Thursday, December 27, 2012

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...


The Esteemed Panelists of Experts for the Elite Academy of Amazing Young Adult Literature (aka We Heart YA) announce the Winners of the Most Prestigious and Coveted Award, Favorite Reads of 2012!

In their own words:


Numero Uno: DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor. This should be predictable since DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was my favorite read last year. I continue to be baffled by Laini's talent. I'm completely in love with the world, characters, and story she's created. It's just my kind of book.

Second Place: CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson. One word: Hector. Four words (one of them questionable): Elisa is the bombdiggity. I entirely love this book. It has everything a reader could want: adventure, tight leather, jerboa soup... (Okay, nix that last one.)

Marchetta. No that's not a book title, but an author I wholeheartedly respect. This year alone I've read JELLICOE ROAD, FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, and FROI OF THE EXILES. All of which are sooooooo good. How can I pick one?

 The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1)

Honorable Mentions: (This is my sneaky way of including more... I have to!) KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger, BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore, THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater, CINDER Marissa Meyer, GRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley, THE STONE GIRL by Alyssa Sheinmel, SWEETHEARTS by Sara Zarr, I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins... I'm sure there's more I'm missing. :)


#1 Scorpio Races: I loved the world and the mythology that Maggie Stiefvater created. I felt completely immersed in the Island of Thisby, and if I didn't know better, I'd swear it was a real place. I loved the characters and the story line. The ending brought me to tears. It was like reading a classic from my childhood.

#2 The Book of Blood and Shadow: This may be the best YA mystery I've ever read. Robin Wasserman's pacing and plotting were perfect. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. In a lot of mystery, I've found that character development and emotional weight can sometimes be a bit lacking. But this book had a great balance of both.

#3 The Girl of Fire and Thorns: I loved that Rae Carson didn't use the typical culture that you find in most fantasy. Her mythology and her world were so unique. I loved Elisa's character arc, both her fears and insecurities in the beginning and the bravery she finds throughout the story were very authentic.

The Scorpio Races The Book of Blood and Shadow The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Sarah: Oh, and TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson (honorable mention).


In 2012, I read plenty of page-turners, lots of books filled with beautiful writing, and many titles that offered shocking plot twists and beloved characters. But I decided that my favorite books this year would have to be the ones that haven't left my mind, and perhaps never will. These are the ones that haunt me, the ones I cannot stop thinking about:

1. Jellicoe Road
2. Wintergirls
3. Before I Die

Jellicoe Road Wintergirls Before I Die

Runners up (because I can't resist!) include My Life Next Door, The Language of Flowers, and The Fault in Our Stars. Also: A Thousand Splendid Suns, even though it's not YA.


Okay, since Sarah and Steph broke the rules ("ONE line explaining your choice") I'll keep this brief (like Ingrid, bless her). In no particular order...

GRACELING by Kristin Cashore - adventurous, swoon-worthy fantasy
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green - funny and insightful tearjerker
THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater - slow but gorgeous
CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson - even better than its predecessor!
DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor - heartbreaking, heavy, powerful

The Fault in Our Stars Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

Sarah: And THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers (honorable mention)!

Well, fantasy seems to be "Genre of the Year" for us. But then again, we read soooo many wonderful stories, it was impossible to list them all and give each style or category its due.

What about you? What were your favorite reads of 2012? Feel free to link to a post if you did one!

And don't forget: You've got a few more days to enter our big ho-ho-holiday giveaway! Just comment on this post (or any other post from the month of December) AND on the giveaway post so we know which prize pack you want.

Hope you've had a great holiday season, and a very happy new year!
<3 the WHYA girls


Stephanie Mooney said...

LOL, this is like reading one of our conversations! I love how Sarah keeps chiming in.

In fairness, I did send a shorter version. ;P

Happy New Year!

Heather said...

I got on a big fantasy kick towards the end of the year too! Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Rae Carson all got read within a week

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Oooh, so many good books in 2012! And a ton more coming down the pike in 2013!! I love books. *happy book dance*

linda said...

Looks like the four of you have a lot of favorite authors in common! Awesome. :)

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

This is a really funny post! My absolute favorite read was Code Name Verity-highly recommended!

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

These are some epic picks!! Loveddddd Crown of Embers, The Scorpio Races, Cinder, Graffiti Moon, The Book of Blood and Shadow... all 5 star reads for me, which is a pretty rare thing. And I can't forget Jellicoe Road, which is my favourite book of all time -- so much love for it!

Sara (of the Page Sage) said...

I just started Daughter of Smoke and Bone and it's so good already that I can only imagine how great the sequel must be! Wintergirls is such a good book, too. Graceling and TFIOS are just AMAZING. Awesome choices!

Erica said...

I have only read a few of the books on your guys's list! I loved Before I Die! and Bitterblue and Keeper of the Lost Cities are 2 favorites of mine :)

Izzy G. said...

Ooh, Days of Blood and Starlight was good! And Wintergirls! And Jellicoe Road!

Michelle Santiago said...

Oh my gosh, great picks! I also read a bit of Fault in Our Stars (but had to retire it for another book) and really liked it. My sister loved Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road--anything by Melina Marchetta--and wants to read Days of Blood and Starlight. And we both loved Graceling.

Happy reading for 2013, ladies! : )

kaye (paper reader) said...

As always, you ladies have fabulous taste. And I think I'm making it my goal this year to read a handful of Marchetta books.

I looked for them (and Rae Carson's sequel) at Books of Wonder but they were out. Also, Sarah's comments made me giggle. It was lovely. :D

Sandie @TeenLitRocks said...

Well, I love our overlapping titles, and for the rest, I will definitely have to add some to our list. I didn't get a chance to include Froi, because I was the only one that read it, and we did ours by committee. We also only added books that came out in 2012, but I wholeheartedly agree about The Scorpio Races, which is I think Maggie's best, anything by Melina Marchetta or Laurie Halse Anderson or Jenny Downham. Here's to great reading in 2013!

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about us

Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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