Disclaimer: These are my favorite reads from 2012, although some were published in earlier.
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake I love Aimee Bender's writing. Reading it is like taking a master class in what to do. How to make something a little bit crazy seem perfect and normal and heartbreaking. Take a peek:
"I could absolutely taste the chocolate, but in drifts and traces, in an unfurling, or an opening, it seemed that my mouth was also filling with the taste of smallness, the sensation of shrinking, of upset, tasting a distance I somehow knew was connected to my mother, tasting a crowded sense of her thinking..."
- The Scorpio Races The killer plot aside, this book is an excellent example of showing, not telling. There is action and there is a fast pace, helped along by the present-tense, in-your-face writing. And there is an uncompromising heroine. Check out Maggie Stiefvater's Printz writing:
"Skata and Corr gallop, shoulder to shoulder, every step taking us farther into the surf. I taste salt water; my saddle is slimy with it. Every muscle in Corr's body shivers and shimmers. Glancing at Mutt, I see that he's having a hard time keeping his seat.
Too late I see his knife."
- Gone Girl Gillian Flynn is so great, because she can write like nobody's business. She has all the angles. The plot is awesome and layered, complicated, and--dare I say -- difficult. The characters seem real, with expert characterization. They are believable, normal as your nextdoor neighbor, and freaking scary. You want to tell yourself, No, this couldn't really happen, but Flynn's writing begs to differ. What an awesome read. I have yet to read Dark Places or Sharp Objects. It's awesome to know they are out there, waiting for me to read them, like a Hershey bar, frozen in the freezer to eat during the next DVR'ed episode of BIg Bang.
- The Diviners Libba Bray's books always slay me. She is my unparalleled YA literary crush, and I love her writing for this basic reason: She writes with attitude. Her characters have attitude, but they haven't lost hope. THey have humor, but they aren't void of real-world personality. Plus, this book is right up my alley -- speculative, horror, sci-fi, flappers. It's like Stephen King decided to write YA. You gotta read this book! You will not be sorry!
- 11/22/63 Speaking of Mr. King, the man, the myth, the legend, I think this is his BEST ever, and that's saying something. TIme travelling, the everyman hero, and lots of choices between good and evil and all the many slivers of possibilities in between. THis was one of those books I just didn't want to finish. Everything King writes is like music to me, the word choices, the turns of phrases, the rhythm, it sings to me. I love his writing. I would read it even if it didn't come paired with a time-twisted version of one of the most impactful events of recent generations. King is at his best asking the questions we all kind of think around, not daring ourselves to ask ... What if JFK could be saved? King just has the guts to ask these questions and then answer them. Honestly.
What books have you LOVED this year?