1. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
This was beautifully written, and it has an exotic tinge to it that made me want to go backpacking in South America with a cute boy, too. Besides that, there are pictures! When was the last time you got to have a book with pictures and still get to call it a grown-up book? I haven't run into one of these since Illustrated Classics.
Quote: "Wanderlust is like itchy feet. It’s when you can’t settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that . . . it’s a compulsion. It’s the difference between lust and love."
2. Angelfall by Susan Ee
Most avid YA readers have probably already been privy to the hype that is Angelfall, but this is one of the books that I think is totally worth it. The ending is gut-wrenching, and it's dark but humorous at the same time. A couple days ago, I was driving home and saw the exit for Penryn, and I thought about this book. I think if some disturbing apocalypse of angels ever came to the Silicon Valley, I'd have to get a glimpse of Raffe before I got destroyed.
Quote: “I never kid about my warrior demigod status."
3. If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
I have to admit that I'm not such a fan of war stories, just because I like a little light-heartedness in the books I read. I took a chance with this book, and I'm really glad I did. What surprised me was how beautifully it was written. The prose really lends itself to the painful flashbacks that Quinn experiences, and the book has the sort of bittersweet message that depressed me yet satisfied me at the same time.
Quote: I wonder how much shame people can hold before they ignite.
4. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
I was already a fan of the magical world that Taylor had created in the first book of this series, but not so much of the relationship between Akiva and Karou. This book changed all of that, both because Taylor maintains the magic of her writing but also drives home a painful message about war and redemption. I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the third book to be released!
Quote: A dream dirty and bruised is better than no dream at all.
5. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
This was a book that convinced me there must be something in the water that Aussie writers drink, and that I needed to get my hands on it. I really loved the descriptions of Ed's art and the fleetingness of that one night he and Lucy spend together. It definitely captured all the ephemeral magic in one adventurous night.
Quote: If you treat glass right, it doesn't crack. If you know the properties, you can make things; the color of dusk and night and love. But you can't control people like that and I really, really wish you could. I want the world to be glass.
Those are some of the highlights for 2012, at least for me. These are the books I'm anticipating for 2013:
1. That Time I Joined the Circus by J. J. Howard
A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake—and facing a terrible tragedy— Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi’s mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.2. Pantomime by Laura Lam
When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn’t there…but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus’s fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.
But then Lexi’s ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it’s Lexi’s own future that’s thrown into question…
With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, last heartaches, and the importance of an excellent playlist.
R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.3. Pivot Point by Kasie West
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.
But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .4. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to "go vintage" and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma's list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy's cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she'll get it done. Somehow.5. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick (cover pending)
6. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare17-year-old Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy.
Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her a tip: her wealthy, elderly employer is redoing her will this summer, and that could be Gwen's ticket to the good life. But what will it mean for Gwen’s now life?
Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
Hmm, I noticed that there's a bit of a circus theme going on... These books all look like they're loads of fun, and I'm hoping this upwards trend in beautiful cover art will continue into next year. What are you all waiting to read in 2013?Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.
If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?
The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.
Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.