Reviews of books, movies, and more
Since it’s the beginning of a new year (and thankfully not the end of the world), it’s time for me to list my favorite books that I read in 2012.
Note that not all of these books were published this year – these are just my favorites out of the ones I have read.
Without further ado:
(in the order I read them):
The Jumbee by Pamela Keyes
I gobbled up this modern-day retelling of Phantom of the Opera set in the West Indies. It’s very unique and fans of romantic ghost stories or theater in general will likely enjoy it as well.
North and South by Elisabeth Gaskell
Read the book that became the basis for the hit BBC miniseries starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe. Minister’s daughter Margaret Hale and factory owner John Thornton don’t exactly hit it off when they first meet, but their circumstances and conflicting backgrounds will change them both in the end.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Gorgeous writing, a well-developed setting, and two tenacious main characters make this “horse book” a delight.
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
A really, really creepy prequel to Frankenstein that should definitely be read with the lights on. Victor Frankenstein isn’t always such a likeable or sympathetic protagonist, but that’s the point, the way Oppel writes from his perspective is very well done.
I may as well call this the “year of Sherlock”: I saw A Game of Shadows in theaters, got hooked on BBC Sherlock as well as CBS Elementary, and not to mention that I read some of the original stories while traveling through the areas of England where they are set. (I definitely wouldn’t want to be alone on the moors of Dartmoor at night, especially if there’s a gigantic hound roaming around). A century later, the adventures of Holmes and Watson are still taking on new forms all the time, but nothing beats the original canon.
It’s sort of a 1930s revision of Jane Eyre. A timid young girl marries a much older man and goes to live at his English estate. The creepy housekeeper seems like she’s out to get her, and the memory of Rebecca, the first wife to live at Manderley, casts an eerie shadow over the place. I never did get around to writing a review of this one, but it’s good.
It’s a crime it took me this long to read Jane Eyre! It’s a Gothic love story told in a very clear first-person style by an orphan girl firmly convinced of her own worth. I can’t recommend it enough.
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Great new Robin Hood retelling that reimagines Will Scarlet as a tough young woman disguising herself as a boy. I could hardly put it down!
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Fantastic “dragon” book involving murder, music, and a search for acceptance. One of the best fantasy books I’ve read all year.
Technically it’s a re-read, and technically I just finished it today, not in 2012. But it’s been around ten years since I’ve read it, and I just felt my list wouldn’t be complete without it. It’s a simple adventure with some surprising depth and gives a wonderful taste of the world Tolkien created. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see how Peter Jackson brings the rest of the book to life on-screen.
5 of these books were borrowed from the library.
3 of these books were read on Kindle.
2 of these books I bought from a physical bookstore.
Have a Happy New Year!