Books I Read in December and Favorites from 2012

December reads:

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've never read Kinsella's books (nope, not a single Shopaholic), but decided to check this one out based on Everyday Reading's book club recommendations post. It was just what I was looking for after finishing Dark Places: light and fluffy chick lit. I'm just disappointed whenever these books have a totally spineless and rather clueless heroine. But, it was a fun story with a fun concept.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

This is the second book in yet another YA trilogy, the first book was really great though: Daughter of Smoke and Bone which I read in AprilI really like this series compared to a lot of others out there right now. It's highly original, funny, snarky, romantic, action-packed and (most of all) has a kick ass heroine. It didn't have the same amount of romance and humor as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I think that to move forward, the story had to go in a more dark direction. I was glad to spend a bit of time in Taylor's fully realized non-human world. Hopefully the next book will gravitate toward lighter themes.

Please Don't Come Back From the Moon by Dean Bakopoulos

Ah, another coming of age novel - I've read quite a few this year. As with a number of them, this one was also a bit on the depressing side. However, I turned the pages with great anticipation - how would Michael turn out??  Would he be OK, would his father come back? A lot of interesting themes and I liked the juxtaposition of the fantastical idea that his father might actually be on the moon and the gritty realism of his day to day life. It was touching and thought provoking, albeit heartbreaking at times.

Favorite of 2012:

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett 

I was totally surprised by this book in so many ways - by the contents of a very boring cover, by the author that I wasn't super impressed with (I didn't think Bel Canto was THAT great), and by so much of the story itself.  I mean, there were several parts where my hand literally flew over my mouth in an 'OMIGOD!' moment of surprise.  I read it in March and it has stayed with me all year. It's strange, mysterious, thrilling, mystical...  I can't even explain what it's about, just get it. 

(Very close) Second favorite:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I don't think there's anything more that I can say about this book that hasn't already been said on the back cover: luminous, pitch-perfect, romantic, a triumph. It's a devastating and yet wonderful read. John Green's writing is almost TOO good. This is the second book of his that I've read (Looking for Alaska is another great one) and I love the interaction/dialogue between his characters, but I can't help but feel that NO ONE is that cool. At the same time, that's why I love his books. The characters are like witty superheroes that put thoughts so beautifully into words and say all the things we wish we could say. I hardly ever highlight passages from books, but Green's are (to use a phrase from the book) lit up like a Christmas tree. A few of my favorites:

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."

And all of the passages on infinity were a revelation:

"It seemed like forever ago, like we'd had this brief but still infinite forever."
"You gave me a forever within the numbered days"
These would probably make more sense in the context of the book, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone, especially the last pages: all are one big highlight.
If you're looking for the meaning of life, this book has got a lot of answers. 

Third (guilty pleasure) favorite:

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis 

Yes, I have a real soft spot in my heart for YA novels - usually the dystopian literature that seems to be all the rage since everyone finally caught on to The Hunger Games. This one is a bit sci-fi/dystopian - the main character and her parents are cryogenically frozen and supposed to awaken 300 years into the future when they arrive on a distant planet. Due to some hi jinks she wakes 50 years too soon and many mysteries about the ship she is travelling on begin to unfold. I devoured it in just a couples days - probably would have sat and read it in one sitting on a rainy Sunday, pre-punks. And, like all YA these days, it's a trilogy. So, I had to read the sequel, and A Million Suns was really good.  Not as great as the first, but enough to make me want to read the finale which will be released in less than two weeks.  If you're not a fan of having to wait for sequels and like to read a trilogy in one sitting, you're in luck!

These were hard to choose, as I did read a lot of good stuff this year (apparently 37 books according to Goodreads) so feel free to click on the 'booooks' tag below to check out those posts if you're looking for something new to read.


  1. Oh I like Ann Patchett, I'm putting that book on my nook wish list right now!

  2. Loved your PDCBFTM paragraph. Gritty is a good word for Maple Rock. I love the poem that the epigraph comes from (it's called "Memory" by William Matthews). Not gritty at all, and I'm not usually a huge poetry person, but his poems are great!

  3. Definitely putting the Ann Patchett book on my list for 2013. Looking forward the reveal of your marathon training plan :)