Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Best of Lists for 2011

I love books.  It takes a lot to make me not enjoy a book.  So I present 3 lists, with no shame whatsoever!

A Baker’s Dozen of Books I Loved the Most in 2011 That Were Published in 2011
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

I wasn't sold on a modern-day retelling of the Helen of Troy story, but oh, Josephine Angelini, how you proved me wrong!  I am now your devoted servant and I would come to California and make you breakfast in bed every day if it would get me the sequel to this book any faster.


The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

This is probably a good place to mention my lifelong love of Greek mythology.  Well, all mythology really, but it started with the Greeks and a little book my mother purchased for me as a child called D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths.  The Goddess Test was my first venture into modern re-tellings of Greek mythology and it sold me on the possibility.  I loved this book.  If Hades had been more like Henry, Persephone would have stayed for all 12 months in the Underworld.

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

I checked this one out at the library because I decided to use Greek mythology re-tellings as my theme for a book talk I had to give in my Young Adult lit class.  After I finished reading it, I went out and bought a copy of it because I knew that I would read it again at some point.  This book was amazing!  Of course, Kelly Keaton is from North Carolina also, so I should know that a homegirl can write a rockin' book! : )  Of course, that also means that I am within driving distance to stalk her for the next book.......hmmmmm.

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

I was actually reading a galley copy of this one when I got to meet Kimberly Derting and buy an early copy of it for her to sign!  This is not normally a book that I would have picked up because I don't like books in made up worlds.  I read supernatural, but I don't read high fantasy.  The only exception to that ever has been The Chronicles of Narnia, so I would say that this book is in great company.  I am dying to get my hands on the sequel to this book.

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faigan

There was a lot of hating on this book, but I loved it!  It was fairly graphic for a teen novel in the sex department, but it wasn't like a bodice-ripper romance or anything.  But the characters were so compelling.  This idea that the bad guys were still good guys is something that I like a lot.  But I like Batman way better than Superman who is just too much of a goody two shoes.  I suppose I like for my heroes to have a bot of a dark side.  This book is just full of bad boys trying to do good.  Ummmm, Edward Cullen, anyone?

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

This book had such an interesting premise.  People with angel blood here on earth to fulfill a purpose?  How cool!  Cynthia Hand is also a master storyteller.  I couldn't put this one down.  This book also marked a big change for me.  I NEVER pulled for the human guy in a book, until I read this book.  I am totally TEAM TUCKER!!!  I thought about tattooing that phrase on myself, but I think my husband would not approve.  These days though, I do find myself loving cowboy hats and wanting to go to Wyoming.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Oh Libba Bray!  I want to be your BFF.  We can spend all day making fun of Jersey Shore, filling out Mad Libs and talking about why the cover for Going Bovine is so hideous.  I already praised this book in my last list, so go check it out.

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz

What a pleasant surprise this book was!  The description was a little ambiguous and for some reason, I went on a Netgalley rampage and requested a ton of books and this was one of them.  I had no idea that it would turn into one of the best books I read all year.  And, even better, it wrapped up fairly nicely at the end without some horrible cliff hanger with someone's life hanging in the balance!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

This series is what pulled me out of my post-Twilight slump when I thought that nothing I read would ever be as interesting to me as Edward Cullen.  Cassie, you saved me with Jace Wayland!  Cassie is a wonderful author and this series is just fabulous.  I just knew there was more story when they never found Sebastian's body.  Ha!  Not only is she gifting us with more Shadowhunter stuff, but she's also a really great person who sat outside in Georgia heat and signed books for hours while fighting a bout of food poisoning.  Cassandra Clare, you rock!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Remember after Harry Potter when there were lots of books about wizards floating around and now no one reads them?  The same thing is happening with dystopians in the wake of The Hunger Games.  There are quite a few so-so ones floating around out there.

Delirium is NOT one of those forgettable ones.  It is wonderful!  The only thing I didn't like about this book was that freaking cliffhanger of an ending.  Why, Lauren, why???

Die for Me by Amy Plum

First off, you would get your money's worth from this book if all you did was stare at the cover.  Gorgeous!  But the story that awaits you inside is just as gorgeous.  I loved this book.  I've read lots of comparisons to Twilight, but honestly, isn't Twilight a love story, so lots of love stories will have Twilight-like elements?  And I loved Twilight, so duh! 

This book is not like Twilight though.  For one thing, the female main character actually has a backbone and the male main character is not brooding and emo.  And this book is set in Paris.  What could be bad in Paris?

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

This is another dystopian novel that kicked butt!  The scary part of this novel is that it seems so feasible.  In fact, parts of it are already true, so it wasn't hard to take another couple of steps into this world.

I can't wait to get the sequel for this one.

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

I love Jane Austen so this one is a no-brainer.  Elizabeth Eulberg really does a great job of capturing the spirit of the original and putting it into modern day.

So this is my Baker's Dozen of books from 2011!  Next up, I'll have the best books I read this year that I should have read sooner and also a list of the best sequels I read this year.

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