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. 

-Audrey

6 comments:

  1. Ah, so many great picks! I wish I'd left my lists to the actual end of the year as well. I just read I'll Be There and WOW.

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  2. Great picks! And aaah, Beauty Queens. It was so clever and awesome. I think I want to go re-read it. ASAP! I loved it. =D

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  3. I'm sorry, I was going to try and comment coherently but then Five Flavors of Dumb came up and my brain is going "YESSSSSS FFOD ANTONY JOHN <33333333"
    ... so I should probably just leave now.

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  4. A Monster Calls definitely deserves the #2 spot -- such a fantastic book! I actually haven't read a whole lot of books published in 2011 so I still need to catch up on a lot of the titles mentioned in your list. I did buy copies of Five Flavors of Dumb and A Little Wanting Song song right before Christmas though :D

    Also, you might already know this but Blood Red Road is going to be made into a movie directed b Ridley Scott (!!!).

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  5. two ausie books as your faves!

    okay, i seriously need to get on with reading the scorpio races...

    love all this list. you have brilliant taste in books, Audrey :)

    x

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