31 Dec 2012

Ely's Top 12 Books of 2012

Below are my top 12 books that I read in 2012, the order they are in is the order in which I read them not by how much I enjoyed them as there was no possible way for me to pick a favourite out of these. So without further ado...

1. Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.
I think almost every YA reader must have heard about this book from the sparkling reviews that surrounded this book- I mean really, I've never heard a bad review of this book. That is one of the reasons I decided to pick up this book at the very start of this year (the other being that I cannot escape my love of Paris). It's probably needless to say but, I loved this book so much. So much in fact that I picked it up and finished it in the space of about two hours without breaking. There is actual nothing I can think of in this book that I didn't like- if you haven't read it, you should definitely pick it up and fall in love with it like everyone else!

2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.
Let's be honest, who doesn't have this book on their top this year? (Probably just Chami?) I admit, I wasn't that interested in this book before it actually was released- I knew the story of a teenage girl with cancer would be heartbreaking and I wasn't sure I was ready for it. Oh, I was so wrong- this book is more than heartbreaking. It actually felt like someone had ripped out my heart and all of my feelings and had thrown them to the ground and jumped on them and wouldn't stop. I laughed, I cried, I sobbed like a baby, I threw things, I cried even more. I got my older anti-reading brother to read this book and even he enjoyed it (success!). If for some strange reason you have yet to read this book, you should go do that. Now. I mean it.

3. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
This was my first ever encounter with Agatha Christie and going into this book I was so afraid that I wasn't going to like it despite a large number of my family and closest friends telling me that I would. However, I didn't need to be scared at all. From the very first page I was drawn into the stories of each of the main characters and by the first death I was already taking bets on who the murderer was and who would be next and all the fun stuff like that. In true Agatha Christie style, she had me knowing exactly who the murderer was, only to reveal it was someone completely different on the very last page.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
A lot of my friends had to read this book for class but despite this, they were constantly telling me how much they enjoyed this book and were making constant references to events and people. Sadly, my school doesn't offer To Kill A Mockingbird anymore and so I decided to pick up the book of my own accord. At first I was slightly confused- with all these different events and characters with their own little secrets, I was finding it hard to keep up. Then maybe halfway into the book, it snapped- suddenly things started to make more sense and I was able to pick up on the imagery and the storyline which meant I enjoyed the book immensely. If you, like me, didn't get a chance to study this book at school I'd suggest you pick it up for yourself because it is honestly amazing (and so many other books may reference to it!) Also, thank you to Chami who practically forced me to read this book.

5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
Going into this book I was expecting a light hearted childhood-ish/middle grade book (I suppose I completely ignored the cover), instead I found myself amongst a much darker and subject heavy story than I could have ever imagined. This just made me love the book even more, not too much the beautiful illustrations throughout. Like it seems with most other books I read this year, this one only proved to take my breath away and break my heart all over again. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone though I would suggest having a couple of happy books lined up after this one- trust me, you'll need it!

 6. Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington.
Here's another example of a book that tore my heart into tiny little pieces by the end. Once again I was completely mistaken (I should probably learn to read blurbs a little bit next year). Despite the heartbreaking elements of the book, I felt really connected to the main character Alice and very sorry for what was happening to her (which I won't mention as to avoid spoilers). The writing itself was incredibly powerful- there were parts where I felt like I was standing in Alice's shoes and watching everything happen around her that she couldn't stop. Personally I haven't seen many reviews of this book which I think is really sad, therefore I would definitely suggest you read this book because I think it deserves some more recognition.

7. Fury by Elizabeth Miles.
I picked this book up completely by mistake but it quickly became one of my favourite YA paranormal reads of the year. There is something so different about the themes of this book that made me really enjoy it- instead of the usual vampires or werewolves, 'Fury' has three beautiful mythological girls called the Furies who extract revenge on those who they think deserve it. I don't know about you guys, but I've never read anything quiet like this book before. This year, I also read the sequel 'Envy' which I enjoyed just as much and I am now eagerly awaiting the third book in the series. If you have yet to read 'Fury' and you're looking for something different, you should give it a try.

 8. Annexed by Sharon Dogar
Here's a book that I knew exactly what to expected going into it- I knew it was going to be heartbreaking, what kind of World War Two story isn't? I don't think I could have ever prepared myself for the emotions I had after finishing this book. Maybe it was because it was the true story or because I have a massive respect for Anne Frank but this was even more heartbreaking than I imagined. 'Annexed' tells the 'Diary of a Young Girl' from Peter van Pels' point of view and goes further into their betrayal and the death camps where Anne's diary finished. A review that I read of this book made the point that though we know exactly what's going to happen in the end to Anne and Peter, it doesn't make the story any less touching or stopping us from wishing for a different ending.

 9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
This book is widely different, in terms of my reading experience, from any others on this list because I studied 'Brave New World' in Literature this year. It proved to be yet another example of being completely surprised by the contents of the book, this time however not in the terms of depressing themes but instead I discovered an amazing world that can fit both utopian and dystopian themes, characters with names referencing to historical figures, constant literature references to Shakespeare and so many others. But overall, and probably more surprisingly, I found my favourite classic book that I've ever read. I know I could go on for hours about why exactly I found this book so spectacular but I will save your eyes (and your brains) and simply tell you to try out 'Brave New World' for yourselves.

10. Renegade by J.A. Souders.
Chami will tell you that there was a good couple of weeks there where all I could talk about was this book and how much I loved it. And I honestly did, I fell in love with everything- the world, the characters, the storyline, just everything. This book is honestly something different to most things (especially YA dystopian novels) and I found it absolutely mind-blowing-ly amazing. The main character, Evelyn, is different to the typical dystopian protanogist- she isn't especially bad-ass or determined but just seemingly normal though we soon learn that her life is anything but. Usually, I'm not the biggest fan of romances in dystopian but I enjoyed this one more than most others. Definitely a series to look

11. Venom by Fiona Paul.
Here's another book that I have been bugging Chami about for weeks (possibly even months!). One of my favourite things about this book was the setting- Renaissance Venice, which I thought was completely unique to other YA books but also beautifully constructed by Fiona Paul, so much so that I could imagine drifting down the canal in one of those little boats. The romances are interesting too- a sort of Prince and Pauper situation, Falco: the poor artist who drives Cassandra wild, and Luca: her mysterious but seemingly perfect fiance. The mystery surrounding the murders and other aspects of the book had me double guessing absolutely everything that happened. I promise you, 'Venom' will have you (and your emotions) going crazy.

12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Another book that is probably on everybody's list this year that I could not bear not to mention. And again, after finishing this book I realised that it was nothing like I expected but that was okay. I did find myself tearing up at certain points, there were other points where I wanted to hit Charlie over the back of the head for being such an idiot and other times when I wanted to hug him so tightly. I loved seeing the book being turned into a movie- Logan was a perfect Charlie, Emma was amazing as Sam and Ezra made me love Patrick even more. If you've not read this book yet then I really suggest that you do because it is amazing and I promise you will not regret it at all.


  1. Nice list Ely! I loved The Fault in our Stars for obvious reasons. I had to read To Kill A Mockingbird for English class and enjoyed it, but I think I would've liked it A LOT better if I hadn't analyzed it so much for a research paper. I've wanted to read Anna and the French Kiss for a long time because I've heard it was fantastic! And finally, The Perks of being a Wallflower was fantastic just like you said! I haven't seen the movie sadly, but want to so bad.

  2. Thanks Tyler! I understand what you mean with To Kill A Mockingbird- there are a quite a few good books that I read for school that I would have enjoyed more without the intense analysing. You should definitely read Anna and the French Kiss because it really is amazing! You'd love the movie too, it's so perfect. x Ely

  3. I haven't read TFIOS yet, but I mean to. I've read To Kill A Mockingbird, like Tyler, I had to read it for English, but it was amazing. And Perks is one of my favourite books ever, apart from THG and Harry Potter.
    I haven't heard of the other books apart from Annexed. I think that's how you spell it. (I can't be bothered to scroll up again, show's how lazy I am) I met the author about a year ago, and there was only me and my dad at the event, because nobody had heard of her. She gave an amazing talk that really moved me, and after that, I had to read the book. It's so sad though, obviously.
    Really good book list, I'll be sure to check some of these out.

  4. LOUISE! You definitely need to get to TFIOS- I'm pretty sure you'll love it. Oh, I so wish I'd gotten the chance to see Sharon Dogar speak, I bet that would have been excellent and I loved her book so much (obviously).
    You should definitely check the others out, I think there's a view there that you'll enjoy :) x Ely