Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Favorite Books Published in 2012 (So Far)

These are my favorite books published in 2012, representing my reading January through June.

Grave Mercy. Robin LaFevers. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 560 pages.

I chose Grave Mercy because it's rare to meet a five hundred page novel that you just *have* to finish in one sitting because you just cannot fathom putting it down. This one is complex in that it has a little something for every reader: political intrigue, dysfunctional families, suspense, drama, and romance. It is historical fiction with a drop of supernatural--the heroine's father is the god, Death. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the hero, Duval. And in case you don't trust my opinion, read Leila Roy's review, or LizB's review, or Melissa's review.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Jennifer E. Smith. 2012. Little, Brown. 236 pages.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight has to be one of the best, best YA romances I've read in years. This one is seriously giddy-making. It was practically perfect in every way. If you love romances where it is all about the dialogue, then this one will make you oh-so-happy. So much is revealed about both Oliver and Hadley through their conversations. The whole novel just covers a little over twenty-four hours. And these two are sitting side-by-side on an airplane, so that is just one reason why there is so much conversation in this one...

A Diamond in the Desert. Kathryn Fitzmaurice. 2012. February 2012. Penguin. 256 pages.

Kathryn Fitzmaurice is such a great writer, and if you haven't read her yet--you really should!!! I just loved this book that was about so much more than baseball. I felt for so many of the characters. And the story itself was just wonderfully compelling. A Diamond in the Desert is set in a Japanese internment camp in Arizona during World War II.

Crow. Barbara Wright. 2012. Random House. 304 pages. 

Crow by Barbara Wright is a book that I could gush on and on and on about. Because it is just that wonderful. Because the characterization was amazing. Because the narrative voice was so strong. Because the story was incredibly compelling. Because the drama was so intense. Because it is a story that NEEDS to be told. Because it is so heartbreaking. I mean this book just keeps tugging and tugging and tugging at your heart.

Wonder. R. J. Palacio. 2012. Random House. 320 pages.

Oh how I loved, loved, loved R.J. Palacio's novel Wonder. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. While it would have been a great novel if it had just been told by Auggie (August), I think it's an even better novel because it is told through multiple points of view which gives readers insight into how others see Auggie--and treat Auggie. But. At the same time reminding us all that we ALL have issues.

My Family for the War. Anne C. Voorhoeve. Translated by Tammi Reichel. 2012. February 2012. Penguin. 412 pages.  

I wish more people knew about this book. For me, it was definitely wow-worthy! I just loved the characters, the characterization. And the story was so compelling. It made me want to find out more about the kindertransport program.

 The Wild Book. Margarita Engle. 2012. Harcourt. 144 pages.

This is another book that I wished more people knew about, that I wish more people were reading. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Margarita Engle's verse novels set in Cuba--and this was no exception. This is a beautiful book, the writing is incredible.

May B. Caroline Rose. 2012. Random House. 240 pages.

While not every reader will find pioneer stories equally appealing, this one is just oh-so-good! For historical fiction fans, this one may just be a must read!!!

His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II. Louise Borden. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 144 pages.

I always intend to read more nonfiction than I actually do. This nonfiction Holocaust book is in verse. It is such a compelling story--well researched, well written. And it is a story WORTH telling. I wish  had known Raoul Wallenberg's story sooner. 

If I was including series books:

My Extra Best Friend. Julie Bowe. 2012. Penguin. 224 pages. 
Insurgent. Veronica Roth. 2012. HarperCollins. 525 pages.
Out of Sight, Out of Time. Ally Carter. 2012. Hyperion. 304 pages. 

If I was including almost-almost books:

Irises. Francisco X. Stork. 2012. Scholastic. 304 pages. 
Partials. Dan Wells. 2012. HarperCollins. 480 pages.
Cinder. (The Lunar Chronicles #1). Marissa Meyer. 2012. Feiwel & Friends. 400 pages. 
Tempest. Julie Cross. 2012. St. Martin's Press. 352 pages.  
Kepler's Dream. Juliet Bell. 2012. Penguin.  256 pages. 


Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners. Judy Sierra. Illustrated by Tim Bowers. 2012. Random House. 40 pages

Zoe Gets Ready. Bethanie Murguia. 2012. Scholastic. 40 pages.

My Heart Will Not Sit Down. Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by Ann Tanksley. 2012. Random House. 40 pages.  

The Lonely Book. Kate Bernheimer. Illustrated by Chris Sheban. 2012. Random House. 40 pages. 

The Duckling Gets a Cookie. Mo Willems. 2012. Hyperion. 40 pages.

Penny and Her Song. Kevin Henkes. 2012. HarperCollins. 32 pages.

Listen to My Trumpet. An Elephant & Piggie Book. Mo Willems. 2012. Hyperion. 64 pages.

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cleo Li-Schwartz 1:29 PM  

Or the review of Grave Mercy at One Librarian's Book Reviews:


Becky 9:05 PM  

Oh... I want to read "A Diamond in the Desert." Love sports novels, and love stories that take place around the World War II Era. If you are interested in checking out another great sports novel, you must check out "Ark" by John Heldon. It is the first book in a trilogy and has a "Field of Dreams" feel to it. Comical, yet heart warming. I Loved it. Thought I would share. Thanks again for mentioning "A Diamond in the Desert" Can't wait to check it out.

Laura H 9:18 AM  

Have got to say that Wonder is my favorite book of 2012 so far!

Kailana 2:39 PM  

Great idea for a post!!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
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