Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012: Part 2

There are just some books that I just can't express my love for enough. Genuinely, I loved all these books because they grabbed my heart and mind, wreaked havoc upon them, and left me wondering at how a book can do so much to me. There's just so many that I'd have to split them up into several different parts.

Because I forgot to mention this yesterday, I'll just say it now. This is in no particular order, nor grouped into any category. So it's just a big jumble of a mess.

Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.
This story was an extremely emotional read for me, and totally threw me off kilter. The day the list would be posted is the day of either excitement for some, or dread for others. The eight alternating voices were all very distinct, and I never got them mixed up. It spoke of an unhappy, and very powerful story that I couldn't help but mull over for days on end.

Title: Scored
Author: Lauren McLaughlin
Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a "score" that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored's reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? Friendship, romance, loyalty, family, human connection and human value: all are questioned in this fresh and compelling dystopian novel set in the scarily forseeable future.
This, without a doubt, would be among my favourite YA dystopian novels. Though the YA age range gets a lot of criticism for lacking depth, but Scored made many legitimate analysis' on some aspects of a dystopic world. I can't recommend this enough.

Author: Natasha Friend
What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.
Natasha Friend took me on an emotional roller coaster ride through this book. What would Albert Einstein be if he lost his mind, if Marilyn Monroe lost her looks? It's so difficult to watch Lexi struggle with the loss of her defining feature, and create a new character for herself.

Author: Bethany Griffin
Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club--in the depths of her own despair--Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for--no matter what it costs her.
I fell in love with this, so much more than I expected. And at 319 pages, it's way too short. I devoured it, and soaked up all of Araby's sadness with me. She seemed so awfully sad, and absolutely lost without her brother. Besides, a post-apocalyptic steampunk with a brush of dystopia? Can you ask for more?

Title: 13
Author: Kelley Armstrong
The exciting, page-turning last episode of Kelley Armstrong's acclaimed, bestselling Women of the Otherworld series!

Savannah Levine, a young witch of remarkable power and a dangerous pedigree, staggers away from a bomb blast in New Orleans, glad that she's managed to rescue her half-brother Bryce from the supernatural revolutionaries who'd held him captive. But everyone and everything she holds dear is still at risk. The reveal movement has shaken the Otherworld to its core and the resulting chaos has thinned the boundaries between dimensions, allowing creatures of the deeper realms to break through and wreak havoc on supernaturals but also on innocent humans.

Although she's been temporarily stripped her of her powers, Savannah knows she has a crucial part to play in this war of survival. In fact the fate of her loved ones--of Adam, the friend she hopes will become a lover; of Paige and Lucas, her guardians; of the werewolf Pack and Jaime Vegas; of a pregnant Hope; of her brothers Sean and Bryce--and of the human world rests on her shoulders. If she can find the way and the will to defend them.

Only in the final battle will Savannah find out her true capacities, and what lovewill drive her to do. In 13, Kelley Armstrong brings her powerful and unique saga to a deeply satisfying end: thrilling, surprising and harrowing.

I want to cry. So very badly. I've been reading Kelley Armstrong's books for years, and this was the end to a very satisfying series. Sometimes, I absolutely hate series that just don't know where to end, but with each new installment of Kelley Armstrong's books, I was left with a mind so blown away by the deftness of her plots and intricacy of each character, old and new. While I absolutely loved reading 13, the parting with the series is still very bittersweet.

Thank you so much for wanting to leave a comment! I read every single one of them, and respond to most of them!

I'm honoured that anyone would want to nominate me for an award, but I just don't have time for that anymore. This blog is award and tag free.