Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 10 Books of 2012

Wow.  A whole year in blogging has passed.  I can still remember last New Year, looking at the 101 books I had read in 2011 and longing for some way to connect even more with other readers.  A way to share what I think and help out the other teachers/parents out there who want to make informed decisions on books for their teens.  A short while later, Reading Between Classes was born.  Since then, I have read an additional 115 (ish) books, and written reviews of many of those.  I joined an adult book club (and watched it die) and started a bookclub with my students which continues to make me happier than I ever imagined.  I have become one of those people who will chat you up in a bookstore who will harass you recommend books for the teens in your life and continue to pray that I find some real life YA readers who are a little more Adult and a little less Young.  Thank you to all of you who have visited and read and maybe even commented to let me know that you stopped by.  I have loved this year's journey and can't wait to see what 2013 will bring.

And now, without further ado, my top 10 books of 2012

10:  Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina features a world in which dragons can take human form and racism colors much of the human interaction with them.  Seraphina straddles this dividing line.  She is one of the most well written characters that I have encountered this year against the backdrop of one of the most encompassing worlds I have seen created. 

9: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Oh how I adore twisted fairy tales.  Sarah Cross takes the well known (and not so well known) stories down a dark and dangerous path.  In this world, characters must fight fate and choices can have alarming consequences. 

8: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Saving Francesca was my first foray into the world of Melina Marchetta.  Damn that girl can write some characters.  I wanted to go back to being a teenager, move to Australia and become part of that group. 

7: Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

Suicide Notes delves into the world of mental illness.  It features strong, wonderfully flawed characters and a self-deprecating sense of humor that will bring a smile to any readers face.  Unfortunately - too much swearing and sexual content for my classroom library.

6: A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

A Vintage Affair is the only adult novel that made its way on to my list.  It is a wonderful story of loss and love that pulls the reader into the past and examines the history that can be held in a garment.

5: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Are you surprised to see a Maggie Stiefvater book on here?  ME TOO!  After the disaster that was Shiver, I never thought I would read another one of her books.  BUT, Scholastic knew better.  They sent me an ARC of The Raven Boys and I was proven wrong once again.  The world building drew me in and wouldn't let me escape if I wanted to.  Also - just look at that cover - it is even more beautiful in person. 

4: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits features two very realistic teen characters and their relationship.  The cover alone would never have brought me on board - but the rave reviews made me give it a shot.  This novel is about relationships - and not just the obvious one.  It dives into the teen world in a way that is raw and emotional.  The only downside - far too much vulgar language and sexual content for my classroom library.

3: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In Sage, Jennifer Nielsen has created a character that I wanted to hug, strangle and slap - ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  He is one of the best developed characters that I have encountered this year, with a wonderful wit that made me laugh out loud.  The False Prince stands apart as a book that is appropriate for even younger YA readers while still having a level of intrigue and action that will appeal to older readers. 

2: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

A no brainer here.  I am sure TFIOS is going to be on a lot of lists.  This one has ALL THE FEELS.  I was trepidacious about reading it the first time (Cancer books have not been high on my list since I stopped reading Lurlene McDaniel books as a teenager) and I have never been happier to be wrong.  TFIOS features characters that any reader cannot help but fall in love with.  I have chosen this as the next book for my Jr High Book Club and cannot wait to talk about it in the new year.  In the words of one of my students "If it actually managed to make Ms._______ cry, it has GOT to be good"

1: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

I am not sure how many "End of Year" lists this book may end up on as it was just released on Dec 18th.  I got an ARC and have been raving about it ever since.  I have recommended it to parents in bookstores.  I have given it a special place on my Teacher Recommends bulletin board.  I even went out and snagged a copy for my classroom and one for a very special student.  The characters are wonderfully complex, the plot is exciting and the issues brought forth invite the reader to question our own society.  I am in awe of this book and will be the first one in the stores when the second in this series is released.  (Dec, 2013 - I must go cry now)



Danica Page said...

Yikes. The only one I've read is Pushing the Limits, but the other ones all sound amazing. Great picks. I'll definitely be reading them.

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