Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Heroine's Favorite Books of 2012 and onto 2013!

I used some of the categories from YA Highway and created a few of my own of books I loved in 2012. I read 75-ish books this year and there are so many to talk about! The choices weren't easy. I'm also including a list of books for 2013. 

And don't forget to look below for the GIVEAWAY (closed) details and how you can win a copy of Marie Lu's LEGEND (which just hit the New York Times Bestseller List. Definitely a series you don't want to miss. Her second book, Prodigy, comes out January 29th, 2013.

Now onto the books!

Most Unexpectedly Delightful Book Of The Year
I'm not one to read a lot of contemporary and I'm so glad I went out of my comfort zone. This took me back to being eighteen years old and trying to figure out where to plunge into in the world. 

Book I Can't Get Out Of My Mind
This book... this book there are no words on the pacing, the action, and the truth of what would transpire if this really happened in our world. The writing reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games since at the end of each chapter all I could do was start the next one. I stayed up late reading this one. 

Best "New To Me" YA Author
I finally sat down and read the Nightshade series in one week, and I was very happy I did! I also picked up the ARC for the prequel Rift at Comic-Con where I met the author. I'm very excited to pick up the sequel, Rise, in January. I don't think there isn't anything I wouldn't want to read from this fellow Buffy and Firefly fan (I met her after the Firefly 10th Anniversary panel at SDCC). 

Best Sequel
I would love to read more science fiction, and this series helped reignite my interest in the genre. Also, nothing is more terrifying to me than being stuck in a ship in space. This reminds me about that fear, but at the same time, sparks my curiosity of space.

Middle Grade Worth Reading
Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
The sequel to The Princess Academy was not only just as good as the first book, I think it was better! Hale is one of my favorite authors and I'm was so happy to snag an ARC of this book. I actually clutched it to my chest like a little kid when I got my hands on it. Great book for kids and adults!

Best Debut
A Russian inspired fantasy series with magic and a character named Mal... yes, please! This book is seriously #2 on my list behind Favorite Book of 2012. I created a Pinterest board with ideas for Alina's costume.Seems like my name is popular this year with The Avengers and this Russian book. Both The Avengers and Leigh made io9's list of "The Power List: 22 People Who Supercharged Science Fiction and Fantasy in 2012". 

Series You Don't Want to Miss 
Legend by Marie Lu (GIVEAWAY BELOW-- closed)
My love for dystopian wasn't apparent to me until I met my husband and he told me his favorite book was 1984. I owned a copy, but hadn't read it yet. After I did, it became something we both enjoy together. The Hunger Games really brought back the resurgence of dystopian, and it makes me so happy to see books like it and Legend on the shelves. And the New York Times agrees! I love the flip between the two sides of society. It helps break open the difference between the rich and the poor, the government and the people. 

Best Guilty Pleasure Book
Perkins is so great at writing romance it is simply ridiculous. I think if I ever have a bad day, I just need to sit in a corner with this book and lose myself. Plus, it is based in Paris. That place is as romantic as they say. My husband even admitted that to me after we visited. If I give a romance book as a gift, Perkins is my go-to girl. 

Best Indie 
Surrender by Rhiannon Paille
This is the first in The Ferryman and the Flame series. Haven't heard of a Flame before? Read this series to find out more! Filled with beauty, romance, and a big bad you won't want to mess with. And check out that cover art! Check it out on Amazon, and if you order the print copy, there is beautiful art inside!

Author Who Never Fails Me
Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
I've been reading this author since 2001 when her first book in the Sevenwaters saga came out. Daughter of the Forest is one of my favorite books to this every day and each book afterward hasn't failed me. If you want some great fantasy, I totally recommend Juliet Marillier. 

Book Not Normally In My Wheelhouse That I Still Enjoyed
I'm saying it again, the adventures of a kid leaving high school was something that struck a cord with me this year. This is from a perspective of a guy and how he feels about the world around him. A playlist is almost necessary when reading this. 

Book about Writing
DWJ wrote Howl's Moving Castle, one of my favorite books ever. This is a collection of her essays and speeches she compiled before her death. In a few of them she addresses the differences of writing for adults and children. I find those conversations are still going on even though she wrote her opinion in the 1980's and 1990's. Definitely worth checking out. Includes a forward from Neil Gaiman. 

Collection of Short Stories
The Curiosities by Tessa Gratton, Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff
This book alone deserves a blog post all of its own (and it will be mentioned again, at least). I was so incredibly inspired by not just the short stories, but the notes inserted by the critique partners. There are illustrations that accompany the stories and add insight into what they've learned about their writing. I borrowed this book from the library, and halfway through I convinced my husband that I needed to own this. It has inspired me to reevaluate my own writing goals for next year. 

Favorite Novellas for a Series
Sarah J. Maas's four Throne of Glass novellas
I read these before the release of Throne of Glass and I was happy I did! Sarah has been writing in this world for quite some time and it was a great introduction to the series for me. These aren't necessary to read before the first book, but I recommend checking them out  if you love the book. I did! Can't wait to read more!

Best Book Cover
My #3 three favorite book of the year. I mean, it is a cyborg Cinderalla story! The minute I caught sight of the cover with her foot with a look "inside", I knew there was no way I couldn't read this book. Meyer also does a different approach to Cinderalla that isn't just the science fiction aspect with a Sailor Moon feel--- she takes the Chinese version of the fairy tale. You would think all these different elements would create disaster, but from the very first page, I believed every single word. 

Best Book Of The Year
This book took me longer than usual to read since I was savoring every little bit of it. It truly focused on the aftermath of a terrible king and brought the three books in this series together. There were so many great books that came out this year, but this is one deserves the crown.

2013 Books I Already Read and Love
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
A girl that doesn't know she is a robot (well, technically an android) with memories that aren't her own. Lots of action and a few twists I didn't expect. Pick it up in March!
Prodigy by Marie Lu (second book in the Legend series)
Is there anything more I can say about this author? She is awesome.

Most Anticipated Debut 2013

2013 Series I'm Not Ready to End

2013 Sequels I'm Dying to Read
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

2013 Books from Favorite Long Time Authors
Written in my Heart's Old Blood by Diana Gabaldon (I've been reading this since I was 15---- she is always on my list)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Enter for a chance to win a SIGNED Special Edition copy of Legend from San Diego Comic-Con or a SIGNED copy of the audio CD. I might throw in some randomly signed bookmarks in there too.  

To Enter
Respond to this blog post with your favorite books of 2012 or what you're looking forward to reading in 2013 with your e-mail address to contact you if you win.

I'll announce a winner on Friday, January 4th, 2013!

Feel free to add me on Twitter @natashamheck and thanks for stopping by The Heroine's Domain!

Here's to a great year of books in 2013!



  1. You read a lot of good books this past year.

    My favorites were What Happens Next, Cinder, This Is Not A Test, and Enshadowed.

    As for 2013, I'm really looking forward to Shades of Earth, Boundless, Scarlet, and many other 2013 releases.

    I really liked your book selections and I might just pick some of them up in 2013.

    My email address is

    I also followed you on twitter. I always like finding new book bloggers.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Oooh! Now I have a few more to add to my list. Thanks for commenting!

  2. My favorite book this year was definitely Legend! :D

  3. Awesome picks! I loved Bitterblue too. Here's my top ten. 1. Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover
    2. Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins
    3. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
    4. Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot
    5. Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini
    6. Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls #4) by C.C. Hunter
    7. Eternally Yours (Immortal Beloved #3) by Cate Tiernan
    8. Fate Succumbs (Timber Wolves Trilogy #3) by Tammy Blackwell
    9. Deity (Covenant #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    10. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (Okay, I know this one was actually published a couple years earlier, but I didn’t get the chance to read it until this year and it is now one of my all-time favorite books ever so I had to add it anyway. Epic is totally the right word.)

    As for next year? Boundless, Chosen at Nightfall, Legend, Sweet Peril, The Rising, Apollyon, Through the Ever Night, The Elite, Origin I could go on forever!

    My email is

    Thanks for the giveaway! SO excited for Legend!!

    1. Another great list! I loved Throne of Glass and that is why I had to list the novellas. Hope you had a chance to read them. Thanks for sharing. I will have to add a few on my 2013 list!

  4. Some of my favorites: The Night Circus, Shatter Me, Shadow and Bone, Seraphina, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Throne of Glass and Ultraviolet. I can't wait to read Prodigy!

    1. If you wanted to enter the giveaway, please list your e-mail below to enter. Thanks for stopping by!

      The Night Circus and Shadow of Smoke and Bone were my 2011 top picks. Taylor's Days of Blood and Starlight (second in DoSB) was fantastic. I wanted to find a spot for it, but alas, it was growing long!


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