Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 End Of The Year Survey - Best In Books, Pt. 2

Image and meme property of Perpetual Page Turner
I came across the End of the Year Survey as hosted by Perpetual Page Turner and LOVED it. There are so many lists I could make, but this one seems to pull together the highlights. It's a pretty long list, and I'm a bit wordy, so I've split up the list across several days so I don't bore you all.

This is part two of the BEST IN BOOKS section. You can find part one here.

Some questions have been broken down into subquestions (again, because I'm wordy), and I try to link all books mentioned back to their review at least once in the list. Enjoy!

11. Most Memorable Character In 2012?
Oh goodness. I'm a character-driven reader. If a character isn't memorable, odds are I won't like the book. Also, I tend to connect more with secondary characters. I don't know why. In fact, I'll be posting a list tomorrow of my favorite secondary characters of 2012, but here's my shot at this question now.

11a. Most Memorable Protagonist?
I think, if pushed, I'd pick Scarlet from A.C. Gaughen's Scarlet. Her particular dialect just sticks in your head after a bit.

11b. Most Memorable Villain?
It's a tie between the Commander from C.J. Redwine's Defiance and King Leck from Kristin Cashore's Bitterblue. Those men scared the living daylights out of me, and Leck doesn't even appear "on screen!"

A dubiously honorable mention goes to Billy Dent from Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers. Again, he scared the living daylights out of me. Holy cow.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book In 2012?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Hands down. The writing just kills me.

A very honorable mention goes to Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Not only is the writing beautiful, but her word choices are so much fun!

13. Book That Had The Greatest Impact On You In 2012?
I'm sure this was meant in a positive, uplifting way, but I have to pick I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga for temporarily turning me into a nervous wreck.

A dubiously honorable mention goes to Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas for making me mad enough to write a screed decrying the normalization of misogyny in the text.

14. Book You Can't Believe You Waited UNTIL 2012 To Read?
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. I tried to read the first book back in high school but couldn't get into it. This time around, I enjoyed myself immensely.

A very honorable mention goes to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and everything Ally Carter has ever written.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
This question made my brain short circuit. I'm not one to memorize and quote full passages. The one quote I do remember clearly is from The Book Thief, and it was the exact moment when I knew I would keep this book in my pocket for life:

All told, she owned fourteen books, but she saw her story as being made up predominantly of ten of them. Of those ten, six were stolen, one showed up at the kitchen table, two were made for her by a hidden Jew, and one was delivered by a soft, yellow-dressed afternoon.

Just take a moment and breath in the beauty of that very last description. Can't you taste it? I'm sure there are other quotes I can dig up, but I'll leave you with just one, one that made me laugh from Jay Kristoff's Stormdancer:

RAIJIN, TAKE ME NOW.

She shot Buruu a withering glance as he rolled over on his back and pawed at the sky.

HAVE MERCY ON ME, FATHER. TAKE MY WINGS. CHAIN ME TO STINKING EARTH. BUT THIS TORTURE I CANNOT ENDURE.

Oh, shut it.

16. Shortest And Longest Book You Read In 2012?

16a. Shortest?
Girl, Stolen by April Henry at 213 pages. Yet it was still long enough to bore me.

16b. Longest?
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore at 563 pages. Long but beautiful.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a holy cow moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Again, lots of these. I need to break it down.

17a. Steamy kisses?
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson. Hector, I love you. Pages 189-190 are especially good.

17b. A HOLY COW! moment?
The big explanation in Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore and that one scene in Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi. I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones I come up with first.

17c. A my-heart-is-breaking moment?
A many-way tie between "the wagon scene" in Defiance by C.J. Redwine, the entire end of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, and the end of The Assassin and the Empire novella from Sarah J. Maas (a novella prequel to Throne of Glass). (When you read these books, you'll know which ones I mean.)

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012? (Romantic, friendship, etc.)

18a. Friendship?
For me, the friendship between Maddie and Verity from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein takes the cake. The entire book revolves around the theme of friendship, and Ms. Wein gives us an excellent pair to root for.

Very honorable mentions go to Yukiko and Buruu from Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff and Aria and Roar from Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi. Both sets are hilarious and fiercely loyal pairs that were a pleasure to read.

18b. Romantic?
Mmm, Elisa and Hector from Rae Carson's The Crown of Embers, you two are where it's at. Deeply rooted mutual respect, a long-lasting friendship, clear feelings on both sides, but logical opposition? Yes.

A very honorable mention goes to Celaena and Sam from the Throne of Glass novellas by Sarah J. Maas. I get a little choked up just thinking about them.

18c. Familial?
Seraphina and Orma from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. As a dragon, Orma isn't the most demostratively affectionate, but I enjoyed the displays of mutual love that flowed between the two characters.

A very honorable mention goes to Perry and Talon from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. This uncle-nephew duo is too sweet.

19. Favorite Book You Read In 2012 From An Author You Read Previously?
As mentioned in yesterday's post, the only author that I'd read prior to 2012 was Shannon Hale, and I'm pleased to be able to pick her magical Palace of Stone.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Someone Else?
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Sadly, I don't remember who specifically recommended this book, but I do know that I initially had no plans to read it. Thank goodness I got over my own stubbornness.

Very honorable mentions go to Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst (not yet reviewed and another one that was pushed on me by a forgotten person) and The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. Thank you Sounis community for the latter book!

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That's part two of my End of the Year survey! Come back tomorrow for a slight detour into my favorite secondary characters of the year, and then return for part three of the survey on Sunday.