My Favorite Reads of 2012

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of reading 75 books in 2012. I’ve read 80 books so far, and I still have a week and a half left! It helps that so many of them were middle grade. It’s gotten to the point where I wonder why adult books are so long when I do read one :).

I promised someone I would compile a list of my favorite books from this year. To clarify, though, they’ll be books I read in 2012, not necessarily books that came out in 2012. I think most of them did, though. Should I rank them? I think that would be fun.

Middle Grade

I read a lot of middle grade books in 2012. I loved participating in Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, and I definitely will again once I figure out what I’m doing with this whole conversion to YA. It was very hard to narrow it down to my top 5 because I enjoyed them all, but here we go…

5. THE HERO’S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM by Christopher Healy – I loved the way this book took a new approach to fairy tales we know and love. Plus it was just hilarious.

4. THE END OF INFINITY by Matt Myklusch – My husband and I both waited anxiously for this book to come out. If you haven’t read this series, go get it now!

3. KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger – What would this list be without the MMGM founder? In all honesty, though, I loved this book. It almost made me cry, and that’s no easy feat.

2. A FAREWELL TO CHARMS by Lindsey Leavitt – I loved this series, and it partially inspired the novel I just rewrote. A girl who gets to pretend to be princesses? Yes, please!

1. SEEING CINDERELLA by Jenny Lundquist – I won this book in a blog contest, and I’m so glad. It has all the magic of Cinderella with an excellent theme about how we see people and how the outside doesn’t always reflect the inside. This book was an easy choice for my No. 1 middle grade read of 2012.

Young Adult

I read a fair amount of young adult in 2012 as well, but I definitely had fewer to choose from.

5. A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis – I just reviewed this book earlier this week, but it still makes it on the list. Any book I can’t put down deserves to be here.

4. THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson – I don’t have a review for this one because I read it before I started this blog, but it’s the perfect blend of mystery with a major creep factor. I can’t wait for the sequel.

3. REACHED by Ally Condie – I recommend this whole series. They’re the kind of books that stay with you and make you think. Very well done.

2. ENDLESSLY by Kiersten White – Another conclusion to a great series. I love the way Kiersten White took familiar paranormal creatures and put a new spin on them.

1. CINDER by Marissa Meyer – And so my favorite YA read is a Cinderella story, too. Hmm. I loved the way Marissa Meyer made the main character a cyborg. It took me a bit to wrap my head around that, but once I did, I couldn’t put the book down. The day after I finished reading it, Marissa Meyer came to town as part of the Fierce Reads Tour, so now I have a signed copy. I have a feeling the next book, SCARLET, will make my list next year.

I’m not going to list adult because basically the only adult books I read were by romance or mystery authors I already collect. As for picture books, we go through so many of those they’re a blur.

So what were your favorite reads of 2012? Did any of my favorites make your list?

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About Michelle I. Mason

I'm a full-time writer, focusing mainly on middle grade and young adult fiction with some freelance PR writing and editing on the side. I'm also a wife, mom, Christian, violinist, avid reader and St. Louis Cardinals fan. And I watch way too much TV.
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17 Responses to My Favorite Reads of 2012

  1. Noelle Henry says:

    I ashamed to admit I haven’t read any of these! *hangs head* LOL. I’ve got the Ally Condie series on my TBR wish-list and Cinder as well, but I’ve pretty much been on a contemporary YA kick for the entire year. 🙂 As for the MG books, I tend to read more boy-centric MG, since I have boys, but some of those look really, really cute.

    I think I need to do a favorite reads post on my sorely neglected blog. Of course, I haven’t done such a good job of keeping track of what I’ve read, LOL, so I’ll have to see what I can pull out of my foggy brain! 😉

    • On the MG side, the Matt Myklusch series is boy-focused and so good. I’d also recommend THE DEAD GENTLEMAN, KID VS. SQUID (hilarious), COSMIC, THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA, THE FOURTH STALL books, and THE UNWANTEDS series (that one almost made my top 5).

      I don’t think I read a single YA contemporary this year. The YAs I read all had some magical, sci fi or paranormal element. So if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

  2. kiperoo says:

    Ooooh, some good picks here. I also liked A Million Suns and The Name of the Star, and I think Reached might be under my Christmas tree right now!

    I really liked some of people’s general YA favorites this year, like Code Name Verity and The Fault in Our Stars, but The Girl With Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rossetti was my absolute favorite this year. Such beautiful writing and amazing romantic tension.

    I hope I have more time to read next year. I only read 60 books this year. 😦

    • I’ve resisted Code Name Verity and The Fault in Our Stars. I know they must be amazing from what everyone says, but I don’t like sad endings, and I’m pretty sure that’s the case with both of those. It’s like Les Mis. It’s my husband’s favorite musical and the music is amazing, but everybody dies! I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet at some point to see what everyone’s talking about.

      I’ll definitely check out The Girl with Borrowed Wings, though. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Greg Mason says:

    Though the children pictures books are a blur I can come up with the #1 picture book for the boys of the Mason household for 2012: The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle.

  4. Great picks! I’m constantly reading YA novels since I write YA. I missed some of these, so I will definitely check them out over Christmas break. Thanks for the info! 🙂

  5. Very cool you read all of those! My favorites of this year were A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice and Tracing Stars by Erin Moulton.

  6. Pingback: SCARLET, A Perfect Follow-Up to CINDER | Michelle I. Mason

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