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Top Eleven Reads of 2012! Number Nine...

It's hard to believe it's the end of 2012 -- which means it's time for another list of books from yours truly. ;) I would've only done the top ten, except that I only have eleven five-star reads this year -- so I will highlight them all. It's always challenging to put this in any kind of order, and I want to point out that it's rather subjective (on top of already being a subjective list), as the way I feel about these books right now is different than I might have felt three months ago. Plus, the top six are clumped so closely together in my mind (in terms of enjoyment) that they're almost random in their order -- you could simply say that I loved all eleven, and I adored the top six pretty much equally! (All the covers link to their Tattered Cover book page, fyi.)

That said, let's move to number Nine (out of 111 books read this year):

spellbound

Spell Bound, by Rachel Hawkins
Why did this stay with me? First, it's the final book in a great trilogy. All three had me completely engaged -- so the finale was not only anxiously awaited but well worth the wait. Second, I loved the romance. There's a hint of a triangle, but Sophie never really turns from the one she's loved since the beginning -- and I adore seeing that type of loyalty and emotional steadfastness in YA books. Not only that, but romantic tension wasn't sacrificed to do this -- in fact, it even increased the tension, in some ways. Third, it's very poignant. There are a couple of major sacrifices by characters, and they not only fit the story well, but they show true heroism and grace -- just wonderful examples of love. Fourth, the plot is complex and intriguing. I thought the over-arcing story was thoughtful and layered, which is just what I love to see in books. Each book revealed a little bit more, and the world building was solid. I think she could continue in this universe and still have dedicated fans. :) So yes, like all of my top eleven, this comes highly recommended (though you would be best off reading the other two books first: Hex Hall and Demonglass).

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