Top 12 Tuesday! (For a change!)

So as promised, today I wanted to share my Top 12 Books of 2012! As I've previously mentioned I LOVE when authors do this, it usually sheds some light on new books or authors, hopefully it could also be a gift guide for some folks. I know I've featured some of these books before, but hey, they were my favorites, so without further adieu, here are my must reads from 2012:

The Island, by Elin Hilderbrand:
I would just like to say, for the record, I just discovered this author over the summer and I cannot believe I didn't know about her. I feel cheated! She is a STUNNING writer, if you haven't had the pleasure of enjoying one of her books, I urge you to get out there and pick one up. Since reading The Island, I devoured all of her other books over the summer and am anxiously awaiting a new release! Beware of a few things, she paints a gorgeous picture of Nantucket, you will want to drop everything and head for the nearest airport, the way she describes food makes your mouth water..every time and she completely pulls you into relationships and story lines as if it was your own life. Do yourself a favor and pick any of her books up! Also, very exciting (read: completely dorky) I entered a contest in July and won her newest book, I was pretty pleased about that, blogs and blogging community really are the best.

The Mystery of Mercy Close, by Mariam Keyes
I just finished this book quite recently. It was awesome, it follows Helen Walsh, which if you're a Keyes fan you know this is the youngest of the Walsh sisters. Helen is a private detective and gets into some pretty sticky situations as she searches for missing pop star Wayne, of the boy band, Laddz. The thing I found most powerful and intriguing in this book was the description of the depression Helen is dealing with. The author herself suffers from depression, so it felt very real and genuine. In the wake of the Newtown murders, more light needs to be shone on mental illness and disorders, such as depression. Its a very real thing and as Newtown showed us, it can happen to anyone. I cannot stop thinking about the children and the families affected by this terrible day, especially so close to the holiday's. It makes me feel sick to think about how scared those sweet little kids were, so confused and sadly, the suffering has only begun for them. Because of this shooting, many of the children, teachers, families and emergency services workers involved will suffered from PTSD, also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Just another thing to add to the laundry list of horrible outcomes of mental illness. I know I've rambled on long enough about this, I know everyone has an opinion about what should happen next, political or otherwise, so I will say one last thing, we need to realize that mental illness is serious and take the appropriate steps to start to help those people, people that need it the most and don't know how to ask for it because they can't understand or control why they feel the way they do.

Where We Belong, by Emily Giffin

Emily is by far one of my favorite authors. I remember tearing through "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue, while I was supposed to be studying for university exams (don't tell my parents). I've been in love with her writing ever since! "Where We Belong" did not disappoint me at all! I've always been intrigued by children that are adopted, more so into loving families, because I like a nice story. I've always wondered what that would feel like, growing up with 2 truly loving parents and knowing exactly where I came from is all I know. I feel like I would want to search, even I loved my adoptive parents, I would feel the need to know where I came from. This story is about just that, I won't give anything else away, but I truly thought it was a fantastic representation.

Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
The sequel to the bestseller "Divergent" was WICKED! I couldn't put it down, I already cannot wait for the third and final book to come out, but that will be another year!! Do yourself a favor and get them both, gift them, read them, whatever, you won't be disappointed.

Bossypants, by Tina Fey
Being a huge SNL fan, I have a deep love for Tina Fey. I was so excited to read her book, fairly so, she is awesome! She included hilarious pictures from her childhood and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times, while reading this little gem. It's also fairly interesting to read how people got to where they are. I wish she would reprise her role on SNL more!

Another Piece of My Heart, by Jane Green
Another one of my favorite authors and once again, I was blown away by her story telling ability. This story tells the difficult tale of the relationship between a father, his children and the new woman in his life. I cannot imagine how difficult this scenario can often be. I love stories written from different points of view, I love being able to side with 2 different people and understand both of their plights. This story was beautifully told and truly heartwarming

Summerland, by Elin Hilderbrand
I know I've already showcased one of her novels, but this one was so good as well, I had to mention it! This was the book I won from the blog! It was such a riveting novel, so many twists and turns, very hard to put down! This one, just like all of her other books, will give you the sensation of sand between your toes, sunshine beaming on your skin and the smells of the salty ocean air. Elin pays serious attention to detail and it pays off!

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

I read the Night Circus months ago, but I remember being taken away with the world the author creates. This book is so magical and stunning, it leaves you wanting to some how find this traveling circus and go immediately. I generally get the heebie jeebies from circus books, I don't know why, I didn't have a bad or weird experience. I just think of the creepy music and a clown or 2 and I am done. However, this wasn't your typical circus experience, it was magical. It was an awesome book club pick and I highly recommend it!

These Things Hidden, by Heather Gudenkauf
I cannot really even describe to you the awesomeness of this book. I also cannot tell the story without giving things away, so I will just say, do yourself a favor...read it. I read it in less then 2 days, I NEEDED to know what happened.

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare
I have really enjoyed this whole YA series, this was the fifth book and there is sadly only one left to come! In the general battle between good and evil, this story shines light on a whole underworld of darkness and the lengths that shadowhunters will go to protect the human race. The books are super well written and I was so excited to discover last night, that the movie is coming out in March! Woo hoo! I think these books are great for teens and adults alike!

I've Got Your Number, by Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella is my absolutely favorite, all time author. She brought the amazingness that was Shopaholic (please come out with a new one!) and every other stand alone novel has been equally as great! I've re-read her books over and over and still chuckle to myself or out loud, obnoxiously, at the situations the heroines seem to end up in! Sophie's newest books hits shelves right around my big day and is aptly titled "Wedding Night". Is that destiny or what?! I will be saving that bad boy for our mini-moon. Mr. wedding girl has bought me the last 2 books the day they came out, I say why mess with tradition!

The Expats, by Chris Pavone
Technically I haven't read this one yet, but it is high up there on my list! My new found love for the show "Homeland" has made me seriously want to pick up this book ASAP.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Talk about a twisted book. All I will say is I tore through this book, the plot twists are out of control and I couldn't stop reading. I won't even tell you the premise of this delightful read, I will just say ensure that you've left yourself ample time to read this, it would be great for a beachy vacation or a long commuter ride!

There you have it, my favorite books of 2012. I could have gone on forever, I loved Jennifer Weiner and Jen Lancaster's newest books. I adored "The Book Thief" and there have been many other books that I can't even remember right now, but I thought this would be a helpful gift guide of sorts, so I tried to be a little bit all over the place! Have you read and loved any of these books?!?

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