I keep getting trolled over this book and called a book snob both to my face and behind my back, but screw it, it was bad.
Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs
  • THE MAIN LOVE INTEREST ATTEMPTS TO RAPE HIS LOVE INTEREST BECAUSE SHE TOOK HIS CONDOMS. Nothing more really needs to be said. And he still gets the girl to fall in love with him. WHAT. THE. FUCK. Also, bundles and bundles of double standards and slut shaming. I am ashamed this was produced by someone my age.
Ditched by Robin Mellom
  • This should have been cute, but wow at all the slut-shaming. I couldn't finish it because it was borderline causing me pain to keep reading.
Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett
  • This one makes it because it really could have been good, but it chose to indulge in cliches instead of trying to be original and live up to its potential.
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
  • The slut-shaming strikes again! This take on Romeo and Juliet fell flat on its face and demonized Juliet when both in the play and in this book, Romeo/Rob is the real dickbag.
Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
  • Seriously, slut-shaming is like a one-way ticket onto this list. Six of the books on here are guilty of it. This started out as your standard dead-parents book, but the main character's attitude and all the slut-shaming just about made me toss it out the window.

Finally, the books I'll sell Smurfs for: my most coveted of 2013! I already did this list for a Top Ten Tuesday thing, so I'll just link you to that. Sorry to be anticlimactic, ladies and gents. My hands hurt too much to retype it all.

My Most Coveted/Anticipated of 2013