Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of 2012: Non-Contemps

Rounding out my favorites of 2012 are the Non-Contemps, which I know isn't a great way to classify them but considering most of what I did read this year was contemp, this includes that is not, well, straight contemp. So dystopian, paranormal, fantasy, speculative... all of that, is thrown in here, and there are my top picks from them:

12. A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford: These books are dark and twisted and brilliantly plotted. Also, Jarrod is amazing. And okay I admit, I'm pretty hot for Luke too. Don't judge. But this entire world, the way the Sliders are blended into an otherwise normal, contemp setting, how they are affected and can affect... it all just culminates into awesome.

11. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins: This was an awesome ending to a fun trilogy, without leaving me feeling let down. Obviously, I can't say why I liked the ending of this so much, but I did. I thought it was perfect and beautifully done. This book has the same humor and life as the first two, yet holds the darker stuff with it. Also, Archer. Yay.

10. Endlessly by Kiersten White: I adore this series, and the ending definitely held up to that. The entire plot, both for this book and the overall series, is so well plotted, so subtly executed at times, it honestly amazes me. Evie has her darker moments, yet she still pushes through, and she figures it out. She's such a great character, so open even with the perky humor.

9. Hidden by Sophie Jordan: Another fabulous ending to a series I totally love. With some new characters introduced, and quite a few twists thrown in, this one had me hooked. As with the previous books, I felt so much for all the characters, and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I love the way this one ended, love where things were left for readers. While I certainly want more in this world simply because I love it, I'm also content as is.

8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: Confession - I am not a big fan of high fantasy. It's just not me for me, the girl who reads straight contemp more than anything, and the gritty, painful ones at that. But this one had me intrigued, and once I started in on it, had me totally captivated. I love the world, the writing, the characters. I love the challenges Calaena faces, both internally and physically. I love her determination, her softness. I love the romantic elements in this one, that doesn't override everything else. Basically, I just completely love this book and am dying for the next one.

7. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton: This book amazed me. I loved Angelfire, but this one takes things to a new level, makes them deeper, a little darker. Courtney didn't hold back in this one. It had all the elements I love in a book - strong characterization, solid writing, and smooth pacing. My heart broke, I laughed out loud, and I might have yelled at a few characters.

6. A Want so Wicked by Suzanne Young: As much as I loved A Need so Beautiful, this one left me utterly stunned. The themes and elements pulled in, mixed with the strong writing, as well as the darkness throughout this one, and I was a sucker from the start. Not to mention, Harlin is one of my favorite boys ever, but add in the new boy in this one, and I adore and love and highly recommend this book.

5. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers: Technically, this is a zombie book, but to me, in a lot of ways, the zombies are just a mechanism for the rest of the story. Truly, I see this one as a girl who wants to die, forced into a situation where she's surrounded by people literally fighting for her life. The amazing characterization I've always loved with Courtney thrives in this one, as does the emotions and the intensity. I cannot accurately explain all the little nuances that made me freak over this book.

4. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake: I love Cas. I love Anna. I love Kendare's writing. I love this story. Unpredictable, emotional, sweet and freaky, this one has it all. Cas cracks me up, yet he isn't always jokes and laughs. He knows when things are serious, and when he can take a breather. But what got me the most in this one is the romance angle, the love between the pair... and all that happens. I ached with this one, I took a few hard swallows. I hurt for the characters. But this is absolutely a book I will reread, and love every page of it.

3. Tempest by Julie Cross: The intricacy and brilliance of this one astounds me. And hurts my brain. Also, I love Jackson. He's that guy who isn't all that serious when it comes to relationships, who doesn't necessarily treat girls all that great, at least at first. But man does that change, and man do his feelings for Holly kind of wreck me at times. His growth in this book is amazing, without making me feel like he has no more room to grow in the next ones. Then there's the plot, well wrapped up within this book while still leaving so many questions for what's to come.

2. Fracture by Megan Miranda: I picked this one up, skimmed the first chapter, honestly not really WANTING to like it because of a character name. But I was hooked from chapter one, and I did nothing for the next few hours until I was done. This book took me by storm, and even over a year later, I still remember specifics from it. I love the brain stuff mixed in, but more so, I love the emotional atmosphere of this one. I could not stop thinking about these characters when I was done, and my heart ached physically for so much of the book. I adore this one, for so many reasons.

1.Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: This book falls in the category of Books Kari Wishes She Were Able to Write (But Can't). It is brilliant, intricate, stunning. It brings you two characters who are flawed, who are not always totally likeable... characters I actually totally love. It has this romance that sneaks up without you noticing it. It has this huge elements woven between some smaller ones, letting more subtle ones peak through. There's twists and turns, and an utterly amazingly built world. Truly, this one of the best books I've ever read, and I kind of want to just crawl into Veronica's brain and live there.

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