Book(s) I was excited about and thought I was going to love more but didn't:
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. I love books about early American history. I read this book halfway, but decided not to read anymore, despite having bought the book. I was disappointed in the writing. I found the main female character, Connie, to be amazingly ignorant in her field of "expertise" (colonial history), despite being a doctoral candidate. The tone of the writing struck a discordant note with me that I eventually couldn't look past, so I gave up.
Divergent by Veronica Roth. Almost everyone I know raves about this book, and there is much gushing all over the blogospere, but this book did nothing for me. It made zero sense to me why they would set up their society that way in the first place, and the thought processes and actions of the characters seemed so wacky to me that I couldn't get into the story. I just kept thinking, "Stupid, stupid people." So, this book: meh.
Most surprising book (in a good way) of 2012:
Hands down that would be Code Name: Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I have learned that usually if a book is that popular in the book blogging world, the chances are high that I won't like it. It blew me away. I wanted to talk to everyone about it. But it affected me so deeply I couldn't verbally do it justice. "Just read it," I kept telling people. Did I blog about it? No. Not yet. But I plan to when I can find the words.
The other book that surprised me the most was Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry. I never expected to be touched that deeply by a book about a young ranching boy. I wrote on Goodreads that this book is "A truly underrated gem of a story. I loved its quiet goodness. I loved the characters. I loved their caring for and of each other, and their sense of community. I loved Parry's beautiful treatment of religion, through her characters. I loved the relationships of the characters in the story. I loved everything about it."
Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky touched on deep-seated racial prejudices in a real, and profoundly human way.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I'm not a big fan of contemporary YA; I feel like I can't relate, having not grown up as a typical American teenager. But this book really worked for me. And I was shocked to learn this is the author's debut novel. It doesn't read like a debut novel.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Again with being dubious of YA contemporary. Plus I had to get over the hideous cover. Oh my gosh! What were they thinking? This was my first book by John Green and despite my initial hang-ups, I really liked this serious and humor-filled story of a girl dying of cancer.
Book(s) I recommended to people most in 2012:
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wien (YA)
Charles And Emma: The Darwin's Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman (YA)
Heart of the Shepherd by Rosanne Parry (MG)
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin (MG)
Wonder by R.J Palacio (MG)
Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi (MG/YA)
Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky (Adult Fiction)
Great new-to-me authors I discovered in 2012:
Best book that was out of my comfort zone or was a new genre for me:
Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler. While it wasn't a book I absolutely loved, I did quite like it and found it so well-written and really fascinating.
Most thrilling, un-put-downable book(s) in 2012:
Most memorable character(s):
Maddie and Queenie from Code Name: Verity.
The grandfather from Heart of a Shepherd.
Sasha from Breaking Stalin's Nose.
Most beautifully written book:
Book that had the greatest impact on me:
Book(s) that had a scene in it that left me reeling and dying to talk to someone about it:
Favorite relationships from this year's books:
Maddie and Queenie in Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
Elisa and Hector in Crown of Embers by Rae Carson.
Brother and his family in Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry.
Bob and Ivan in The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
Via and Auggie in Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Favorite book(s) --that aren't rereads-- from an author I've read previously:
A big thanks to Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for the very fun survey questions, that I adapted for my use.