Thursday, January 24, 2013

Five Books That Took My Breath Away in 2012

Once in blue moon a book comes along that takes my breath away, compels me to read it, astonishes me with its brilliance and makes me wish that I had written it. In 2012, five books came along that impacted me like this. They are:

Wow. This book was flawless. I adored the contrast between the peaceful existence found within an Amish community and the horror of what was happening to the rest of the world. Laura’s book grabbed me from the first page and wouldn’t let me go. Even months after reading this story, I am still thinking about it.

IRONSKIN by Tina Connolly
From page one, I was immediately immersed in another world, where Fey and humans lived side by side, and captured by Tina Connolly’s lovely prose. I was also enchanted by the fact that this was a retelling of Jane Eyre, one of my favorite books.

THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater
This book felt timeless, like an instant classic. It could have been written 25 years ago or 25 years in the future. Maggie built a world that was both familiar and alien, and every bit of it was believable. I’d never heard of water horses before, so the legends were all new and wonderful, and expertly woven into the fabric of the story.

ENCLAVE by Ann Aquirre
This book really amazed and surprised me. On the surface, it read like another post-apocalyptic YA—which I love. But it was so much more. Layers upon layers of deeper meaning surfaced throughout the book, always adding to the story and the complexity of the characters and the world where they lived. The love story was one of the best I’ve ever read and if I say too much more, I might be giving away spoilers. [Note: This book was published in 2011, but I read it in 2012.]

ASHES by Ilsa Bick
A wonderful example of how horror and literary fiction can be combined. Ilsa’s lovely prose often switched gears to describe gruesome details, but it was always done flawlessly. She made me believe the terrible things that were happening and she made me root for the main character’s survival. [Note: This book was also published in 2011, but I read it in 2012.]