Katy, Jessica, Tracey, and Alison--stop by their blogs to see the list of participants! If you participate for all four days, you can win a 2012 book of your choice from the Book Depository!
I've read 61 2012 releases--you can see the list here. Today's categories celebrate the very best in a number of genres:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
As good as Divergent was, this one managed to top it for me, as well as a field full of tough competition. Getting to know more about the other factions was fascinating, and I found a new favorite supporting character in Johanna Reyes.
Favorite Science Fiction
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I still remember the feeling I had when I finished this one: What. Just. Happened. I had expected to be into it--Cinderella with cyborgs? Yes please!--but it had that magical thing that makes me love a book and not really be able to explain why. I mean, the plot, the characters, the writing, all obviously great--but this one is more than the sum of its parts.
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
This one overcame the fact that I am not so much a fan of the impish, scruffy, bad-boy romantic lead, because the world of this book is so much bigger than one romance, and there is so much more to Bitterblue than who she falls for. A wonderful cast of characters, from poor, sweet Giddon to cranky librarian Death, drew me in and made me love this one nearly as much as I loved Fire
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
This is the book that made me want to write contemporary; it's also the book that makes me wonder if I'll ever really be able to. The combination of family issues, best friends, boyfriends, and Big Problems is so perfect, every piece interwoven to form the world of Samantha Reed. The romance is great, but it almost takes a backseat to how well done the friendships and family relationships are.
Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers
Favorite Historical Fiction
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Just read it. Get through the first half--I mean, I liked it, but I know a lot of people found it slow. (You'd go slowly too, if you were in a Gestapo prison and you only stayed alive for as long as it took you to tell your story.) But once it starts paying off, prepare to have your mind blown more than once. Best 2012 release I've read, hands down.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Ok, this seems like a pretty twisted choice for comedy. But I couldn't not highlight it, and truly? It was one of the funniest books released in 2012 that I read this year. (Also, of course, one of the saddest.) It's not a comedy, but it certainly uses comedy to great effect. So, this one goes to Hazel Grace, for being funny in the face of a whole lot of suck. (Also the winner of "favorite tragedy", a category I just made up so you know I am not a sociopath.
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
I wasn't totally sure where to slot this one in--it's science-fiction, it's action-adventure, it's romance--but the bigger story arc is a great big mystery. Satisfyingly, we get a lot of answers, but there's also plenty left open for the next book. This is a great creepy read that will keep you guessing.
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Favorite Family Drama
Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
This book grabbed me from the beginning, and I was invested all the way through in Mia's friends and romantic interests. However, Mia's family? Oof. Mia's mom is one of the driving forces in this story, convincing Mia not to tell her friends she's sick. Mia's struggles with that decision and with her mother were at the heart of this story, and I found them tremendously compelling.
Favorite Genre Bender
Blink Once by Cylin Busby
I don't even know what to call this book. It seems like a contemporary story dealing with a hospitalized teenager as he recovers from devastating injuries. But then we learn that all is not as it seems. Whatever it is, this one blew me away.