My Top 15 Reads for 2012

Good afternoon!

2012 was a pretty epic year for books. So much so that originally this post was going to be my top 10 reads, but I couldn’t reduce it to only 10, so now this post is improved with an extra 5 awesome reads! In my opinion, these are the books that you must read if you’ve not done so already! Not all books were published this year - I’ve judged this based on any of the books I have read this year.

15. The Selection - Keira Cass

Okay so initially I had issues with the protagonists name - America Singer. BUT I got over it once I started really getting into the storyline itself. The Selection combined my love of reality TV shows with the dystopian genre - I likened it to The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games. Hard to even imagine, but all sorts of amazing when it happens.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself-and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


14. Adorkable - Sarra Manning

This book had so much charm and charisma. The audiobook of this was rather awesome too with the added English accents. I loved the quirkiness and originality of this.

Jeane Smith’s a blogger, a dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand, and has half a million followers on Twitter. Michael Lee’s a star of school, stage, and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie. They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can’t they stop making out? This novel is about an unlikely relationship, but it’s also about roller derby, dogs on skateboards, dogs on surfboards, dogs doing any form of extreme sport, old skool hip hop, riding your bike downhill really fast, riot grrrl, those boys you want to kiss but punch in the face at the same time, dyeing your hair ridiculous colors just because you can, stitch ‘n’ bitch, the songs that make you dance, the songs that make you cry, being a bad ass, cake, love, death, and everything in between.

13. Pandemonium (Delirium #2) - Lauren Oliver

I am a huge fan of Lauren’s work, and this series has been a real indulgence to get into. Pandemonium had a very different tempo to Delirium, but I enjoyed the direction it took me in and the cliffhanger ending… OMG!

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

12. Across The Universe - Beth Revis

Probably the best first chapter out of any book I read this year. The first couple of pages truly set the scene and you’re gripped from the start. This was the book that changed my mind about disliking sci-fi.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


11. Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) - Lauren DeStefano

Such an epic sequel to Wither - I adored the carnival theme of this book. Something so dark and creepy about that whole scene. This book was much more menacing than the first one. I love this series!

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.

10. Article 5 (Article 5 #1) - Kristen Simmons

One of the best dystopians for 2012, this was one of my favourite debut novels of the year. Completely action packed, and with a kick ass female lead, I really enjoyed this a whole lot.

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for non-compliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

9. The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) - Julie Kagawa

Easily one of my very favourite authors, this was the first ever Julie Kagawa book I read this year (I went on to read another 5 of her books after this, so that should speak for itself!). I absolutely love her writing style, and to read her take on vampires was truly awesome. I really got into the storyline of this book, making it my favourite vamp read for 2012.

“In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked-and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend-a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what-and who-is worth dying for.

8. Incarnate (Newsoul #1) - Jodi Meadows

Admitedly it was the cover that drew me in, but it was the incredible story that kept me reading and thinking about this book long after I finished it. The best fantasy novel of the year hands down. This book had everything, it had a villain, it had plenty of action scenes, it had an awesome male lead and a completely satisfying ending. Bring on the sequel!

New soul
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

7. The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) - Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa has made my list twice! I read 6 of her books in total this year and she is a master at weaving an intricate tale. I fell in love with fantasy this year, and I can say that is majority in part thank you to her for The Iron Fey series. The Iron King moved at such a fast pace that I sped through this book just to find out what was going to happen. It’s a talent to write like that!

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

6. Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) - Marissa Meyer

I absolutely love fairytales. And I especially love a good re-telling. This, in my opinion was the best fairytale retelling of 2012. Not to take away from the others I read, but I loved the different and unique take on a classic. I am really looking forward to the next one in this series!

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

5. The Fault In Our Stars - John Green

This is the first John Green book I’ve ever read, and it won’t be the last. As a long time viewer of John and his brother Hank’s youtube channel (first time reader…), I felt it was about time I started on his books. And there was SO much hype around this book. Actually, to be fair at first I didn’t want to read it with all the hype because I felt like the book couldn’t live up to the fandom. But soon I caved and I read it, and I truly loved it. I laughed, I cried… I went through a rollercoaster of emotion. John has a gift of being able to write from the true perspective of a teenager. He really captures their personalities and brings them to life.

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.


4. Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) - Jessica Spotswood

Possibly one of my favourite covers for 2012 (but more about that in tomorrows post!). Born Wicked opened up the world of historical fiction to me, and proved it was possible that I could absolutely love the genre. I’ve since gone on to read other historical fiction books (see further down), but this was the first one for me. I loved the characters, the outfits, the witchiness, the men. I loved everything about this book.

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

3. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) - Robin LaFevers

Okay so at first this book scared me. It was 550 odd pages long and filled with a very intricate and detailed storyline and many many characters. It was also historical fiction. However, I trooped on. I LOVED this book so frikken much. 30 pages in and we saw some action and it didn’t stop from that moment on. I adored Ismae’s character as well as Duval. So much double crossing and sub-issues… this is a must read!

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


2. The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1) - Laura Bickle

This was the surprise book of 2012. I didn’t hear much hype about this, and it was the initial cover that intrigued me as well as a tweet from a fellow book blogger that made me want to read this book so much! Seriously. Read this. Vampires + Armish folk. It’s probably one of the most original books of this year and the storyline has woven itself so tightly that there’s going to be be an awesome sequel on its way next year!

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

1. The Diviners (The Diviners#1) - Libba Bray

Hands down. I didn’t even have to think about this. Huge book I know, but so totally worth it. Epic epic storyline. Set in the 1920s, which I love, you could swear up and down you were experiencing this book as though you were back there in that time, in New York. There was so many elements of this book I loved… the characters, the relationships between them, the scary parts, the investigation side of thing.. everything!

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City-and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult-also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer-if he doesn’t catch her first.


Agree? Disagree? Let me know what your favourite reads for this year were in the comments below - or leave your links!

What do you think?

  • So glad you put Born Wicked on your list. I think this one is pretty underrated but I hope more people will read it.

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