My favourite YA novels published in 2012...

1. Slated - Teri Terry

Everything you want in a YA dystopian-thriller: a brilliant premise executed perfectly, a loveable cast of characters, a heroine you route for from page one AND a completely believable sort-of-not-quite-almost-nearly-romance. This novel will hold a fond spot in my heart for a long time to come.

2. Rebel Heart - Moira Young

Moira Young can do no wrong in my eyes. This book sweeps you away into another world that's believable and compelling. A real page turner, packed with plot.

3. The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

I can't praise this book enough. Maggie Stiefvater is an incredibly talented writer who has that rare gift of interspersing dry humour through even the most emotional scenes. The characters were excellent and each had their own arc that left you loving and routing for each of them in turn. The friendship between the Raven Boys was a real strength of the novel. Every detail in every scene was necessary; either developing a character or plot in some way (even when it initially didn't seem to be). This is the first Maggie Stiefvater novel I've read and I will definitely be reading more. Clever and completely absorbing.

4. Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver

It's not often that I like the second book in a trilogy more than the first. Lauren Oliver is such a skilled writer it was impossible for me not to adore this book. Cleverly structured, with the past and the present running concurrently, each chapter revealing another piece of Lena's puzzle. Saw the ending coming from a mile away but I didn't mind because everything else about the book was perfect!

5. Partials - Dan Wells

This is a fantastic book, though I feel the Young Adult label is a bit of a stretch. Other than starring teenage characters, the novel doesn't have that young adult "feel" to it, with a slightly slower pace and lengthier descriptions of scientific processes than you'd expect from your average YA sci-fi. That said, it was excellent. Vivid, exciting, complex and well explored. My main criticism is that info-dumping is quite heavy in the first chapter and there are several info dumpy conversations throughout, though the unique voices of the cast of characters more than make up for that. I'm also convinced that think the book would have been stronger if the last chapter didn't exist. Despite that, a brilliant book.

6. Between Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys

This is one of those books that I immediately recommended to everyone, regardless of whether they read young adult or not. I read the last chapter whilst walking home from the bus stop crying! One word: haunting.

7. Shift - Em Bailey

I can't say enough good things about this book! Usually I can see a twist coming from a mile away but this one totally shocked me. Olive was an excellent character with such a brilliant, authentic voice I was routing for her from page one. The book was structured cleverly; during the first half we follow Olive as she tries to uncover the truth about Miranda, then spend the second half helpless as Olive, herself, is brain-washed. Strong, concise writing with a thrilling a plot.

8. BZRK - Michael Grant

Wow. The creativity that went into this book was astounding. Such an original novel and totally spot on in terms of geekiness vs action. Michael Grant is the king of getting lots of ideas on the page in as few words as possible. So much happens in BZRK it's hard to believe it's a stand alone.

9. The Other Life - Susanne Winnacker

A neat, compact novel that gripped me from start to finish. Fast-paced with a surprisingly touching romance. 

10. Cinder - Marissa Myer

I love cyborgs. I don't love steampunk though, and I felt that all the cinderella aspects of the novel let it down. Weird, I know, since that's the whole reason most people pick it up, but it felt gimmicky and unnecessary and otherwise detracted from an awesome novel that was beautifully constructed.