In no particular order, my favorite reads of 2012.
A Million Suns by Beth Revis. (young adult) The second book in the Across the Universe series. It's my kind of sci-fi.The first book blew me away. The opening chapter was unlike anything I'd ever read and the rest of the book didn't let up. Book two didn't disappoint and the conclusion is due in January, one day after my birthday I might add. Definitely a trilogy worth reading.
Jiggy McCue: Murder and Chips by Michael Lawrence (middle grade) In full disclosure, this book was dedicated to me, which makes it the single greatest book ever written. But aside from that, it is a really fun murder mystery. Don't be fooled by the 'middle grade' designation. There is plenty of adult wit to hold the interest of any adult reader. Clever and fun, it'll keep you guessing. It's also the final book of the popular Jiggy McCue series. A fitting send off for the long suffering character, Jiggy McCue.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. (adult/young adult crossover) "Wow." That pretty much sums up this beautiful book. Narrated by June, a 14 year old girl who is picking up the pieces after her beloved uncle, Finn, dies of AIDS. Finn was a free spirited artistic genius who also happened to be homosexual. A fact that was known in his family, but largely unacknowledged. This book is written so beautifully and the emotions are so raw and real that I didn't want to put it down. This falls into the category of books that I think everyone should read at some point. Very moving, you'll feel like you're watching something fantastic unfold while you read it. Definitely pay attention to this book and author.
Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool by Jody Lamb (middle grade) In full disclosure, this book was written by a dear friend of mine and I'm in the acknowledgements section, which also makes this one of the greatest books ever written. But really, this book is striking in a similar way to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. In this book, lively, unique and sweet Easter is trying to stop being a dork and make her 7th grade year shine. She makes a plan, Operation Cool, to help her achieve her goals. But as she starts making progress at school, her home life is falling apart due to her mother's battle with depression and alcohol addiction. The book skillfully balances Easter's hope and enthusiasm with her sadness, confusion and embarrassment. I compare it to Thirteen Reasons Why because it highlights the fact that people don't wear everything on their sleeves and you never know what other people are hiding. A positive message, powerfully written. It made me laugh and cry. Also a book that everyone should read.
Blind Spot by Laura Ellen. (young adult) How to classify this one? Powerful and unique, for sure. It's told by Roz, a young lady who's been diagnosed with macular degeneration. She wants desperately to just be normal, but as she fights against the accommodations she needs to make for herself, she finds herself in the middle of a murder case. What I really liked this about this book was the richness of the characters. Most of the main characters are troubled kids but this book makes them into real people. You get to see dimensions to them and view them as people coping with their disabilities or problems. And they don't all make good choices. Really great book. I would also recommend that people read this, if for no other reason than to get an idea for what it's really like to live with a disability. Very well done.
GIVEAWAY!Since it's the gift giving time of year, I thought I'd give away an autographed copy of Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool by Jody Lamb. All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post with your email address and I'll pick a winner next Tues. and get the book shipped out to you. How do you like that? Merry Christmas!