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Best of 2012–part 4

Now that we are solidly (one week!) into 2013, it’s time to wrap up the “Best of 2012″ here at StorySnoops. Looking back on the books I read this year, I see a theme emerging with my favorites. A lot of different stuff came across my nightstand, but a disproportionate number were from the teen girl category. Sorry fellow Snoops–New Year’s Resolution #12–I will branch out in 2013! Within that category though, my faves range from angsty realistic fiction to dystopian romance, and historical mystery–not too bad. So here goes. In 2012 I really loved…

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George. In the interest of full disclosure, I knew this book would be high on my list before I even picked it up. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth George’s adult books, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good character-driven story that makes me sad to close at the end simply because I will miss the new friends I’ve made. The Edge of Nowhere did not disappoint, and I was delighted to find out that it is the beginning of a series. Whidby Island, Washington is the setting for this story about emotionally lost 14-year-old Becca, who has a psychic ability to hear “whispers” of other people’s thoughts. Can’t wait to see what is next for Becca and the residents of Whidby Island!

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. The only thing better than a good love story is a tense, sometimes cringe-worthy, intelligently-written, page-turning love story. (How many hyphenated adjectives can fit in one sentence, I wonder?) If you plan to read this book, pick a day that is wide open, get comfy and settle in for a cover-to-cover read in one sitting. The story takes place over the course of one night in Melbourne, Australia, with a group of high schoolers looking for an “unforgettable” graduation night. Lucy wants to track down the secretive graffiti artist Shadow whose art speaks deeply to her, but she is stuck with Ed, a boy she has been trying to avoid for two years after the most embarrassing date of her life. Ed says he knows how to find Shadow though, so Lucy is on board for a single night that will change everything.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Ooh boy, can’t say enough about this one. I don’t normally seek out historical fiction but this one found me anyway. Code Name Verity is part spy mystery (always a winner for me), part tale of inspiring friendship and girl power (go sister!), and part historical fiction (always educational). I admit I had to work a bit to connect in the first part of the book, but was I ever rewarded for my perseverance! Richly drawn characters, a complex villain, a taut thriller and an ending that made me want to go back and re-read for clues I was certain I had missed. Let it be noted that this is one of two books on this list that I bought as a Christmas gift–for my mom, who will never know it is a “young adult” book :-)

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. Let’s just say that I have cleared my calendar for Tuesday, January 8th, the day the sequel to this one comes out. The dystopian/sci fi theme is interesting–the post-apocolyptic world in Under the Never Sky is divided between the Dwellers and the Outsiders. The Dwellers live in a controlled virtual reality world, while the Outsiders have scratched out an existence in what is left of the barren landscape. When Dweller Aria escapes the virtual realm, she is rescued by Perry, an Outsider who has been cast out of his tribe. Of course the two of them could not be more different, but they need each other in order to survive the harsh situation they find themselves in. This sci-fi romance is a page-turner and is the other Christmas gift I bought from this list (for my daughter–who will be banging down my door waiting for me to finish the sequel).

HONORABLE MENTION: A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Obviously, this one was far from being a new release in 2012, but I saw it on the high school English reading list and wanted to go back for a re-read from an adult perspective. Funny how much more I enjoyed it when there was no essay due at the end! It is a beautifully written classic about struggling against the enemy within–a theme which is relevant regardless of time or place. It’s a quick read and I can’t wait to discuss it with my daughter when her class reads it!

That wraps it up for the StorySnoops’ favorite reads of 2012. It was a good year in books! If you missed the other Snoops’ faves, you can find them here.

Wishing you a joyous 2013 and as always, happy reading!

-Eden, StorySnoop

One Response to “Best of 2012–part 4”

  1. Jeff Rivera Says:

    This is a great post, Eden! I love the language that you use in your post; so down to earth and relatable. I also liked that you gave a very concise, but intriguing and full review of each of the featured books! I enjoyed reading this post very much and I have definitely been persuaded to read the books that you have chosen.
    I am especially interested in Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein because of your direction. I believe you can never go wrong with a historical fiction containing a good villain. I am intrigued, I learn something and because of your review I am convinced it will not disappoint; definitely a win, win!
    The Edge of Nowhere has also attracted my interest. As you said, a good character-driven story is always a favorite for me as well. The better I can get to know the characters, the more I like the book.
    Thank you for some great insight! I look forward to more reviews!

    Jeff Rivera
    Bestselling Author

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