Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011

This week I will be participating in InkCrush's faves of 2011 events! Feel free to join in. It's a great way to review the year and reminisce about your favorite reads. The quote next to the winner of an award comes from my review of the book.

Day One: The Books

1. Favorite Book Read in 2011
"Most of the time, writing a review for a book isn't a challenge for me. I've already gathered my thoughts and know just what I want to say. It's different with DeliriumThis book is so powerful and deep that I'm finding it difficult to describe. The ending left me speechless... I think I have contracted a very serious case of Amor Deliria Nervosa because of this novel. Delirium is a breathtakingly real and painful novel."

2. Most Powerful Book
"No matter how many times I read this book, I am still blown away by the piercing emotions Meyer is able to evoke from the reader. I cannot not love this book. Everything about it draws me in and surrounds me in a world of pain, fear, love, and passion. There is not another book like it. I don't think I could ever choose one favorite novel, but The Host is definitely way up there on my list."

3. Brilliantly Funny 
"Now, there comes a time in every teenage girl's life where she just NEEDS a book like this. That is to say, she needs a book packed with the hilarious, over-the-top, ridiculous but true drama of high school. While Georgia might kick everything up a notch on the comedy scale, the basic emotions and desires of every teenage girl is embodied in her tale of side-splitting escapades."

4. Best Ache-y, Heart-breaking, Tear-jerker Read
"When I picked this book up, I had no idea what I was in for... I found myself thrown into the story of two girls who are desperately attempting to pick up the pieces of their lives, which were shattered in one heart-breaking, irreversible moment. My emotions were taken on a wild roller coaster, and my heart hurt for Anna and Frankie, as well as their families. Twenty Boy Summer is a powerful, breath-taking story of before and after, love and loss, pain and healing, devastation and hope. I sincerely hope that you all decide to give this book a shot, because it is truly a masterpiece."

5. Most Beautiful Story
"I knew I was going to like this book from the very beginning. Elkeles’ writing is raw and emotional, making even the lightest of scenes intense and dramatic. When Caleb and Maggie are together, there is a passion and depth of understanding that amazed me. Leaving Paradise is a masterpiece, full of heartache and forgiveness. The ending nearly had me in tears, and I am EXTREMELY anxious to get my hands on the sequel, Return to Paradise."

6. Delicious Rainy Day Comfort Read

"This was my third time to read this haunting love story, and I found it just as romantic and mesmerizing as before. I simply cannot get enough of A Certain Slant of Light. I was enchanted by everything about it- the unique plot, the heartbreaking characters, and the vivid descriptions."

7. Adrenaline-fueled, Unputdownable Award
"Warning: this book is ADDICTIVE. Like, I'll-stay-up-reading-until-my-eyes-burn addictive. I could literally ramble on for several hundred more words (trust me, my friends, who have been listening to me rave all day, would second that), but I'll spare you the pain. In short, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a creepy, hilarious, sexy, and beautifully-written novel that will have you dying inside. Go buy it. NOW."

8. The Beautiful Prose Award
"This is one of those novels that keeps you up late at night. Thought-provoking concepts are thrust into the light, and topics of death and freedom are brought to the surface. Rhine's world has a depressing and claustrophobic feel to it. The execution of the plot and setting is brilliant. Wither is a powerful read. What would you do in Rhine's shoes? What do you truly believe in? And what are you willing to sacrifice?"

9. Most Atmospheric and Vivid Setting
"Right off the bat, I knew this book was going to be insanely freaky. The cover and synopsis told me as much, but for some reason I didn't understand how dark this novel was going to be. If you're opposed to death and gore, as well as frightening scenes from your worst nightmares, then I would recommend keeping this book at arm's length. However, I found this original story captivating. The entire story played out like a movie in my mind, with vivid scenery and characters."

10. I-So-Want-To-Go-There Award
"There was tons of hype for this book, and my expectations were set pretty high. I'm incredibly glad to say that I was in no way disappointed. Paranormalcy is plain awesome. The story sucked me in and spat me back out, leaving me breathless with anticipation for a sequel. Everything about it was captivating. I spent an entire day devouring White's words and squealing when I crossed a romantic scene."

11. Most Original and Imaginative
"Before starting Tyger Tyger, I had read numerous reviews full of praise, and I had high expectations for both the plot and the characters... I was definitely intrigued and entertained by the uniquely creepy and imaginative world of goblins. I devoured the book in one day, unable to put it down. This fresh, originally imaginative novel impressed me. I would recommend it to lovers of out-there fantasy novels, and maybe lovers of romance."

12. Best Under-appreciated, Hidden Gem Book
"I would definitely recommend this series to anyone. The emotional roller coasters and amazing characters will leave you breathless. Powerful and moving, these novels will sweep you off of your feet and redefine the meaning of unconditional love."
13. I-Had-No-Idea-I-Would-Love This-So Award
"Don't let this book's cover fool you- while the cute pink background and witch hint at a lighthearted piece of chick lit, underneath lies a dark story of a love that spans the centuries. Honestly, I was expecting a story stuffed with fluff and comedy. I was surprised by the rich writing and depth of Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale."

14. Most Haunting Story
"Derting was able to create another creeptastic plot. Violet's morbid ability leads her into trouble again, and Jay is dragged along with her. Spine-chilling clues are scattered throughout the story, helping the reader to piece the mystery together as Violet discovers the secrets of the dead. This series is fabulous for any dark mystery lover, as well as those who love a steamy romance."

15. Outside My Comfort Zone But Gosh How I Loved It
"I have no idea how to put this book into words... There are so many heart-wrenching emotions, so much loss and desperation. Pure is the quintessential dystopian novel. Pure isn't a novel you can enjoy. It's a novel you'll fear, love, hate, and admire. If you decide to give this exceptional novel a shot, I promise you won't regret it. Young or old, boy or girl, every reader will take a part of Pure with them after reading it."
16. Series That I’m Loving
"Cassandra Clare is truly an incredible author. From her snarky and hilarious characters to her nail-biting roller coaster of a plot, she never disappoints. I hadn't realized how much I truly missed reading and thinking about the world of Shadowhunters. I admit that I have mixed feelings about The Mortal Instruments series continuing, though. Still, she seems to be weaving the stories together, and knowing how amazingly brilliant she is, the next two books will probably blow my mind."

17.  Always Recommending This Book Award
"After reading the first twenty-five pages, I already knew that Shatter Me was going to earn a place on my favorites shelf. It was just one of those books. You know, the ones that have you shunning friends and family in order to squeeze in more reading time? The ones that keep you up, devouring words until your eyes burn? I have no doubt that supernatural YA lovers will devour this pulse-racing novel."
18. Completely Awesome Premise Award
"This book was so, so well written. The deep concepts and moral decisions were thought-provoking and original. While it had the dystopian feel that I love so much, it also had a more romantic feel that other futuristic books lack. Not romantic as in lovey-dovey, but romantic as in beautifully written and sensuous. Matched definitely reminded me of other brilliant dystopian novels, such as The Hunger Games, but it still had a wonderfully creative plot and an intriguing society."
19.  Would Make the Best Movie
"When I stumbled across this one and randomly began to read the first page, I was sucked in and forced to finish the entire novel. Everything about the book entranced me- the cover, the premise, and the characters. I would definitely recommend Eden to anyone who is searching for a futuristic tale full of drama, romance, action, and emotion. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I happened upon this incredible book. "

20.  Want to Re-read Already
"Why on earth did I wait this long to read Perfect Chemistry? From the moment I picked it up, I knew I would love it. I stayed up late reading, devouring page after page of this heart-breakingly honest story of star-crossed lovers. I just couldn't set it down. Perfect Chemistry is a phenomenal story about self-discovery and looking past stereotypes. I was rooting for the hopeless couple."