Thursday, 20 December 2012

2012 Review - A Year In YA

I honestly can't believe I'm writing this. It feels like 2012 has only just begun! I started this blog in June and time has absolutely flown by. I thought as we approach the end of the year I'd give a little recap on what books made my year, highlight some important releases and generally reflect on my thoughts of 2012 in the world of YA.

January saw the publication of The Fault in Our Stars, possibly one of the most talked about YA book releases. I was all the hype surrounding it that motivated to me to finally pick up a John Green novel and I was so glad I did! This book was one of the most beautifully written and emotional books I've ever read. You can read my review of the book here.

March this year saw the release of The Hunger Games film, a hugely anticipated adaptation to those of us who read and loved the trilogy. Would it live up to the book? Were they going to make it all about a love triangle? Would they make a film that stayed loyal to the true brutality of the book? I have to say, I was so impressed with the film. I went into the cinema nervous and came out relieved and blown away. They'd done justice to my two favourite characters - Prim and Rue - and being able to recognise so many scenes from the book made me so happy. I thought they got the mood and tone of the book across perfectly without being too gory. The acting performances absolutely blew me away as well! One of the best book to film adaptations I've been.

In April, Kelley Armstrong released The Calling the second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy. I was such a  huge fan of the Darkest Powers trilogy and so I loved diving back into that world, with a fresh new twist on the tale. You can read my review of that book right here.

In May, the sequel to the brilliant Divergent was released - Insurgent. This trilogy is definitely one to watch in the future, with news about the film adaption starting to trickle out already. Whilst Insurgent didn't quite live up to the first book, it still proved how much I'm in love with dystopia as a genre and this trilogy is definitely one of my top picks to check out. My Insurgent review.

May also saw the latest book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series released, and I was so excited to read City of Lost Souls. In my opinion this book took the series to a whole new level. It felt darker and more grown up, and had that same can't-put-it-down pull that all of Clare's books have given me. With only one book left, I'm so excited and nervous and sad for the series to end. But the good news is that Cassandra Clare along with some other YA authors will be working on a serialisation of Magnus Bane stories in the future, and of course there's the City of Bones film to look forward to! Read my City of Lost Souls review here.

July saw one of my most anticipated releases - Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. This book is one of my absolute favourite books this year and one I will continue to go back to. It's so beautiful and completely relatable to anyone who's ever escaped in to a book. A book for total book lovers! I would love Jodi Picoult to write more in this genre and I'm hoping for more collaborations with her daughter because this book was absolute perfection! My review of Between the Lines.

Another absolute favourite book of mine from this year was Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. YA contemporary is such a fantastic genre and this book reminded me why. It was a great love story that went a lot deeper than I was expecting and touched on some really sensitive issues in a brilliant way, and the characters were fantastic. My review of Pushing the Limits.

September saw the publication of J. K. Rowling's first book for adults, The Casual Vacancy - something talked about by everyone, everywhere you went. Would it live up to Potter? How different would it be? Would it be as successful? I read a lot of adult books alongside my YA so I was really excited to read JKR's first adult novel. Whilst other people beg for more Potter, I was always someone who sat back and waited for something completely different from her. Based on the synopsis it sounded like just the kind of book I wanted to read, but sadly it fell a little flat for me. I still can't wait to read whatever she has in store next, though!

Of course I can only really write about those books I've actually gotten round to reading the films I managed to see. This year also saw the release of film adaptations of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Before I Die (released as Now Is Good) and of course most recently, The Hobbit. Big book releases in include Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick - the final book in the Hush, Hush series, as well as Days of Blood and Starlight  - the follow up to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Reached - the final book in Ally Condie's Matched trilogy. And I'm sure there are many, many more I've missed!

Since starting this blog I've awarded 6 books my Book of the Month honour - where I choose my favourite read of the month, which isn't always a book that was released that month or even this year. The following books were my choices from June until November.

June - City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
July- Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
August - Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Spetember - A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd
October - How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro
November -  My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

2013 promises to be a pretty exciting year. I'll be challenging myself to read more children's classics, as well as hopefully getting involved with the 2013 debut author challenge. Catching Fire, Beautiful Creatures and City of Bones films will be released so hopefully there'll be a few trips to the cinema, too! But mostly I can't wait to start another year of reading and blogging - this year has been so fun! I look forward to seeing you all on the other side. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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