hosted by Nomes of inkcrush
Well, since I am starting a brand new blog, I guess I will begin by looking back at the books I read last year. I found this feature from inkcrush on The Unread Reader and using all my 5 and 4 star books that I read last year, created this list!
Day One: The Books of 2011
Book AUTHOR Read in 2011- Melina Marchetta
I'm going to go ahead and change the very first award to author because I couldn't decide which Melina Marchetta book should win this award! If you haven't read any of her books, put them on your to-read list this year. An Australian author, she has written several realistic fiction books that connect on every level- I started with Saving Francesca and quickly moved through The Piper's Son and Looking For Alibrandi (started On the Jellicoe Road yesterday). If you like some epic fantasy, Finnikin of the Rock captivated me and is leaving me waiting impatiently for Froi of the Exiles!
2. Most Powerful Book- The Piper's Son
Written by my favorite author of the year (see above), The Piper's son follows Thomas MacKee, from #4's Saving Francesca, as he deals with the separation of his family after the death of a beloved uncle. Loss on so many different levels is felt by all characters but it is the rebirth of relationships that brings hope.
Favorite quote: “I’m scared I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a state of yearning, regardless of where I am.”
3. Brilliantly Funny- Clockwork Prince
To date, this has to be my favorite of Cassandra Clare's books. I have seen so much growth in her storytelling since City of Bones and the way the words flowed through this book was perfect. I could have put this book in almost every category but the dialogue between the characters either breaks my heart or makes me laugh out, either way I had tears in my eyes throughout!Funny Quote: “'Ah,' said a voice from the doorway, 'having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’
meeting, are you?' 'It’s biannual,' said Jem. 'And no, this is not that meeting.'”
4. Best Ache-y, Heart-breaking, Tear-jerker Read- Saving Francesca
Another amazing book by Melina Marchetta. As Francesca deals with being one of a handful of girls at a formerly all boy school, she is also living with the pain of depression, her own and her mothers. It is the characters that drive this story from Francesca's family to those she thought were her friends to those that truly are. My heart broke with Francesca and was carefully put back together as she learned what truly makes me you strong.
Favorite Quote: “It's a weird smile, but it reaches his eyes and I bottle it. And I put it in my ammo pack that's kept right next to my soul and Justine's spirit and Siobham's hope and Tara's passions. Because if I'm going to wake up one morning and not be able to get out of bed, I'm going to need everything I've got to fight this disease that could be sleeping inside of me.”
5. Most Beautiful Story- The Invention of Hugo Cabret
I read this aloud to my class and they loved it. During reading groups, they would pour over the pictures and try to draw their own. The way the illustrations tell a story and the way the words paint a picture, make this a beautiful book all around!
6. Delicious Rainy Day Comfort Read- Poison Study
The first and my favorite in the Study series, I can see myself curling up with Yelena and Valek and slipping quickly into their world. Plus I love Ari and Janco and wish they were my friends!
7. Adrenalin-fuelled, Unputdownable Award- The Maze Runner
Wow, from the minute Thomas wakes up clueless in the elevator to the mind-bending letter at the end, I could not blink, breath or move other than to turn the page. The first in a trilogy, this book is non-stop twist and turns, just like the maze it is titled for! The action definitely continues in the next two books, but this was by far my favorite!
Favorite Quote: "WICKED is good."
8. The Beautiful Prose Award- Delirium
I am in LOVE with Lauren Oliver's words and I do not want a cure! The amazing intro's to each chapter gave me butterflies and by the end of the book, sections like the following left me in full blown "deliria"!“Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.”
9-10. Most Atmospheric and Vivid Setting/ I-So-Want-To-Go-There Award- Waterfall
I have always wanted to go to Italy, now I need to...hmmm, but how to go into the past, that may be trickier.
11. Most Original and Imaginative- Mistborn
Sometimes it seems as if I am reading the same story over and over again (especially with the current paranormal obsession with love triangles and insta-love) but in the Mistborn series, Brandon Sanderson has not only created a new world but he has created not one but two original and fascinating magical systems in Allomancers and Feruchemists. Throw in some brand new creatures, the Koloss and Kandra, add in some creepy Steel Inquisitors and you are in for an eye-opening ride!
12. Best Under-Appreciated, Hidden Gem Book- Crown Duel
I had never heard of Sherwood Smith before this book came up as a Kindle e-book deal but I won't forget her. Meliara and her brother lead a rebellion against a corrupt King and hist court but after Mel is captured by the Marquis of Shevraeth, a man of many faces, it is the court intrigues that keep both Mel and the reader on their toes. Mel is a heroine that makes mistakes, hold grudges and grows throughout the story, love her!
13. I-Had-No-Idea-I-Would-Love-This-So Award- Hollowland
Before: Zombies? Really? I dunno about this...
After: Zombies!! I need to trade my cat in for a zombie eating lion.
I was hooked from the first line: "This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."
14. Most Haunting Story- Wither
When I read the blurb about Wither, I was hesitant but Lauren DeStefano surrounds you with the world of Rhine and her sister wives until you can't help but care and cry for each of them.
15. Outside My Comfort Zone But Gosh How I Loved It- Knife of Never Letting Go
I definitely prefer fantasy and realistic fiction but if every sci-fi book was like the Knife of Never Letting Go, I would be a sci-fi fanatic. Ah Manchee, I love you but you make me so glad my dog can not talk. I can not wait to pick up the rest of this series!
I'll be honest, I definitely bought the first book because I loved the cover. I bought the next two because of the story. In a world where Wizards rule over the rest of the magical community, control is determined by a tournament to the death between two Warriors, but what happens when there is only one Warrior left?
17. Always Recommending This Book Award- Divergent
Last year I went through several copies of the Hunger Games because I kept giving them away. This year it was Divergent by Veronia Roth. I have no idea where my copies are right now but every once in a while a student will stop me and tell me they just read it and loved it and passed it on to another friend. Which is fine by me, as long as I get it back to reread before Insurgent comes out...
18. Completely Awesome Premise Award- White Cat
I am so glad that Curse Workers are fictional because I really hate wearing gloves. I think my favorite part of the Curse Worker premise is the "karma" or consequences that goes with a working. Also, this was the book that started me on a reading craze of all books from a male voice!
19. Would Make The Best Movie- Heist Society
Leverage is one of my favorite TV shows and this book is like an episode where all the main players are teens. This would be a great movie, along the lines of Oceans 11. Also, not going to lie, I want to see the casting of W.W. Hale.
20. Want To Re-read Already- Finnikin of the Rock
Let's end back where we started, with Melina Marchetta. Have I mentioned I love her?? While Finnikin is epic fantasy at its very best, it still has the heart and attention to relationships, both damaged and whole, that I love about Marchetta's realistic fiction. I am seriously considering a move (or at least a visit) to Australia so that I can pick up Froi of the Exiles (a companion novel) before it comes out in the states...
So there you go! What about you? What were your favorites of the year?