Get In Touch

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Best of '12: Books

Share it Please
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a great 2012 and 2013 is even better!

Some of my resolutions for this year are:
  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Limit desserts to once a week
  3. Read 60 books this year
  4. Restore my health once and for all!
Since I missed a post on Sunday, I'm posting my last "Best of 2012" list today. It's still kinda unreal to me that it's 2013 now. Hopefully you'll pick up one of the books I recommend to kick off 2013!

1. Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

 The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery. . . .
With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.
The first book in the Heroes of Olympus series is The Lost Hero and the second is Son of Neptune. Personally, this is my favorite out of all of them so far. Probably because Percy and Annabeth are back in the picture. It's really interesting to read the story from Annabeth's, Percy's, Leo's, and Piper's point of view. This is definitely a page turner and will keep you hooked till the very end!

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

One of the best books on the planet. I swear it. Suzanne Collins knows how to keep readers interested with all her plot twists. Her characters are really realistic and the underlying themes of the book are really deep. After reading the book, I felt slightly guilty. This is definitely a book that makes you think.

3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

 When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Wow. Just wow. This a very fast paced book where you're dumped into Thomas's world not knowing anything about him or what is going on. Yet, you keep reading. James Dashner adds lots of unexpected twists to his book which is what kept me reading until the very end.

4. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

 Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.

This is a realistic fiction book and I can't put into words how much I love it. It's such an eye-opener. You cry, you laugh, and you truly feel like you're living Melody's life along with her. If there's only one book you read on this list, this should probably be it.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

The heart of Book 7 is a hero's mission--not just in Harry's quest for the Horcruxes, but in his journey from boy to man--and Harry faces more danger than that found in all six books combined, from the direct threat of the Death Eaters and you-know-who, to the subtle perils of losing faith in himself. Attentive readers would do well to remember Dumbledore's warning about making the choice between "what is right and what is easy," and know that Rowling applies the same difficult principle to the conclusion of her series. While fans will find the answers to hotly speculated questions about Dumbledore, Snape, and you-know-who, it is a testament to Rowling's skill as a storyteller that even the most astute and careful reader will be taken by surprise.
A spectacular finish to a phenomenal series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a bittersweet read for fans. The journey is hard, filled with events both tragic and triumphant, the battlefield littered with the bodies of the dearest and despised, but the final chapter is as brilliant and blinding as a phoenix's flame, and fans and skeptics alike will emerge from the confines of the story with full but heavy hearts, giddy and grateful for the experience. --Daphne Durham

I just had to add this. It is one of my favorite books on the planet. Even though Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is my favorite movie, the Deathly Hallows is my favorite book. I cried multiple times. And I laughed. J.K. Rowling couldn't have given readers a better ending to the Harry Potter series.

6. Eat Like a Dinosaur by the Paleo Parents

 Don't be fooled by the ever-increasing volume of processed gluten-free goodies on your grocery store shelf! In a world of mass manufactured food products, getting back to basics and cooking real food with and for your children is the most important thing you can do for your family's health and well-being. It can be overwhelming when thinking about where to begin, but with tasty kid-approved recipes, lunch boxes and projects that will steer your child toward meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and healthy fats, Eat Like a Dinosaur will help you make this positive shift.
With an illustrated children's story describing the paleo diet, and colorful, mouthwatering photographs of recipes without grains, dairy, soy and refined sugar, this book is written for children. For those with food allergies, the top 8 allergens have been visually marked on each recipe for children to self-identify recipes that may contain eggs, nuts, fish, or shellfish.
Parents needn't panic! Details on the tools and products your family needs to get started have been provided, as well as an assortment of tips to help you along the way. Eat Like a Dinosaur will inspire your entire family to shop for new ingredients and get into the kitchen together. Let Matt and Stacy, the Paleo Parents, show you how to make the transformation in your family's life. With positivity, practicality and an appreciation for the fact that even the healthiest children sometimes want cupcakes and chicken nuggets—this book simply provides healthier ways to give kids the foods they love.

This has to be one of my favorite cookbooks ever! The frozen waffles are delicious and I can't want to try the Fool's Gold Chicken Nuggets. Even if this is a book directed at younger kids, it contains superb paleo recipes that even non-Paleos will like.

7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Amazing. That one word sums the whole book up. I hate the ending, though. Actually, I hate cliffhangers in general! But doesn't everyone? Again, this is another page turner. Sometimes you'll hate Tris, but sometimes you'll love her. I think that's what makes a character a good character. When you actually feel like they're a real person. Veronica Roth does an excellent job doing this. Oh, by the way, read Divergent first.

Inquiry of the Day:

What are some New Year's resolutions you made? What are your favorite books? 


  1. Those are great resolutions and share some of those myself.
    I've actually only read the Hunger Games from your list and loved it, I'll have to check out some of the others.
    The best bok I've read of 2012 was Louise Hay's You Can Heal your Life. It's what prompted me to be a much more positive and happy person. It's kinda cheesy, but really helpful in being a more positive person and making things you want in life to happen.
    Happy New Year!

    1. I've never heard of that book. I'll have to look into it.

      If you liked The Hunger Games, you'd probably like The Maze Runner and Insurgent. They're some of my very favorite books!

      Thanks for commenting! :)


I love comments so please comment often! Thanks!


Social Media