Please note that the books listed in this list have not all been published in 2012. These are among the books I personally read in the past year, some date back to the 90s even.
10. A Clash of Kings- George R. R. Martin
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel . . . and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
9. The Shadow of The Wind- Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by Julián Carax in the discreet Cemetery of Forgotten Books. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets.
I still have mixed feelings about this book. The disappointment I felt after having finished it did not diminish the power of its setting and vivid description. I shall go back to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books in 2013 through the prequel: The Angel’s Game to make up my mind about Zafon as a writer.
8. The Time Keeper- Mitch Albom
In Mitch Albom’s newest work of fiction, the inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.
I finished this book in less that 24 hours, yet it did not manage to have the impact on me the way previous Mitch Albom books have. It’s a sweet book, enjoyable, but not as moving as I had expected it to be.
7. Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark, by defying of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
It didn’t take much time for me to get hooked to The Hunger Games trilogy, especially halfway through this book. Suzanne Collins builds much suspense in this second installment and lives up to the expectation made by the book’s predecessor The Hunger Games.
6. The Casual Vacancy- J.K. Rowling
When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.
I believe every fan of literature has to acknowledge Rowling as a literary genius even though the book failed to gain the acclaim it deserved. Written with much skill, this books sets its author as one of the best writers of our times.
5. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
Written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.
Well written and deserving the hype. The Hunger Games is one of the best page-turners I had read for a while now.
4. The Song of Achilles- Madeline Miller
Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful— irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
Beautifully written. Musical and lyrical, the book managed to make me weep. Glad that I’d discovered this book by accident, I suggest everyone to read it. Deeply moving and astoundingly emotional.
3. The Fault In Our Stars- John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
This tear jerker cost me a whole tissue box. I finished reading it at a family gathering, and had much trouble trying to explain why I had been crying. Augustus Waters is someone I would definitely marry—He’s mine, Hazel Grace, HE’S MINE!
2. Looking For Alaska- John Green
Before: Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After: Nothing is ever the same.
That same author of The Fault In Our Stars managed to impress me twice. And I am rarely impressed. Alaska, oh Alaska. Few words could describe this book, all that I could tell you is that you should buy your own copy, read it and bless me for having referred to you to such a beautiful piece of art.
1. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over a million copies in print, and inspired a major motion picture.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
Whoever said it’s preposterous to fall in love with a fictional character obviously had not met Charlie. I started reading this book at 5:00 am and could not sleep till 9:00 am after having read it entirely. I dreamt of Charlie and his innocence. He managed to take me back to my teenage years with those few letters he’s sent entitled “Dear Friend”. I woke up the next day and started reading the book all over again. This book is by far, the best thing I have discovered in 2012. And if any of you have not read it yet, then dear friends, there is much you are missing out on.
2013 is tomorrow. A whole new year ahead, and plenty of worlds to discover! Happy New Year everybody! 🙂