best books 2012

Here is a list of the books I read and enjoyed that were published this year. There’s actually one adult fiction book in the mix! I know, you’re shocked! But I listened to it and the reader is Jim Broadbent so…it was hard not to like it. The rest is children’s and teen fic. πŸ™‚

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bittersweet story about a man who sets out to mail a letter and decides to just keep walking, in the hopes of saving an old friend’s life.

Jim Broadbent is an amazing narrator and did a great job giving each character their own voice. I highly recommend the audiobook version.

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee  (Origami Yoda #3)The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this one a lot better than ‘Darth Paper’, which I felt was sorta mean when it came to the kid’s attacking poor Dwight. ‘Fortune Wookiee’ is a lot more fun as the kids try to figure out how Dwight is doing at the Tippet Academy (I love all the in-jokes for Star Wars fans). I also love that the creator of the Fortune Wookiee and Han Foldo is a girl. πŸ™‚

Be warned, this ends on a cliffhanger!!

UnWholly (Unwind, #2)UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I heard Shusterman was writing a sequel to UNWIND, I cringed. It was not supposed to have a sequel. I was concerned that Neal had fallen upon hard times and his publishers were just trying to milk his award-winning book book for more…

WOW, was I wrong.

UNWHOLLY was fantastic. I haven’t read a book that kept me on the edge of my seat in a long time. We find out about the aftermath of the Happy Jack Harvest Camp showdown and how it effected the rest of the world. And we finally get some insight into how Unwinding came to be. We meet up with favorite characters from UNWIND but we meet several new ones.

The book cover is devoid of color, a boy’s face in shadow, and it fits – this story is all about navigating gray areas and trying to bring the truth to light. What makes it all so eerie is how plausible it still seems. How easily something that sounds horrific can become the status quo. How history is written by the victors. And how easy it is to bury the truth.

If you’ve read UNWIND, you NEED to read UNWHOLLY.

DramaDrama by Raina Telgemeier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What I love about Telgemeier’s SMILE and DRAMA is that they are stories about a girl – not a girl and a boy (though boys are involved, since we do tend to cross paths with them as we grow up) but a girl, living her life. And, in the end, she learns something about herself. They are about friendship; they are about growing up.

DRAMA is the story of Callie going through a production with her school’s drama club as they mount an ambitious musical. She recruits two new members for the club, making friends with two new students, all the while navigating the ins-and-outs with her old friends and classmates.

If you liked SMILE, I think you will enjoy DRAMA. The story skews slightly older than SMILE, in my opinion, but it still ends with a very positive message for the reader.

Code Name VerityCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an intense and fascinating story of survival and friendship. Reading the notes of the captured girl, you are pulled in to her internal struggle to survive and to stay true to herself. She describes her life before and the torture she undergoes every day from the Gestapo. And when it all comes to a head, about halfway through the book, you will not be able to put it down.

Of course, with the description of torture and threat of rape mentioned, you def. want to give this to a reader who can handle such harsh realities of war.

This may be one of the best historical fiction novels I have read. Well researched and well written.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Part 1Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW…this has everything the television series has – humor, action, and a plot-line that makes the reader think “What would I do?” I am so impressed with this comic and the direction of the story.

Everybody Sees the AntsEverybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Lucky Linderman might be one of the most honest and realistic teen characters I have ever read. This book was beautiful and heart-breaking and realistically represented the dark side of being a teenager, not in an over-the-top way, but in a way that anyone can identify with, but especially someone who has ever been plagued by a bully or felt misunderstood by the adults around them.

Ask The PassengersAsk The Passengers by A.S. King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nobody’s perfect

It’s a hard concept for a lot of people to come to terms with, especially for teenagers who are struggling to figure out who they are. And maybe even more so for a young person growing up in small town America.

Astrid Jones’ story, like ‘Lucky’ Linderman in Everybody Sees the Ants, is not a single-issue story. A.S. King has created a character who is dealing with many different issues, just like all of us, and we watch her survive and endure and grow. It’s a satisfying book that will make you laugh and possibly get a bit choked up near the end.

Definitely one of the best books I have read all year.

View all my reviews

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