Google+ YA Romantics: Freebie Friday 27: My Favorite YA Paranormal and Historical Reads of 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Freebie Friday 27: My Favorite YA Paranormal and Historical Reads of 2012



Welcome to Freebie Friday!

2012, where have you gone? Tomorrow is the first day of December. The holiday carols are already playing in stores. I decided it's time to start looking back on my favorite YA books of 2012.

I'll be doing a Top Ten of 2012 post later on, but for the next three Fridays, I'll be telling you about some of my favorite reads of the year as I try to narrow things down. 
Today, I'll list my favorite YA Historical Fiction and YA Paranormal books published in 2012.
On December 7, I'll turn to the YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic and Fantasy genres
On December 14, I'll look at Realistic/Contemporary YA Fiction.

And, of course, you're encouraged to tell me what you think in comments. And win :) The contest portion will run a little differently. I'll use a Rafflecopter and keep it open for the next three weeks. You can enter once each week by commenting. Then on Monday, December 17, I'll draw two winners who can choose ANY one book from the three lists. Open internationally!

Historical Fiction: I love historical fiction. As I was looking through my list, I zeroed in on books that had the right blend of historical detail, vivid characters, and a page-turning plot. I like enough research so that I learn something new, but not so much that the story bogs down under the weight of it.


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein The Diviners by Libba Bray pic name

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion)

Wow -- this is a powerful book. It's the story of a spy plane that crashes in Nazi occupied France with two best friends aboard. Code Name Verity has a creative narrative structure, tons of historical detail, and characters that will win -- and break -- your heart.
My review of Code Name Verity is here!

The Diviners by Libba Bray (Little Brown BYR)

This book could also go in the Paranormal category below, but I think this story of a party girl with paranormal abilities really shines as historical fiction. You know those historical novels that seem dry as dust? The Diviners is not one of them. Yes it's wickedly long, but also wickedly fun.
 I reviewed the audiobook of The Diviners here.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin)

The story of Ismae, a teen assassin nun in fifteenth-century Brittany. Yes, I said assassin nun. Need I say more?
 Grave Mercy -- my review here.

Paranormal Romance: Ah, the swoony pararnomal romance. I don't care what anyone says -- these books are SO much fun to read! What do I want to see in my paranormals? Characters that move me, at least a little romance, and some mindbending paranormal skills.


Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan Everneath by Brodi Ashton Slide by Jill Hathaway
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Hallowed by Cynthia Hand Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan (Random House)
This is the most literary of my paranormal choices -- a beautifully written story of selkie love and revenge.
Brides of Rollrock Island -- my review is here. 

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Balzer + Bray)
I'm a sucker for underworld stories, angry girls and angst. Everneath has all three!
 My review of Everneath 

Slide by Jill Hathaway (Balzer + Bray)
One of my favorite YA mysteries of the year! It has a super-cool premise, an appealing heroine, and a friends-to-romance relationship.
Slide -- check out my review here!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)  (Simon and Schuster)
Whoa -- this book is off the rails -- just crazy, spooky fun.
Read my review of The Evolution of Mara Dyer here!

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand (HarperTeen)
I'm not always so keen on angels, but this heavenly series has won me over!
I reviewed Hallowed by Cynthia Hand here.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead (Razorbill)
Oh, Sydrian. How I adore you.
My review of Golden Lily is here.
And want to challenge yourself to some Bloodlines trivia? The questions start here.
So, to enter my three-week Favorites of 2012 Freebie Friday Extravaganza, leave a comment. Do you agree with any of my choices? Want to make your own list?  Open internationally and as explained above, two winners will be drawn on December 17 and they can each pick any one of the books I've featured over the three weeks.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

117 comments:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway! Love the book choices and I've been dying to read Grave Mercy. Hopefully I read it soon!

    -Riz Bulatao

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  2. Yes, Code Name Verity is the best! And Everneath is probably my favorite paranormal of the year (I'll have to examine my archives to confirm that).

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  3. I haven't read any of these! I don't really do historical fiction, but i think my favourite paranormal romance his year is 'spark' by brigid kemmerer (if that counts as paranormal romance?)

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  4. All but the first in paranormal romance are on my to-read list. I really got into finding new books this year and it ended up swamping my TBR list :P Hopefully I'll have some time in 2013 to catch up on these :)

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    1. Yep, always playing catch-up. I need more vacations!

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  5. Loved this list! I haven't read not a one - but I don't tend to read books in the same year they're published. BUT I'm dying to read The Diviners & Code Name Verity.

    Tanya PatriceGirlxoxo.com

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  6. This is a great list! A lot of them I have been meaning to read but haven't had the chance. I completely agree with Hallowed on your list. And I usually don't read historical fiction, but that is probably silly of me since the couple I have read I completely loved. I see so much buzz with Code Named Verity. I just might have to give it a shot. :)

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  7. i haven't read any of these but i really hope to get grave mercy one day it's on my wishlist

    thank you a lot for the giveaway

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  8. I love this list! I'm ususally not big on historical romance, but for some reason, I love historical romance in YA! I can't wait to get my hands on Grave Mercy and Everneath!!!

    Jolene A

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  9. I haven't read any of these, thank you for the giveaway. Fingers crossed this time ;)

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  10. Great choices :) I have yet to read any of these myself but they are on my tbr list ! thank you for the giveaway :)

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    1. Yay -- glad I picked some books that not everyone has read.

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  11. I'm reading Grave Mercy now and am about halfway through. SO GOOD. I can't believe I waited this long to read it, but I'm glad I got the audio... less intimidating, even though the narrator is just okay.

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  12. I had never really been into historical fiction before, but I am discovering that I totally love it! I just finished The Diviners and it was amazing!! I loved Grave Mercy too!!

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    1. Love when I try new things and they're great :)

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  13. I need to try and make a list as well... one thing I noticed was that I was reading sad books (like dystopian and drama ones) and a lot of series... and I need a lot to read more standalones... I think I will start making my own list for a post to be on le blog until the end of December ^^ - together with my discussion regarding series, standalones and guilty pleasureable books lol

    And, from your list, I'm dying to read Mara Dyer's series... heard/read it is freaking awesome!

    And, of course, thanks for the giveaway xD

    Ana Death Duarte @anaeileendeath

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    1. I agree that it's good to have balance. I was reading a lot of dystopian books and really needed a break from that!

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  14. I have The Diviners on my shelf, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet because it is SO big. I have heard good things though, so I can't wait to read it!

    I haven't read any of the paranormal romances, but I did read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and loved it, so The Evolution of Mara Dyer is up next. I need to know what happens next for Mara and Noah!

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  15. GRAVE MERCY was tough at first. I think the length overwhelmed me, but then the story kicked in and I was hooked.

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    1. I understand. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the long ones!

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  16. They all look great. I think that I would choose The Diviners. I love Lbbra Bray. But I am suggesting these titles to my book club. Thank you

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  17. These books are almost all on my TBR but I didn't have the chance to read any of them. These are all amazing books that I can't wait to read

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  18. I agree with your choices! Great books picked :) Ive read some of these.

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  19. I LOVED the diviners, it was simply great! Love your picks!

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  20. I loved Grave Mercy and The Evolution of Mara Dyer was freaking amazing!

    Thanx for having this giveaway!

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  21. i'm gonna be honest and say i'm not big into historical books. However, Grave Mercy is high on my to-read list! Oh, and paranormal books...LOVE them!

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  22. ALL great picks. There are only two I haven't read yet from your list! My fave historicals: The Diviners, Grave Mercy, and The Springsweet. Fave paranormal romance? That's too hard to narrow down, but I agree with all of your choices, except the first, and that's only 'cause I haven't read that one yet. I think Evolution might be my fave though...we'll have to see once I finish the last 100 pages I have left. Can't wait to discuss all of the epic craziness in that book!

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  23. This seems like a great list! I haven't read any of them yet (so sad, I know), but a bunch of them are on my to-read list (getting and reading Code Name Verity is my #1 priority right now!), and Grave Mercy and Brides of Rollrock Island are sitting on my floor! Can't wait to start them :)

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  24. I loved The Diviners, Code Name Verity, and Brides of Rollrock Island! Clearly, you have very good taste. :) I'll check out more of your recommendations - thanks!

    Lisa W.

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  25. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    I LOVED Hallowed and The Diviners! Grave Mercy was awesome!!!!

    I'd also add Born Wicked, which is both historical and paranormal!

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  26. I am 100% with you about Bloodlines and Mara Dyer! For the others I can't say because I haven't read them but I think I'll try Unearthly!

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  27. Thank you! The Brides of Rollrock island looks awesome!

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  28. Grave Mercy and The Diviners both sounds like incredible read.

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  29. Sad to say I haven't read most of what you listed. I will have to get on them. I did read and love The Golden Lily. Other favorite YA paranormals that I read this year would be Amy Plums Die For Me trilogy (well two of them) and Shine by Jerri Ready Smith.

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  30. I'm not much of a historical reader. I think the only one I have read and liked recently is Venom. I am thinking about trying The Diviners. Paranormal romance is more my thing! Way too many favorites but of course The Golden Lily is up at the top! ADRIAN! I also enjoyed Slide, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and the Unearthly series. I still need to read Everneath! I've had it on my shelf since January. I loved The Immortal Rules, Every Day, Before I Wake, Dearly Beloved, Darkness Before Dawn, Touch & Toxic,

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  31. Thank you for an awesome giveaway! I am sad to say that I have yet to read any of those books... but I will tell you that a few of my favorite's are:
    City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
    Fallen - Lauren Kate
    The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
    Night World Series - L.J. Smith
    Wings - Aprilynn Pike

    And many more.. lol

    Thanks again & Good luck everyone!! :D

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  32. Oh, I loved the Golden Lily. Soooooo good!

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  33. Nice choices. I still have yet to read some of them, but I have read most of them. They are all good. I LOVED Everneath. :D

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  34. I really loved Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. Great list!! I cannot wait to read the Evolution of Mara Dyer :D

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  35. I totally agree with you on so many of these books!! I loved Everneath, Grace Mercy and The Golden Lily. Loved everything about them!

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  36. I love your choices. Everneath and Grave MErcy FTW. I have Code Name on my shelf and I CAN'T wait to read it!!!! Divingers I need to get my hands on that fat books. HAha Great picks!

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  37. Oh, especially love the first three you have mentioned: Code Name Verity, The Diviners and Grave Mercy! I think The Diviners is my fave:)

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  38. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I would really like to win The Diviners. I have heard such great things about this story.

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  39. I have to read Grave Mercy still, but I've heard how awesome it was. And of course The Golden Lily was my top favorite book of 2012 just because I adore Richelle Mead and her characters.

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

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  40. Grave Mercy was definitely one of my favorites this year!! I'm not usually one for historical fiction, but it blew my mind. Great pick!

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  41. Awesome list and thanks for another great giveaway! I've read a lot of awesome books this year and though they might not make it onto my favorites list, it's still nice to give them a shout out! Loved Hallowed, Everneath and The Golden Lily, I can't wait to see them continued :)

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  42. I haven't read any of your choices for best historical fiction. However, I just purchased Grave Mercy this week and have the Diviners on my wish list. My favorite paranormal romance of this year has been The Evolution of Mara Dyer hands down. However, I have a feeling once I read The Golden Lily, I will love it too since I enjoyed the entire Vampire Academy Series and Bloodlines. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  43. I've read a couple of your choices. Grave Mercy sounds really good.

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  44. I like your choises i have read some of them.

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  45. I still have not read CODE NAME VERITY. I want to though.

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  46. Nice choices! I have yet to read Code Name Verity, but every time I see it, i really want to :P

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  47. So this will be my chance to win and read the Diviners. I love the first list. I have read a lot of reviews about it and it's good.

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  48. I still haven't read The Divners but I will, I promise! Of course you know I loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer but I also loved Everneath and I've read Hallowed but for the life of me I can't remember what happens! Great choices! I hope 2013 will be just as good or better!

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  49. I've been afraid to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer and I really want to read Code Name Verity ;) I'm glad you found so many great paranormal reads this year!

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  50. I absolutely loved Grave Mercy, and I have The Diviners but I'm going to have to wait until school's done this semester before I can get into that beast of a book!

    I desperately want to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer! Hopefully it'll be as amazing as the first book!

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  51. I love this list! So many amazing books!

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  52. I'm more of the paranormal romance type of girl than historical fiction. But I have Grave Mercy on my shelf, and I'm gonna read it soon. Because it seriously sounds kickass. ;) And yes, Everneath would have made my list too! :) It was awesome, and I'm dying for Everbound! Still can't believe I haven't read TGL yet. Soul Screamers would have made my list too- so here comes the part where i start bugging you to read them. (Because trust me, you'll love it!)

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  53. I haven't read many of those books but I loved Grave Mercy! I'm a fan of books set in that time era and I like the little bits of action here and there.

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  54. Greta list! I LOVED The Golden Lily, Grave Mercy and Hallowed. I really want to read Code Name Verity, Diviners and Brides of Rollrock Island.

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    1. Great*
      It's clear I shouldn't be typing comments when I've only had 3 hours sleep. ;P

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    2. Ha -- you should see some of my typos. You can always blame autocorrect, since that also mangles my words...

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  55. I got The Brides of Rollrock Island this week and I want to read Grave Mercy,The Diviners and Code Name Verity. I adore Sydrian and the hot cowboy-Tucker.

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  56. I've not read any of those books but I can't wait to buy me a copy of Slide. I just can't resist a friends-to-romance relationship :)

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  57. Great book choices! I'm dying to read Hallowed and The Golden Lily.

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  58. I am trying to read the Diviners again! You were right...it is so long and popular that I had to return it to the library before I got past the first chapter! Ah, procrastination! Thanks for the great giveaway. For all the book I have read i didn't manage to get to many of these. Slide is one on the TBR that I really want to get to! Maybe I finally will!

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  59. Grave Mercy is on it's way to my loving arms! :D But judging the mail pace here, I'll have to wait for a few more weeks. Still it's worth waiting.

    All the book choices are just awesome. Dying to read Hallowed.

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  60. Those are some great picks I also really enjoyed Grace Mercy, and The Golden Lily. I can't wait to read The Evolution of Mara dyer though, I hope its just as awesome as the first =)

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  61. Awesome picks all around and I will tell you a secret, later this month my top ten YA list for 2012 will post and my #1 pick Grave Mercy..ssh don't tell...LOL

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  62. Thanks for the giveaway! I love a lot of these books too!

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  63. i loved everneath. Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan would b awesome 2 hav

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  64. I absolutely loved Hallowed and The Golden Lily!

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  65. I haven't read any of these books, I'm such a slacker! I enjoyed Unearthly but I haven't gotten around to reading any more of the series yet. I'm really looking forward to reading Slide and The Diviners!

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  66. Your list is great! Most of them are on my TBR list!

    Suz Reads

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  67. I read Grave Mercy and it's one of my favorite book on your list. I can't wait for the sequel to come out.

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  68. I was a huge fan of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and am so excited to read the second book, especially after reading your review. Need me some more Noah Shaw! :P

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  69. Slide and the Diviners sound like my kind of books. ;)

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  70. I love Grave Mercy! When I first saw the book, I thought it was a pretty big book! But after I finished reading it, I wished it was bigger. LOL

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  71. I haven't had a chance to read some of these books yet, but there are a couple on my to-read list. :)

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  72. I usually love historical fiction (the settings and costumes are fabulous), but I haven't gotten around to many this year :(
    Looking forward to hopefully catching up a bit!

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  73. I LOVED Grave Mercy! One of my favorites this year! :)

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  74. I love Rachel Caine's Morganville series and Cassandra Clare's City of Bones series.

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  75. I met the author of Grave Mercy and Hallowed. Oh my gosh, Golden Lily!! I want to read Slide and Everneath. Such hype on those books. This post has a lot of the books I want!

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  76. I really want to read Everneath! :) Grave Mercy & The diviners are also high on my TBR list.

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  77. I haven't read Grave Mercy, but for all the comments sounds really awesome!! I like golden lily.

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  78. Sounds like Grave Mercy is going on by TBR List(:

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  79. I'm reading The Diviners right now and am almost finished...and I LOVE it so much! Libba Bray's writing reminds me of Maggie Stiefvater's in some ways, and I love all of her books too :)

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  80. Grave Mercy blew me away! It is still a fave. Can't wait for Dark Triumph! The Diviners was wonderful. I liked Slide and Everneath, and I love The Golden Lily! Hallowed is awesome. That whole series is a personal fave. And I can't wait for The Evolution! Thanks for the post!

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  81. Just added SLIDE to my TBR list on goodreads! never heard of it before so thank you! ^.^

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  82. I'm not so into Historical Fiction but I should give it another try. I like the paranormal genre more and I would love to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer. Heard so much raves about that sequel.

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  83. I love the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand, I just recently read the novella, Radiant, was will be a good back story for the next book!

    I have had Grave Mercy sitting on my shelf forever, I really need to get that read!

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  84. I started reading The Diviners, but I have yet to finish it because it's my last semester in college. But I can't wait to finish it, I love Libba Bray! Historical fiction seems to be my weakness lately, especially YA. Great choices!

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  85. I really loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer :D I think it is one of my favorites of this year. I can't wait for the third book

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  86. I'm not that familiar with the historical genre yet, but I've been reading a lot of paranormal books! Hallowed was also one of my favorites this year and I'm dying to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer. I read the first book and it was amazing!

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  87. Grave Mercy is one of my favorite books of all time. So happy it made this list! I can't wait to finally read Code Name Verity, and I would love to get my hands on The Brides of Rollrock Island.

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

    Bekka
    Pretty Deadly Reviews

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  88. Great list! I don't think I would change a thing on here!

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  89. I haven't read several of these, but love your list. More books to add to my tbr list - yeah! ;)

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  90. I am not really a fan of historical fiction though I'm trying to expand my literary horizons. I haven't even heard of Code Name Verity till recently and I would love to read it. It sounds like an amazing read and I loved reading your review. The Diviners intimidate me but I've been wanting to read a book by Libba Bray for the longest while.

    I've got the first book in the Mara Dyer and Unearthly series. I've been dying to read these but I want to own the sequels before I start them. This is a great list, I feel my TBR increasing again! :D

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  91. I LOVE the Golden Lily! Adrian,A-D-R-I-A-N *gushes*. I really want to read Hallowed and The EVolution of Mara Dyer... I just can't buy them yet *sigh*

    I do love The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Nevermore by Kelly Creah is really interesting too.

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  92. Great list! :) Some of my favorite historical and paranormal romance reads this year would have to be Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Grave Mercy, Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst and Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey :)

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  93. Woaaaah, lots of great books. I love historical fiction, but mainly books like Bright Young Things and Vixen by Jillian Larkin, those are books about flappers. I've only heard good things about Code Name Verity though.

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  94. Thanks so much for this giveaway! To be honest, I haven't read any of these books, though I've heard brilliant things about Grave Mercy, the Diviners, and Code Name Verity., I'll definitely be checking them out this upcoming year.

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