Sunday, December 23, 2012

Best Books I Read: 2012

Ever since The Critiquing Critica was born, I've posted an annual list of my favorite books that I read throughout the year. For this list, I didn't really pay attention to ratings since I'm starting to get annoyed with my own rating scale, but all Best Books can be assumed 5/5 Stars and Runner-Ups can be considered 4.5/5 Stars. If I reviewed any of these books, I linked the title.

So, here's my yearly list, in no particular order.

Best Books

The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green

I could never name my favorite author when I was asked. Now, I immediately answer "John Green." I don't care if anyone read the summary and didn't find much interest; neither did I. Go read this book. The writing is wonderfully-crafted, as are the unique (and funny) primary characters, Augustus and Hazel. John Green painted a perfect picture of emotions, and it takes a special writer to truly capture grief as he did. I cried a lot as I read this book, and I oftentimes think of it now. The Fault in Our Stars is so unforgettable - how could I not name it as one of my favorite books?

The Dead-Tossed Waves by: Carrie Ryan

Carrie Ryan's The Dead-Tossed Waves is the sequal to The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and I loved both. Once again, Ryan proved to be an excellent writer, and she added plenty of twists and turns in the plot, following a new character we didn't know in the first book. This character, Gabry, did what any decent character should do throughout a novel - grow. Her metamorphisis made her stronger, less fearful, and more sure of herself. This brought more hope into a rather dark and bleak novel about a zombie-apocalypse. Carrie Ryan's series is the only zombie-related series I read, as she creates a frightening vision of the Unconsecrated that I could personally never understand or care about in any other format than hers.

Jane Eyre by: Charlotte Bronte

I never wanted to put this classic down, and was sad to see the story end. Though Jane Eyre was written in the 1800s, there is something about it that's so incredibly fresh, and I'm not just talking about Jane being so femminist for her time period... does anyone know how excited I was for an ugly love interest!? ALAS! NORMALCY! I'm so sick of these 'perfect' love interests that actually have glaring flaws. I'm sick of reading about perfect hair and eyes and other things that can be perfect like hands and teeth and backs! (Crazy run-on sentence! Whoo!) Anyway, Mr. Rochester outdid them all, even though he's so ugly that Jane told him several times.

A Separate Peace by: John Knowles

Since I wasn't sure what this book would be about, I definitely wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Like most contemporary novels, it kept me reading and reading with much interest and emotion. Gene and Finny's friendship is indeed a complicated one, and it is also an irritating one as Gene plays head games with himself in fits of jealousy. The domino effect of events that follow one act of Gene's anger is saddening, all told from Gene as an adult looking back on rather unpleasant teenage years.


Sailor Moon 4 and Sailor Moon 5 by: Naoko Takeuchi

"International revival." That's what Wikipedia called it. My reaction as were other fans' reactions. Rereleasing the manga was the spark, and I began my mission to READ ALL THE BOOKS! This year, I only got around to reading the first five, of which volumes 4 and 5 were my favorites. In these books, the second story arc entitled Black Moon is told, and Sailor Moon is a much stronger heroine than in the first story arc, making the already awesome story even more bad-ass. Though some complain about this new translation, let's face it: It's SO much better than nothing. I may not have been a fan of all of Sailor Moon's twenty years of existence, but have been for fourteen of those years upon my first discovery. Something that sticks with someone this long has to be good.


Prophecy of the Sisters by: Michelle Zink

This is my second time reading Prophecy of the Sisters, and I enjoyed it even more than the first time! Michelle Zink's writing can be described as darkly pretty as she tells the story of two prophecy-burdened twin sisters in the 1800s. The plot of this book contains magic and creepy events, making the storyline easy to devour. I really loved this one!

Guardian of the Gate by: Michelle Zink

This sequal ended up being as good as the first! The writing still maintains greatness as the plot gets more fun complicated. I can't wait to see how it all turns out in the last book in the series, Circle of Fire. It's definitely an awesome trilogy thus far, and I doubt Circle of Fire will disappoint.

Unfortunately, I didn't read a huge group of books that made my Best Books list, but who knows what next year will bring.

Did you agree/disagree with any of my choices? Tell me about all the cool books you read in 2012!


  1. Oooh, Prophecy of Sisters and Dead Tossed Waves are great. The other ones sound good... I'll have to look into them :P (my list!)

    1. ps: I just followed your blog :)

    2. Omg new reader! :D Thanks for following and commenting! I'm definitely going to look at your list!

  2. I worship John Green. He's a god of YA. The Fault in Our Stars was one of the first books on my top of 2012 list!