Thursday, December 20, 2012

Heather's Top Ten YA!

Hello Readers! I thought I'd do a list of my favorite ten books from the year
(These are in no particular order!) 
They're all just books I really enjoyed reading this year. This list is YA because that's mostly what I read, so if you dont read YA, I suggest you pick at least one on the list and give it a shot. 
Because YA books are awesome. 

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
A WWII novel about a pilot and a spy who are best friends. That's an awesome setup right there, but Wein goes a step further and makes you feel ALL the feelings while reading this book. When the worst happens and Codename:Verity is kidnapped, she must choose to reveal her mission or be executed. What follows are her thoughts as she is imprisoned, and her friend Maddy's desperate search to find her. I'm not usually much into historicals, but this book grabbed me right from the start and I could NOT put it down. I also sobbed uncontrollably at times. Beautifully written, and the fact that it centered on two best friends (KISS ME HARDY! SOB!) really made this one stand out for me.  

2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A retelling of Cinderella in which Cinderella is a cyborg. Really, that should be all you need to know to make you interested!
I loved this book SO MUCH. It's so original, and Cinder is a great main character.  Meyer's debut novel really hooked me and I really want to know what happens in the rest of the series. Plus, it was nice to have a setting in New Beijing as opposed to a wasted dystopian America (those are everywhere right now so the change was nice.)
Also, Prince Kai! Helloooooo, Prince Kai! *fangirls*

3. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
This is book five of the Gallagher Girls series. If you have not read any of the others, please do so IMMEDIATELY. You will not regret it. Seriously one of the best series  I've ever read. And they keep getting better. 
Book five starts out with Cammie waking up in a convent, unable to remember what happened to her over the summer. She spends the rest of the book trying to figure out what happened to her, despite the fact that sometimes ignorance is bliss. 
I won't say more because a LOT happens, but Cammie and the Gallagher Girls have grown so wonderfully and there were several times they had me wishing I could jump into the book and join them, and give them hugs when needed. Five awesome stars, and I can't wait for the next (and last! sniff!) book to come out. 

4. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
This is the last book in the Hex Hall series. (Much like the Gallagher Girl books, if you have not read the first two yet, get thee to the library immediately!) After the MONSTER cliffhanger in book two, Sophie and co. are back to save the day.
The Hex Hall series is hilarious, adventurous and full of so much snark I can't help but love it. Sophie is amazing, and while Spell Bound is more serious than the other two, this book doesn't disappoint. With the exception of something MAJOR happening at the end ( that I am STILL not over, Ms. Hawkins!!) the book is a great conclusion. And there is a fun new character introduced who gets her own series (School Spirits) coming out next spring. 

5. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Assassin Nuns. ASSASSIN NUNS. That's right up there with cyborg Cinderella. (Really, how do you guys come up with these ideas? I'm jealous!)
Ismae escapes her very tough life and goes to live at St. Mortain, where the sisters serve the god of Death. She learns the tips and secrets of assassinating those who are Marked by Death, and follows her orders faithfully, until she goes on a mission that makes her start to question her new world. 
Some readers wished for more action in this book, but honestly the pace and plot worked perfectly for me. The ending wrapped things up nicely, even though there will be more books focusing on other assassins. 

6. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Kami Glass has an imaginary friend, a boy she's talked to in her head all her life. She tries to live her life as normally as she can as an investigative reporter, until the Lynburns return and Kami makes a startling discovery. 
Every single character in this book is fantastic. Kami leads the gang as a strong, smart and sassy detective and figuring out the mystery alongside her is fun. When you reach the ending you may want to hunt down Ms. Rees Brennan and throttle her, but luckily there are two more books in which a certain character should...well, I can't say more lest I spoil things. But read this gem, it won't disappoint you!

7. Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Book Two in Girl of Fire and Thorns. I really enjoyed the first book, but I love this one SO much more. Elisa is the hero of her country after leading her people to victory against their enemies. She's also the Queen who must do what's best for her country before it crumbles. This takes her on a dangerous journey with her friend, a warrior, and one of the enemy. 
So much happens in this book. There is so much drama, and I was on the edge of my seat quite a bit. Elisa is a great MC and has grown so much you can't help but feel proud of her and want to cheer her on. And Hector. Oh, Hector. You are my favorite, and I love you.

8. The Diviners by Libba Bray
Holy creepy badguy, Batman. The Diviners takes place in 1920s New York and the entertaining Evie O'Neill is the narrator for much of the story. She comes to the city that never sleeps to live with her uncle Will, after a scandalous ordeal sends her hometown into a tizzy. Will is the curator of a museum know as The Museum for Creepy Crawlies and when a series of occult murders rampage the city, Evie and Will get in the middle of the investigation. The book is long, but excellent. But read it with ALL THE LIGHTS ON. Seriously. Naughty John is one of the most terrifying bad guys ever and you will experience shivers when reading some of the more
gruesome and horrifying parts of the book. Stay out of basements as well!
9. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
   Blood and Starlight is Book 2 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. If you haven't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone READ IT. It's one of the best, most unique and amazing stories I have ever read. And Days of Blood and Starlight lives up to it.  
I admit I had no idea where this book would go after the ending of the first one but I trusted Taylor and I'm so glad I did. It's hard to sum up the plot but basically Karou deals with the EPIC cliffhanger from book one and tries to right wrongs and still be the person she was. The result is an amazing and heart-breaking story and the ending leaves you desperately wanting the next one. (Also, this one has MORE ZUZANA. I LOVE ZUZE!)

10. Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Greek and Roman campers come together in book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus trilogy. Percy, Annabeth, Hazel, Leo, Piper, Jason and Frank have to learn to cooperate together in order to get to the Doors of Death and stop Mother Earth from destorying the world. I'd been looking forward to this book for so long because it finally had Annabeth's POV! She was my favorite in the original Percy Jackson series so I was super excited to finally get her as a narrator.  There's a lot of Percy/Annabeth moments that show just how much the two have grown since the Lightning Thief. Riordan is just amazing with character developement and the fact that all his books just keep getting BETTER is something to be jealous of. (There is a MASSIVE cliffhanger at the end, though, just a heads up!)
So those are my favorites! If you pick one to read I hope you like it! What are some of your favorite books from this year?

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