There are only four weeks left in the year, so we’ve decided to spend every Friday posting a retrospective of our year in reading. We’re going to dedicated another post to debut authors, but as for established writers (which we categorized as publishing at least three books) we never read until 2012, here are the ones who blew us away with their books.
Diana’s Top 5 Authors:
1. John Green – I’m sure that I can hear the collective sighs from Nerdfighers everywhere when I say that I never read one of John Green’s books until 2012. My introduction to Green was “An Abundance of Katherines” over the summer, and I really, really liked it. Then in October, I read “The Fault in Our Stars” and I LOVED it! I do not have the words to share how incredible I found that book. I couldn’t stop thinking about Hazel and Augustus for days. “The Fault in Our Stars” is probably Green’s magnum opus and I am so glad that I discovered this amazing author in 2012.
2. Laini Taylor – I first read Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” in January of 2012. The story that Taylor weaved between Karou and Akiva is so riveting that you honestly can’t stop reading the book. It is a love story like no other. There is romance, action, adventure, mystery, and even comedy. Taylor’s writing style enables the readers to truly picture such exotic locations as Prague and Morocco. You easily come to love not only Karou and Akiva, but also other characters like Zuzana and Brimstone. Her sequel Days of Blood and Starlight was equally filled with action, adventure. I can’t wait for the third installment of this series to find out what awaits Karou and Akiva.
3. David Levithan – I knew that eventually I was going to have to read something by David Levithan. After several people recommended his books to me, I knew I needed to read one. I started with his collaboration with Rachel Cohn “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.” I truly enjoyed that book, so when I read the premise for his latest, “Every Day” I decided to also read that book. His ideas about love and relationships are ennobling and deeply thought provoking. They challenge you to think about love in a new way. I look forward to reading more of his books in 2013.
5. Abby McDonald – The first book I read by Abby McDonald was “Getting over Garrett Delaney.” I loved the message in this book– that a girl should not lose who she really is for a guy. I believe that this is an important message not only for teenaged girls, but for women of all ages. When I finished reading this book I immediately gave the book to my daughter and had her read it. I hope she took the lessons that Sadie learned to heart, I hope that she never changes herself so much that she loses her wonderful self! I am grateful that McDonald wrote this book and hope that her other books are equally uplifting.
Sandie’s Top 5 Authors:
1. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: I had known about “Beautiful Creatures” since its release, and I even bought what I thought was the first book on Kindle when we went overseas last year, but it turned out to be the second book in the series, so I quit after five pages. This fall, I knew I had to read the book, before the film adaptation is released in February. I loved it! It was such an evocative, emotional Southern Gothic tale with a sweet central romance. I had the pleasure of not only interviewing Margie Stohl on the phone (her daughter goes to my alma mater!), but also meeting her and Kami at YALLFest in Charleston. They’re ridiculously lovely and funny. I can’t wait to see the movie in just a couple of months!
2. Elizabeth Eulberg: I’ve had two books of Elizabeth’s in my house for a long while but never read them. Diana read “Prom and Prejudice” over Thanksgiving 2011, but I didn’t put a Eulberg book on my TBR list until I saw her during the Girl Band author’s panel at YALLFest in October. She was hilarious, and I was drawn to her in a “I know we could be friends” way (which sounds stalkerish, but I’ve met hundreds of celebrities, and I don’t get this feeling often). So I immediately bought “The Lonely Hearts Club” and read it on the train ride back home from Charleston. Her books are the equivalent of a classic romcom: fun, easy to read, memorable.
3. Lish McBride: I am not usually interested in books about necromancers, but the big fat Printz sticker on McBride’s novel made it a must-read for me this year, and I was not disappointed. I even second-guessed whether Lish was a woman, because her male protagonist is so believably guy — not a projection of what we wish an 18-year-old guy would be like, but a genuine depiction of one (well, one who can raise the dead). McBride can write crackling dialogue with a humor and a punch that makes the book unputdownable. I plan to read “Necromancing the Stone” in the next month!
5. Gabrielle Zevin: I bought “All These Things I’ve Done” during a Kindle deal. I had no idea what it was about, but a day later, I was so absorbed in Anya’s story that I cold-emailed the publisher to send me the sequel. Anya isn’t one of those instantly lovable protagonists. Like Katniss, she’s fierce and at times hard to like, because she has such a strict sense of what’s right — even when it gets in the way of her happiness. Zevin cleverly puts a spin on the Prohibition-meets-mob princess story (A future where coffee and chocolate are outlawed ? genius!), and it works so, so well.