Saturday, December 31, 2011

faves of 2011: the BOOKS

The faves of 2011 series was hosted by Nomes at Inkcrush and ended like a week ago, but I wanted it to be my final list of the year, fittingly :) I hope you try some of the books I mentioned, and I had a fantastic reading year. I love you YA!

1. favourite book read in 2011

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley.

This to me, is like the little book that took me by surprise and gutted me because it was so, so, so beautiful. It was simple and quiet and unassuming, but I absolutely, completely, and mesmerizingly loved it. I didn't think I'd be able to choose a favourite, to tell you the truth... but this is it


Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

It’s fitting that I have a contemporary book there, but a fantasy? That one took me by surprise. Marchetta really pulled out all the stops by bringing the epic, and yes, that’s a thing. The book is powerful and twisted at time and intense with the most wonderfully crafted characters and delectable writing.

2. most powerful book

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Because Ness takes the universal feeling we all have and translate it so powerfully onto the page, it’s the type of book where I wonder “words can do this?” and then before I knew it, I was sobbing.

Honourable mentions: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager (these books were flipping fantastic)

3. brilliantly funny

Oh, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Because I think it was incredibly creative and brave to attempt a book like this, with fantastic and funny commentary on today’s society and such ridiculous characters. I had to put down the book and just laugh a few times at some of those footnotes.

Honourable mention: Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty. This book I read at the very beginning of the year and it does make me sad that I don’t remember it as well. I also can’t believe I haven’t read the third book in this series!

4. best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read

The ache-y will go to A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, because really, I ached for these characters.

The heart-breaking will go Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager. Carly just broke my heart over and over again, and this story was so powerful and engrossing, it’s definitely a read I won’t be forgetting soon.

The tear jerking will go to Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, because of the grim realities and sad truths of people who deserved to live but didn’t, and people who deserved to tell their stories but couldn’t.

A book that does have all three but does not come first in a category is Saving June by Hannah Harrington… oh dear.
Yeah, sorry Nomes for totally cheating on this category :p

5. most beautiful story
I'm cheating taking my pick from June.. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.

becuase it really is a story that stuck with me and it was told in a gorgeous, imaginative fashion and I just fell for the characters. A trifecta of beautiful for me.

6. delicious rainy day comfort read

I’m putting Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally for this category. Because CJ was a fast-paced, funny, and downright awesome book that made me forget about stress and just get caught up in the story. The numerous boys in the book don’t hurt either ;)

7. adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Yay, you keep this award!! That is, from since the half-year faves list. I wasn’t exactly emotionally invested in characters, but I won’t deny this was definitely a thrill-fest that got my heart pounding and myself fist-pumping for Tris.

8. the beautiful prose award

There really are too many to name, and I decided I just can’t pick a favourite. So in no particular order:

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
A Little Wanting Song / Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Split by Swati Avasthi
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

9. most atmospheric and vivid setting

The most atmospheric will have to go to The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater… the aura and most compelling aspect of this book was probably the mood and atmosphere Stiefvater wrote, it was just gorgeous.

The vivid setting will to go to Blood Red Road by Moira Young…oh goshes. If you’ve read this book you’d know exactly what I mean.

10. i-so-want-to-go-there award

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard!

Self explanatory, I think (well… if you’ve read the book, which YOU SHOULD when it’s released in 2012). Hubbard makes the setting come to life—she really does. And it’s not just lush beaches and towering palm trees, it’s the sweat on your back and killer mosquitos as well.  But I so want to go there.

11. most original and imaginative

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Because original and imaginative (and hilarious and smart ) would be my first and best adjectives to describe it.

Honourable mentions: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

12. best under-appreciated, hidden gem book

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

GUYS!! READ THIS BOOK!! It is charming, unique, and musical in a way with such a vibrant protagonist and a sibling relationship I just adore. And there’s a cute drummer boy too.

Honourable mentions: A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard, I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan, Split by Swati Avasthi

13. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I admit, I didn’t have the highest expectations for this one but I fell for it hard. That second half of the book was just brilliant.

Honourable mentions: A Little Wanting Song (again),  Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins, Blood Red Road by Moira Young, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

14. most haunting story

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Because the story itself is heartbreaking enough, but the writing and the characters just haunt the reader after finishing.

Honourable mentions: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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

I guess Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, because it’s an adult book and that’s not something I read often… but yeah, generally I don’t wander too far from my bubble of preferences, haha

16. series that i’m loving

Dustlands series by Moira Young (book #1 was Blood Red Road)

I recently reread BRR and loved it just as much as the first time around, and now I’m dying for the sequel!! Rebel Heart comes out in the second half of 2012!

Honourable mentions: The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan (it’s over! Waaah) and Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

17.  always recommending this book award

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

… obviously.

18. completely awesome premise award

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, I’m completely unfamiliar with fables about these horses, but as someone who comes into the premise knowing, really, nothing—it really did take the cake. Killer horses and a November race on some nondescript island somewhere.. it’s all pretty awesome. And the writing is woah.

Honourable mentions: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

19.  would make the best movie

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Because I can already see it unfolding like a movie in my head when I’m reading it, there’s enough action but there’s also a complex plot that it won’t be straight-forward and boring.

20.  want to re-read already

Split by Swati Avasthi

It’s one of those feelings that I just really want this book in my hands again.

Honourable mentions: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta, I’m hoping to reread this over winter break and write a semi-coherent review.  Where She Went by Gayle Forman, because I read this book in 2010, thus it’s not dominating all my lists. But trust me, this book was just brilliant.

And that's it, folks! I hope you guys had a stunning 2011, and have a safe and happy new year! Thanks to everyone who's visited and commented on my blog, I love you ALL SO MUCH. Mwah. 


Friday, December 30, 2011

2 Videos To (almost) conclude 2011

Sorry I haven't posted lately like promised, I have some draft reviews I have to polish up and post soon. I haven't been reading as much as I hoped, but I have some free time in the coming days (hopefully). That said, here are two videos.

The first, one of total cuteness and loveliness from two actors I'm just in love with. I've got a massive girlcrush on Zooey Deschanel (who doesn't? Okay, don't answer that) and I just want to marry Joseph Gordon-Levitt :) I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

The second is just my TotallyBooksessed video for this week, in case you're interested. It's just a quick mash-up of my 2012 life and blogging resolutions, I'll be making a more formal post on the first of January, as per usual :)

Tomorrow I'm posting my last "faves of 2011" post of the series (the BOOKS! Yay!) so I hope you check back! I can't believe 2011 is almost over, it's probably not the time to get totally sentimental. Have a great day, my lovelies :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BR: The Scorpio Races

by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver really wasn’t my thing, which was why I was so hesitant to read this book.. I’ve heard marvelous things about it though… but still…

Also, this review is kind of a mess... sorry :p

Summary (goodreads)

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My Expectations: not really high, I thought I’d be the odd one out again and dislike it :P
Delivery: this one is odd, I wasn’t feeling it for the first chunk, but then I was swept away and it surpassed all my expectations.
Put-down-ability: Quite a slow start, but seriously addicting towards the end. 4/10

My Thoughts

About halfway through the book, I knew what I was going to write for this review. Well, I thought I did anyways. I was going to compliment the writing and the premise, I was going to say it was kind of interesting but the motivations were weak and the characters didn’t convince me. I was going to say I knew why everyone loved it, but again, it just wasn’t the type of book for me.

But then… something strange happened. I started to realize how much I was enjoying the book and how compelling it was. I realized I had started flipping the pages feverishly and that it was 2 in the morning and I really had to go to class tomorrow morning. I realized as I finished the book the next day when I was supposed to be studying for a test in 3 hours (that I hadn’t even studied for yet) that I loved it*. Truly and honestly, I did. It really is special, and in the best way.

Preface: this isn’t a book for everyone. And if you didn’t like it, I completely understand where you’re coming, heck, I was with you for part of the book.

Pre-pre face: I stumbled upon this post and it helped me understand a lot—it also shows you why it might be a miss book for you. As in, the author herself says she spends 2 pages describing what is summed up as “Sean gets into the truck with Puck, the dog goes in the back, and Sean and Puck sit in awkward silence”. I just wanted to share that and say ‘huh’ because it’s a TIL moment.


Back to the strange thing in which I started liking really like adoring loving the book. It’s unfair to have a review like this because I can’t excuse (can I?) a sub-par beginning but I also want to just sit here and rave about all the things that seemed to simultaneously grow on me.  And a few weeks after this book is still swimming around in my head and I still have those distinct pictures of Sean and Corr or Sean and Puck in my head. The waves. The capaill uisce. By gosh, Stiefvater created one of the best atmospheres for her latest novel and it feels like it just built and built until I didn’t even realize how vividly I was experiencing the novel and imagining the long stretches of sand and water.

And the prose, oh my poor nerves, the prose is incredible, and it makes me sad that it took me so long to recognize it. It has a gentle rhythm that oscillates and pulses and it feels like the words are just poetry and chocolate. Words are used generously but it feels like every single one has its own perfect place, and I can’t figure out how to dole out higher praise. Through the writing, characters came to life and settings became real places, the race scenes rolled through my head like a movie and it was like a sensory overload that I was experiencing just through reading these beautiful words on a page. The author played with my emotions and eventually made me latch on to these characters she had created and care so effing deeply about the outcome of the predicaments… my poor nerves.

And here’s an odd tidbit: if you’re ever asked to analyze something for English class for poetic devices, let it be The Scorpio Races. It’s riddled with assonance and repetition, rhyme and alliteration… it’s easy to pick out the gorgeous metaphors and striking imagery… Stiefvater seriously is a talent.

So to wrap it up, I can say that the pacing wasn’t top-notch because I was disconnected at the beginning, but then I just got completely and utterly caught up with the story and fell in love. And part of me is still conflicted because I feel I might just be building it up in my head because of that ending, but I'll just ignore that part of me for now.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations / Oustanding
Recommended for: hmmm. Horse-lovers. Fans of nice prose, fables, interesting romances, unique premises.
Acknowledgements: 4/5

8.9/10 – because I loved the prose and the characters and the premise. The idea of these killer horses sets a new standard for unique, and Puck and Sean (in which I always refer to him as Sean Kendrick) were two of the more memorable characters of 2011. The problem I had with the novel was the pacing, and I think while much of the book was building up something—whether it was atmosphere, setting, mood—I just can’t justify it and I can say that it was just off. The beginning was too slow and it took quite a while to get into the story but I think when I flipped the last page, I couldn’t even remember that I was annoyed with the first 100.

*as you should now be able to tell after all its appearances on my faves of 2011 lists

source: Ontario book blogger meet-up (thank you!)
author livejournal / twitter

Saturday, December 24, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Fever by Lauren DeStefano (ARC)

So, I somehow ended up with multiple ARCs of Fever by Lauren DeStefano… which means I’m definitely giving them away because I know so many of you would love to read it.

The first giveaway for one copy is easy peasy, the second giveaway will be posted in a few days (#namethatbook funtimes, yes?) so stay tuned!

Prize: one ARC of Fever by Lauren DeStefano


Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

Add Fever on goodreads!

One big thing is that I ask you only enter if you've read Wither and you actually want to read and review Fever, not for the sake of "winning another contest" or getting your hands on a popular ARC. So yeah. Enter only if you mean it; I don't care if I only get 10 entries. I'm not a contest-nazi, I'm not going to cross-check your entries or anything.

-US/Canada only (second giveaway will be international though!)
-Ends Jan 4th, 11:59pm
-Fill out the form below. No entries for following, but if you tweet something about the giveaway or book (something like “Dude, you know how excited I am for Fever by Lauren DeStefano?” is totally fine) you get extra entries.

Thank you for entering, and Happy Holidays!!


Friday, December 23, 2011

2012 New Adult Challenge!

My 'faves of 2011 books edition' will be posted at a later time... probably closer to the end of the year! :)

Given my awful/terrible/horrendous/sad/pathetic streak at reading challenges, I thought, "why not sign up for more?!" You can see it's this type of superb logic was how I got into university.

The New Adult Challenge is hosted by the lovely Danya from A Tapestry of Words!!

Having graduated from high school and going through my first year of university (and the somewhat extreme highs, lows, and stressful times), New Adult (with characters my age) has been a genre I've been looking into for quite a while and I'm always wishing there were more books in this 'genre'. I feel the reason I have been drawn to YA these years is because I relate to the story and the characters, so I'd love to read more about characters that are in situations like mine or are my age. This is such a rambly paragraph, let's just move on to the

RULES (taken from Danya's blog)
  • The book must feature a protagonist who is past the average age for graduation from high school (18 in most places). If they're sitting on the fence at precisely age 18, then you can make the judgment call on whether it is more YA or New Adult. (If the majority of it is set in high school, I'd classify it as YA.) The protag should be younger than 30, just to give a maximum limit as well (otherwise we're getting into Not-So-New Adult literature!)
  • This does *not* mean the book must be of the contemporary genre. If it's a fantasy or dystopian or something and there *is* no concept of "graduation" in that world, then just go by our world's standards in deciding if it counts.

The levels:

Just Graduated: read a minimum of 3 New Adult books
Moving Out: read a minimum of 6 New Adult books
Living On Your Own: read a minimum of 9 New Adult books
Fully Independent: read every single New Adult book you can get your hands on

You don't have to have a blog to participate, but you must post your reviews somewhere accessible online (eg. Goodreads).
For ideas of books to read, check out this Goodreads list (begun by Chachic of Chachic's Book Nook): New Adult Literature. And you might find this list helpful too.

The challenge will run from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2012. Sign up HERE to participate in the quest to discover more New Adult books (and encourage authors and publishers to produce more!)


A HUGE thank you again to Danya who's hosting this challenge! 

I will be attempting the level "Moving Out"-- reading 6 New Adult books... good luck to me?


Thursday, December 22, 2011

faves of 2011: the CHARACTERS

The Faves of TwentyEleven series is hosted by Nomes at Inkcrush! It feels like everything so far has been a warmup (covers, randoms, scenes) but now it’s time to pull out the big guns.

1. favourite female main character

Charlie Duskin from A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley.

Because I loved her. You didn’t ask who wins the trophy for the best female lead or the strongest protagonist.. it’s picking favourites and she’s mine.

2. favourite male main character

It’s a three way tie between:

1) Froi from Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta, because she redeemed him from that awful act in Finnikin and so much more
2) the immortalized Sean Kendrick from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater who I can’t get out of my head still.
3) the utterly charming, dangerous, and dishonest Alan Ryves from The Demon’s Surrender, because I think Angie said it best—“My love for this boy is utterly indecent”

Honourable mentions: Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood, Cassel from Red Glove, Jack from Blood Red Road, Jace from Split.

3. best couple <3

Charlie and Dave from A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

It was hard to choose just one, but these two have won it all, apparently. They’re achingly good characters on their own and devastatingly good together.  I loved their relationship and mishaps and subtlety of this romance that comes heavy with emotion instead of sex.

Honourable mentions (prepare yourself): Anna and Etienne (Anna and the French Kiss), Andi and Virgil (Revolution), Carly and Ryan (Raw Blue), Tris and Four (Divergent), Saba and Jack (Blood Red Road), Sin and Alan (The Demon’s Surrender), Kat and Hale (Uncommon Criminals), Lucy and Ed (Graffiti Moon), Bria and Rowan (Wanderlove), Puck and Sean (The Scorpio Races), Froi and Quintana (Froi of the Exiles), Harper and Jake (Saving June).


Yeah. I know. I am a fan of YA romance. And there are more couples, seriously.

4. who i so want to be best friends with

I’ve gotta stick with my choice from my half-year list… Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

Honourable mentions: Jordan (Catching Jordan) and Bria (Wanderlove)

5. who i fell completely in love with (new literary crush)

Oh hey there, Sean Kendrick (The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater), here’s the deal. At first, I was just checking you out from afar, you didn’t look so hot and I thought you were kind of an unimpressionable dick. And then somehow I ended up inside your head and everything started changing and I was getting caught up in your relationship with your horse of all things (your horse! Well okay, I admit, Corr is kick-ass) and then… yeah. I fell in love with you. It was odd, unexpected, but totally awesome.

6. worst (best & baddest) villain

Warner from Shatter Me

Was it weird that I wanted you in the book more, just so I could relish in your creepiness? I liked the fact that you weren’t just another stock villain, you were deliciously and charmingly unnerving.

7. best character twist (who you loved then hated or vice versa)

Emmi from Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Hey, Emmi! I wanted to kick you in the face at first. And now I really don’t. Nice job, girl.

8. best kick-arse female

Saba from Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

Because when it comes down to it, she’s more stubborn and flawed than Tris (Divergent). She’s more bad-ass than Anna (Anna and the French Kiss) and June (Legend), though maybe equally awkward. And okay, Sin (The Demon’s Surrender) can lie way better but you can’t have it all.

9. best kick-arse male

Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth

because damn I can’t stop thinking about you. I think you’ve made quite the lasting impression because I don’t remember thinking so highly of you when I was actually reading the book!

Honourable mentions: Alan from The Demon’s Surrender, Day from Legend, Froi from Froi of the Exiles, Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood (you have a sword, man).

10. broke your heart the most

Quintana from Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

… if you’ve read the book, you’d know.

You’d know.

11. favourite pet/animal character award

Corr (The Scorpio Races)! A water horse. That’s red. And is amazing.

Super duper honourable mention: Nero from Blood Red Road, I didn’t ever think I could like a crow so much.

12. best YA parents award

Andy and Nathan from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Infinite hearts for loving, involved, and overprotective parents.

13. favourite sibling relationship

Jace and Christian from Split by Swati Avasthi—it’s strained, tough, heartbreaking and beautifully done.

Honourable mentions: Jamie and Mae (The Demon’s Surrender), Nick and Alan (The Demon’s Surrender again!), Chase and Noah (Invincible Summer), Sam and Riddle (I’ll Be There)

It’s true, I like books about brothers

14. favourite best friends/friendship award

Kat and her awesomesauce crew in Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter. They just mesh together so freaking well, I love it! Plus, anything with W.W. Hale cannot be a bad thing.

15. best/worst character names

Hmmm, just some quick ones. I’m probably skipping the book titles, I’ll just give names.

Bad: Beatrice, Delores, Elder, Virgil, Wayland, Four, Leon, Mandy, Nailer

Good: Lucy, Piper, Finn, Cas, Andi, Bria, Rowan, Archer, Harper, Charlie, Archer, Mandarin,

On the fence: Riddle, Julliette, Sin, Froi, Mara, Gaia, Violet

Bonus: best love triangle

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

because it wasn’t about the girl.


Whew, that was quite a list. It's hard to pick favourites, and I'm pretty sure that in a week I'll be kicking myself for forgetting someone (and I'm already planning on writing a post with 'new and improved faves of 2011' or something because there are more books to be read!

Anyways, this concludes the fourth segment of this awesome series, my question to you would probably be #6, who's your favourite villain of 2011??

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

faves of 2011: the SCENES

The Faves of TwentyEleven series is hosted by the lovely Nomes of Inkcrush fame :) It's an awesome best-of/wrapt-up feature that I'm so excited to be participating in. Today, we're doing the SCENES!!
Previously: the covers, the random

1. best first chapter

Split by Swati Avasthi

Directly from my review: “Starting with one of the most captivating first chapters I’ve read in a long time” haha… oh man, it just set the tone and the essence of the book perfectly.

2. best climax

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, because it’s not the typical type of climax you would expect. It grows gradually and then suddenly it feels like you were punched in the gut and the wind’s knocked out of you and you’re crying and everything is just… oh.

3. best ending

I adored the ending for I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan… oh *le sigh*. It made me happy; definitely some much needed karma!

Honourable mention: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.. was there anything more perfect (ish)? Also, Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins-- cliffhangers aren't usually my thing but this one was damned good.

4. best plot twist/revelation (no spoilers!)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (I wasn’t a huge fan…though that was quite a twist)

In addition, Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (this book is just full of plot twists, which just made it that much more awesome)

5. scariest/most disturbing scene

There’s some pretty messed up shit that goes down in Nothing by Janne Teller…

Honourable mention: Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess, because it was definitely disturbing—a no holds barred disturbing portrayal of a broken childhood.

6. steamiest scene (or sweetest/sexiest kiss award)

I just finished Saving June by Hannah Harrington.. so that Jake/Harper scenes is pretty fresh in my mind… ;) Tied with Saving June is Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager, which is pretty damn sexy as well.

And sweetest kiss probably goes to Piper and Ed in Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John… oh the swoon!!!!

7. best swoon-worthy moment

I think I’m giving this one to Charlie and Dave from A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley for the whole book… no, seriously.

Moment/scene wise…. I just finished rereading Blood Red Road by Moira Young, and there’s this one kissing scene which is rough, gritty and oh so swoony!

Honourable mentions: like everything in Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and all the Andi/Virgil awesomeness in Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

8. biggest nail-biting moment

I really loved the last race scene of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.. I was pretty tense and emotionally attached at that point. I feel obligated to mention my love for Sean and Corr in every recap, it seems.

Honourable mentions: all the intense scenes in Divergent by Veronica Roth, and pretty much the entirety of Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta. The cage moments in Blood Red Road by Moira Young were pretty damn fierce too.

9. most hilarious scene

Not a scene, per se, but definitely some of those letters from Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty!

Honourable mentions: Can I also add everything in Beauty Queens by Libba Bray? The footnotes were an especially awesome touch. In addition, there were some truly laugh out loud moments in Babe in Boyland by Judy Gehrman.

(yes, I do know that today’s category is ‘scenes’ but I’m having too much fun breaking the rules)

10. most heart-breaking/tear-jerker moment

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I was in tears at the end, and anyone who’s read the book will know exactly what I mean.

Honourable mentions: In Saving June by Hannah Harrington, there’s a part at the very end in which the tears started flowing…  In The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan, there’s also this scene between Nick and Alan that made me cry. A scene at the end of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys in which you would think my eyeballs were taps.  There were more than a few heart-breaking moments in Split by Swati Avasthi, as well as A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley.

Whew, that was quite a list!

BONUS: favourite meet cute

I feel like all the books I read have characters that meet in pretty intense circumstances (seriously, someone is always trying to kill the other)… I’m seriously drawing a blank here!


And stay tuned tomorrow where I list my faves of 2011: the characters edition! What I'd love to know from you is the answer to the bonus question (that I apparently couldn't think of an answer for!) What's your favourite meet cute in a YA book? 

ps~ I thought you might be wondering why Where She Went by Gayle Forman... which is just brilliant... isn't on my lists! It's because I read it in 2010! Or it just might be dominating :P