Friday, December 23, 2011

Favorite Characters 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 or from the book itself.

Day Four: The Random 

1. Fave First Sentence
Winner: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (first paragraph, really...) 
“Wait- did you- You just yawned!” The vampire’s arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides. He pulled his exaggerated white fangs back behind his lips. “What, imminent death isn’t exciting enough for you?”

2. Fave Book Title
Winner: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb 
Unlike many of the YA novels released recently, A Certain Slant of Light possesses a creative and artistic title. If you haven't read the book, you won't really understand it, but those five words embody much of the mystery and intrigue surrounding the life of a sorrowful but curious spirit.
3. Fave Reading Experience
Winner: Pure by Julianna Baggott 
I stayed home from school sick one day and ended up spending hours immersed in this novel. It was a cool day with a breeze, so I stretched out on one of our poolside chairs. The cloudy weather fit the feel of the book, and I caught myself repeatedly staring out at the sky, contemplating the events of the story. It was one of the best afternoons I'd had in a while.
4. Book With the Best Food In It
Winner: Populazzi by Elise Allen 
Cara and Archer head towards their favorite local hamburger joint after school almost every day. Together, they eat salty fries and delicious chocolate milkshakes. Maybe I was just craving junk food at the time, but it sounded amazing when I read about it! 

 5. Book With the Most Sensual Weather
Winner: The Host by Stephenie Meyer 
My mouth literally watered when Wanda was forced to cross the barren, scalding desert. The sun and dust were vivid mental images, reinforced by the character's thirst and sweat. "It seemed like just minutes later when the morning dawned, blindingly bright and already hot enough to have me sweating."
6. Most Embarrassing Book Cover (feeling sheepish in public or just plain ugly) 
Winner: Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray 
You have to admit, it's pretty embarrassing. It looks like the cover for a little kids' book. I can't decide which is worse: the sparkly pink, starry night, or the witch that looks like she came from the Winx Club.

7. Can't Believe You Waited This Long to Read the Book
Winner: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles 
"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. [This is] a phenomenal story about self-discovery and looking past stereotypes. I was rooting for the hopeless couple the entire time."
8. Shatter Me
Winner: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 
"Mafi's writing style is truly unique. I've never encountered anything like it, and I was fascinated by her ability to manipulate words. The story's diction is so scatter-brained and intimate that it felt as though I was really inside Juliette's mind. At first, I was a little confused by the strange expressions, but I soon grew accustomed to the exotic style. Paired with an exemplary plot and fascinating characters, Mafi's words flowed effortlessly."
9. Book You'd Give Your Dad/Brother to Read
Winner: Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
“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. Book You'd Like to Give Your Past Self to Read
Winner: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
“The relationship between Frankie and Anna is a true gem in the world of literary characters. Painful yet honest, it held me captive as I watched the girls' broken hearts stitch themselves back up. Also, the bonds forged with these "twenty boys" bring a new kind of romance to light- one that forgives and forgets.

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."
11. Book That Lived Up to (or Superseded) the Hype
Winner: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
"The hype for this psychological thriller convinced me long ago that I HAD to get my hands on it. I mean, look at that cover. It's flipping gorgeous. The way Noah's hands are wrapped around Mara, enveloping her... Oh dear Lord, don't let me ramble on about Noah or we will end up waaaayyy off track.

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. "
12. Book You Stayed Up the Latest to Finish
Winner: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood 
I was up until after 2:00 in the morning finishing this intriguing novel. Granted, that was mostly because I needed to mail the book the next day... But still, it was a fabulous read!

13. Book You Were *Dying* to Get Your Hands on the Most
Winner: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
My thoughts the night before this novel was released: "

I can't even begin to explain how excited I am! I've done all of my homework in advance and warned my family that disturbing my time with Jace Wayland tomorrow night would be a death wish. I've been waiting for this book ever since I finished 
City of Glass forever ago. I can't wait to see Jace!!! *squeals*" 

14. Fattest Brick of a Book You Read (by page count)
Winner: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling 
So, I tried to refrain from handing out any of these awards to the Harry Potter novels, because I was pretty sure that if I did, the series would clean house. Everyone has been exposed to the incredible world of Rowling's creation, so I figured it was time to shed some light on other new novels (even though Harry Potter is AMAZING). However, I can't deny that HPatGoF deserves this award. 
15. Killer Cliffhanger Award
Winner: Delirium by Lauren Oliver 
"The ending... Oh wow. The book started out well, got better, and became downright awesome by the time I reached the climax. Then Oliver just ended the story. Don't get me wrong, I thought the final words were beautiful and inspiring, but I still can't believe that the book ended with such a cliffhanger! A sequel is obviously expected, and I cannot wait."