The Best & Most Anticipated Novels of 2012!

4:52 PM Posted by Bonnie @ A Backwards Story

Lauren Oliver is at BEA today signing ARCs of her upcoming middle-grade novel THE SPINDLERS.

If you're not lucky enough to get to NYC and meet here, there's a wonderful online event running this week called Armchair BEA.

Today, we're looking at the best books of 2012 and previewing the most-anticipated books to come this year!  These are my selections!


Armchair BEA is the site to be at this week if you aren't able to get into NYC for BEA!

Day II is for The Best Books of 2012 (So Far!)

Don't forget to check out my interview answers from yesterday or enter today's Triple Giveaway if you haven't done so already! 

What, to me, are the best books of 2012 so far? 
(that I've actually read, of course...There are some books that I hear are AMAZING still waiting as THE FAULT IN OUR STARS...)

Sorry for all the extra doesn't look like that as I type and I don't know why Blogger's adding in all these spaces!!

What sequels did I love the most?

A lot of sequels and companion novels have come out recently, especially second books.

Reviewing these can be hard because they're SO full of spoilers.  I've decided to hold off a few months before reviewing any sequel in order to give people time to read the book and form an opinion first!

But my favorites would HAVE to be...

BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore   *  WAKING STORMS by Sarah Porter
INSURGENT by Veronica Roth  *  HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand   

Three of those titles are Second Books.  Often times, second books aren't the best book in the series, and a lot of the time, if you adore the first book, you may not like the second one as much.  I think WAKING STORMS and INSURGENT are both better than the first book in their respective series.

I did a You're Gonna Love Me post on WAKING STORMS for anyone who can't wait another month to read this amazing sequel!  I'll do a full review during Splash into Summer!  Sarah Porter has hands-down written my favorite mermaid series to-date.  

I wouldn't have said this last year, but after re-reading DIVERGENT and reading INSURGENT, I'm currently liking this series better than THE HUNGER GAMES and think it's the best in the genre.  We'll see what I think next year after the final book comes out!  (And everyone who loves Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM trilogy should definitely be checking this one out!)

While I didn't love HALLOWED as much as I did UNEARTHLY (There's just something about falling in love for the first time!  I think that's also why I enjoyed ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS more than LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR!), I still thought it was a great sequel.  I had three theories going into it (and two of them were complete surprises to most people, but I also didn't have the theories until re-reading UNEARTHLY, so there is that!), and can't wait to see if my third theory comes true in the final book or not!

And BITTERBLUE.... Ahh, the wait for BITTERBLUE has been torture!  While the book wasn't what I'd expected it to be, it was still a tremendous offering that will win Kristin Cashore even more acclaim.  It's brilliantly layered and much darker than Cashore's previous novels.  I love that each of her novels so far deals with a different type of person living in the same world, from Gracelings to monsters to ordinary people.

What stand-alone or "first" novels did I love the most?

INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows is my favorite book of 2012 so far.  

I technically read it in 2011 as an ARC, but I'll be re-reading it later this year as the release date of ASUNDER grows closer, so it still counts, especially since the book officially came out this year and all that jazzy stuff.

I managed to forget about reviewing this book after my computer crashed in January, so I'll rectify that sometime this month!

I think the reason I love INCARNATE so much is because of Jodi Meadows' way with words.  Some passages are so beautiful, and they make my writer's heart weep because I can't write like that.  I actually mentioned this to Jodi on Twitter earlier and she shared a link where she wrote a feature about writing like other authors recently!

SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott was another amazing read.

This one came out in the UK last July, but it released in the USA this past April.  I read and reviewed the book in January during my event A Week of Cinderella, then re-reviewed it in April for Fairy Tale Fortnight.  Check out the review along with a guest post from Zoë!

If you've never read anything by her before and love fairy tales, you've been missing out!  So far, SHADOWS is my favorite Zoë Marriott book.  I love how she infused Japanese culture into it.  It's spot-on, too, and really made me miss Japan and want to go back!  It's also a very dark version of Cinderella, and was refreshingly different to read!

ORDINARY MAGIC by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway is my top middle-grade read of the year so far.

This should be obvious by now, right?  Last week I reviewed the book, shared a guest post on World Building from Caitlen, and posted an interview with Bloomsbury Art Director Donna Mark.  This week, I'm giving away a copy in celebration of Armchair BEA!

The world building is fabulous, and I love that it takes the "typical magical person" story and turns everything upside down!  The voice is spot-on, amusing, and easy to read, which is a huge plus in my book.  Plus, I love the family unit in this one!

GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers is a book I've been coveting since the moment Enchanted Inkpot posted the publishing deal in 2010.  

Usually when I wait so long for a book, I'm disappointed because I've built it up so much in my head, but not this time.  

If you recall from my review, I LOVED it! Assassins and a God of Death and historical fantasy paired with an amazing cover of a kick-ass girl holding a crossbow?  This book exceeded my expectations in the best possible way!

ENCHANTED by Alethea Kontis was another book I was really looking forward to!   

This was another one that I read in 2011, but am still counting for 2012 because it officially came out in April.  Plus, I've already re-read it once this year!

I loved sharing my love of this novel with all of you during Fairy Tale Fortnight!  I reviewed the book and interviewed Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Art Director Christine Kettner!

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo is a book I never expected to enjoy and only read this past weekend, but I love it already!  

I reviewed the novel earlier this afternoon in celebration of the book's birthday being today!

I loved the imagery and the way Leigh Bardugo unfurled her world the more we read.  Her descriptions made me feel as though I was freezing my arse off in Ravka along with the characters!  The book captivated me in ways I never thought it could and I'm eager to read the rest of the series!

What books being promoted at BEA am I most excited about?

(Some of these may  not be making a BEA appearance, but they'll be out later this year and I want them desperately!)

THE SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver   *  THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas
THE CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson   *  ELEMENTAL by Antony John
THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin  *  DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine   

STORMDANCER by Jay Kristoff   *  FATHOMLESS by Jackson Pearce
VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst  *  IRON-HEARTED VIOLET by Kelly Barnhill 

CURSED by Jennifer Armentrout   *  DEITY by Jennifer Armentrout
THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken  *  WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang  

PRODIGY by Marie Lu   *  THE ESSENCE by Kimberly Derting
SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard  *  THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab

FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes   *  BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD by Gabrielle Zevin
ONE BREATH AWAY by Heather Gudenkauf  *  PALACE OF STONE by Shannon Hale

What 2012 releases are you most looking forward to?
What are your favorites of the year so far?