So, I have managed to read 406 books this year. That is 112 985 pages. My awards go to books I have read in 2011 and no necessarily to the ones that were released in 2011. Without further ado, I present:
I read about 38 or so debut novels this year, almost all of them YA genre. The following are the ones I particularly enjoyed:
- The False Princess – Eilis O’Neal
This book was fantastic. The writing, the plotting, the characters, they all came together in such a brilliant way that you couldn’t help but respond to the novel on all levels. Why isn’t she writing anything new?
- Witchlanders – Lena Coakley
Another fantasy that started off just right. And ended at the right moment. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
- The Girl of Fire and Thorns – Rae Carson
I see grand things in Ms. Carson’s future. As long as she finishes the trilogy and makes me happy. Haha.
- Virtuosity – Jessica Martinez
Virtuosity is fiery, passionate and will make you wish you played the violin. I enjoyed it. A lot.
- Saving June – Hannah Harrington
At turns poignant and at turns beautiful, this story of how a girl comes to terms with her sister’s suicide will make you weep and when you least expect it, make you smile.
- Blood Song – Rhiannon Hart
Another Australian author takes the stage and owns it. A new take on vampires.——————————————————————————————————————-
I don’t read much contemporary…oh who am I kidding? Apparently I read quite a bit of it. Now that the PNR genre is becoming tired of itself, the contemporary genre is gleaming with jewels. Here are the ones I particularly enjoyed this year.
- The Piper’s Son – Melina Marchetta
This was my first introduction to Melina Marchetta and I believe I fell straight head first in love. The Piper’s Son tackles such a private subject like grief so beautifully, not sparing the gritty details, the self-destructive bent of a family on the verge of falling apart…
- The Dairy Queen trilogy – Catherine Gilbert Murdock
This book will drag you into the world it creates that superficially seems unappealing but the voice of the main character is so compelling and sincere that you won’t be able to help being sucked into her story. I laughed out loud, I sniffed and I awwed. It’s a tremendous achievement, this trilogy.
- On the Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta
I think I may have liked this better than The Piper’s Son. I wasn’t even sure that that was possible but it is. No one does romance better than Melina Marchetta.
- The Ghosts of Ashbury High – Jaclyn Moriarty
This book is so fantastic, I wasn’t able to review it. And I need to reread it so I can do it justice because hot damn, if I had to, I could quote each sentence and tell you guys why it’s brilliant. This is a brilliant book.
- Graffiti Moon – Cath Crowey
Okay, so technically it hasn’t been released in North America yet but I’ve been trying to not include books which haven’t but since this has been released in Australia, I shall make an exception. I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy and reread it for the loveliness.
- Sean Griswold’s Head – Lindsey Leavitt
This book was laugh out funny and at the same time, handled some pertinent issues so delicately that it made my list.
This category is for the novels that were sad or tackled tragic issues in a manner that retained the poignant feel but did not overwhelm with the pathos.
- Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma
First of all, this book, if it doesn’t win any awards, I might eat my hat. If I owned one, that is. It deals with the taboo topic of incest but instead of making it sleazy or titillating, Suzuma writes a heartwrenching story of two teens who are the victims of careless parents and a society that is too quick to judge and label and too slow to provide help. It’s heartbreaking but it’s not disgusting or anything else you might be tempted to label it. This is not a technique to win readers like in The Mortal Instruments. The incest in this book is real and so are the consequences of it. Only for the strong hearted, of course.
- Plain Kate – Erin Bow
One word: Taggle. That should explain it all.
- Fall for Anything – Courtney Summers
Gah, this is one of the most beautiful portrayal of grief ever. It made me cry plenty times. So very gorgeous.
This is a relatively new genre but a very fun one. Two books made the list.
- Cold Fire (Spiritwalker Trilogy #2) – Kate Elliott
A little less of the steampunkery but a lot more of Andevai. I, for one, am not complaining.
- Goliath – Scott Westerfeld
The stunning conclusion to the Leviathan trilogy. It did not disappoint.
Okay, I’m slooowly getting over my PNR love. But there were still some good releases in the genre.
- Ultraviolet – R. J. Anderson
Another Canadian author! The book has one of the twistiest twist you’ll ever come across.
- Unearthly – Cynthia Hand
Angels, buddy. A good angel book. Yeah, I’m a bit shocked too.
- Keteurah and Lord Death – Martine Leavitt
Wow. Where have you been all my life? A deceptively simple novel that packs a punch that will have you reeling.
- White Cat – Holly Black (Curseworker series)
Urban fantasy, sleek, sexy and addictive.
- Nevermore – Kelly Kreagh
The “hero” goes against the stereotype. Well written, superbly visualized and a great beginning to a series.
- Immortal Beloved – Cate Tiernan
This is a rollicking ride. Funny, sexy and witty. I can’t wait for book two.
- Mercy – Rebecca Lim
Another angel book that is actually good. I liked it
This category is for books I didn’t think I would like but ended up enjoying.
- Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion
So I hate zombies. No, seriously, I hate them. I can’t stand reading about them at all. But Warm Bodies, in which the protagonist is a zombie, surprised me by being moving beyond the stereotype. I liked it.
Best Sequel Ever
So generally, sequels tends to lose steam and are unable to sustain the story. However, this one more than continued the story.
In The Forests of the Night – Kersten Hamilton
Finn. Oh, Finn. You are awesome. And you can tempt me with your Irish brogue any time.
I love high fantasy. Perhaps unhealthily. But this year was particularly strong on the fantasy front. These are the ones I enjoyed the most.
- The Ruby Key – Holly Lisle
Fantastic beginning to a series that is stuck at two books. I have no idea when the third book is due out. I hope there’s some news soon.
- Eon/Eona – Alison Goodman
Obviously this had to be make the list.
- The Seven Realms series – Cinda Williams Chima
This, too, was brilliant. Why else would it on my list of awesome? Hur.
- Starcrossed – Elizabeth C. Bunce
So yeah, really. It’s a great novel. A brilliant beginning to what I think is a trilogy.
An Urban Fantasy
I do read a lot of urban fantasy and I think from all the new series I started this year, I liked this one the best.
The Grave Witch series by Kalayna Price
It has the action, the romance and the mythology. All in just the right amounts. I recommend it.
Books That Disappointed Me
I am perhaps a very picky reader and the following are the books that just didn’t gel with me. More than that, I didn’t like them. I didn’t like them a lot. So. Here they are in no particular order.
My favourite book of the year is:
*trumpets* *other music* etc
You can read my review of it if you want to know why I love it as much as I do.
This concludes my book awards for 2011. What were the books *you* loved?