Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Favorite Reads of 2011

This was tough to narrow down but I thought about it and narrowed it down.

Number one hands down was:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I still haven't written a review of this one because I don't have the words
to express how I felt about this book and how it made me feel
reading it.  It was so fabulous and fantastic. I am now a huge fan
of Lani Taylor and want all of her books!! I cannot wait for the next book
in the series but I will read this one again.

Next and only barely second was:
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
I put off reading it because I thought it was Science Fiction and
it's not a genre I usually read.  I was so wrong. It totally lived up to
the hype and then some. I could not believe the story line. It was  incredible! The characters stayed true to their nature, Elder, well I have a little crush on him. He is so honest even when it puts him in a bad spot.  And I've read the sequel A Million Suns and it will blow your mind!

Another genre I didn't think I liked was Steampunk.  Well Kady Cross and The Girl in the Steel Corset changed my mind! That was such a great book.  It was long, but let me tell you, it could have been twice as long and I would have flew through it.  I really have a problem writing a good review of the books I love the most and this one was one of those.

Now these are in now particular order but I loved them all the same.

I think Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma tackled a very controversial subject with such care and sensitivity that anyone reading it would have a hard time remembering this was a book about what all the buzz was about. It read like a love story and it killed me at the end. I wasn't a sobbing mess, but I was sad all the same.  I really didn't see another ending for the mess they were in.  But I thought it was a well written book and I was captivated by it from page one until the end.

I also loved Stay by Deb Caletti. That one touched me like most books don't.  I actually wrote a fairly decent review of it.  I thought the way she did the narration like the main character was telling the story directly to the reader was an incredible way to tell the story.  It removed the author from the story and I really felt I was part of the story. It's not often I feel that engrossed in a story, like I'm there experiencing it. Maybe it hit too close to home, as well.

I totally loved Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs! I love mythology and always thought Medusa got a bum deal.  So that her ancestors are fighting mythological creatures is so cool.  And could there be any three girls more different??  And what a cliffhanger!! And those boys. Who's good? Who's evil? What do you think Flashlight Reader. We discussed it on Twitter and Tera Lynn Childs followed our tweets, but gave nothing away. Authors are like that!!

There were so many books I loved, some you probably never heard of that I wish you'd give a try.

Damage by Anya Parrish
What would you do if your childhood imaginary friend came to life and was trying to kill you?  And you found out you weren't the only one?
That's what happens to Dani and Jesse when a school trip goes terribly wrong and they find themselves on the run from some ruthless people that will stop at nothing to capture them.  And their ruthless childhood nightmares chasing them trying to kill them.  This is a paranormal thriller with incredible betrayals and a quick read.  I was stuck to this book like glue trying to figure out if the imaginary friends were real or not.  Wait til you read it!

Also one that got missed was Brother/Sister by Sean Olin.
I don't know how to explain this one except to say what seems like a great summer without parents in the California sun turns into a nightmare of weeks of a possessive brother who only wants to protect his sister but takes it to the extreme and she lets him. The story is told from
alternating points of view-the brother one chapter, the sister the next.
It is a fascinating read, dark, disturbing and shows the effects bullying
can have on a person after years of abuse at the hands of others. I
have gotten more likes on that review on Good Reads than any other
review I've ever written.

And I cannot forget my Middle Grade Reads!
The beautiful story Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu was a favorite of mine this year. It was so beautifully written and illustrated with black and white pictures. It had elements of many fairy tales, but was basically a retelling of the Snow Queen.  I wasn't real familiar with the story but I loved the modern telling of it. It was beautiful.

I was also so pleasantly surprised by a self published book that I just recently read called Noah Zarc by D. Robert Pease. It was an absolutely fantastic romp through time and space trying to save animals and kidnapped parents and the 12 yr old protagonist, Noah, is wonderful.  He is handicapped without the use of his legs, but he flies spaceships and zooms through time in his wheel chair and has a space suit with working legs that works with mind control.  It was a slight take on Noah's Ark but only in saving the animals and I cannot wait for the next book!


  1. I read a lot of YA this year, too. You've included some interesting books - I haven't read any of these, though.

  2. Breadcrumbs and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are sitting on my shelves, waiting to be read. ;)

    I picked Across the Universe as one of my faves too.

  3. Great list! I've been debating on whether or not I want to read Steampunk or not. It looks interesting, but not my normal genre. Maybe I'll try the same book you tried.

    Happy New Year!

  4. Wow so many great books on this list. A lot I didn't get around to reading yet. But I will in 2012! Happy new year!

  5. Happy New Year to all of you!

    If you are new to a genre like Steampunk I definitely recommend The Girl in the Steel Corset. Kady Cross slowly introduces you into the world!
    And if you're new to Science Fiction, well I can't say enough about Beth Revis' books. And they aren't too techie!

    And if you don't think you like High Fantasy, after you read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you might change you mind. This year has changed my mind about those genres and opened me up to whole new worlds. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has one foot in reality and one in High Fantasy. I would stalk Laini Taylor, that's how good it is.
    And Beth Revis lives here in NC so.... Just sayin..!

    Heather :)

  6. I think I added as many books to my TBR list as I read this year. I just started DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. It grabbed me from the get go. I loved getting lost, in a good way, in the world of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Thanks for the other recs.

  7. This bodes well- I absolutely LOVED/ADORED/RAVED ABOUT Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Forbidden, and Across the Universe. But I have Stay, Breadcrumbs, Steel Corset and Sweet Venom on my shelves still to read. It looks like we have a very similar taste in books so I think I'll love these other books too when I get around to reading them!

  8. I felt the same way about DIVERGENT that you did about DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. It's hard sometimes to express in words how we feel about books, isn't it? I started to read DOSMAB, then put aside to catch up on my books for review. I really want to get back to it. The world-building was incredible. One of my other goals is do more blog hopping. I'm also going to take you up on the offer of being a reader for my ms. I'll be need of some Beta readers. You're on the list! Happy New Year, friend!

  9. ATU didn't do it for me, but I loved the Girl in the Steel Corset! I really, really want to read Smoke & Bone!

  10. Aw man, I really loved ATU! I'm sorry you didn't like it! I hope you like Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I was just on Laini Taylor's website and Universal has bought the rights to it!! She's cautiously optimistic that it will become a movie, but I'm already thinking the first book needs to be two films. I dear Lord don't let that Hardwicke lady be the one producing it!

    I would do just about anything to get a copy of the ARC of the second one in this one or just sit and drink coffee or tea with Laini Taylor. I'd even dye my hair blue!! LOL I'm really not kidding!


  11. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was definitely one of my favourite reads of 2011. The writing and story were just unbelievable. Awesome. Inspiring.

    And FORBIDDEN is another book that STILL resonates with me. Months later, I still find myself thinking about it sometimes.


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