Although I didn’t come anywhere close to my goal of reading this year, a vast majority of the books I read were absolutely fantastic. I wish I had made more time to read a few more novels, especially during school (it would have kept me more sane), and I think I’ll make that one of my 2013 goals. Reading is always something I’ve loved, and my ‘to-read’ shelf has become pretty overwhelming.
For now, here’s a quick re-cap of my 10 favorites that I read in 2012.
#10 Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
I didn’t review this book like I did with her first one ‘The Happiness Project’ (which basically changed my life last year) but it definitely deserves a spot on this list. Rubin took the idea of a happiness project further by seeing what she could do to make her HOME LIFE a happier place for her whole family. Her extensive research on the subject is extremely enlightening & I can’t recommend her work enough.
#9 The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
I love Mitch Albom, and this book was no different. I love novels, no matter how long or short, that really change your perspective on something. Albom takes the concept of ‘time’ to a whole new level in this relatively short book, but it doesn’t diminish it’s impact whatsoever. The main character, the keeper of time, is wonderfully written & I constantly found myself stopping to really let this novel’s idea sink in.
#8 Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I put off reading this book for a long time, and finally got around to it this summer- I think I read the entire thing in less than 2 days. I just could not put it down. It was one of the most beautifully, tragically written stories I read all year. It is the very sad story of a teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves cassette tapes behind for all the people who affected her decision to do it. The novel was nothing if not eye opening.
#7 Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Another book I put off for a long time because it had such mixed reviews, I finally read it in September when I came home from Europe. I was missing Italy so much & couldn’t wait to re-live it through Gilbert’s eyes. I wasn’t disappointed in the least, and I learned more about India (one of the next places I want to visit) as well as Indonesia, a country that made it on my travel list of places to see partially because of this biography. The wanderluster in me couldn’t get enough of this book!
#6 Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Over the first few months of the summer I went through a phase of needing to read lots of “feel-good” contemporary fiction books, and this was one of them that I absolutely adored. The title is a bit cheesy I’ll admit, but Perkins has a way of writing her characters that make them impossibly difficult not to love. Not to mention the story takes place in Paris & I was getting excited for my trip… This is the kind of lovey story that any girl will read and adore- and relate to!
#5 Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
One of my most anticipated books of 2012, I absolutely devoured the sequel to Delirium. I don’t know many people who enjoyed it as much as I did, but the cliffhanger at the ending? Still one that haunts me almost every day since I read it. That’s definitely the sign of a well written story, if there ever was one. READ THIS SERIES. One of my favorite dystopians out there.
#4 Cinder by Marissa Meyer (& I’m sneaking in Scarlet by her too- advanced reader copies FOR THE WIN!)
I took a chance on ‘Cinder’ because a couple people at work read it and said it was amazing. It *seemed* strange to me, but I got into it almost IMMEDIATELY. What a fantastic book (and the sequel was also AWESOME). Meyer is reinventing classic tales (Cinderella = Cinder, Red Riding Hood = Scarlet) and creating fictitious dystopian/sci-fi worlds for them to live in, where all their lives intersect. So good, I can’t believe I have like a year and a half until book 3.
#3 Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I can’t remember what compelled me to finally pick this up- I think I was in search of some new good dystopian novels and had heard some good stuff about this one. Let me just say, this series is super underrated. Not enough people who know and like the dystopian genre have given this one a chance. The concept of the series- genetic mutation that kill women at 20 years old and men at 25- is a bit scary, but DeStefano makes it work SO well. Not to mention her characters are ridiculously well written. The sequel, Fever, was just as good in my opinion. Another worthy cliffhanger & I’m anxiously waiting for the final book in the trilogy coming out in February!
#2 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Definitely my most anticipated book of 2012, and it did not disappoint in the least. I did however disappoint MYSELF while reading it- I accidentally read a sentence in the middle of the book that ruined the whole thing- but John Green delivered his most beautiful, well-written, and tragic love story to-date. This book is one that will be a classic for a long time, and although a tough sell for people who have yet to read a novel by Green (it’s about two 16 year old teenagers who meet at cancer support group) the story itself is SO MUCH more than that. I can’t recommend this book enough (or his other work, for that matter!)
#1 WILD by Cheryl Strayed
I randomly bought this book the day before I left for Europe. The premise of the biography was appealing to me- some kind of life changing travel adventure and a 20 something year old girl- just at a time when I felt like that’s what I was going through, too. I read this book from cover to cover in under 3 days in Europe. To say that it affected my entire trip is an under statement. It’s half the reason I made it through with a backpack and very little sleep! Definitely one of my all-time favorite books that I look forward to re-visiting someday soon.
What were your favorite reads of 2012?