{List-O-Rama} Memorable Reads: 1st Half of 2012, Take 2

{List-O-Rama} Memorable Reads: 1st Half of 2012, Take 2

Well, CEFS contributors may not be known for their “blind acquiescence” but I’ve finally managed to scrape up a list of my favorite books so far in 2012.

Note: we just happened to randomly remember a few of the same books. Please disregard any repeats, as they have absolutely nothing to do with Sarah’s excellent taste. Her head is big enough already.

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YA Novels

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols - I finished this book last night or, more accurately, early this morning. When a book is better than sleep you know you’ve found a keeper. Echols does an excellent job portraying some wounded, imperfect characters you can’t help but love. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - If Nicholas Sparks drives you nuts, this is the book for you. It’s an incredibly moving, honest, cliche free exploration of illness and mortality. And it still managed to make me laugh (sometimes through the tears.) Though I generally prefer less serious subject matter, this book is special, and worth the red eyes. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

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Urban Fantasy

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs - In an attempt to save up for my trip to Europe, I decided not to buy the insanely expensive ebook (Sarah complained about this too) and instead got on the endless waiting list at the library. I lasted several days before I online stalked the non-holdable library copy, and raced in to snatch it up like the desperate reader I am. This is devotion. As the third novel in Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series, this book explores some of the ramifications of earlier plot developments. And yes, it was worth the trouble. {Amazon | Goodreads}

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Contemporary Romance

The Long Shot by Ellen Hartman - I need to bully Sarah into reading this book to verify if it has any authenticity with basketball fans, as I have absolutely no qualifications in that regard. I can tell you that the characterization of small towns, boosters, high school athletes, pro athletes, and guidance counselors reminds me of FNL. Hartman has got to be a fan. The emphasis in The Long Shot is definitely on girl’s athletics (well, and romance), and I can’t help but enjoy that. {Amazon | Goodreads}

Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry - This book deals with rebuilding love after a loss. There is a very slow progression here, along with a thorough exploration of all the inevitable phsycological turmoil. Mayberry never succumbs to either horrible angst or nonchalant handling of the emotions. I will be writing a full review soon. {Amazon | Goodreads}

Bring Him Home by Karina Bliss - I own every single Karina Bliss book. I have shelled out for them all. I will continue to do so until one of us dies; this is a serious commitment. Bring Him Home is one of her best yet, surpassed only by What the Librarian Did, IMHO. {Amazon | Goodreads}

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox - I was blown away by this book. The writing sparkles and the characters are nuanced, imperfect, and wholly lovable. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

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Historical Romance

Beguiling the Beauty by Sherry Thomas - Thomas is a master of angst, in a good way. Anything written by her is sure to feature gripping, heart rending emotions, and Beguiling the Beauty is no exception. While my favorite novel of hers remains Not Quite a Husband, this is an intriguing meditation on appearances and perceptions. {Amazon | Goodreads}

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Read, But Not Released, in 2012

Atachments by Rainbow Rowell - This was recomended to me in my very own Book Matchmaker. A book about transformations and friendship that creeps up and snatches your heart when you aren’t looking. Just try and resist. {Amazon | Goodreads}

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier - I was swept up in this retelling of The Six Swans, a story collected by the brothers Grimm. This is a fairy tale for adults not because of explicit material (there isn’t any) but because of the complex emotions it deals with. After reading this book I went on a Marillier kick, reading a bunch of her other work. {Amazon | Goodreads}

I’m always fascinated by complex characters with intense emotional experiences and this year has been no exception. I do enjoy the way my reading has been influenced by friends, maybe stretching me a little more than I’m used to. I’m down with that as long as I don’t pull any muscles.

What have been your favorites so far this year? Do you have themes that you return to over and over?

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