13 questions with a list of potential answers a mile long – how hard can it be?
1. Best Book 2012?
For once, this one’s easy! The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is a contemporary young adult novel that totally blew me away when I read it during the summer. I’d just gone through a phase of reading disappointing book after disappointing book – I couldn't get out of the vicious cycle, and then TSPOLAFS (yes, you read that right, it does need an abbreviation now and again) came along! I could basically use it answer every question here, but I've decided to give it the top prize because I loved it so much.
2. Worst Book(s) 2012?
Four Children and It by Jacqueline Wilson. She was one of my favourite childhood authors but her standard has just plummeted in recent years and this retelling of E. Nesbit's classic totally ruined the original for me. Slam by Nick Hornby was also truly awful reading – so bad a part of me doesn't even want to mention it here because it doesn't deserve the exposure.
3. Most Surprising Book 2012?
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. It’s not really my kind of book but the story behind it was really touching and the illustrations by Jim Kay were absolutely stunning.
4. Most Disappointing Book 2012? / Book You Really Wanted to Like But Couldn't?
Divergent by Veronica Roth. There was so much hype surrounding this book that I went straight out and bought it, but now I wish I hadn't. I just couldn't get into it or enjoy it. Last year I had a similar experience with Matched by Ally Condie, so I'm thinking I should probably take more caution with hyped up books in 2013….
|Jennifer E. Smith|
It has to be Jennifer E. Smith for converting me to contemporary romance with The Statistical Probability (of, well, you know the rest). Her other books sound great too, so I’ll be sure to read them soon. On a personal level, however, I really admire Veronica Roth – though I didn't like Divergent, I've been reading her blog and I think she has a lot to offer her readers since she was published at such a young age.
6. Series You Were Most Sad / Glad To See Ending 2012?
The release of the final Artemis Fowl book was like the end of an era! It’s such a household name and I was heartbroken to see it go. The final Maximum Ride book was also published, but I think that’s right – the series went as far as it could go and was enjoyable while it lasted.
7. Most Beautifully Written Book You Read 2012?
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s not the greatest literary achievement in the world, but it has some genuine moments of brilliant prose that left me with my mouth hanging open and my eyes glued to the page.
8. Book of 2012 You Love To Hate?
I finally gave in and read the Gossip Girl series this year. I love the idea of this fly-on-the-wall sneak-peak into the world of New York’s most elite socialites, but the standard of writing is just abysmal and if it weren't for all the name-dropping and laughably conceited actions of the characters, there would be nothing to make me want to read it. Threads by Sophia Bennett offers the same insight into how the other half lives, but for a young audience, and in my mind, it delivers much more.
9. Book(s) / Author(s) You Can’t Believe You Didn't Read Before 2012?
Heist Society by Ally Carter. I couldn't believe it when I realized I hadn't read any of her books – they seem perfect for me! I'm still waiting for the Gallagher Girls series but I can just tell I'm going to love the confident, girl-power characters and exciting, spy-fuelled plots.
10. Longest / Shortest Books Read 2012?
Shortest: probably The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, at around 225 pages. Longest: Runelight by Joanne Harris at a whopping 572 pages!
11. Favourite Relationship From A Book 2012 – Parental, Romantic, Friendship
As a long-time Rick Riordan fan, I was thrilled to see Percy and Annabeth hit the page once again in his follow up series to the original Percy Jackson books. Their relationship is one of the easiest and most enjoyable I've read in children’s literature. It’s fun, funny and best of all, doesn't overpower the rest of the story.
12. Book(s) You Didn't Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Legend (and by 2013, the sequel, Prodigy) by Marie Lu. I've read extracts and been intrigued by the plot, but I just never managed to get my hands on it. Also Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry – I get tingles just thinking about reading it, but can’t find it anywhere!
13. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
Ah, now this is the hardest question of all! There are so many books I want to read in 2013 – some are follow-ups or sequels (such as This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, author of 2012’s top book, The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight) while others will be a chance to explore new authors I've heard great things about (such as Frigid by J. Lynn, better known to teen readers as Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of the Obsidian novels).
Of course, there are plenty of good books I read in 2012 which didn't quite make it onto this round-up, including:
The History Keepers: The Storm Begins by Damian Dibben
White Dolphin by Gill Lewis
The Kissing Game (short story anthology by Aidan Chambers)
Freaks by Kieran Larwood........
And believe me, I could go on - but I'll try to restrain myself.
Happy New Year to one and all!