Results of my 2012 Reading Challenge + Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Before 2012 began, I made a reading challenge: to read 200 books in one year. Well, today is the last day of 2012 and I’ve managed to read 150 books. While it’s not my goal, I’m still proud of myself. 150 is no small feat and although not every book I read was terrific, there were a few that knocked me off my feet. Here’s a list of my top and worst books read during the year. Warning: This is a long list!

 

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Top Books Read in 2012 (5 stars)

Pretty Little Liars #1-8 by Sara Shepard: This series was just so fun to read. I like the show better, but I also like how the books are so different from the show. While most of the books got 3-4 stars, some got 5 so that’s why I included the series as “top books.”

Grave Peril (The Dresden Files #3) by Jim Butcher: I read the first two and half of the 3rd book a few years ago. I decided to re-read them again this year after winning a few from Goodreads. While I wasn’t crazy about the first one, the second was good and the third blew me away. It has great characters, good writing, and a fun plot.

The Barking Ghost, The Haunted Mask I & II by R.L. Stine: These are old childhood favorites of mine. Even though the writing is below my reading level, they were still enjoyable to read and brought back memories.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This book blew me away. The writing is beautiful and lyrical, the characters were written so well that I actually bawled when terrible things happened to them, and the plot was very good. One of the best.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I watched the movie last year in theaters. I finally got to the book this year. It wasn’t as funny as the movie–it had a more serious tone to it. It was a touching book with an interesting plot, great characters, and an important subject matter.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: This was one of the quirkiest books I’ve ever read. I loved the characters, the plot, and the writing. Evie is one of those main characters that you don’t easily forget.

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters: A beautifully written story about a girl who no longer wants to live. Really grabbed my heart.

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson: The main character was intriguing and easy to sympathize with, the setting was neat, the writing was beautiful, the plot interesting, and learning about Synesthesia was also pretty cool.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour: Beautiful writing, interesting characters, touching, couldn’t put it down. My favorite book of 2012.

The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead: Great characters, interesting plot, cool settings, loved the MC and her love interests. Although there were times I wanted to shake Rose, I like that she wasn’t a perfect character and screwed up sometimes. It’s like Buffy The Vampire Slayer if Buffy was also a vampire.

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney: Another one of those books that I couldn’t put down. Loved the main character, the love interest, the setting, and the plot. The subject was also important and well done. The writing was pretty good, too.

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1) by Moira Young: Great characters, great plot, interesting setting. The lack of punctuation marks bothered me at first, but I got quickly used to it and admired the writing style.

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John: Great cast of characters, intriguing plot and setting. The writing was also good and it was very interesting reading from a deaf main character’s POV.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I admit, when I first read this, I just didn’t really get why everyone else thought it was so awesome. A part of me thinks that this is because I was rushed to read it. Not sure exactly what happened, but the second time I read this, I was blown away. The characters are great, as is the plot and writing. And Mr. Green sure does know how to stab you right in the heart. Read with tissues.

Holly’s Heart series by Beverly Lewis: Although my faith has changed a lot over the year, I felt this was a pretty good Christian YA series. Holly is a very quirky and likable main character, and the other characters are typically wonderful as well. I like how Lewis tried to address some important issues a growing girl would have and how her faith would be affected by these things. The storylines were interesting as well. I would love to see Holly continue her adventures as a high schooler. The only thing I didn’t like about this series was that there was one character (blind with a seeing eye dog) who wasn’t shown as much as I would have liked, one character who I pretty much disliked through the entire series (Andrea), and the last book got preachy, which I don’t care for in books.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: Somehow Lauren Oliver took a character that I didn’t think I was going to like at all and made me completely like her at the end. The love interest and a few other characters were also great. I loved the plot and the idea of being able to go back into time to make things right again.

Worst Books Read in 2012 (1 star)

Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder (The Grimm Diaries Prequel #2) by Cameron Jace: I liked the first prequel in this series, but the second was painful to read. It was full of errors, the plot dragged, and I didn’t care for any of the characters. It’s a shame because the backstory was interesting (at least how it was explained in the author’s note) but it wasn’t well written.

The Last Vampire (The Last Vampire #1) by Christopher Pike: I couldn’t stand the main character/narrator, I didn’t enjoy any of the other characters, wasn’t impressed by the plot, back story, or writing. It was very disappointing because I expected something better from Christopher Pike, who I remember liking when I was younger.

Illuminated by Erica Orloff: This is probably the worst book I’ve read this year. It’s sad because the synopsis seemed very intriguing but the characters bored me, the plot was slow and boring, and the insta-love annoyed me, despite the “reason” for it.

Breaking Dawn (Twlight #4) by Stephanie Meyer: Even when I was a fan of the Twilight series, I hated this book. The plot just blew my mind, and not in a good way. I felt like screaming when I read the ending the first time. Now I just think the entire book is ridiculous. While Meyer is a wonderful storyteller, this one just didn’t do it for me. I liked having Jacob’s POV but that wasn’t enough to save this one. The other three books got 3 stars from me so it was just this one that I hated.

Other Notable Reads 

This list is for books that didn’t quite make my five star rating but are still books I highly recommend.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert

Matched by Allie Condie

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

Barron’s Painless Grammar by Rebecca S. Elliott

Save Me by Lisa Scottoline

Little Girl Gone by Drusilla Campbell

Irises by Francisco X. Stork

The Secret Circle series by L.J. Smith

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Legend by Marie Lu

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Paper Towns by John Green

Fear by Michael Grant

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

The Lying Game series by Sara Shepard

Pretend You Love Me by Julie Ann Peters

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

A Part to Play by Jennifer L. Fry

Shiver & Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1 and #2) by Maggie Stiefvater 

Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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In Other News:

Please Vote for Whispertown on Wattpad.com’s “Watty Awards!” All you need is an account (which is free, easy, and gains you access to lots of good stories), then you go to Community–>Watty Awards–>Spiritual–>On the Rise. All you have to do is click on the little button under Whispertown’s cover. I would appreciate it so much!

Here’s a link if you have trouble getting to The Watty Awards main page. The Spitirual category is on the left, toward the bottom. Whispertown will be on the second category on the right.

I also have my short story, Creeper, in the short story category on the Watty Awards if you don’t mind checking it out and voting for it if you like it. Again, this would mean a lot!

 

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8 thoughts on “Results of my 2012 Reading Challenge + Happy New Year!

    1. Hey MC. Actually, I am trying to read 200 books for 2013 since I only made it to 150 in 2012. I’ll check out your blog, but will have to see if I have time for your challenge. Thanks so much for asking. 🙂

      1. Thanks. It is a lot. I’m not sure if I will make it, but now that I have an actual Kindle, I’m thinking I will be reading a lot more when I’m in the passenger seat on long trips at night 😀

    1. Thanks, Susan! I was kind of surprised that I got that far as well. I mainly just try to read whenever I can, even if it’s just a few pages here and there. Happy New Years 🙂

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