December 27th, 2012

deer winter

Top Eleven Reads of 2012! Number Two...

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 eight 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 eight pretty much equally! (The cover links to the Tattered Cover page, fyi.)

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


Out of Sight, Out of Mind, by Ally Carter
Why did this stay with me? First, I love the entire Gallagher Girl series (and the premise for it). I like the characters, I like their world, and I like their growth. This one continues their story well. Second, Cammie's growth is so well done. In the first book, she's very much a typical (though very likable) 15-year old. By this one, she's aged both physically, mentally, and emotionally. She's a more complex person, and her reactions and thoughts are not only in line with a 17-year old girl but a mature and thoughtful 17-year old. Third, the plots are becoming more complex, as well (ie, less black-and-white). I like the choices Cammie is forced to make and the less-than-perfect outcomes aligned with the various choices. Fourth, her relationship with Zach is also growing in proportion to her personal growth, and the romance is well done. I like their loyalty to each other along with the realistic challenges they're facing (and the ones specific to their world). Fifth, this is another series which does each individual book so well -- although the overall story arc is still not resolved (and has deepened with each book), the individual books have their own (and compelling) arcs which *are* resolved. I never finish one and think, "Oh, great. Now I have to wait a year to find out how this ends." Instead, I'm satisfied while still excited to read more of Cammie's story. Other writers of series could really take notes from Carter (and Derting) on how to write a strong and compelling series (that doesn't frustrate the reader). Highly, highly recommended! (Oh, I also love the strong females -- sheroes -- in Carter's books!)