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Friday, June 24, 2011

Faves of 2011 - Day 1

So my good friend Nomes over at InkCrush is hosting a Faves of 2011 blog series (ain't that button just adorable?) where you get to award your favorite books that you've read in 2011. The blogs series will last 3 days/posts and has all kinds of funky good categories. These are my awards for Day 1. You can join in the fun and post your own - go have a looksee at what Nomes has listed and add a link to yours. This is a great way to build your TBR list (not that mine needs to be any bigger, haha). In truth I had a ton of fun just thinking back about all the books I've read so far this year. It was really hard to choose some!! Hope you enjoy my list. :)

1. favourite book read so far in 2011 Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager 

I had a hard time choosing between this and Anna and The French Kiss. I loved both, but Raw Blue was just so quietly astounding. Wonderful prose and so atmospheric, I could just feel myself on that beach. So many books about rape border on the preachy side, and focus on the aspect of having to "tell" about what happened, but this book never did. It focused more on the healing of the person inside, and I really felt in tune to Carly's struggle to learn to trust again. I loved this book so much that I gave it to a friend to read and then sent it across the country for another friend and she sent it to another. Hoping that the book tour continues and more can share this wonderful story! If you'd like to read it (and you live in the US) drop me a line.

2. most powerful book Hold Still by Nina LaCour

I have read a lot, and I mean a lot, of YA books that deal with death - of siblings, friends, parents (I've even written one myself). I have to say that Hold Still is probably my favorite. It was so beautiful and uplifting to see this young woman pull herself back into the world of the living after her friend dies, and the new friends she made, well they're the kind that I want for myself. 

3. brilliantly funny Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

I read this just two days ago!! And found myself laughing out loud. Oh, it was just so funny and brilliant and awesome. I passed it on to someone else already and I look forward to the rest of the series. I have to see what goes on with the Sex God!!

4. best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read Hold Still by Nina LaCour 
Well, I haven't read that many books this year that I can nominate a book for just one award. Let's just say that I was in tears through a good portion of the pages

5. most beautiful story Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager 

6. delicious rainy day comfort read Guitar Highway Rose by Brigid Lowry. 

I just finished this one last night, and it was an easy choice. It's so brilliantly quirky and fun. The tone of this book reminded a lot of Beatle Meets Destiny (a fave of last year). I liked the simple prose and the way she described the setting by using lists. It reminded me that you don't have to get flowery with your words to convey a meaning. Plus I really enjoyed the way she incorporated all of the characters, even the parents, into the story. I really just adored it. *sigh*

7. adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn 

This book takes place over the course of one night and really it is kind of non-stop action, and kissing and sexy sexy dancing, and just a whole lot of music, fun and good good times! This is youth at it's best. :)

8. the beautiful prose award Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater continues to astound me with her use of words. And book 3 is coming out soon!

9. most atmospheric and vivid setting Fire by Kristin Cashore

It was a toss up between this and Finnikin of the Rock. I love epic fantasies for the way that they transport you to another place and time.

10. i-so-want-to-go-there award Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I've always wanted to go to Paris, never got a chance in high school even though I took 3 years of French. C'est une tragedie! This book really did it for me. I WILL go there someday! 

11. most original and imaginative The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness  
I recently did a review of this one, here. I loved most everything about this book, but the thing that struck me the most was how I thought it was one thing when it was something completely different. 

12. best under-appreciated, hidden gem book Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin
The back cover blurb of Bethany's first book doesn't do it justice. It's sexy and true to life and maybe just a wee bit, okay a lot, addictive. Read it in nearly one sitting. :) 

13. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award The Midnighters by Scott Westerfeld
This is more of a MG book than a YA, and the thing is that I always have this reaction to SW's stories. I don't expect to enjoy them so much, but then I do. I love the concept and there's one scene in particular in the first book that continues to play with my imagination. It was just that cool. 

14. most haunting story The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier 
This book isn't haunting in that it's scary. It's haunting in that it has a very strong message about the way the world works. It's a tad pessimistic, which goes against every grain in my being, and yet it's true. I think that's why it sticks with me as being haunting because I know that people can really be like that. Highly recommended read, especially if you like dark stuff without a lot of edginess (as in sex, swearing and stuff). 


15. outside my comfort zone but gosh how i loved it  

Sorry, none of my 2011 reads fit this category. I'm not sure if that means that I'm comfortable with everything or what. I know if I had read that Ellen Hopkins book I was thinking of getting that I'd have something to list. I think me and books in verse are just not going to mesh well.

16. series that i’m loving Tomorrow Series by John Marsden
Everyone should read this series. It's so easy to look away when war isn't in your backyard, but this book/series reminds us that it could very well happen to you. Plus, kids kicking the butts of trained soldiers? What's not to love?
17.  most memorable voice award The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 

See my review for a sample of Todd's voice. Loved it. 

18. completely awesome premise award Feed by MT Anderson
Oh gosh. I have to admit that I really didn't like this book when I was done with it. I spent a lot of time hating the characters while marveling over the technology that Anderson invents. It took me a while to understand that the whole book is a parody (yes, I'm that slow), but once I understood that I liked it a whole lot more. This book leaves you with a lot to think about.

19.  would make the best movie Divergent by Veronica Roth
I imagine this as a Matrix meets Fight Club meets Hunger Games mix. Haha... Of course I really just want to know who they'd choose to play Four. :)

20.  want to re-read already Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager
Dang, if I had time I would re-read everything on this list. But, I don't, and I always think that there are so many good books out there that I haven't experienced that I tend NOT to re-read things. Still, if there is one book that I will take seconds of, it will be this one.


Karla Nellenbach said...

I've heard such wonderful things about RAW BLUE, but alas, my library does not have it :(

also, DIVERGENT...YES! your description of it is perfect! the purely awesome love child of MATRIX, FIGHT CLUB, and HUNGER GAMES :) one of the best books so far this year.

Cara said...

The Knife of Never Letting Go. That alone makes your list awesome.

I tried to read The Midnighters series and just could not get into it. Same thing happened with The Uglies. I think I just don't like his writing style.

And Anna and the French Kiss! <3

Lovely list!

Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) said...

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging made my lists as well! :) Such great books on your list!

Misty said...

Finnikin of the Rock is a wonderfully vivid novel. I can't wait for the second one to come out! It looks very good.

Misha said...

Great list! I love Anna and the French Kiss and The Chocolate War. I want to read Hold Still and Raw Blue.

Nomes said...

oh O.o you have SO MANY of my faves on here

(like: raw blue (your #1!), hold still, tomorrow when the war began, angus, thongs (i had that too), the chocolate war, anna, handcuffs and guitar highway rose!)

i should read some patrick ness (i guess that would be outside of my comfort zone, haha)

love all your picks and the categories you chucked them in :)

Alexa said...

There are so many book on here that I am dying to read!

I also loved Nick and Norah ~ so much fun and Linger is beautiful, I can't wait for Forever, to see how things end up.

Melanie said...

Wow! this is such an awesome list. Reading Raw Blue now, but damn, I have a lot of reading to do. I have to figure out a way to read during the day while the kids play. Just hate being distracted when I'm really into a book and w/kids in the screaming at each other at their top of their lungs and tattle telling CONSTANTLY it's just so darn hard. *sigh*.

danya said...

Thanks for dropping by! Wow, your list is quite eclectic. I've heard good things about Hold Still, so I'm thinking I should check that one out.

And yay for Anna & the French Kiss! That one is such a great feel-good read.

AliyaPM said...

Wow! There are SO MANY books that you've put up that I love! Vampire Academy, Linger, The Midnighters, etc. Great List!

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Love this list! So many of my favourites are on here! Raw Blue is such an awesome re-read book. And I love that you featured Guitar Highway Rose :)



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