My 12 unmissable YA books for 2012 – a very subjective list!

So many great books waiting for you at your local library or independent bookstore! How do you choose just an armful from the hundreds of titles there?

Well, for 12-12-12, I couldn’t resist recapping 12 of my favorite reads from the past year on BooksYALove. Click on each title to read my recommendation on a new page/tab, then select some for your holiday and/or birthday wishlist – you’ll be so glad you did!

book cover of Ashfall by Mike Mullin published by Tanglewood book cover of Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin published by TanglewoodPost-apocalyptic page-turners:
Ashfall – 16-year-old Alex sets off alone through the ash and dangers to find his family after a catalysmic volcanic eruption.

Followed by Ashen Winter  as civilized behavior begins to crumble – stunning, scary adventures that really could happen beneath those cold and cloudy skies.


book cover of The Wicked and the Just by J Anderson Coats book cover of Jump Into the Sky by Shelley PearsallIncidents of ignored history as historical fiction:
Does God truly hear the prayers of both The Wicked and the Just  in 13th century Wales, as English overlords mistreat local folks to the brink of revolt?

Jump Into the Sky  with the black paratroopers of the 555th Battalion, as seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Levi, whose father is away from home too long as commander of ‘Triple Nickels’ during World War II.


book cover of Teen Boat by Dave Roman and John Greenbook cover of Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

Graphic novels from fave folks:
Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy) teamed up with John Green (the artist one) to create TeenBoat!  Imagine “the angst of being a teen, the thrill of being a boat!”yes, it’s that funny.

In a more serious vein, Doug TenNapel examines friendship, family, loyalty, and greed in his most recent graphic novel involving a not-so-simple gift of Cardboard.


book cover of I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloanbook cover of With a Name Like Love by Tess HilmoMusic changes everything:
The song which instantly connects Emily and Sam promises that I’ll Be There,  but will his crazy father endanger everyone, including winsome little brother Riddle?

Music and hope can heal hearts, according to Ollie’s preacher father With a Name Like Love,  but this rural town is determined to condemn a mother without trial, until Ollie decides to prove her innocence.


book cover of Laugh With the Moon by Shana Burgbook cover of Skinny by Donna CoonerFriends see the true you:  That voice in Ever’s head – always mocking she’ll never get Skinny  through bariatric surgery – almost drowns out the concern and care of her best friend.

Why did Dad volunteer as a doctor in Malawi, so far from Clare’s friends and the things that keep her late mother’s memory alive? Can her new classmates help her learn to Laugh With the Moon  and be whole again?


book cover of The Hunt by Andrew Fukudabook cover of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversNot your normal paranormal:
Vampires rule the world, and if they discover Gene’s true human heritage, then he will become the object of The Hunt  for his savory heper blood.

Perhaps Ismae truly was fathered by the Dark Lord himself, rumors whisper at the convent where young women train as assassins, using the Grave Mercy of Death to keep Brittany free of the greedy French.

Review copies and cover images courtesy of their respective publishers.

9 thoughts on “My 12 unmissable YA books for 2012 – a very subjective list!

  1. Looks like a great list! I’m definitely going to have to check some of them out. The Wicked and the Just and Laugh With the Moon both look really interesting.

  2. Thanks for the great list. I’d like to put in my two cents for Grave Mercy. Robin LaFevers has created an astoundingly fascinating world. Assassin nuns? Wow. And it’s the first in a hugely promising series.

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