Another year has flown by, and it’s time to take a look back at 2012 and all the awesome stuff that went down. Books, movies, TV, music…and all the other stuff that gets us by on a daily basis. I can probably count the number of movies I saw on one hand, but it was a record year for me in terms of number of books read – 97 – even though I came up short in my goal of 100 (I can thank a bout of the flu at the end of the year for that). I lost touch with a couple of TV shows, but learned to love new ones. And I came to realize that pop music is still alive and stronger than it has been in over ten years and something to be embraced, not shunned.
So here we go. My list of the Awesome That Happened in 2012
In between re-reading all the Harry Potter and Betsy-Tacy books this year, I read a good mix of young adult and children’s books (but mostly young adult). Turns out some of the best paranormal books these days aren’t about vampires or werewolves, but angels, as both my picks for best paranormal books are about angels (yet still completely different from each other in their own awesome ways). And as someone who is usually underwhelmed by a lot of contemporary young adult, I did come across two that blew me away.
Dystopia still manages to catch my attention despite the fact that a lot of them are starting to sound the same. My two faves this year broke out of that dystopia box, though, and made things fresh again. And although young adult fantasy is sometimes hard for me to get into, when I do get into it I usually love it, which is what happened with my fantasy picks. One made my heart pound, the other completely broke my heart in two.
And finally I started dipping a little bit into historical young adult books, which isn’t a super popular genre but one I believe we’ll be seeing more and more of. My picks both happened to take place during World War II, and as a result made me even more hungry to learn about the past.
Best YA Contemporary
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Runner Up: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Best YA Paranormal / Supernatural
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Runner Up: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Best YA Dystopia
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Runner Up: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Best YA Fantasy
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Runner Up: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Best YA Historial
The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper
Runner Up: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
As the mother of a four-year-old girl, I’m usually stuck watching such shows as Phineas and Ferb, The Backyardigans, and Dora the Explorer (and when I’m lucky, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic). But every now and then I get to watch one of “my shows”. Of course this year was different than any other year before since it’s the first time we’re relying solely on streaming television through Netflix and Hulu. Of course a lot of the shows I used to watch like Castle, The Vampire Diaries, and The Office are still available through those services, but the urge to watch them just isn’t there anymore.
My love/hate relationship with Glee contines.
However, thanks to Netflix and a 45-minute-long panel at Comic-Con, I dove into a show that’s been on since 2005 and watched all seven seasons in the course of just a few months, thus cementing it as one of the best shows of the year. It’s a show that will scare you to pieces one minute, have you laughing on the floor the next minute, and then crying your eyes out soon after. And it’s managed to do that for seven seasons. The only other show that’s been able to do that for that long is Gilmore Girls. And a certain sci-fi show.
This sci-fi show premiered waaay back in 1963 and then sort of unofficially ended in the mid-90s. Then the show had a sort of “reboot” in 2005, starting with Series 1 and still going strong today with the premiere of Series 7 this fall (in Britain a “season” is called a “series”). This summer I watched all the series with all its “regenerating” characters, and I quickly realized that no sci-fi show since Firefly gives me The Feels the way this one does.
And what can I say about animated shows that hasn’t already been said? Some of the best shows on TV are animated, yet they get a reputation for being “kids shows”, therefore not getting the respect they deserve. This year’s best animated show is more than a companion show to Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s a beautifully animated and brilliantly written story that conjures up more emotion than any primetime drama you’ll ever watch. And when I want to laugh, I know all I have to do is watch the show that makes me laugh more than any other show that’s on TV today, and it’s probably the most realistic comedy show since Friends and The Office.
Best Drama Series
Runner Up: Downton Abbey
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series
Runner Up: Once Upon a Time
Best Animated Series
The Legend of Korra
Runner Up: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Best Comedy Series
The New Girl
Runner Up: Anything I can find on YouTube starring Catherine Tate
Like I said before, it was a pretty pathetic year for movies in terms of actually seeing them, but luckily I do have a few to write about. One is pretty obvious, since I’ve been waiting for it to come out since 2004, and one was one of Pixar’s best since The Incredibles. As excited as I was for The Hunger Games, it didn’t come close to the book, although I did find it entertaining to watch. And even though I loved The Avengers, I chose another masked man as my top action pick for 2012 solely due to the emotional punch it threw at me. And since most of the movies I watched this year were picked out by my daughter, I decided I should pick my “unofficial favorite” just for the hell of it. Because at least this one is Disney, and at least the main character is pretty awesome.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Dark Knight Rises
Best Movie that My Daughter Made Me Watch
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue
2012 was a fun year for music just because of how much we’re being exposed to so many different kinds at a higher rate than we ever were before. The three main songs of the year: “We Are Young” (fun.), “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye), and “Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen) were all huge hits yet all sounded completely different. Adele continued to ride the high she got from The Grammys, yet we’re all patiently waiting for a follow-up album while still listening to her 21 album. And another boy band hit the scene in a big way, proving that catchy pop music will never die.
“Love You Like a Love Song” – Selena Gomez and the Scene
“Some Nights” – fun.
“Without You – David Guetta ft. Usher
“Domino” – Jessie J.
“I Won’t Give Up” – Jason Mraz
“Starships” – Nikki Minaj
Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
Red – Taylor Swift
Some Nights – fun.
Up All Night – One Direction
Unorthodox Jukebox – Bruno Mars
In terms of all things entertainment, 2012 was a pretty good year. But I expect 2013 to be even better. I’m going to see more movies (Star Trek!), branch out into different genres of books (romance?), and see if I can find a new TV show to love and obsess over (Sherlock…). I hope 2012 gave you as much joy as it did me – and I hope 2013 is your best yet.