Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking Back ... The Best of 2012


I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "Everyone has already made their 'best of' list. It's about time!" Well ... I'm moving at my own pace and it is my blog after all, so I figure I can post it whenever I decide to, right?! And I can also choose however many books to post on the list, so my Best of 2012 will top off at 15 books. (It was SO hard to even limit the list to 15!!!) And they are all A.MAZ.ING! If you haven't read them yet, you need to!

The Best of 2012
(in no particular order)

by Jen Turano

A Change of Fortune was just incredible! I found myself loathe to stop reading—even while desperately needing to go to sleep. And then when the book was almost over, I couldn't help but read as fast as I could yet wanting it to never end! Definitely the mark of a good book!

by Elizabeth Camden

I literally read the entire book in 6 hours. It was just that good! Elizabeth Camden has an amazing talent for writing stories and characters that come to life. At times I felt like I was part of the story.

by Julie Lessman

It's not often that I catapult an author to "favorite author" status after reading only one of his/her books, but Julie Lessman is definitely a new favorite! And the romance! [sigh] This is one romantic story. While it's definitely not an edgy book, the romance is ratcheted up a few notches to really show the passion and romance in all of the relationships.

by Laura Frantz

Love's Reckoning is so much more than a romance novel. Instead, it is an epic drama rife with sibling rivalry, troubled family relationships, secrets, betrayal, love, and faith. Frantz's descriptive writing style drew me into the story in a way that at times made it feel more like watching a movie than reading a book. The characters, settings, and conflicts really came alive.

by Lisa T. Bergren

 I absolutely devoured this book. The Christian element is strong—in that Cora is constantly being brought around to remember that God is teaching her through this—without being preachy. The only bad thing I can think to say is that the book is over and I have to wait until next spring for the next in the series!

by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen is a new-to-me author, and I’m so glad I took a chance on her with The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Klassen writes with great detail—her research process must be intense!—and does a beautiful job of making the setting, characters, and story truly come alive. I loved learning about the life of servants during this period and their relationship with the family. The story was intriguing as well, with enough questions and unknown elements to keep me curious as to the next turn the story would take.

by Cathy Gohlke

Cathy managed to tell the story of three individuals in a way that made it seem that they had been connected forever (and in some ways, I guess they were). The writing was incredible—powerful and descriptive and beautiful. Promise Me This is a beautiful story of loss, family, and God's faithfulness through tragedy.

by Dan Walsh

The Reunion was a powerful tribute to our Vietnam veterans. Walsh did a wonderful job creating characters that pulled me into the story and wrapped me up in the drama. At one point (very late in the night, I might add!), I had to stop reading to go in search of tissues as I was doing a full-on ugly cry, complete with hiccuping sobs. Let me just say it's been a long time since a book has affected me so deeply. This is a must-read!

by Becky Wade

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade reads like some of my favorite romantic comedy movies. You know the ones I'm talking about—the ones starring Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, and Sandra Bullock—the ones you own and still watch every time they come on TV. This story features ordinary people with real problems in realistic situations and brings readers alongside the characters to struggle through every emotion and situation that comes up.

by Beth K. Vogt

I'm a huge fan of romance stories, but this was so much more! It provided a perfect blend of romance and humor and I found myself actually getting giddy at times. The romance was just so . . . beautiful! Don't think this is just a sweet, sappy romance, though. Tough issues were addressed, and I loved the way Allison was forced to come to terms with the past—gotta love a persistent best friend! Christian themes were woven into the story without being preachy and made me really think.

by Robin Jones Gunn

 Cottage by the Sea is a poignant story about relationships, forgiveness, and redemption. I loved how Robin explored the special relationships between mothers and daughters and fathers and daughters. At times I could see glimpses of my relationship with my own parents through the story. While this was one of the more emotional books by Gunn that I've read, she didn't leave me "down" for long. Instead, I ended the book full of hope and satisfied by a beautiful story.

by Kristen Heitzmann

Breath of Dawn was dynamite from beginning to end!!! Heitzmann has a talent for writing stories that draw me in and grab on and this was no exception. Heitzmann isn't afraid to put her characters through the wringer and Morgan and Quinn certainly face some challenges. The romance is just perfect—giddy comes to mind. :) And of course there's a great element of suspense.

by Jody Hedlund

As far as debut novels go, this is one of the best I've read. The story is gripping from the very start and Jody does a fantastic job introducing characters (there are quite a few), explaining the political and religious affairs of the day, and describing the town of Bedford in such a way that you feel like you're walking through the community with a personal tour guide. The dialog was incredibly well-done as well . . . with a few "methinks" and "mayhaps" and "perchances" thrown so you don't forget that you're in England in the mid-1600s.

Unending Devotion
by Jody Hedlund

Jody does an amazing job of basing her novels on snippets of stories from ages gone by and developing them into a full-fledged story that captivates readers. Unending Devotion is a story from the past that brings much-needed attention to the issue of slavery, which still continues today. The combination of a "meaty" story with great romance and suspense is perfect and just what this reader loves most!

by Jordyn Redwood

Jordyn Redwood's debut novel Proof blew me away! I was impressed with how tight the writing was. She created an extremely intricate plot with tons of twists and surprises and kept me guessing as to the outcome and the logic behind it until the last few pages.

1 comment:

  1. i couldnt get into against the tide. kind of a bummer.

    ReplyDelete

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