Best of Lists

The Half-Year Mark: Best Books of 2012 (so far)

Hello everybody! Summer has started (in some parts of the world that are not called the UK, says a shivering Ana) (meanwhile, Thea is sweating in the boiling heat of the east coast USA) which means it is that time of the year when we look back at our reads of the year and list our favorites.

Without further ado, we present you with: our Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2012 (so far); our Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2012 (regardless of publication year); and, our Honorable Mentions. That is, it is time for our Best of 2012 Lists – So Far.

Ana’s Best of 2012:

I’ve read 74 books so far (this is a record for me as for the past few years, I averaged 65 books in the first 6 months) and I am delighted to say that 2012 has been a solid reading year. Although I read quite a few books that were less than stellar (and had a fair share of Did Not Finish cases), the average of books I read fell on the 6-7 range, which is pretty good. Of the books I absolutely, completely loved, there is one – Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – which I consider now as one of the best books I have ever read. This one alone would be enough to make 2012 a stellar year for reading. Finally, I’ve only listed 4 books in the first list (Best Books) for now but there are MANY books in the Honorable Mentions list that might end up in the top 10 by the end of the year.

But let’s get to the lists proper shall we?

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2012:

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, 10 (Historical, YA, WWII)
2. The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin, 10 (Fantasy)
3. The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis, 9 (Historical, MG, PoC)
4. The Killing Moon by N. J. Jemisin, 9 (Fantasy)

Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2012 (regardless of publication year):

1. My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson, 8 (Historical, YA, PoC)
2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, 9 (Historical, WWII)
3. The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman, 10 (Historical, YA, PoC)
4. Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells, 8 (Fantasy, PoC)
5. A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz, 8 (Historical, Gothic, YA)
6. The Boneshaker by Kate Milford, 8, (Historical, Horror, YA)
7. Mr Was by Pete Hautman, 7 (SciFi)
8. Fury by Shirley Marr, 8, (Contemporary YA, Thriller)

Honorable Mentions:

1. Fly Into Fire by Susan Jane Bigelow, 7 (SciFi)
2. The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe, 7 (Dystopia, YA)
3. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells, 8 (Fantasy)
4. The Fault in our Stars by John Green, 8 (Contemporary YA)
5. When We Were Executioners by J. M. McDermott, 7 (Fantasy)
6. The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Perez, 8 (Contemporary YA)
7. Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse, 8 (Historical Fantasy, YA)
8. The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson, 7 (Fantasy, YA)
9. Railsea by China Mieville, 8 (Fantasy, YA)
10. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones, 8 (Lit Fic, Speculative Fiction)
11. Ship of Souls by Zetta Elliott, 8 (Fantasy, YA, PoC)
12. The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman, 8 (SciFi, YA)
13. Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier, 7 (Fantasy, YA)

As usual, a lot of YA and a lot of SFF but this year, as you can see, I have reads load of awesome Historical novels as well. Unlike previous years though, I haven’t read that many oldies and I vow to correct this in the second half of the year.

Thea’s Best of 2012:

After a morning/afternoon of crunching the stats and going over all of the books I’ve reviewed this year, I have some rather jaw-dropping news. Despite the stress of working on, defending, and completing my thesis, I have somehow managed to stay perfectly on pace to review as many books as I did in 2011. At the official half-year point, I have reviewed 74 books and am just on pace to hit my 147 books reviewed in 2011. Of those 74 books, the vast majority (a whopping 49 titles) are YA books. 22 were straight-up fantasy novels, 21 were speculative fiction/science fiction novels, 10 were dystopian/apocalyptic SF novels, and 10 were horror novels. Overall, my average rating assigned is 6.9 (median of 7.0) – which is pretty awesome. Other than a few spectacularly bad books, the majority of the titles I’ve read this year have been pretty solid, and I have MORE books on my Best of 2012 list at mid-year than I have had for any prior year. This bodes very well for the rest of 2012.

Without further ado, I give you my lists!

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2012:

1. The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin, 9 (Fantasy)
2. Losers in Space by John Barnes, 9 (YA, Hard Science Fiction)
3. This is Not A Test by Courtney Summers, 9 (YA, Horror/Apocalypse)
4. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, 9 (YA, Fantasy)
5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, 8 (YA, Historical)
6. Fear by Michael Grant, 8 (YA, SF/Horror)
7. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, 8 (UF)
8. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey, 8 (YA, Fantasy)
9. Deep Sky by Patrick Lee, 8 (Speculative Fiction, Thriller)

Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2012 (regardless of publication year):

1. Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry, 8 (YA, Fantasy)
2. The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper, 8 (Speculative Fiction, Steampunk)
3. The Breach by Patrick Lee, 8 (Speculative Fiction, Thriller)
4. Ghost Country by Patrick Lee, 8 (Speculative Fiction, Thriller)
5. The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce, 8 (YA, Fantasy)
6. A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith, 8 (YA, Fantasy)
7. The Comet’s Curse by Dom Testa, 7 (YA, Science Fiction)
8. The Web of Titan by Dom Testa, 7 (YA, Science Fiction)

Honorable Mentions:

1. The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin, 8 (Fantasy)
2. After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress, 7 (Science Fiction, Apocalypse/Dystopia)
3. Further: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson, 7 (Science Fiction)
4. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, 8 (YA, Horror/Thriller)
5. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, 7 (YA, Speculative Fiction/Fantasy)
6. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, 7 (YA, Speculative Fiction/Dystopia)
7. Partials by Dan Wells, 8 (YA, Speculative Fiction/Dystopia)
8. Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse, 8 (YA, Fantasy)
9. 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad, 7 (YA, Science Fiction/Horror)
10. Pure by Julianna Baggott, 7 (Speculative Fiction, Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia)
11. Redshirts by John Scalzi, 7 (Science Fiction, Comedy)
12. Fair Game by Patricia Briggs, 8 (UF)
13. The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova, 7 (YA, UF)
14. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, 7 (YA, Fantasy)

So there you have it! Our lists for the best books that we’ve had the pleasure of reading in 2012 so far. Now we look to you – what books have you read and loved this year? Are there any titles that we’ve missed?

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  • Elisabeth
    July 2, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Ana: I totally agree about Code Name Verity (which I discovered through this blog – thank you!).

    Thea: It’s great to see A Posse of Princesses on your list – I really liked that one, and it’s great to see some reviews for books that are not new releases.

    Many of your other favorites have made their way onto my “to be read” list, including Red Shirts (even the Husband wants to read this one – just the blurb from the book made him laugh out loud), The Boneshaker (recommended by a friend of mine just last week), and This is Not a Test.

    Now I just need to find the time to read them in the midst of our hectic summer schedule 8) .

  • Shanelle
    July 2, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I have to say I love looking at your favorites. It makes me want to read all of them.
    I will be reading Code Name Verity very shortly and am so excited. I know I’m going to love it. I read The Winter Prince, another of Elizabeth Wein’s novels, this year and it is definitely one of my favorite reads so far – maybe even of all time. Other favorites I read this year: I, Juan de Pareja; Juliet Marillier’s Son of the Shadow; Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Saga; John Green’s Fault in Our Stars. And I should stop now because I could keep going and going…

  • Howard Sherman
    July 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    74 books in 2012 so far? EACH?! That’s awesome. I wish I had the opportunity to read more books. I tried every single trick in the book to get more time with books. With all my magic tricks I think I read 20 books this year. Maybe.

  • Estara
    July 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Aww, it’s a favourite authors bonanza ^^ – Elizabeth Wein, Martha Wells, Sherwood Smith, yay :mrgreen: ! Now if I just can get you to eventually try Judith Tarr, ladies ^^.

  • AnimeJune
    July 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

    How can you read so many books? How? HOW?! Must read faster!

  • April Books & Wine
    July 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

    YES! Code Name Verity is one of my favorites so far this year, so far EVER too. Sigh.

    My biggest takeaway from this, though, is that I need to order The Killing Moon.

  • Linda W
    July 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I’ve read some of these, but many are still to be read. I loved Guernsey and The Fault in Our Stars. I need to get cracking on the other titles on your lists.

  • Sarah
    July 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    My favorites so far have been Heir of Night and Gathering of the Lost by Helen Lowe and All the Paths of Shadow by Frank Tuttle. Ranked right up there with them is Michael J Sullivan’s Riyria books.

    I’ve added Code Name Verity to my list of books to read.

  • asher @ paranormal indulgence
    July 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Some of these I have yet to read and the fact that I haven’t makes me embarrassed and ashamed. Like Code Name Verity. If I don’t hear one more good thing about it, it’ll be too soon. I feel so PRESSURED. And yet, intrigued…

    Some of these I’m so happy you ladies dug. Like Under the Never Sky, This Is Not a Test, Team Human, The False Prince, an Dragonswood. Some of these I have yet to read but I’m SO fracking excited, it’s ridiculous. AWESOME, action-inspiring list! ;-D

  • Chachic
    July 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    So glad Code Name Verity is on both of your lists! :mrgreen: Loved that book and it’s definitely included in my 2012 favorites. I’m really curious about The False Prince and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

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    […] The Half-Year Mark: Best Books of 2012 (so far) […]

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