Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 Literature Review

If you know anything about me, you probably know how much I love to read. In fact, on Pinterest you will be able to see that many of the things I pin that describe me are as follows:

(and I would be gorgeous like Belle too which wouldn't hurt. Best Disney movie of all time)

Seriously, I would be.

Nothing like the weight of a book in your hands and being able to turn the page to reveal the next part of the story. Though, sometimes when it's cold at night and my arm is warm under the covers, I wish I could say a spell like Harry Potter so the page would just turn for me so I wouldn't have to take my arm out from under the covers and freeze for a couple seconds. But that's just a first world problem for you.

This one is just funny. (And props to you if you know what book this picture comes from. My all-time favorite author growing up)

Anyways, I keep track of all the books I read on goodreads.com, a fantastic website that helps me keep organized, rate books, see what my friends are reading, and review and comment on other's reviews. I love it! You can also set a goal each year for the number of books you want to read. For 2012 my goal was to read eighty books but I didn't quite meet the goal and finished with seventy-five total read books for 2012. My goal for 2013 is once again eighty since I didn't make it last year. I don't really push to meet this goal - it's not that important to me - I just like to see about how close I get.

The point of all this (anything book related I probably could talk/write hours on, so sorry) is that I wanted to review a few of my five-star reads from this last year. It takes a lot for me to really love a book since I read so many, so if I give something five stars, it's going to be good.

The first couple were true stories and were SO inspirational. I recommend them for everyone. The first one is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

The story is actually about what happened to Corrie as she risked her life to help Jews during World War II and what happened to her when she was caught and sent to a concentration camp with her sister. Most people have already read this book because it is older, but I hadn't. I started it when I was a teenager, but the first couple chapters were hard for me to get into so I didn't get far. Well when I tried again, I couldn't believe I had waited so long. The faith, love, and hope of Corrie and her sister is so inspirational that I cried, I resolved to be better, I prayed, and I thanked these people for their example of true faith. It's truly amazing.

The second book is also a true story that inspired me for the better. Same Kind of Different As Me is about a modern-day slave after he is grown and run off and has been to prison for doing horrible things and is now homeless and feared by most people, and what happens when one tiny lady shows unconditional love for him and teaches her husband to do the same. It goes to show how far love and compassion go to heal lives of others. After this book, I just wanted to go save the world and tell everybody how special they are and work on my Christ-like love. It's a very humbling book and another true example of great people out in this world that do so much good for others with their charity and love.

The next books are more entertainment-type books than inspirational. First of all, I am a huge fan of the movie and book I Am Number Four, and I got to read the second book in the serious this past year: The Power of Six. This book is probably my favorite in the series (there are three now). It's hard to say too much about it if you aren't familiar with the story line, so I'll just say go read the first one and then this one. It's intense, and I knew it was good when I couldn't stop thinking about it even after I finished reading it. Read 'em. They're good!

I also really loved starting the Matched series. Probably because it reminds me a lot of Hunger Games (my favorite series ever), but instead of physical limitations, it dwells more on words, free expression, and choice limitations. There are beautiful passages in this novel and it also had me thinking about what life would really be like if our society is the same as in the book's. I can't wait to read the third one that just came out.

And last but not least, I loved The Name in The Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles #1).  I'll just copy and past my review of this one becuase it pretty much says it all: Boy did I love this book. I was sad when it was over and found myself hurrying to finish up tasks so I could get back to the story, and then sad when I realized I had already finished reading it. I found it has a similar outline to Harry Potter, except more adult, medieval, and less wizard-y. Definitely an epic novel in length and quality. And while it's the first in the series, the book wrapped up enough that you aren't dying, but are excited enough to look forward to the next one. 

I could never quite put my finger on why I loved it so much, I just know that I did. Unfortunately, my mom read the second one and she says it's no good. I haven't read it yet, so we'll see. I'll be very disappointed if it's as bad as she says.

So there's the majority of my five-star books of 2012. I'm excited to see what great reads I find in 2013. In fact it makes me giddy with excitement. I know I'm crazy, but every time I come out of the library with my bag full of books, I feel like I've won the lottery. But hey, at least it's a cheap form of happiness :)


  1. oh these are great! i needed some new ideas for books- thanks!

  2. I will have to read The Name of the Wind, especially if it is similar to Harry Potter, the best series in the world. Also, I have to get my hands on the 3rd book from I Am Number Four. For some reason, i always seems to forget about it when it is time for me to read a new book. Which is ridiculous seeing as that is one of my favorite series as well. Same with the matched series.

  3. I haven't read any of those...and I think I'll have too. I slacked off on my reading during the Christmas season because I was so busy with my projects. But, since then, I've finally picked up my books I'm supposed to be reading and I'll add those to my list! I'm surprised Rebecca didn't make it...hahaha. Great book picker I am! :)