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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Reads of 2011

Another year is over and done! I hope everyone has a fantastic and fun New Year's Eve and an especially bookish new year. In honor of the new year (and my blogoversary) I thought it would be nice to go over the past year and highlight my favorite reads of 2011 plus a few other things (lets call it my Top Ten Countdown)! If you haven't had the chance to read any of these novels, I highly encourage you to
do so!

1. The Cream of The Crop (in no particular order): 

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) by Lauren DeStefano

It would be a crime to exclude Wither from this list. It has to be my favorite read of all this year, and my favorite cover. It's a fantastic dystopian--it seems as if we've had quite a few great dystopians in 2011, haven't we?--and carries through an overwhelmingly stunning plot. Characters, writing, development, and dialogue are superb. It grabs you on the first page, throwing you straight into the action. I thoroughly loved every single aspect of this novel. 

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Another Dessen classic, I was very surprised by how much I loved this one. An avid reader of Sarah Dessen's novels can usually dive right in, fully expecting every plot twist and not looking to be amazed. While What Happened to Goodbye isn't my favorite of Dessen's (This Lullaby and The Truth About Forever hold those reins), it's definitely one of the best.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Everything you look for in a good novel is easily found in this one: solid characters, realistic [and believable] romance, honest friendship, mystery, suspense . . . it's like the perfect burrito at Chipotle; you won't find one person who doesn't like it.

The summary of this one is misleading, and that upsets me. I know many who have turned this book down because it seems very middle-grade, which actually turns out to be very untrue. This novel is amazing, very suspenseful and mysterious and sometimes puzzling. The writing of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children has to be my favorite aspect, as well as the very unique plotline. Read it if you haven't!

2. The Disappointment

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin; it wasn't bad, per se, it just didn't hold my interest enough for me to get into it--or read more than the first three chapters. I'll try again next year.

3. Boy, Did You Give Me a Shock

The most surprising read of 2011 (for me) has to be Hooked by Catherine Greenman. I'm not a fan of teen pregnancy novels (especially after Dessen's Someone Like You and Knowles's Jumping off Swings) so I was really shocked by how much I loved this one.

4. Have You Read it Yet?

The novel I recommended to more people than I can count is definitely Wither by Lauren DeStefano. It's definitely my #1 for this year.

5. The Next One Doesn't Come Out 'til When?

The best series I discovered this year is Mythos Academy. I recieved the first two both as ARCs this year, and hosted a guest post and contest for the first of the series. I'd kill for the next one!

6. Oh, Sorry, Were You Talking To Me?

The most un-put-downable, suspenseful, nail-biting read of this year also, I must admit, is Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I read the whole novel during a drive back home from California, and I have to say I cannot remember one thing someone said to me the entire time.  

7. Beauty and [Some] Brains

The books with both beauty (BEST COVER) and brains this year have to be: Wither (Lauren DeStefano), Hourglass (Myra McEntire), and  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Michelle Hodkin). All gorgeous covers, all great books.

8. The Teacher's Pet

My favorite (and the most memorable) character from this year is . . . Well, there are two. Gwen Frost from the Mythos Academy books and Emerson from Hourglass. Both were very kick-ass and hilarious.

9. I'm Not A Kid Anymore

My favorite non-YA read this year is Water For Elephants. I know I'm cheating, since it didn't come out this year, but I read it this year. A lot of people loved the movie and didn't read the book, which I think is so lame. Read the book!

10. If Only There Was More Time in the Day

Books I really wish I'd gotten the chance to read this year but didn't:

The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Angelfire by Allison Moulton


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