Personally, I'll borrow every book I read from the library (yay libraries!) and then only purchase the ones that I loved so much they're worth a reread (and a post recommending them here!). These also happen to be the ones I push onto my friends when they're looking for a good book, hence my bookcase is more like its own mini library, something of which I'm totally proud.
In no particular order, here are my 5 favorite books of those I reviewed on this blog in 2012. They are well worth your Christmas money / bookstore gift card spending! Each book title is linked to my full review.
For more suggestions, check out our complete list of all the books we've recommended on the blog this year!
Please leave your recommendations in the comments, because I have gift cards of my own to spend!
1. GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers
Assassin. Nuns. Not that I need to say more, but this is perfect if you love kick-butt heroines, historical fiction, achingly good romance, internal conflict, monarchy troubles, and books you can sink your teeth into, like FIRE by Kristin Cashore.
2. CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein
This is the number one book I've been recommending because it really has made my all-time favorites list, and I don't see it being ousted anytime soon. It's everything you want in a book and more, and it's elevated the YA genre.
3. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
You might have heard that this has garnered some big-deal top honors in a few Best of 2012 lists. Acclaim aside, this book has Green's signature sense of humor and tackles a rough subject head-on with grace and a few necessary tuggings of the heartstrings. Ok, I wept like a baby. Green's best work since LOOKING FOR ALASKA.
4. FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS by Diana Peterfreund
A standout Jane Austen retelling, this time of PERSUASION. It took me a little to get into it, but once I did, I was transported. Excellent dystopian world-building, characters so real you want to smack them upside the head, and romantic tension that gives you so many bosom-clutching, all-caps FEELINGS that Ms. Austen would be proud.
5. THE CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson
This book is the sequel to GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, and it. was. amazing. Most trilogies' middle novels are lackluster at best, but I think I loved this one even better than the standout first book! This series is what I deem "relatable high fantasy" — in that there are magical elements in an imagined world, but it feels more like historical fiction than anything. (AKA, no elves to speak of.) Read it, read it, read it.
Let's not forget my favorite book of 2011!
THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater
(reviewed by Sara)
Two awesome series that were completed in 2012 that are well worth the three-book purchase —
Holly Black's Curse Workers trilogy:
WHITE CAT, RED GLOVE, BLACK HEART
Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade trilogy: