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Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2012


Today is the first day of Top 10 of 2012.

A week of Looking Back…

…and Looking Forward.

I am so excited to be able to co-host this event again this year with Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books. I am even more stoked that Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads has joined us as a co-host this year.

In case you hadn’t heard of our week-long event, it runs for five days, starting today, where we are sharing some of our FAVORITE lists and inviting YOU to share yours in the Linky list each day.

Throughout the week, each of the hosts will have a giveaway that you can enter, so be sure to check out all of our stops this week. Of course, if you’re just as curious as I am, you’ll want to check out as many of the top ten lists being shared this week as possible.

And if you haven’t yet signed up, that’s OK, there’s still time. Just check out THIS POST for all the details.


The topic for today is…

Best Books I’ve Read in 2012

Thankfully it doesn’t have to be a book released in 2012, just one I’ve read in 2012, as my reading was all over the map this year. Of course that actually increases the possibilities…. darn it!

And there are a few books I read this year that I’d LOVE to have listed below, but as they are secret books, I can’t. But I hope the authors know that I would list them here if I could.

I am trying so hard to stick to just ten this year, and have put the creation of this list off to the very last minute because of that fact. I thought it’d be easier to do my book boyfriends list, so I started that one first, but reducing it to 27 is where I’m stalled right now. So much for taking the easy route.

Last year I totally cheated and created two lists – Top 10 Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011 and Top 10 Non-Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011. Thankfully I had two blogs in order to create those lists.

This year, while I plan on breaking many of the rules of this event, I will just create the one. And only list four honorable mentions.


After a LOT of hair pulling, a few tears, maybe one or a thousand shouts of frustration and a ton of guilt, guilt, guilt, here is this year’s attempt at listing my favorite reads of 2012. Though I decided to restrict them to YA reads only AND books I have reviewed. Hey, I have to save SOME of my 2013 reads for next year’s list, right?

[Thankfully I did NOT finish reading EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton (and read EVERNEATH and already counted it in 2011) so that’s one less book to try and squeeze onto this particular list. And now I’m even more glad I read A TOUCH MORBID by Leah Clifford in 2011.]

So without further ado, after that really, really, really long intro, here they are….





(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I am just so madly in love with A.G. Howard’s SPLINTERED. While it is a 2013 release, as I read it and fell under its spell this year, I just had to include it on my Top Ten List.

It touches on everything I love about the books I read. It’s dark. It’s a little bit twisted. It’s magical. It has characters I utterly adore – Alyssa, Morpheus, Jeb, Chessie. And it’s a book that got its hooks in me and just won’t let go.

It has everything I loved about Lewis Carroll’s story and then some which is why it takes the number one spot.


Poison Princess

POISON PRINCESS (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

POISON PRINCESS was my very first Kresley Cole read. It was dark, disturbing, incredibly sexy and so totally addictive. The world was chilling. The Arcana even more so. And Jack Deveaux was absolutely delicious.

Then there was that ending. Oh my gosh, the wait for book two has been killing me. I don’t know how I’m supposed to last until the next book in the series releases. Although I’ve been trying to fill the void by devouring the author’s Immortals After Dark books. Which helps. Just a bit. I’ve only read three but I love, love, love them.

Still… I really, really, really would love to know just what happens in the next book in the series. The world the author created is wicked awesome and I most definitely want more.


Before I Wake

BEFORE I WAKE (Soul Screamers #6) by Rachel Vincent

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

Do I really need to say why BEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent has made my top ten? This series is one of my favorite series of all time. I am devastated it will be ending in 2013 and I’ll have to say goodbye to Kaylee, Tod, Nash, Sabine, Emma and even Avari. Yep. I’ll even miss that hellion. I clearly have it bad.

But why this book? Because it is just as much a roller coaster as each of the author’s other books. It piles on the heartbreak. It shocks. It surprises. And it leaves readers – me, me me! – desperate for the next installment.

I cannot believe it’s ending in 2013. I don’t even want to think about it. Because what will I possibly do without the agony of waiting for the next installment in this series?



SILVER (Bandia #1) by Talia Vance

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

What a surprise SILVER by Talia Vance was. I did not anticipate just how much I would love this book. It was an insta-love book for me. The moment Blake and Brianna truly saw each other I was ensnared. And it left me a little breathless for the rest of the read.

The mythology was unbelievably awesome. The world was deadly. The story tied me up in knots. The boys were incredibly swoon-worthy. And I totally inhaled this book.

Of course the sequel, GOLD, blew me away, too. Which I really didn’t think was possible because of certain directions the story took – no I won’t reveal those here! – but as it was such an early read, and a book without a cover revealed, I thought I’d wait to add it to next year’s Top Ten List.


Sweet Evil Cover

SWEET EVIL (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I have loved SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins for so long that I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t in love with it. From the very moment I learned of its title I was in love. I fell harder when I saw the gorgeous cover. And I was irrevocably in love after having read the description.

It wasn’t just Kaidan Rowe, the totally swoon-y bad boy, that made me love this book. There was a depth to this story, there was definitely a darkness to it. All I could think about was how amazingly captivating and interesting and different this story was. And all I wanted was more, more, more.

I bit my nails to the quick waiting for word on the sequel. Because I just had to know what was next for Kai and Anna, I had to find out how dark this series would get, and I had to be able to return to the world. And no, I haven’t had that opportunity yet, but now that the trilogy has been picked up, I will get that chance.

Which makes me so unbelievably happy.


Shadows in the Silence

SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I had the hardest time choosing which book to pick – SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE or WINGS OF THE WICKED by Courtney Allison Moulton. Because they BOTH deserve to be on this Top Ten List. But as there were only ten spots, I couldn’t justify choosing two books from the same series. But I really wanted to.

This is a brand new read for me, and I just know if I had longer to sit with it before choosing my top ten books, it would totally be a top five. Because it was heartbreaking, gorgeous and so totally epic. It was my favorite book in the series. And I’m still tearing up just thinking about how things ended and the fact that they did end.

The writing was amazing, the battles were fierce and devastating, and the love story was beautiful and heart-warming. I couldn’t think of a more perfect ending to the series.

Though, of course, I wish there were more. Because I miss Ellie and Will and Cadan and it’s only been days since I said goodbye. I hate to think how sad I’ll be at this time next year.


Demon Eyes

DEMON EYES (Witch Eyes #2) by Scott Tracey

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

There was no way I was leaving DEMON EYES by Scott Tracey off my list. Because this series is so incredibly awesome. I may have read this book more than a few, but less than several, times this year. And no, it wasn’t too many times.

I got to love Braden even more in this sequel, though it was Drew I fell madly in love with. But it was the unbelievably jaw-dropping, heart-stopping events toward the end of the book that blew my mind, that made me say “no way, no way, no way” and left me shattered. In tears. Broken.

And if that wasn’t enough, the author added another twist to the knife he stuck in my heart. So, yes, of course, this book is a favorite of mine.


Masque of the Red Death

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany Griffin

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I was so worried that MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin wouldn’t be everything I hoped it would be, that it wouldn’t live up to my super high expectations. With a cover as stunning as it has and a premise based on Poe’s, this story had a lot to live up to.

And it did. Oh my gosh it did. I felt myself sink right into this story from the moment my eyes devoured the author’s hauntingly beautiful writing at the very beginning. I immediately wanted to know more about Araby Worth and the dark and chilling world she lived in.

One where breathing the air could mean death. One where people were suffering from the Weeping Sickness. And one where there two amazing boys – Will and Elliott – to be surprised by.

There was no question this would make my list this year and I am anticipating the sequel, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, making the list next year.


Embers and Echoes

EMBERS & ECHOES (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

I am a huge fan of author Karsten Knight’s writing. But I thought that after that holy wow ending in WILDEFIRE that he couldn’t top things in EMBERS & ECHOES. I was so totally wrong.

Because this book… this book… was… so amazing, so heartbreaking – that one scene, oh my gosh that scene still squeezes my heart – and so completely shocking, so action-packed, so freaking epic.

I am dying for AFTERGLOW, although at the same time I’m so totally terrified. Because I don’t know just how dark things will get or if there will be even the tiniest of happy endings for any of the characters.

But, yeah, this is definitely a top ten favorite book of 2012 for me.



 UNRAVELING (Unraveling #1) by Elizabeth Norris

(Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris was another complete and total surprise. I did not expect to fall in love with it. I did not expect it to be a genre that would captivate me. I did not anticipate shedding any tears.

So of course I wasn’t prepared when the tears came. That first time, the second or the third. I did not expect to be as fascinated by the genre. I did not expect to be desperate for the sequel. And yet I was… I am.

I knew I should never have read the description for book two. Because, while the wait for me isn’t as long as it has been for some, knowing just what might come next has made me incredibly anxious.

I love being surprised by books. I love finding a gem when I wasn’t even looking. And that’s what UNRAVELING was to me when I discovered it this fall. So I just had to give it a spot on my Top Ten of 2012 List.


This Is Not a Test

THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers

Beautiful. Haunting. Unexpected. Heartbreaking. Chilling. A must read.


CINDER (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Imaginative. Delightful. Surprising. Heartbreaking. Familiar yet wonderfully different.

Grave Mercy

GRAVE MERCY (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Epic. Epic. Epic. Kick-a**. Amazing. Heartbreaking. Gavriel Duval.


ONYX (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sexy. Bewitching. Suspenseful. Addictive. Frustratingly yummy. Hello Daemon.


Since this is my YA blog I didn’t feel it would be fair to take three of my top ten spots away for my favorite Non-YA Reads of 2012. But there were three exceptional books that I read in 2012 that rival quite a few of my favorite YA ones and they are…

Hard Bitten

HARD BITTEN (Chicagoland Vampires #4) by Chloe Neill

One of the most heartbreaking ends to a book I’ve ever read. Ever. A punch to the solar plexus. It destroyed me. I have not recovered.

Shadow Bound

SHADOW BOUND (Unbound #2) by Rachel Vincent

Fierce. Devastating. Gorgeous. Seriously kick-a**. Sarcastic. Awesome to the nth degree.

Halfway to the Grave

HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE (Night Huntress #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Sexy. Sexy. Sexy. Wicked. Dark. Deadly. Ah-mazing.


Well, those are my Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2012 with just four honorable mentions and a shout out to my three favorite Non-YA reads this year. It was just so hard to choose only ten, but at least I kept it close. And those ten are definitely my top ten picks of the year.

I know I rambled on… and on… and on… about my ten picks, but I promise to only do that for today’s post. I hope. But as I haven’t created any of those posts yet I can’t be one hundred percent certain.


I can’t wait to check out your Top Ten Reads for 2012. Just leave your link in the Linky List below so everyone can take a peek.

And don’t forget to check out today’s giveaway on…



23 Responses to “Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2012”

  1. Jen @ BE says:

    I’m so guilty that out of the books you’ve mentioned, it’s only BIW and Cinder that I’ve read. (Trust me, the rest are in my TBR pile, and most of them made my top 10 best book covers. 🙂 ) I badly need to read Splintered since it topped your list too! Urgh, I need to catch up on a lot of new releases, badly. Luckily I own some of these already- the rest are in my wishlist! And like you, I separated YA and non-YA too! 🙂

  2. Sadly I’ve only read one from your list. I do own several of these though, so I just need to catch up on my reading and maybe they can be on my list next year 🙂

  3. Great list, Rachel! I’ve read only Before I Wake from your list, too, and of course Halfway to the Grave, there’s no one like Cat & Bones 😉 Anyway, almost all of the rest are on my tbr list, but just haven’t gotten around to them, hopefully in 2013 😀

  4. Love your list, Rachel! I’ve haven’t read all these books, but I plan to… maybe when my days will have 48 hours! I loved Before I wake, too, and Cinder was great. I’m dying to read Unraveling and Splintered!

  5. Great list Rachel! A lot of these books are new to me, but I totally agree with you on Hard Bitten. I was crushed by the ending and did not see it coming. Never before have I been so glad to have the next book waiting!

  6. Oh yes, the ending of Poison Princess was amazing! The sequel is going to be awesome! There are so many on your list I didn’t get a chance to read yet, like Masque of the Red Death, Unraveling, and Cinder, just to a name a few. I really hope I can in 2013 because I hear such great things. Great list and thank you for sharing! 🙂

    My Top 10

  7. Carmen B. says:

    Great list! It made me feel guilty for putting Sweet Evil and Masque of the Red Death in my honorable mentions instead of my top ten though ^^’ It was hard to limit myself because I was lucky enough to read so many great books this year! I admire you for narrowing it down so much! Shadow Bound made it into my honorable mentions too, and I would love to have read Splintered already! I think I’ll love it as much as you did 🙂
    And I really have to read Poison Princess already…

    My Top Ten

  8. The only one on your list I have included is Before I Wake. I enjoyed Sweet Evil as well but sadly I still need to read most of the others. I’ve wanted to read Karsten Knight’s book ever since you featured him during the tour you had. I also have Silver, Poison Princess, Cinder, Unraveling, and This Is Not A Test on my must read list. I love The Night Huntress series! And have been meaning to read Rachel Vincent’s adult series as well as The Chicagoland Vampire series. Once again it will be my resolution to get to these for the TBR pile reading challenge.

  9. I knew Splintered would be around your number one!!! I can totally see it’s influence in your new AMAZING template! I’m reading Wings of the Wicked right now; I literally just started so I can start Shadows. And I had a problem picking which Soul Screamer was my favorite since I read them all this year 😉 I went with If I Die b/c I thought that was the one that totally took things over the edge. Not to say that it was near impossible to decide between Before I Wake and If I Die – UGH!!!

    I love that you just read The Night Huntress. One of my series goals is Chicagoland next year!!

    I love this event! So many books to add to my TBR…

  10. Vi3tBabe says:

    LOL, there so many on your list I still need to read like Grave Mercy, Splintered, Silver, & the SS series! Luckily, the hubbi got me the SS series for xmas so I’ll make it a goal to read the whole series next year! Great list!

  11. Unfortunately I have not read any books on your list, but most are on my TBR pile. So I guess I will see if any make my list for 2013! I really love this Top 10 of 2012 thing! It is a real challenge to keep my lists to 10.

  12. Splintered is at the top of my best of 2012 list as well. I am going to add Demon Eyes to my TBR pile, and move Masque of the Red Death up, I feel like I have been putting off reading that one! Great List =D

  13. Christy @ Love of Books says:

    I don’t have any of your top 10 on mine, but most of them are on my TBR. Cinder and Grave Mercy did make my top 10, though.

  14. Melissa Robles says:

    I guess it really was so hard for you to only pick 10! Many great reads this year, new debuts and books you can’t believe you never picked up before. Authors seriously rock, they made my year a very fun roller-coaster ride!

  15. Awesome list!! There are a few on there that I have on my top ten list for Wednesday. I still need to read This is Not A Test. I have a feeling that would have made my list if I had gotten to it. I can’t wait to see the rest of your lists this week!!!

  16. ketch1714 says:

    I totally need to give POISON PRINCESS a try. And tough it’s not part of my top 10 looking forward releases, I can’t wait to read SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE. 🙂

  17. Jennifer k says:

    I don’t have a blog to link to. But these are my favorites (all books that came out in 2012):
    Top 10 books of 2012: Thirteen/Kelley Armstrong, The Golden Lily/Richelle Mead, The Raven Boys/Maggie Stiefvater, Reached/Ally Condie, Hallowed/Cynthia Hand, Until I Die/Amy Plum, Where We Belong/Emily Giffin, Catch Me/Lisa Gardner, The Selection/Kiera Cass, Pushing The Limits/Katie McGarry.

    One book that I did read in 2012 but which came out in 2011 that I loved: Wither/Lauren DeStefano.

  18. booktravels2 says:

    You totally cheated with that list, but I just loved. I can’t wait for more Kaylee next year.

  19. I LOVED Cinder! Sweet Evil as well, but it didn’t make it to my top 10. I really want to (finally) start the Soul Screamers series!

  20. suecccp says:

    A great selection: I haven’t read all of these, but quite a few are on my TBR list! 🙂

    My Top 10 Reads: http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.blogspot.com/2012/12/top-10-of-2012-best-books-read-in-2012.html

  21. Great list! I loved Cinder, Sweet Evil, and Halfway to the Grave.


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