Best of the Year

BOTY ’12: Released books

We’ve arrived at the second post of the Best of the Year series. This time I’ll talk about books that were released this year! I have added a couple of books that I haven’t read yet but I am anticipating so so much (partly also because I haven’t read that many books released this year).

amillions
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Released on: 10 January 2012
Finished on: n/a

Avg. Goodreads rating: 4.05

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed.

But there may be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to act on his vision—no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success—or failure—will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers aboard Godspeed. But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and the love between them more impossible to fight.

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The first book in this series, Across the Universe, was a great book – and I really wanted to pick up this book because it came out this year. But I just didn’t. I have got it on my eReader, but I just haven’t started it yet, because I keep on reading other books and rereading books I have already read hundreds of times . I have already read the first chapter, as it was in the back of my copy of the first book, and it has made me very curious, so I think I am going to pick it up asap in 2013!

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The Casual Vacancy
 by J.K. Rowling
Released on: 27 September 2012
Read on: 2 October 2012

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

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I was very curious about this book, because it was written by J.K. Rowling, who is my all-time favourite writer. And because it was about something other than magic, muggles, death-eaters and house-elves. This book was written for grown-ups, which means a lot more cursing, more sex, more booze and more drugs. It’s a nice book, though the pov changes with every chapter (sometimes even within a chapter), which sometimes is very confusing. But I really liked reading the story of a village that has to cope with the death of someone who was quite an important person to them. A couple of days ago, I heard that the BBC is trying to make a TV show out of the book. I am excited!

tfios


The Fault in Our Stars 
by John Green
Released on: 10 January 2012
Read on: 26 October 2012

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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I had heard a lot about this book, because apparently, John Green is a very good writer – and he writes amazing books. Eventually I decided to buy this book at my local bookshop. They told me people found it very sad, and that if I didn’t like it, I could return it (why would you return a book?!?!). Eventually I finished it in nearly a day, and wow. Seriously, wow, everyone was right. John Green writes in a way that makes you want to turn the page until you finish the book. Even if you were starving, or burning, or being murdered, you would want to finish this book. I liked that the main characters went to Amsterdam, to look for their favourite writer. But seriously, y’all should read it.

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Hana 
by Lauren Oliver
Released on: 28 February 2012
Read on: 31 May 2012

The summer before they’re supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.

But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.

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This is not a complete book, but a short story, something that happens ‘between’ two books. In this case, it’s Hana’s story. Hana is Lena’s best friend, and Lena is the main character of the Delirium series. I actually like to read a story from a different pov than the main character, so I was really happy when I started reading this. It tells the Delirium story from Hana’s point of view. Not the entire story, but just small parts. When it ended, I nearly screamed in frustration though. If you liked Delirium, go and read ‘Hana’.

insurg


Insurgent 
by Veronica Roth
Released on: 1 May 2012
Read on: 24 May 2012

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

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Just as thrilling as part one, Divergent. I had a bit of trouble getting my hands on this book, which I wrote an earlier post about, but eventually – aver a bit more than a month – I got it. I finished it in a day, that’s how excited I was. I am currently re-reading the book, and it ends in such a cliffhanger, oh my god, I need the last book. Unfortunately, that won’t come out until October next year. I am REALLY happy that this is a YA book without a love-triangle, which is something I despise. Three cheers for Veronica Roth!

wishingsp


The Wishing Spell 
by Chris Colfer
Released on: 17 july 2012
Read on: 6 October 2012

Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.
“The Land of Stories” tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

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I was actually a bit surprised when I heard Chris Colfer (who plays Kurt Hummel in Glee) was going to write a book (I also had my doubts). But when I read other people’s opinions about the book, I decided to buy it, even though it was written for children. And it is an amazing story. I really liked the map at the beginning of the book; I just really like it when a writer makes a map of the world they’ve made up, it makes it easier for me to imagine how a world looks like, if you know what I mean. Anyway, the story is nicely written, and I really enjoyed it! If you want to read a fairytale with a twist (because that’s what this really is, you meet Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and much more fairytale characters); you should read Land of Stories! And the best part, from what I’ve heard, it’s going to be a trilogy!

pandem


Pandemonium 
by Lauren Oliver
Released on: 28 February 2012
Read on: 11 June 2012

The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.

In this electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller Delirium, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a dangerous course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and into the heart of a growing resistance movement. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

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Part two of the Delirium series. Unfortunately, this is another love-triangle story, something I really hate. If you don’t think about that, it’s a very nice story. Every chapter switches between ‘now’ and ‘then’, which sometimes makes me a bit confused, but you’ll get used to it in the end. There is a very nice cliffhanger at the end of this book, which makes me anxious for the third one, which will be released in March next year. There are three short stories in this series, ‘Hana’, ‘Annabel’, and ‘Raven’, which will come out as a paperback on the same day as Requiem. I can’t wait!

tens


Ten 
by Gretchen McNeil
Released on: 18 September 2012
Read on: n/a

Avg. Goodreads rating: 3.72

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

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This book is based on a book by Agatha Christie, ‘And Then There Were None’, which I would like to read too, but ‘Ten’ is written in ‘our’ time. I have read a couple of pages of this book, like I said in the introduction, out of curiosity, and from what I’ve read in the summary, it sounds like a very thrilling book. I am going to go and start reading this very soon, and after that I’ll start the original Agatha Christie book!

shadow


Shadows 
by Ilsa J. Bick
Release on: 25 September 2012
Read on: n/a

Avg. Goodreads rating: 3.77

The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive.

Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love.
But she was wrong.

Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive.

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I have read the first chapter of this book, because it was included at the end of the first book, but I haven’t really read much further than that. Alas, another love-triangle, sort off. Anyway, I don’t know when I am starting this book, because I was a bit annoyed at the writing in the first book, but I do really want to read how that stupid cliffhanger of Ashes ends; because I honestly can’t stand it when a book ends with a massive cliffhanger. To be continued… (see what I did there… haha… haha… no… okay…)

lastguard


The Last Guardian 
by Eoin Colfer
Released on: 10 July 2012
Read on: n/a

Avg. Goodreads rating: 4.16

It’s Armageddon Time for Artemis Fowl

Opal Koboi, power-crazed pixie, is plotting to exterminate mankind and become fairy queen.

If she succeeds, the spirits of long-dead fairy warriors will rise from the earth, inhabit the nearest available bodies and wreak mass destruction. But what happens if those nearest bodies include crows, or deer, or badgers – or two curious little boys by the names of Myles and Beckett Fowl?

Yes, it’s true. Criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl’s four-year-old brothers could be involved in destroying the human race. Can Artemis and Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police stop Opal and prevent the end of the world?

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I haven’t read this book yet, and I am not planning on doing it any time soon, because I still need to read the other SEVEN parts of this series. When I was younger, I was quite a fan of Artemis Fowl; I’ve got the first two books (in Dutch), with a very pretty golden and silver cover. I want to go and read all the books in English, because I had no idea there were five other books in this series (okay make that six, with this one included). Anyway, I have finished the first book, and I am going to start the second one asap.

And that’s it, this is my list of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. Or something like that. I don’t even know if that was a correct English sentence. Whatever, you know what I mean. Right?