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Best YA Books Of 2012

Meet our #1 literary crushes of the year.

Best YA Books Of 2012

Y'all! The end of 2012 is nigh! Which means we have to start getting used to writing "2013" without feeling weird. It also means that it's time to make like The Sound of Music and start listing all of our favorite things!

Today, with utmost gravity and conviction, we bring you our top YA novels of the year. We are incredibly thankful for these books and their insanely talented authors, and if you haven't read some of them, YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.*

*Stop whatever you're doing, locate a copy of the book, read it then send us champ cans in appreciation because THAT BOOK HAS CHANGED YOUR LIFE. Obvs.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Jenny: This book!!!!  Seriously, THIS BOOK.  Set in a lush Virginia landscape, Stiefvater created a world with characters so rich I just want to grab an afghan blanket and curl up with them.  And find some dead people.

Posh: This is, hands down, my favorite book of 2012. Private school boys! Ancient mythology! A plucky and charmingly cantankerous heroine! I thought Stiefvater couldn't top The Scorpio Races, but her latest novel is even more wildly eccentric and impossibly romantic than I could have imagined. This is the kind of book that gets under your skin, seeps into your blood stream and gives you TEABS 4 LIFE.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Erin: Spooky, legit scary and most of all, fun, Libba's newest had me donning my best headache band and stepping out to refill my flash of coffin varnish. I fell deep into the world of Evie, Memphis, Theta, Mabel and all their Divining friends, and I can't wait to see where Libba Bray's cracked out mind takes us next.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland And Led The Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

Megan: The first Fairyland book was excellent and this sequel was no exception.  The series is shaping up to by my favorite for middle-grade and I feel it's only getting stronger as our protagonist September gets older.  One the outside, it seems a typical girl falls into an odd and magical realm story.  But under the surface, it's about family and friendship and growing up and loss and heartbreak and all of those good things.  I can't recommend it enough. 

The Princesses of Iowa by Molly Backes

Alix: Were you cool in high school? You probably weren't, right? Because almost no one who was cool in high school is cool now, and you must be cool if you're reading this site. Well Molly Backes--who was totally nerdy back in her teens, meaning that she's SUPER AWESOME today--would like you to know that those shitty feelings of misery, loneliness, and isolation you had as a nerdy teenager? It wasn't just you. Even the popular kids felt that way! Despite this being a debut novel with a plot that could potentially veer into the dangerous land of After School Specials, Backes manages to keep it grounded and real and raw and JUST READ IT ALREADY, K?

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Meghan: I was dubious about this book, since I loved Graceling (until the end) and unhappy does not begin to describe my feelings toward Fire, but Cashore not only restored my faith in humanity, she managed to awaken a deep love for her first two books. I wish it was possible to read this one first AND last, somehow simultaneously. The issues never felt like ISSUES, but they obviously are, Cashore continues to have a very healthy and realistic look at love, sex, and romance, and then there's the swoon potential. Oh, man, the swoon potential. 

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Posh: Ok, so this is an obvious choice. Only because it is so obviously AMAZING. John Green truly outdid himself with this intensely emotional, ridiculously whimsical, crazy inspiring story of a girl with cancer  (who isn't just "a girl with cancer") and a magical boy named Augustus Waters. You will laugh, you will cry, you will bawl your freaking eyes out. I love this book so much, I used a passage from it in my wedding ceremony. BOOM.

Ask The Passengers by A. S. King

Jenny: A. S. King  always delivers, and this beautiful, heartbreaking tale about one girl's journey to find herself is no exception.  If I could give the world one book this year, it'd be this one.

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Alix: This is SO beautifully written. I don't normally go for the more fantasy inclined books, but this one is exceptional. I didn't pimp it very hard in my review because I don't think it is everyone's cup of tea, but if you're even the slightest bit interested in either fantasy or theology, please give it a try! But know that I will be super sad if y'all don't love it as much as I did.

Small Damages by Beth Kephart

Meghan: I keep talking about this book to everyone I meet, but it is seriously AMAZING -- I even dreamed about it after reading it. It's delicious, not just because of the food, but because of the lazy, hazy way the story unfolds. The story's teased out slowly, like the sections of an orange, and is just as sweet and juicy and sticky. The setting is beautiful (southern Spain), the writing is incredible, and the story is full of all the feelings.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Posh: This story of two besties fighting the good fight during WWII is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking. If you're hungry for historical fiction, Elizabeth Wein delivers an unforgettable feast of adventure and enduring friendship. I'm still recovering from its dynamic heroines and nail-biting intensity and historic richness and EXCUSE ME, I'VE BEEN INSPIRED TO LIVE LIFE TO ITS FULLEST, BRB.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Jenny: The long awaited sequel to Blood Red Road totally lived up to its predecessor.  It's stark, thrilling, dangerous and delivers the swoon.

Ok, so we've raved long enough. Now it's YOUR turn, fellow YAngelists! Let us know your fave books of 2012 in the comments!

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).