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I'm Ready For My Books Now, 2013

It was fun while it lasted, 2012. But I think it's time we welcome other books. (More)

Yes, most of you have been forced back into your cubicles while I happily waste away among the plush cushions of my twin bed during my month-long winter break from school. But, what's important is to be positive about this up-and-coming year. So, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Originally, I intended to work out my End of Year Book Survey in vlog form. Then, I realized, as I was editing this monstrosity of 60+ minutes, that unless I was the love child of Kevin Hart and Dane Cook, I had no business keeping you away from an hour of your otherwise interesting life. I was only thinking of you (and if I didn't want to spend another five hours of my life continuing the editing that wasn't coming along, well, that's my business, isn't it?).

So, after a day of cooling my heels while I imagined the massive hangover happiness I probably missed out on if I had just gone to that New Year's Eve party, I decided now was the time to strike you with the highs and lows of my 2012!

Best & Worst Books of 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
Now I KNOW Jamie wouldn't expect me to single out one mere novel. Pfft, that would be like reading Unspoken and coming out emotionally unscathed...

I've chosen three, in no particular order:
  1. Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
  2. Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky
  3. Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Meant to Be by Lauren Morill— Look, I'M SORRY about this one, friends. MTB wasn't a bad read, but it fell way beneath my expectations and, honestly, I couldn't help but compare it to Anna and the French Kiss. WHY? Because everyone and their infant's wind-up toy was saying that MTB had a similar feel, and my brain thought that meant CARBON COPY with different names and places. I can't help what goes ON in there.
Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant— Can someone PLEASE tell me what this one is about? Because I don't even remember.
Wake by Amanda Hocking— I was at this HIGH with Amanda Hocking by the time her Trylle trilogy came to a close. Those books are pure guilty pleasure with a side order of YUM. But, this? I kept waiting for someone to go: "HEY! GIVE ME BACK MY CRAPPY WIP BOOK! This one is Amanda Hocking's. Sorry about that."

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Heading this list is Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Margeniuschetta (that last bit is pronounced mar-GENIUS-chetta). On what planet has a body gone to to avoid the buzz of Melina Marchetta's books? Apart from intergalactic immigration, there is NO WAY you haven't heard of this writing angel. The beauty of her words, the criminal awesomeness of her characters, and the mind-twistiness of her plots... Blame my money-grubbing librarians for keeping me away so long. Less shocking, though nonetheless surprising in their good quality, this answer would not be complete without mentioning: Easy by Tammara Webber, The Scourge by A. G. Henley, Fire by Kristin Cashore, Enclave by Ann Aguirre, Destined by Aprilynne Pike, and Torn/Ascend by Amanda Hocking.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
The stuff I'm going to mention would all classify as underdog books, methinks. I don't read nearly enough praise when each of these books are nuggets of gold. The River of Time series by Lisa Tawn Bergren, for instance, should be making WAY more rounds. Although, I don't think I'll be happy until the whole of the world has been converted. There's just so much awesome jam-packed real tight in these books: sword action and warfare, character growth, ACTUAL parental guidance, friendship, sisterly love, romance, and so much more. It's all very high stakes and intense and JUST READ IT DANG IT.

While you're googling that, don't forget The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. If the sight of my commentless review of Blood Prophecy is any indication *gives stink eye*, this series doesn't get enough love to suit my fancy. Yes, the first book had a crap main character. But that all changed with the introduction to the sexy, talented Drake brothers, their ladies, and, although she relates to both, LUCY. Experience her wittiness and, I warn you, you will tremble with laughter.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
If your name rhymes with henchmen, like Jen maybe, you already know what I'm going to say.

And that is: Morganville.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
  1. Rachel Caine— She INVENTED Morganville. INVENTED.
  2. Rae Carson— GoFaT was like. CoE was LOVE.
  3. Lauren Oliver— Delirium was good. Pandemonium tells me Lauren Oliver is a woman of many talents, one of which includes the swift stabbing, slaughtering, and chopping of my heart prior to its last beat before it directly hits her fireplace.
  4. Kiersten White— I didn't fully appreciate her 'til I was forced to wait for Endlessly.
  5. Leigh Bardugo
  6. Jess Rothenberg
  7. Christopher Healy
  8. Sarah Rees Brennan— *spits* *glares*
  9. Juliet Marillier
  10. Jennifer A. Nielsen
  11. Sarah J. Maas
  12. Brigid Kemmemerer
  13. Kristin Walker
  14. Susan Dennard— A really sweet (and tolerant) lady, who doesn't mind putting up with interrogations and fangirliness via Twitter.
  15. Rebecca Serle
  16. Jennifer L. Armentrout— So charitable. Letting us have Daemon like that...
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Okay, so Paranormal Activity comes on, I unashamedly go like this:

Every now and then I put on my brave girl pants and do something daring. Like read Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. And I actually liked the kill people parts. Go figure.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
That would decisively be between Finnikin of the Rock, The Crown of Embers, and Middle Ground. Try all of them, because they lied when they said ignorance is bliss. YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD YET.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Even though I already do this every weekend (because I am without ambition), I plan on sticking to my weekend routine of reading 1-13 of Morganville by Rachel Caine. If I get tired of it, or I have less time, I'm going for Scarlet by A. G. Gaughen, because it's one of those special books I can't believe I get to read whenever I want. The story inside is fabulous, even if you're not a fan of Robin Hood. Also, Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Because after months of waiting, we get a declaration of love and a dang spine-breaking cliffhanger.

10. Favorite cover(s) of a book you read in 2012?

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Duncan of Hero's Guide for his quirkiness, Scarlet of Scarlet (by A. G. Gaughen) for her prickliness, Sage of The False Prince for his brilliance, Caleana of Throne of Glass for her arrogance, Kate of Plain Kate for her loneliness, Lucy of the Drake Chronicles for her wittiness, Elvie of Mothership for her sarcasm, Myrnin of Morganville for his craziness, Fire of Fire for her vulnerability, and Elisa of Crown of Embers for her growth.

AS IF I could choose JUST ONE.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Finnikin of the Rock (emotional) and Middle Ground (sophisticated) are certainly beautifully written and deep. But, I can't go on with this survey and NOT mention the breathtaking writing in Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Too bad I don't have any passages, because that would, you know, make my point worth something. But you bleed for Lena.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Have I told you about Finnikin of the Rock, dearie? I don't want to sound redundant. But there's also Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson and Plain Kate by Erin Bow, both of which had me clutching them to my chest and rocking. There's so much unbearable sadness and meaning and when something reaches that deep in your heart and rips at you, you could yank it out or you could let it do its damage and remember.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
Morganville. *cough* Finnikin of the Rock *stops coughing*. And Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
FINALLY. I've been prepping all year for this part. Why do you think I picked out so many quotes in my reviews?

The Crown of Embers: “Your enemy could come up behind me, and I would never know, because all I’m thinking about is how badly I want you.”

He says, “You have every possible power over me.”
“You have the power of a dear friend, you have all the power that a beautiful woman has over a man who loves her, and most importantly, you are my sovereign. You have the power to command me in everything.”
Bitter Blood: "Ah, Morganville. Where dressing to hide bloodstains was just good daily planning."
Middle Ground: "I began the questionnaire. There were only twenty-nine questions. I stared at the document before I started. That was it? Answering twenty-nine questions could define me? I wondered if the answers to twenty-nine questions could even describe this room, let alone the complexity of a person. Or maybe people weren’t that complex anymore. Maybe technology was making us so full we were empty. "
Unspoken: “I do not trust that guy. He looks at her as if she was his heart, made of glass, and suspended on a thread that might break. If the thread breaks, I don’t know what he’ll do.”
Throne of Glass: “After a year, you seem to be more or less alive. I wonder how that’s possible when the average life expectancy in these mines is a month.”
“Quite a mystery, I’m sure.” She batted her eyelashes and readjusted her shackles as if they were lace gloves.
Plain Kate: "When you are carving a narrow point, like the tail of this fish, her father had said to her, big hands over her little ones, and the carving beneath them, this is a time of danger. The knife may slip. It may follow a grain and spoil the line. There may be a flaw deep in the wood that will snap your work in two. You will want to leave the tail thick and crude; that is safer. A master carver will be brave, and trust the wood. Things will find their shape. Kate, My Star. Lift your knife."

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
Easy. The Witness by Nora Roberts at 757 pages. I say with little to EXTREME bragging that I read this bad boy in two delightful nights. The shortest book was Knee Deep by Jolene Perry, a sweet short gulp of happy.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
You want to talk about a raging WTF. Read Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan and just SEE if you don't want to make a Barbie go headless. Foul play, Brennan.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Elisa and Hector - Crown of Embers
Kami and her family - Unspoken
Claire, Shane, Michael, and Eve - Morganville
Luca and Lia - Bourne & Tributary
Brooks and Abigail - The Witness
Everyone in Hero's Guide and Finnikin

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
  1. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa— I didn't know WHAT to expect when I found out Julie was writing about vampires. Except... hope they didn't sparkle? Only Meyer is allowed.
  2. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
  3. The Witness by Nora Roberts— I hadn't been love LOVING Roberts' recent releases UNTIL.
  4. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker— Okay, technically I read 7 Clues to Winning You the same year as this one, but I had no idea that this one was going to be as awesome and hilarious.
  5. A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger— Almost loved it as much as THE DUFF. Which, you know, speaks highly of this book.
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
HOW MANY TIMES MUST I ANSWER YOU PEOPLE? It's 12am. Must I force myself to repeat the answer. MORGANVILLE. Morganville, Morganville, Morganville. Totes read this because of Jen at Makeshift Bookmark. I have retained the presence of mind to say bless you, Jen.

If you are interested in reading my answers to the rest of the survey, which contains two optional sections, I will post it against your will regardless more than likely before the week is out. DON'T GIVE ME THAT LOOK. Take your eyeballs to the time and remember to have mercy. No. I am not a good post planner. Are you really THAT surprised? Have pity, won't you?


Sarah said...

Hehehe! Asher, I love your list ♥ I DID like Eve & Adam, but it wasn't as BIG as I expected, or memorable. I get what you mean :P AND YOU LIKED ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD THAT MUCH? Seriously, I'm on Supernatural high at the moment, and I'm thinking it's right up my alley :D

AND OMG. I am officially TERRIFIED to read Unspoken O___O

Princess Ash said...

I love YOU <3 I miss you! I'm so glad to finally be back blogging regularly to catch your face xD I can't even remember half of the names and places in Eve & Adam. And omg, there is a real, not messin' around scare factor to Anna Dressed in Blood. If you're on a Supernatural kick, I'd say this would be perfect for you atm.

ALSO. YOU SHOULD BE. Sarah Rees Brennan is evil. The ending... *sobs*

rogier said...

cool list

Princess Ash said...

Thanks, homeboy :D

Caitlin said...

Lol you are always so entertaining love. In reply to your comment on my blog, how can I bear to re-read Unspoken? Because I LOVE the torture of it. I also actually expected it first time round, cause SRB is evil so I constantly think "what is the most awful heart-ripped-from-chest level agony that could occur in this book?" and then I know it will come to pass. You should read her Demon's Lexicon trilogy, it is actually amazing. I love that you include Easy in your list, I read it recently and adored it, when I didn't expect to so also a surprising read for me. and YES to all the Melina Marchetta love, you are right, total genius. I am reading Finnkin this month (you really do need to get hold of SF and JR). Also, Morganville, FINALLY. I am so so behind on it, but excellent series. ALSO I thought you would like to know I finally read The Assassin's Curse (our Liz bought it for me) and adored it, I know you raved about it MONTHS AGO so feel free to scream I TOLD YOU I TOLD YOU at me over Twitter.

Woah, long comment soz. TL;DR -you're awesome, awesome list.

Cait x

Alexandra said...

I love this post! Lucy's a fun character, but my favourite Drake heroine is HANDS DOWN Hunter. That girl is cool, calm and collected awesome, and her story contained my absolute favourite quote of the series ("The streetlight made the shattered glass look as if some of the stars had fallen from the sky, littering the pavement" - kind of a random quote, but so pretty), so, you know, it all smooshes together in my mind in a ball of happiness. I think Solange is pretty annoying the whole way through the series.

I adored Unspoken, despite the heartrending ending - Kami is utterly, utterly wonderful, and I WANT TO MARRY JARED except not because he's all tangled up with Kami and they need to be together and I don't want to hurt Kami so I will just have to drool over him from afar. And I love the quote you picked out from it.

And Easy was so good - I read it after reading Sarah (Saz101)'s enthusiastic review, and I AM SO GLAD THAT I DID. Lucus is mmmmm... but why was there NO guys like him at either of the universities I went to? Real life, you suck.

I definitely feel like I need to check out Middle Ground now. :-)

Princess Ash said...

*narrows eyes* Clever girl. Just let the rest of us poor unsuspecting folk go right in with NO WARNING like your dear ol' friend Ash. And Easy makes me feel easy whenever I think about Lucas. AND MARCHETTA. That woman is a goddess and should be banned from co-mingling among us lesser beings. There should be a shrine somewhere where other authors can go on a pilgrimage. YOU NEED TO READ FINNIKIN. And I PROMISE I will get to Jellicoe Road this month in exchange, WHICH IS NO EASY PROMISE.

Dude. Duuuude. As your solemenly awesome American friend, I must beg you to put down your tea, wipe off what sloshed over the rim, and CATCH UP TO MORGANVILLE. IMMEDIATELY. And I will not even mention Assassin's Curse because we've already discussed it thoroughly on Twitter with tweets like "I HOPE HE KISSES HER" which is really all that needs to be said about that. And you're welcome to make long comments anytime ;)

Princess Ash said...

Well, shucks. My skull is protesting it's sudden inflation in size ;)

HUNTER IS A BOSS. You called it. And she has QUINN. Which is just a prize bag of WIN in itself. But Lucy is so darn funny with her quips and toughness and narration and I JUST LOVE HER, OBVS. *fist-bumps* I see we're exhibiting some Boo Solange! solidarity.

Unspoken made me go for the bottle... of milk. Chocolate milk, yeah. Because that's the drink of choice for depressed 18-year-olds *shifty eyes*. AHHH, YES. That quote. I wanted to pet it.

LISTEN TO SARAH IN EVERYTHING. She will never lead you astray. Unless the path is ruined because then you should follow her. There are some cuties at my college, BUT NOTHING LIKE THAT. For shame.

Please, please read Middle Ground. Let me know what you think!

Aylee said...

Margeniuschetta! Ha! Oh yes, I've heard of her... just never read anything by her yet. I KNOW. I'm a terrible person, apparently. Your whole venomous dislike for Sarah Rees Brennan shtick is HILARIOUS, by the way! Actually, it's pretty funny how you seem utterly incapable of answering any of the questions with just one book choice - you are definitely a more is more kind of person. Heh, and that is a major understatement.

Caitlin said...

Bahaha but you'd never have read it if I'd said: Warning; end will cause severe heartache and feelings of anger. I just made Liz read it, check out her Twitter reactions. Hilarity. Haha deal! I read Finnkin in exchange for you reading Jellicoe. *shakes hand* I know I know I really need to catch up!!! I will make it my AIM this year to catch up with Morganville!

Marie @ Marie Loves Books said...

I'm still recovering from the ending of Unspoken *sobs*.

And I agree with #2. W(#$*#$#*($!!!!

Princess Ash said...

Well, well *sputters* *grows silent* You're probably right. I WOULD'VE RAN LIKE HELL. And left me there to fall into the Pit of Despair waiting for me in the end. Ah, crap, I forgot to go have a look. AND YES YES *shakes other hand*

YOU MUST. Morganville is a must.

Princess Ash said...

WHHHAAAAA? No, it's ok, Finnikin was my testing toe in her fantasy waters. AND MY TOE CAME BACK TOASTY WARM. Finnikin is a great fantasy and I can't wait to finish the companions and FINALLY get to Jellicoe Road. Then Saving Francesca. AND SO ON. It's a cycle, which is never pleasant.

It's venomous dislike melded with pure admiration. It's sickening, this tangle of emotional responses. ONE BOOK CHOICE? Ha! As if I could do anything such thing. Anything else would've been a betrayal to my principles. And that is indeed MORE IS MUCH MORE.

Princess Ash said...

*pats back* *hands used Kleenex* I UNDERSTAND.

And *fist-bumps* it's about time there was SOMEONE.

Keertana Anandraj said...

Gosh, Crown of Embers is #1? I bought it the day it released and have it under dictionaries so I don't read it because I was told of a cliffie. NOW I WANT TO READ IT! I think I'll brave the cliffie soon because I just can't WAIT! Anyway, this is such a great survey and I love so many of these books, especially Finnikin! :D

Princess Ash said...

It won it's place on that spot after countless bloody battles. IT IS AMAZEBEANS. Don't try to hide from its awesomeness by trapping it under a bunch of dictionaries. The cliffie isn't THAT bad. It's the perfect ending to the book.

*fist-bumps* Finnikin dug into my soul.