Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Best Reads of 2012

The year has finally come to a close (we survived the fake apocalypse!) and so of course it's that time to review a list of the best books I read during 2012.

I ended up reading a total of 68 books this year - and those are only the ones I stuck with from beginning to end, not including those I discarded (of which there were actually a lot!). 68 books is not my best book count by far, but I certainly kept busy this year with a wealth of projects and new business ventures, so I guess it all evens out!

Not every book in this list was published this year - some of them are review copies, and some of them are from my personal collection.

Ladies and gentlemen: I present to you, in random order, the best reads of 2012!

The Glasswrights' Guild series by Mindy L. Klasky
This medieval fantasy novel centers around a strong female protagonist (haha, they're always strong, aren't they?) named Rani Trader, who is apprenticing to become a member of the Glasswrights' guild. After a member of her guild assassinates the king-to-be, Rani is accused of the crime, and has no option but to run for her life or die trying. In books 2 and 3, Rani focuses on taking the necessary steps to rebuild the Glasswrights' guild from the bottom up. I've got 2 books left in this 5-book series, and I'll be sad when it's all over.

Click here for my review of The Glasswrights' Apprentice
Click here for my review of The Glasswrights' Progress
Click here for my review of The Glasswrights' Journeyman

Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop
This hardcore fantasy novel (sex, blood, and tears, baby) spans the lives of several characters across three Realms. The star of the series, Jaenelle, is a powerful Witch (that's right, Witch with a capital "W," bitches!) full of love and compassion for all living beings. However, in a world ruled by women, jealousy and the lust for power ensues, and Jaenelle is hunted by her witchy peers. Originally a 3-book series, the success of these novels have spawned a total of 9 books to date.

Click here for my review of Daughter of the Blood
Click here for my review of Heir to the Shadows

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
One of the biggest literary surprises I encountered this year, this novel is about the influential power a bogus church pastor has on his congregation. After an innocent mute boy is murdered by the pastor in a small Southern town, a small number of townsfolk step up to seek retribution. The end result is sad and shocking, but utterly satisfying.

Click here for my review of A Land More Kind Than Home

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
A bored housewife named Alice Buckle participates in an online survey about marriage. After engaging in online discussion with the researcher assigned to her case, Alice begins to fall for the alluring mystery man. As expected, she ponders whether she should consider a real relationship with the mystery man, or stay loyal to her husband and family. This novel is witty, hilarious, and very 21st-century. No review for this one on my website (I spent time reviewing it for a book review magazine instead), but trust me, it's worth your time.

Rule of Three by Kelly Jamieson
This erotic romance is definitely one of the hottest (if not THE hottest) I've ever read. Ever, ever, ever. A young woman madly in love with her boyfriend meets his best friend, and is instantly irritated by her attraction to him. After a steamy night at a dance club, she learns that her boyfriend is turned on by the sparks that fly between her and his friend. The three embark on a menage a trois relationship and make dirty, nasty (but very SEXY!) love. Repeatedly. In many different positions. Ladies, you better keep a man (or toy) nearby while reading this one. Also, I'm pretty sure that's Hayden Panettiere on the cover, right?!

Click here for my review of Rule of Three

Something New by Janis Thomas
A bored housewife (yes, another one of those) is desperate for a change in her redundant life. To make her life more exciting, Ellen Ivers decides to lose some weight, join a blog contest, and do "something new" every day. Ellen's life becomes even more exciting, however, when she forms a major attraction to her cousin's sexy next-door neighbor. Lucky for Ellen, the neighbor's feeling is mutual, but can she really betray her family? I gave this novel a very positive review in the book review magazine I write for, so again, I failed to find the time to review it on this website. This one is definitely a major favorite of mine, and I hope the author publishes more work!

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
This novel is a prelude to the infamous Sex and the City television series and book of the same name (also, soon to be a spin-off television show of its own!). Our beloved Carrie Bradshaw is in high school, and we get to learn more about her family's background, and of course, her blooming obsession with fashion. This novel is not just another high school drama, but more of a sweet introduction to a character we have all come to know and love over the years. No review posted for this one yet (I just finished it!), but hands-down one of the most entertaining reads of the year.

Worst Reads of 2012: just kidding. I wouldn't do that. But if you browse through some of my reviews from earlier this year, I'm sure you'll find some "true love" that I "wish I never met" in the town of "Spencerville."

What were your favorite books in 2012? Share your favorites with us in the comments section below!

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