Google+ YA Romantics: Freebie Friday 28: My Favorite Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic and Fantasy YA of 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Freebie Friday 28: My Favorite Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic and Fantasy YA of 2012



Welcome to Freebie Friday!

Last week I started telling you about some of my favorite reads of the year.

This week, I'm talking about the YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic and Fantasy genres!

If you missed last week's post YA Historical Fiction and YA Paranormal books, you can find that here.

On December 14, I'll look at Realistic/Contemporary YA Fiction.

And, of course, you're encouraged to tell me what you think -- 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 comment on each of the three posts to win. Then on Monday, December 17, I'll draw two winners who can choose ANY one book from the three lists. If my choice is second or third in a series, the winner can substitute an earlier book in that series. Open internationally!


As my regular blog readers know, I'm not a huge fantasy reader. I wish I'd had time to read Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta before I wrote this post -- they might have made this list! But these two books have what I look for in a fantasy: rich worldbuilding that's balanced out by a strong plot and characters.


Crown of Embers by Rae Carson Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson (Greenwillow)

You can find my review of Crown of Embers here.

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor (Little, Brown)  

My review of Days of Blood and Starlight is here.

Now we'll move to dystopian and post-apocalyptic YA. As a result of the success of the Hunger Games, the YA market has been flooded with dystopic fiction and, as a result, when I read this genre I often get the "been there, done that" feeling. But these books are smart, original AND fun to read. Because everything is better with zombies!  Yeah, just checking to see if you're paying attention...

Fever by Lauren DeStefano The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Fever (Wither #2) by Lauren DeStefano (Simon & Schuster)


The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna (Balzer + Bray)


This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (St Martin's)


The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (Hyperion)
This one releases December 18 and I'm reviewing it next week!

So, what do you think of my choices? What would you name as your favorite YA fantasy, dystopian and post-apocalyptic reads of 2012?

To enter to win any of the books mentioned in this post OR any mentioned last week OR any that I'll mention next week, just fill out the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brandi at Blkosiner's Book Blog is also doing a Freebie Friday -- you can check hers out here!

117 comments:

  1. Although my review of it was originally neutral, the more I think about it, the more favorably I feel toward Shadow and Bone. I really loved the atmosphere and the romances. That would have to be up there for my fantasy reads of the year. I also really really need to pick up Crown of Embers since the first book was such a fun read.

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    1. That's another one I haven't read, but I've heard really good things about it!

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  2. Loved This Is Not A Test! Seriously, loved that book soo much!

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  3. i'm not really interested in those...i'm not really into apocalist book and i'm not sure i've read a distopian book yet ( not really tempted either)

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    1. That's okay -- if you do win you can choose from any of last week's books or any of next week's!

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  4. Some of these have been on my TBR list for a bit; I will have to look into the ones that aren't! :)

    Thanks for sharing.

    Brandy @ A Little of the Book Life

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  5. I loved The Lost Girl and Fever. Haven't read any of the others. I'm not a big fantasy reader either. Barely read bits and pieces of Throne of Glass. I'm excited to try Shadow & Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Falling Kingdoms. I read a ton of dystopians last year but barely any this year. I really have none that stand out except the usual suspects like Pandemonium, Unravel Me, and Dearly Beloved.

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    1. I would think you'd like Throne of Glass. There was a lot of action and romance -- it wasn't too heavy on the fantasy elements.

      Just started Falling Kingdoms!

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    2. I did kind of like the romance but hated how it ended. Hated Chaol! And he seems to have lots of fans?! I love me a Prince!!!!! But I was bored and basically only read the Prince Dorian parts. I might pick up the next one just to read the Prince Dorian parts again lol

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    3. The Prince? That spoiled pretty boy? Noooooooo!

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  6. Shadowfell, Throne Of Glass, are the two that first came to my mind! I'm sure there was more..thanks!

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    1. I've heard good things about Shadowfell and I did enjoy Throne of Glass (see above!)

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  7. Shadow&Bone was probably one of the best fantasy books I've read this year. I just finished reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone and it was awesome! (thank you for the book! =D ) I've heard a lot of great things about This Is Not a Test but haven't read it yet. Crown of Embers & Days of Blood and Starlight are definitely on my TBR list.

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    1. All right, I promise to try to read Shadow and Bone!

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  8. I have seriously got to read Days of Blood and Starlight... but I'm afraid... will the end kill me??? Also... I am now dying to read Darkest Minds.

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  9. I just read GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. Can't wait to read the next one.

    UNDER THE NEVER SKY was my favorite 2012 dystopian.

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  10. I haven't read any of these yet, but I'd really like to read Fever and The Lost girl might be quite interesting to me too.

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    1. Loved both of those! Hope you try The Lost Girl out!

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  11. I've only read a few of the books mentioned but they all sound amazing! Adding some more to my TBR list...

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  12. I've only read one of the books you listed (The Darkest Minds), but practically every other one is in my TBR pile! I'm particularly dying to read The Lost Girl. I've heard nothing but GREAT things about that book!

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    1. What did you think of it? I'm trying to gather my thoughts for my review.

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  13. I can ony agree with you on the Crown of Embers because it's the only book I also read! My favorite YA fantasy is Inheritance. My favorite dystopia: The Hunger Games. As for post-apocalyptic books, I haven't read any!

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  14. YA fantasy is Defiance by CJ Redwine, Dystopian is Insurgent and post apocalyptic is Ashen Winter!! Also loved Angelfall by Susan Ee, its epic!!!

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    1. I liked Defiance but wanted more worldbuilding. And I guess I'd call that one fan-dystopic or something!

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  15. I'm reading The Darkest Minds right now and I'm really enjoying it. :) My picks: fantasy - Crown of Embers and Days of Blood & Starlight are tied...sooooooo good [Throne of Glass and Shadow & Bone are close runners-up, but Seraphina wasn't as good for me...maybe it had something to do with the fact that I didn't like the audiobook narrator (I am just not a fan of Justine Eyre)], dystopian - Pandemonium or What's Left of Me, and post-apocalyptic - This is Not a Test or Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick...love me some zombies! :D Also, I was disappointed with Fever until about the last quarter or so...it just didn't have the same vibe for me that Wither did. Still excited for Sever, though. :) I'm sure in a couple of minutes I'll remember another one I want to add to my list. It's never complete! :P

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    1. I know. As soon as I get the list made I want to change it around!

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  16. Shatter Me was one of my favorite dystopian reads. Loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone too!

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  17. I don't even know if I could pick a favorite. I am struggling with making my lists for the Top Ten of 2012 posts. I really enjoyed The Lost Girl. I still need to read Days of Blood and Starlight, Fever and This is Not A Test. I think maybe one of the dystopians that has stuck with me the most this year was Pure. That was so dark and creepy, but I was so lost in it.

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  18. Very nice choices I also really enjoyed Fever!

    I think my favorite Fantasy novels were Shadow and Bone and Throne of Glass but my favorite dystopian was Fever ^^

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  19. So yeah, The entire Lumatere Chronicles makes by best of fantasy list for 2012 (because I read the entire series this year!) Girl, you must get on Froi and Quintana! I am telling you, you are going to be smacking yourself for not doing it earlier! And Seraphina is great too!

    I'm trying to write a coherent review of Days of Blood and Starlight for next week. It's probably going to be one of THOSE posts: the really long, gushy type. My apologies in advance.

    Of course I agree with The Crown of Embers, as well The Lost Girl. And the Shatter Me series. I really want to read The Hallowed Ones soon!

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    1. Why is all fantasy so LONG?? That is what is keeping me from reading more.
      And glad you loved DoBaS too!!

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  20. I loved The Lost Girl,Angelfall,The Hallowed Ones and This Is Not a Test. I still haven't read Fever(but I did pre-order it along with Sever in PB. Should be here in February) and Days of Blood and Starlight but I want to.
    When I look now at my GR reading challenge I've spent most of this year reading contemporary and indie titles.

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  21. I'm not much of a fantasy reader either, but since I'd heard a lot of good things about Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I decided to give it a try. I haven't gotten very far in into it yet. It's good, but it's not a book that I just can't put down. I'm hoping I fall in love with it soon! I've been wanting to read The Hallowed Ones too. Amish and vampires? It sounds interesting!

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  22. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    My favorite YA fantasy is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - but I absolutely love Crown of Embers and Laini Taylor's.

    My favorite dystopian is the Wither series too. It's a different dystopian, which isn't just action-focused.:)

    Thank you:)

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  23. I haven't read any of those dystopian books yet. But of the ones I have I enjoyed Divergent & Insurgent, Reached (Book 3 in Matched Trilogy), and Swiped & Sneak by Evan Angler...

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  24. I haven´t read Days of Blood and Starlight but I read the first one and can wait to read the secon one. I like your choises

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  25. I haven't read any of those but they are all on my wishlist! The first and only dystopian book I have read is The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse. I really enjoyed it and am now anxious to get my hands on some more

    Jolene A

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  26. I can't wait to read Days of blood and staarlight. Almost all these books are on my TBR pile. I really enjoy the Divergent series and The demon hunters series.

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  27. lol is it sad that I haven't read any of the books you've mentioned?? I want to though! I really do!!
    Anyway, my favorite Dystopians are The Hunger Games, and Divergent.

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  28. My favorite fantasy was Days of Blood & Starlight, I think.
    Some favorite dystopian/post-apocalyptic were Under the Never Sky, Partials, and Breathe.

    Thanks!

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  29. I very much loved SHADOW and BONE and I also enjoyed SANCTUM by Sarah Fine. Lastly, I'd definitely say I liked FALLING KINGDOMS. Does that count since it is high fantasy? haha

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  30. I completely agree with your choices!! I haven't read Days of Blood and Starlight yet - but I can't wait! I also really liked Crewel and Struck.

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  31. It is awful but I haven't read any of those! So bad of me cause I love dystopians at the mo! My favourites of 2012 would have to be 'What's left of me' by Kat Zhang, Renegade by J A Souders, and 'whispers in autumn' and 'winter omens' by Trisha Leigh (cannot wait for the next one!).
    It's not been a good year for me fantasy-wise, the only one I loved was 'Throne of Glass' by Sarah Maas.
    I cannot wait to read 'This is not a test'!
    Love your lists :)

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  32. Love your list! I can't wait to read Days of Blood and Starlight and I'm reading Fever now and it's great! The dystopian books that I read in 2012 and liked the best are Wither and Fever by Lauren DeStefano!

    Suz Reads

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  33. Love this list. I have not read any of them but the covers are beautiful and the story lines seem really good. Even though some of these were released before 2012, I did not read them until this year:

    Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
    Illusions and Destined by Aprilynne Pike

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  34. I'm really excited to read Seraphina as well; I think it's going to be a great one! I don't know if I really have favourites of 2012 in these categories... I've spent this year catching up on older books more so than reading new ones. I'll definitely have to check out the ones on your list though! :)

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  35. I'm a huge sucker for dystopian, even the ones that feel "been there, done that" :P
    I think Cinder was my favorite this year

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  36. Dystopia? Totally the best ever! I LOVE Poison Princess though thatt not really Dystopia. More post apocalyptic..meh

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  37. I really need/want to read The Days of Blood and Starlight. I love Laini's books! As for Dystopia, well my first and favorite is the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. It was my first time reading this genre and I was hooked!!

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  38. It is really sad that Fever is the only one I have read from here. *sigh* I was 'trying' to make my lists yesterday and kept thinking of books that would probably be on mine of I had read them! lol I have a lot of catching up to do.

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  39. Loved Darkest minds... and imho, for the most part, everything is better without zombies, lol.

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  40. I really want to read The Crown of Embers and This is Not a Test. They've been on my TBR list for a while now.

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  41. Daughter of shadow and bone was my favourite, too!!!! GREAT choice!

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  42. I haven't read any of the books that you mentioned. However, This is not a Test, The Hallowed Ones, and Darkest Mind are all on my Wishlist. I am not a fan of fantasy books. However I love post Apocalyptic and Dystopian books. My favorite Post apocalyptic books this year were Poisen Princess and Outpost. My favorite Dystopians were Pandemonium and Insurgent.

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    1. I'm trying to read more fantasy and really enjoying it!

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  43. Favorite one? Hmm....Insurgent. I don't think I've read any Apocalyptic books. Fantasy books: Shadow and Bone and Bitterblue. And then there's probably a billion more I can't remember. :D

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    1. Yeah, the post-apocalyptic ones kind of scare me!

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  44. I've only read This is Not a Test, and that's by far my favorite book this year! It's just different from my style of books, and I was engrossed in it :)
    The rest look really cool though. I need to check those out!

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  45. I haven't read all of the ones you mentioned but I really enjoyed Fever, Divergent and Insurgent. Cinder and The Darkest Minds top my list of want to reads.

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    1. I enjoyed all of those -- hope you get to read them soon!

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  46. My favorite YA novel was Holly Black's Black Heart.

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  47. Fanatsy and pot apocalyptic are so my favorite genres! I loved The Hallowed Ones and This Is Not A Test. I really, really want to read The Girl of Fire and Thorns. It looks so good!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

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  48. <3 The Hallowed Ones! I also LOVED Days of Blood and Starlight!!

    I honestly can't say what my favourites of the year are because I read too many awesome books in these genres to pick from!

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  49. I won the book Fever but haven't gotten the first book yet. I love the cover though. And the book itself is PINK!! Can't go wrong with that. I just hope the book is also good.

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  50. Ah, I'm dying to read the Hallowed ones. I've been trying so hard to win it.. but no such luck as yet.

    The best book I enjoyed this year was, besides Grave Mercy, was Divergent. it blew me away.

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  51. I have still not read THE HALLOWED ONES. I need to bump it up the list I think.

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  52. I still haven't read DOBAS! :/ Argh, I want to so bad! And Fever was okay, but it was a tad disappointing after Wither's awesomeness. The Demon Trapper's Daughter is a pretty good dystopian! And I think Bitterblue is my favorite fantasy for the year. :)

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  53. I love this genre! The best book I've read this year has to be Divergent and The immortal rules :) This is not a test & The lost girl; I really want to read those two. I have a copy from The lost girl but I haven't got the time yet. I'm definitely going to read it next year.
    Fever & The hallowed ones also sound great and from the first two books you've mentioned, I still need to read the first book :)

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  54. Great picks! :D I finished to read Girl of Fire and Thorns last week and I LOVE it. Fortunately the second book in the series is already out and I'm going to dive into it next week. >_<

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  55. I loved Divergent and Breathe. Ashfall is one of my favorites reads too!

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  56. I am obsessed with dystopia. I don't know my favorite of 2012. I would have to go through my whole list of books read to remember them all. But I did just read Reached by Ally Condie. And it was amazing. I also really enjoyed: The Selection by Keira Cass and Incarnate by Jodi Meadows.

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  57. the hunt by andrew fukada and eve are cool

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  58. Can't wait to read Day of Blood and Starlight(: I'll have to look into some of the other books.

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  59. I absolutely LOVELOVELOVED The Crown of Embers! And I can't wait to read Days of Blood and Starlight :)

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  60. I thought Wither was better than Fever and now I'm looking forward to read the last one in this series.
    I have my copy of This Is Not A Test but I still need to read it.

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  61. I haven't read many books from these genres but I LOVED Divergent (although that wasn't releases this year) and I really enjoyed Incarnate (pretty sure that comes under fantasy). This Is Not A Test is on my shelf and I look forward to reading it!

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  62. How sad, but I haven't read any of these yet. I am so far behind! I did read Divergent finally this year, loved it, and I also loved The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse.

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  63. Unlucky for me, I have not read any of these yet. But I am oh so looking forward to Darkest Minds, This is not a Test, The Hallowed Ones and Days of Blood and Starlight. Most anticipated reads! Thanks for the great post!

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  64. I just finished Days of Blood today. It took my breath away! Crown of Embers is on my read-soon list. :)

    I've also read Lost Girl and This Is Not A Test. Both were very different from what I expected and stunned me (in a good way).

    Another favorite YA fantasy series is the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. Favorite post apocalyptic/dystopian would be Angelfall by Susan Ee.

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  65. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is an awesome dystopian novel. I really like the Divergent series by Veronica Roth too ^.^ Such a cool and creative genre with so much potential.

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  66. My favorite dystopian novels are all mentioned before by other commenters. I love Divergent, Under the Never sky, Days of Blood and Starlight, Delirium, and Legend.

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  67. I love..love..love.. Days of Blood and Starlight! I really think it's the best book of the year.

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  68. I heard such amazing things about the Lost Girl!
    So glad you liked it!

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  69. I can't wait for the Darkest Mind to come out!

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  70. I love Wither & Fever, also really loved A Girl of Fire and THorns. Haven't gotten to Crown of Embers yet!

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  71. I loved Cinder, and I can't wait to read The Darkest Minds. There are so many books out there...

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  72. Well, I have something with zombies. Really, I love everything with zombies in it, so I want to read This is not a test.

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  73. I loved This is Not A Test and the pervading sense of helplessness and apathy (with the main character) stuck with me long after the book was finished. For fantasy, I am in LOVE with The Girl Of Fire and Thorns series! AHHHH! The ending of the second books was amazing and I can't wait for the next. I will admit i am kicking myself for not starting Daughters of Smoke and Bone because I have only heard awesome things and it made it one your list. Soon. I swear.

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  74. I've yet to read Days of Blood and Starlight. I liked the first book and can't wait to read it! I think my favorite dystopian was this year Divergent!

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  75. I have heard wonderful things about Lost Girl and Dark Minds, great selection of books!

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  76. I haven't read any of these, can you believe it! Most of them are on my TBR and I'm most excited for Days of Blood and Starlight and The Hallowed Ones.

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

    Bekka
    Pretty Deadly Reviews

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  77. I think your list is great! For me, I would have added 'The Hunt' by Andrew Fukuda. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  78. I haven't read any of those books yet, but I've heard really good things about, and have been recommended, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

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  79. I love these lists! I'm reading Days of Blood and Starlight right now and she is making me mad. I just want to yell at her: "What are you doing?" Hopefully I won't suffer through the whole book, but it might be that way. I just know it's going to kill me to wait another year for the last book! :)

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  80. I haven't read any of these books. I just added Crown of Embers to my to read list.

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  81. I haven't read many fantasy books that were published in 2012. Insurgent was definitely my favourite dystopia but I don't recall reading a lot of books of these genres and the few that I read weren't my favourite. I think my biggest fear with reading fantasy/dystopia books is that they're all series! I'm trying to catch up on previously published books, there are so many series to keep track of. ^^;

    I really wanted to read Shadow and Bone, This is Not a Test and I'm becoming more interested in reading The Lost Girl. Thank you for the giveaway. :)

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  82. I have This is Not a Test on my bookshelf, but still haven't read it yet (I don't know why!) I've just recently gotten back into the whole zombie genre after having watched the recent episodes of The Walking Dead. I just find it so interesting, so am excited to get into This is Not A Test. :)

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  83. Post-Apocalyptic books aren't my fave but I do read them. The most recent is The Enemy by Charlie Higson. I do hope I read more books in this genre.

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  84. Although I haven't read any of the books mentioned, I've heard great things about them. One of my favorite 2012 dystopian reads would have to be Enclave by Ann Aguirre :)

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  85. Great list. I've yet to read Fever, but my friend is going to let me borrow it soon. I really need to find out what happened to Rhine and Damien. And This Is Not A Test sounds great and I really just want to buy it on my Kindle, but I don't know if I should.

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  86. Thanks so much for this giveaway! I absolutely love everything Courtney Summers writes, so This is Not a Test wax of course brilliant. I haven't read Girl of Fire and thorns yet, but the more I hear about it, the more I can't wait to check it out. Wither and Fever are amazing, brilliant dystopians. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

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  87. Fever was an awesome book and This is Not a Test looks really good, yet again I might just like zombies.

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