Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best/Most Memorable Reads in 2011 + Giveaway

I read just over 100 books this year (full list coming soon), which was down from last year's 160, but certainly more than I was expecting to considering I also wrote a novel!

My most memorable read in 2011 was Megan McCafferty's BUMPED - and since Megan sent me an extra signed hardcover of this amazing novel, I'm going to start this post out with a giveaway. Enter here by Dec 31st, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST to win!

Memorable Dystopian Moments
Thanks to two whole dystopian theme months, this was my most read genre. I already pointed out my top 5 2010 faves at The Book Smugglers (you'll have to go over there to see which I picked), but really most of my dystopian reads were awesome.

Most memorable first line

WHEN SHE WOKE by Hilary Jordan starts out: "When she woke, she was red." Perfect first line for this novel. I love it paired with the last line (which I won't spoil here).

Most memorable first chapter

This award goes to Kimberly Derting's THE PLEDGE for her ultra-creepy prologue featuring the most dastardly queen this side of SNOW WHITE.

Most memorable laugh

Last year, Leila Sales’ MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS won this award, and this year it has to go to her PAST PERFECT. And not just because it was the only humorous book I read all year.

Most memorable cry

I haven't reviewed CRACKED by K.M. Walton yet because it comes out in 2012, but this book made me cry multiple times. It's so rare that a book hits me THIS hard emotionally. Wow.

Most memorable couples

June and Day from LEGEND, Jordan and (spoiler!) in CATCHING JORDAN, Juliette and Adam (major chemistry alert!) in SHATTER ME.

Most memorable male leads


Most memorable locations

I loved Laini Taylor's use of setting in DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE.  I adored pretty much everything about the novel, but the fascination of locations such as the Prague locale Poison Kitchen and Brimstone's shop where he bought and sold teeth really drew me in.

Most memorable WTF

Definitely the gator scene in THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER.

Most memorable animals

Bundle in Lauren Oliver's LEISEL AND PO. Is he a cat or a dog? Doesn't matter - he's adorable!

Honorable mention: The possum in Jen K. Blom's POSSUM SUMMER.

Most memorable outfit

Lola's Marie Antoinette dress in LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR.

Most memorable scene that gave me chills

There is something that happens near the end of Randy Russell's DEAD RULES that was subtle, but changes an interpretation of a character and his motivation in a big way. It still gives me chills to think about it.

Most memorable scene that gave me chills (in a good way)

I love the scene between Isabel and Cole in FOREVER (Maggie Steifvater) when they're hiding under the counter and he drives his die-cast Mustang up her arm.

Most memorable scare

THE DARK INSIDE by Jeyn Roberts was without a doubt the scariest novel I read this year.  Though that hell house in SMALL TOWN SINNERS by Melissa Walker was also super freaky.

Most memorable villain

So, he did do a lot to redeem himself in SINISTER SCENES (the third book in Paul Bracegirdle's JOY OF SPOOKING trilogy), but I've always loved the complexity and moments of unfettered evil glee that Mr. Phipps brought to the equation. I will miss him dearly.

Most memorable cover

Lizzy Bromley designed this gorgeous art for WITHER by Lauren DeStefano. And guess what guys?! Rumor has it that Lizzy Bromley is designing the cover for LEVEL 2 as well. I am deliriously excited about it!!

Most memorable unexpected reveal

The end of VARIANT by Robison Wells. I knew I was in for a big. shocking. twist! But I never saw THAT coming.

Most memorable backlist reads

EVERLOST by Neal Schusterman

Most time spent on describing chickens

HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  I meant to read a classic a month this year, but after spending nearly two weeks reading this one, I abandoned that lofty goal.

What were some of your memorable reading moments in 2011?


Daisy said...

I love your last category! :D And I'm so excited about The Selection as well! The cover is simply gorgeous...
And if Lizzy Bromley is designing your cover it will be so PRETTY!! :) I hope it's not just a rumor!
I must admit I haven't read many of the books you mention, I wish there were about 100 hours in a day more, then maybe I wouldn't be so behind on reading amazing new releases...
Thank you so much for the giveaway!

Evie said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Bumped sounds great!

ArtemisG said...

I love your post! Bumped has very interesting story. Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!!!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I consider all of this information to be of the highest reliability, as you are THE WORD on YA dystopia!!!

bermudaonion said...

I agree with Sandy - you are my go to person when it comes to dystopia. I'm trying to figure out which one of those I should add to my list.

Anna said...

Wow, so many amazing moments relived in this post!

Zibilee said...

I loved the way you put together this list! All these books just came alive in your remembrances of them. I have to tell you that I went out and bought Bumped and Daughter of Smoke and Bone after reading your reviews, and they are the books I am really looking forward to starting soon. This was an excellent post! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Jules said...

I loved your list and there are so many things I agree with! :)

Hopefully next year will be just as memorable and filled with great reads :D

Alyce said...

So funny - most time spent describing chickens! :) I tried to read the seven gables book when I was a teenager and gave up on it too.

That is so exciting about the designer of your cover! I can't wait to see it!

Bookish in a Box said...

I agree with you about Four and the cover of Wither...and those are the only two books out of ALL of those that I've read yet. :-P

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

OOH Lizzy Bromley!!! How exciting!