Another year has flown by and with kids, work, what feels like a zillion activities every week, I can't even believe how many books I've managed to get in. I'll admit that I did have a hard time putting this list together. A few were no-brainers but others had to fight it out. So below, in no particular order, are my favorites reads of 2012.
Okay I lied. This is at the top of the list. What can I say? This book is pure heart through and through. I thought I was going to be reading a simple story about a kid struggling with coming out of the closet. What I got was so much more. Amy Lane is a force of nature who took me on the most emotional ride ever. The highs were very high and lows made me sob incessantly and my heart wrench for the characters. It sounds like a torturous read but it isn't. Until Chase In Shadow I had never experienced emotions written so vibrantly and described in such beautiful, poetic prose that had me so invested in the characters. Amy Lane, you have set the standard very, very high my dear. I love you for it.
You know how sometimes you have a sweet tooth? My Life Next Door is kind of like that when you have the need to read something saccharin that isn't overly dramatic with crazy stuff. Every so often you just need a good read that leaves you happy. If you’re going to picture a spot for this on the bookshelf, it will be right next to another “feel good” book, Anna and the French Kiss.
This is just one of those sweet surprises of the year. I admire how the author broaches the subject of sexual assault with sensitivity allowing the character to discover her own strength. And her knight in shining armor who insists that she become stronger is the forever guy you want to bring home with you. I still continue to gush over it.
This is my first David Levithan book and he absolutely blew me away. I’m still in awe as to how he managed to write an entire book featuring a genderless character in A. Despite that, or may be because of it, this book is the phenomenon it is. David Levithan is a genius and Every Day is a must read.
I used to have an aversion to romance novels until Shel picked this one for me to try. People, Jill Shalvis is THE queen of taking a simple every day situations and turning them into the most ridiculous moments ever. In this one, Dorie as the adorkable heroine had me laughing so hard sometimes I had to give myself time to recover before continuing on. If you ever need something to get you out of the doldrums, Jill Shalvis is your girl!
In A Discovery of Witches I found a very beguiling and suspenseful story rich in history and mythology. What I loved most about this is that even though Matthew Clairemont, the 1500 year-old vampire has many human moments, not once was I allowed to forget that he was a predator first and foremost. Knowing that only made this story more thrilling.
The ones that narrowly made the list:
Talk about dysfunctional! I have a love/hate relationship with certain elements of this story but I still ended up liking it. May be when I look at it as a whole rather than those individual parts I see and appreciate a complex dynamic involving two very stubborn people who somehow manage to get each other.
This entire series is so much fun, I had a blast with it. My favorite aspect is that while Mo may have been neck deep in chaos, she always came through because of her quick thinking and resourcefulness.
So there's my list. I wish I could name more since this is just a small representation of the many excellent books and authors I've read this year. Here's to a Happy New Year and Happy Reading in 2013!