Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week: top ten books we read in 2012. This list is compiled based on my reading up to 16/12 - a total of 73 books (my target for the year was 100 but I've now dropped that to a somewhat more manageable 75). This was quite a tricky ten to decide, because once I got past number 5 there were a lot of books vying for position. But this is the definitive list of my favourite books for 2012 (unless I read something amazing in the next couple of weeks, which could happen) - with British dates, in case some look weird.
1. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (3/12 - 9/12) - This is really for the entire trilogy (this is book 3, The Knife of Never Letting Go is #1 and The Ask and the Answer #2) because oh my God it is so good. Seriously, destructively good. I could be quite obnoxious about recommending people read this, especially if they like science fiction and/or dystopias because it is just so good. (Goodreads for the trilogy)
2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd) (9/12) - So, I was in a bit of a Patrick Ness fangirl mood and so I read this as soon as I finished Monster of Men. Which was a bit silly because I spent a day being messed up and teary. The book deals with grief and love and loss in a stunning way that left me feeling like I'd punched in the gut. Brilliant. (Goodreads)
3. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (27/6 - 29/6) - Until I picked up the above books, this was easily going to be my book of the year. The story of The Iliad retold from Patroclus's perspective? With him and Achilles in a relationship (which they blatantly are, it doesn't take that much reading between the lines, people)? How could I not love that - well, if it had been handled badly, but it wasn't! Absolutely beautiful and the ending made me cry even though I knew what would happen. (Goodreads)
4. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher (7/11) - Another book about grief and loss that had me sobbing (there is a pattern forming). Told from the perspective of wonderful ten-year-old Jamie who really needs a hug, this book is wonderful. A quick read that nonetheless makes you feel all the things. I can't wait to get my hands on her new book. (Goodreads)
5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (5/1) - I only read this once, at the very beginning of the year (first book of the year, actually) but it stuck with me. It was a little too close to the bone in some cases - I had a fun adolescence - but it dealt with an important issue very well. The sort of book I'd want as many people as possible to read. (Goodreads)
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (27/2 - 1/3) - I still haven't seen the film because I am ridiculous but I really liked the book. Simple, beautiful language, wonderful characters, all fabulous. I really need to get my own copy (this was a library book), reread it and watch the film. (Goodreads)
7. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (10/5 - 11/5) - I love this almost as much as Nick & Norah. A really fun, slightly daft read in a good way. I leant it to my flatmate during one of my moments of indoctrinating her with YA and she liked it too, also making the point that all of the characters are great and Lily could be so annoyingly perfect but she isn't. If you liked Nick & Norah read this (it's also Christmas-y!). (Goodreads)
8. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver (13/6) - Until I read The Song of Achilles this was my favourite book in June. It's my first Lauren Oliver (I know, what have I been doing?) and it's one of the most beautiful children's books I've ever read - my edition is a gorgeous hardback as well as being a gorgeous story. The prose, the characters, the plot, everything is wonderful. And it made me cry. (Goodreads)
9. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (6/1 - 9/1) - One of my first tasks in the new year will be rereading this and then finishing the trilogy. This is fun, awesome urban fantasy and it's not only set in Britain (woot!) but also in places I know. Oh, Exeter, I miss thee and was probably there when all this was going down. (Goodreads)
10. Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel (30/1 - 31/1) - this was the tricky decision but I'm choosing Mantel because her writing is just so good. There's a lot in her memoir about feminism and writing and all sorts of other things that had me marvelling and determining to read the rest of her books. (Goodreads)
Also thoroughly enjoyed: anything by Christopher Isherwood, An Education by Lynn Barber, and Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.