This year I discovered five engrossing, absorbing, unputdownable books. I found it hard to let these books out of my sight while I was reading them. They are just that good. The following selections are some of the best YA releases of 2012, in my humble opinion.
Grave Mercy: Robin LaFevers
Released April 3, 2012LaFevers’ debut novel mixes fantasy, magic and history in a story about Ismae, a girl assassin. Trained in a remote convent in the Middle Ages, she’s thrown into Brittany’s royal court to help discover an enemy saboteur. Romance spikes with Duval, the Duchess’ brother with whom Ismae stays. Their rough-and-tumble yet realistic relationship is an intriguing addition. Even though it’s a long read (over 500 pages!), I engulfed it.
Insurgent: Veronica Roth
Released May 1, 2012Insurgent is the sequel to Divergent, both praise-worthy books. Tris is immersed in a war between factions in a dystopian Chicago. After unimaginable loss, she has only her sometimes-estranged boyfriend for company as they faction-hop. As they dive deeper into the history of their society, the action increases and the mystery heightens, ending with a cliffhanger that leaves me craving the final book with an unnatural thirst.
Bitterblue: Kristin Cashore
Released May 1, 2012Cashore impressed me with Graceling and Fire but I was skeptical after reading Bitterblue’s description. However, a few pages into the book my skepticism flew into the spring air and the book became glued to my hand. Bitterblue is strong yet stubborn and her story is a fantasy/mystery/epic tale that brings back some of my favorite characters from the earlier companion novels.
Throne of Glass: Sarah J MaasReleased August 7, 2012
Maas is a debut author with a super-sized fan following, which is how Throne of Glass appeared on my radar. It takes place in a fantasy world surrounding the life of a young assassin, Celeana. She is secretive, strong and serene. To win her freedom, she’s thrown into a battle against thieves and military men to become the King’s Assassin. Plus an understated love triangle, and I found this book enthralling.
Unwholly: Neal Shusterman
Released August 28, 2012It was a tortuous wait from the release of Unwind in 2007 until Unwholly appeared on the shelf, especially since I knew it would be awesome. Even though Unwind appeared to end somewhat happily, its' sequel opens with Conner, Risa and Lev in situations that are not even close to ideal. Three new characters are thrown into the mix, which leads to some mouth-dropping complications. Plus the spine-tingling twists and the non-stop action, and Unwholly was unputdownable.
Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring, especially in the YA world!