Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite books of 2011

So I've spent the last week browsing my goodreads shelves trying to come up with my favorite books of 2011.  My top read is easy.  It has to be Froi of the Exiles by the incomparable Melina Marchetta.  It's one of my favorite books ever, not just of 2011.

From my review of Froi:

This book is beautiful and complicated. It's epic fantasy that's truly epic, not just the same-old-same-old elves versus humans versus dwarves versus mages versus fill-in-the-blank. You can't say "Charyn is evil and Lumatere is good" because that's way too simplistic. This book looks at the complicated relationships between two countries and the people who are sometimes unwittingly caught in the middle.

Read more here

The rest of the Top 10 list wasn't as easy.  I've read 116 books (thus far) in 2011.  Due to the goodreads and the blogging community I've read more EXCELLENT books that ever before.  These are my most loved books. They aren't the newest or the most literary, but my personal favorites that I discovered during 2011.

2.The Raging Quiet

This is a book that surprised me. The more I think about it the more it grows in my opinion.  I have my friends to thank for introducing me to this book and convincing me to read it.  If you haven't read it, trust me it's better than the cover would have ou believe.

See my review here

3. Graffiti Moon
Not technically released yet (in America) but I had an e-galley. This book is another wonderful story from Australia.  Some people may think of it Australia the land of kangaroos & koalas.  I think of it as the place all the best YA comes from.

See my review here

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bones

One of the few books that has garnered lots of well-deserved praise.  A different kind of paranormal that has a love story that doesn't bother me!

See my review here

5. Leviathan
This is a book that I love but never actually reviewed.  It's a steampunk story set in an alternative past.  You have a girl dressed up as a boy (yes please) in order to join the military, a dash of World War I history and an Austrian prince. Seriously it's like Westerfeld wrote this book with me in mind. So many of my favorite things!

6. Demonglass
The Hex Hall series remains one of my favorites.  Fun and snarky, just the type of book I want to spend more time with.  I never came up with a more coherent review of this book than "I WANT TO KISS ARCHER" (seriously that's what my goodreads review says) but that's only because I love it too much for words.

7. Feed
If you're looking for a zombie novel that's got some depth Feed is the book for you.  This one blew every other zombie book out of the water.  This is an intelligent zombie story that's not just all blood and gore, but part political thriller.

See my Review here

8. One Salt Sea
Rarely does a series keep getting better and better.  Most of the time they start strong, then as the author pushes out books in a hurry diminish in quality.  This series is the exception.  Every book gets better.

Here is a Breakdown of a Heroine that also serves as a series review.  If you aren't reading this series you're really missing out on some wonderful urban fantasy.

9.The True Meaning of Smekday

I surprised myself by putting this on the list.  And as I eliminated books I couldn't get rid of Smekday.  This audiobook of this is hilarious.  I never even reviewed this book on my blog.  But this is a fun adventurous story that everyone should read.

10. Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Sometimes I still wonder how this didn't win the Printz.  This is the type of book that could go so wrong but doesn't.  It's smarter than your average book.

See my review here

Most anticipated of 2012 (right now for me)
Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins, Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Timeless by Gail Carriger, Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire, Cinder (review here) by Marissa Meyer


Aurora said...

Many great choices! I've yet to read Froi, I can't believe I missed it when it came out!

veela-valoom said...

It's also only out in Australia. A friend loaned it to me. But it's worth buying on Fishpond and Aussie shipping. I was SOOOOO impressed. Books don't get better than Froi.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Love, love, love Smekday (or most of it anyway, there are a few hiccups in the middle). And I picked up the Raging Quiet at a library book sale, and was also pleasantly surprised by it. Great concept and historical details.

P.S. And I just have to add a comment on your hometown: In my WIP, a Corbin is a type of Pooka that inhabits crows and ravens. I have more details on my novels page.

Bookluvr Mindy said...

Yay!...for Demonglass!!!

Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

Wendy Darling said...

Great picks, Cassi! I've had Leviathan, Graffiti Moon, and Rosemary & Rue on my TBR list forever. Hopefully I can get to them soon in 2012!

Jennifer Rummel said...

I haven't read most of these, but I ADORE the Hex Hall series too!

veela-valoom said...

I love how there can be so many YA "Top lists" that are all so different.

Angelica: Smekday was memorable and a funny sci-fi book. How often does that happen? It's sense of humor just won me over. About the name Corbin--did you pick it for any reason? Just curious if it had any particular meaning. I think my town is most likely just named after someone.

Wendy you definitely need to give them a try. I have a lot of books on my TBR list for a long time. I need to re-organize and move some books up where they keep getting buried (or maybe actually read books on my TBR list...)

Hex Hall is my book-hubby meaning its the book I would marry if you could marry books...I may have proposed to the book via twitter even...

Angelica R. Jackson said...

The word/name Corbin is kind of a bastardization of the Latin for raven, corvinus. My corbin character is actually named Lonan, which also means blackbird.

veela-valoom said...

Corvinus that does make sense! I feel like I've heard that before in a Tamora Pierce novel or maybe something else.

That's a clever way to invent a species. In one of my WIP stories I have a placeholder name because I have no good ideas.

Unknown said...

Demon Glass sounds so good! I'll have to add that to my TBR list now.

veela-valoom said...

It's a must read! Seriously Hex Hall and Demonglass are just great. Can't wait for Spell Bound in March!

Crystal said...

These look great! Especially Graffiti Moon--I heard about that a while back and after reading your review, it's definitely on my TBR list now :)

veela-valoom said...

Graffiti Moon is excellent! I really need to read more by that author, I just like her style of writing.