and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!
Top Ten Favorite Books That I Read In 2011: (in no particular order - 'r' denotes review)
01. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (r): I've talked a lot about this book, but there's so many reasons that I love it. The topics (water, horses), the writing (her writing methodology, descriptions, and characters inspire my writing), and the package as a whole. Sean Kendrick is a favorite.
02. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (r): How do you talk about a book like this? It's amazing in ways that I would never have been able to come up with myself. It's magical and inviting and paints the circus in a way that even someone who doesn't like them much can fall completely in love with it. I own both the hardback and the audiobook, and whatever format you choose, it's amazing. (Jim Dale narrates the audiobook.)
03. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (r): This book is perfect. Karou is such a strong female character, but not in a way that ignores emotional reactions as can be generalised in fiction. Everything in this book meshes together in such a cohesive yet totally unpredictable way that I remain in awe of Laini's imagination and skill.
04. Unwind by Neal Shusterman (r): Everyone needs to read this book. Neal has a way of humanising his books (and characters) in just the right way that hits somewhere inside of you and leaves a lasting imprint. I will never forget this story.
05. Stay by Deb Caletti (r): While this is a book about the development of an abusive relationship and its aftermath, the way everything builds up and its aftermath is handled so realistically that I had to shake my head every now and again and pull myself out of the story. Another one where the stylistic writing really makes everything else.
06. Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson (r): Though this book has a personal meaning for me, the story itself stands on its own two feet and offers an unpredictable story with an ending I would never have guessed. A bit of fresh air.
07. Divergent by Veronica Roth: Although I still haven't written a review for this one (I plan on re-reading and doing so over winter break), I loved it. I loved Tris and I loved learning about a Chicago I've never been to and, hopefully, never will go to. The action, the growth, the character interaction - I liked everything about it.
08. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (r): The writing here was absolutely fantastic for me. I know that it won't work for everyone, but it really showcased to me that different styles can work if they're polished and supported by a great story and characterisation. While reading I kept on taking pictures of the book with my phone to remember passages that stood out to me.
09. Variant by Robison Wells (r): A boarding school story with a wicked twist right off the bat, and where the twists kept on coming. I had no idea what was going on in places, but the mystery actually worked in favor as the reader is more and more able to figure things out while the author surprises you with other things. And that ending!
10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: I read both Anna and Lola this year, and I'd held off on reading Anna solely due to the title and the cover. I couldn't get past it, but then I finally read it and absolutely fell in love with everything about it. My advice for this would be: don't have the same title bias that I did because this one will blow you away.
Runners up: (I had a hard time not putting them on the list.)
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman: Amazing. I couldn't truly love Unwind because of its subject matter, but I loved this one. Like most of this books, I haven't read something quite like this and it hits you in an unexpected way.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (r): Aria, Perry, and a cast of fabulous secondary characters with a mysterious post-apocalyptic background make this book a treat to read.