The Best and Worst of 2012

After much deliberation and consideration, I have picked out my top 10 books of 2012.  The five best and the five worst.  It wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be.  Only two or three books jumped out at me as belonging on these lists and the rest were all most equal and needed to be thought over very carefully.  Finally, I reached a consensus.

The Five Best


renegade1. Renegade by J.A. Souders.

This book stood out to me by a mile when I considered my best books of the year.  I read it a little over a month ago and I still catch myself thinking about it and pondering over it.  I have recommended it to every person I know and will await the next book with bated breath.  It was a creepy and amazing book that was so much more than I ever expected it to be and created a fan out of me.

daughter of smoke & bone2. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

This is another book that swept me off my feet and enticed me into its world and didn’t want to let me go.  It is a beautifully written book and I expect a lot of great things for the author in the future.  A masterfully woven tale that I couldn’t put down.

nocturnal3. Noturnal by Scott Sigler

While I may not have reviewed this on the blog, it was one of my favorites all the same.  For anyone who doesn’t know, I am a gigantic fan of Scott Sigler.  I can only think of one thing I have read by him that I didn’t absolutely love.  Now this book does have a few moments where even a die-hard junkie like me rolled my eyes, but the overarching story was spectacular.  It was creepy, fun, and interesting for all the right reasons.  Sigler’s horror novels aren’t the kind that will scare you and make you check under the bed, that’s not his style of horror.  His style of horror is the kind that has you wrinkling your nose and thinking, “Oh my God!”

and all the stars4. And All the Stars  by Andrea K Host

This book was a surprise.  I had seen a lot of good reviews for it but wasn’t sure what to expect.  But it was a joy and a pleasure to read.  The characters were real, the story was interesting, and I couldn’t put it down.  Without a doubt one of the best books I picked up this year.

the lost prince5. The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Before last year I had never read a Julie Kagawa book.  I had heard a lot of great things and when I got offered the chance to read this beginning of a new series, I jumped at it to see what all the fuss was about.  The fuss was well deserved because this book was fantastic.  The world building was some of the best I have read and the characters were well-developed and rounded.  I will be reading from his author again and hope to be just as pleased.



The Five Worst

the rook

1. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

This book earned its place as the worst book of the year.  It was boring and amateurish.  The interest premise it established was squandered at every opportunity with boring nonsense.  I wanted to quit on this book so many times and probably would have if it wasn’t a book club read.  The long swathes of gibberish that had nothing to do with the plot made this the most annoying book I read all year.

the twelve2. The Twelve by Justin Cronin

POVs that switched and swapped every few pages and a convoluted plot that made everything about as clear as mud are the primary reason this book sucked.  Add in religious references being shoved in your face as nauseum and in the most annoying way possible and I wanted it to be over.  560 pages of purple prose later this book succeeded in making me fall asleep repeatedly and made my eyeballs shoot blood spontaneously to prevent any more pain.

ScarletUS.indd3. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

This book made me angry.  It has such a great story and it just pissed it away with typical boring YA garbage.  The heroine was embarrassing to all young girls on the planet and the heroes should be locked up to protect the women of the world.  I didn’t find a single redeeming quality about this book.

immortal city4. Immortal City by Scott Speer

If ever there was a book that should be destroyed for the protection of humanity, it’s this one.  Yet again, another fascinating premise that they author mutilated and destroyed until it was unrecognizable.  I hated the characters, the plot, the villain, and everything in between.  I sincerely hope Mr. Speer goes back to screenwriting, it’s a certainty that he’s more talented at that than novels.

breed5. Breed by Chase Novak

Ugh, what a waste of a tree.  The characters were so irritating that I really didn’t care if awful things happened to them.  The plot dragged on and on and on but yet we never got anywhere.  There was no point to any of it and no resolution in the end.


So that’s it ladies and gents.  These are my favorite and most hated books of 2012.  I’m interested in knowing what yours are.  Add a comment and tell me!


And All the Stars by Andrea K. Host

And All the Stars by Andrea K. Host

Published October 1st, 2012 by the author

Synopsis and cover picture from the Goodreads book page

Buy this book at B&N / Amazon / Smashwords


Come for the apocalypse.
Stay for cupcakes.
Die for love.

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.

Rating (out of 5):


Allow me a moment to sound like a lovestruck teenager please.  I love this book, cue sigh.  No, I lurv this book!  Cue more dramatic sighing.  Okay, lovestruck fangirl moment has passed, let’s get on with this reviewing business.  I admit that the synopsis of this book made me think long and hard about if I wanted to read it or not.  But I do love apocalypse novels and the idea of potential alien invaders was fantastic.  It piqued my interest enough that I requested a copy for review.  Part of me wants to rave about this book from the rooftops all night, but first let’s get the things that got on my nerves out the way.  Don’t worry, it’s short.

The descriptions of the dust coming down from the sky and covering everything was interesting at first, but I thought that it went on a little too long.  After awhile I found myself thinking, “Okay, I know, the violet dust is EVERYWHERE!  Now please talk about something else.”  I found that this happened a few other times as well, where I just felt that some things went on a bit too long and I was skimming for a few pages until we moved on.  For example when Maddie was looking through empty apartments that was rather cumbersome and when they were planning their attack on the invaders I wanted to get to the actual attacking sooner than I did.  These were minor annoyances and frankly didn’t really impact how much I enjoyed the book but I thought it should be mentioned.

Now for the good parts, Maddie was fantastic.  She is the YA heroine I have been searching for for months!  She is strong, smart, kicks ass when she needs to, and knows when to step aside and let someone else take charge when necessary.  I love this heroine so much.  All of the female characters in this book were like her in a lot of ways.  In general, the characters were very genuine and authentic and not stereotypical or cliche at all.  Oh, and we also have a lesbian couple in the book…you don’t see it until near the end but there is.  That is rare in YA as well, putting in any LGBT characters.  Tyler, I am not quite sure if he was transgendered or a crossdresser but he is in there as well.  There are Asian characters and white characters, and lesbian characters, and transgendered characters and NONE OF IT SEEMED FORCED.  All of the characters were natural and fit in this world and that was so refreshing to see.  No token “a black man walked down the street” moments in this one!

The plot was also very unique and interesting.  I loved the idea of it and also the way it was written.  Everything was explained without feeling like the information was just being dumped on me.  I liked the way the plot played into social structures in our society without hitting you over the head with it.  It was a statement about our society but was never preachy. And the ending was a cause for celebration and also sadness.  It made me cry, and I rarely shed tears at a book.  I felt the emotions of these characters very clearly and my heart broke for them.

I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this book.  It is a worthy book to buy and I doubt it would disappoint.  Give it a try, even if the synopsis doesn’t seem like your thing.  It just might turn into one of your favorites by the end.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.  No monetary compensation or promise of a positive review was given.