Standard
3

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Reads of 2011

Wow.

Its been almost an entire year since I made the first Book Tasty post. Book Tasty started off as an experiment for myself; a place to write without it getting too personal. Then Book Tasty morphed in a full blown Young Adult/Middle Grades book blog with the goal of helping people find titles that will interest them.

Throughout the past year I’ve read a lot of books. A lot! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday will be a list of my ten favorite reads from 2011. Just to clarify however, these books didn’t have to be published in 2011, I just had to read them in 2011 for them to be considered. All the books I read this year were considered, so here it goes!

Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron by Catherine Fisher

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David LubarSleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Smile by Raina Telgmeier

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Dark Life by Kat FallsDark Life by Kat Falls

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally CarterCross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter


Craceling by Kristin CashoreGraceling by Kristin Cashore

and I have to add one non YA fiction title (to make it eleven titles) because it was so amazing!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

What were some of your favorite titles you’ve read this year? Did any of mine make it on your list too? Please share :)

1

End of the Year Book Survey 2011

The End of the Year Book Survey was created by Jaime at The Perpetual Page-Turner.  This is its second year, and my first year participating.  Boy, it took a lot of work, but it was fun to look back at my first year as a book blogger.  If you’re interested in participating, click on the image above and sign up!

Best Book You Read In 2011? 

I’m definitely picking two.  My favorite Young Adult title this year was Divergent by Veronica Roth (loving this dystopian romance trend!).  My favorite regular adult fiction (saying adult fiction sounds kinda dirty but I have to make the differentiation), was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.Divergent by Veronia Roth

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

I was pretty excited to read Vixen by Jillian Larkin because I love the “Roaring ’20s” (I’ve been a flapper for Halloween more than 3 times).  I was so disappointed though.  The writing just wasn’t that great and although I thought the story was fun I felt like I was reading a cheap romance novel.  Oh well!

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

I rarely read books with guy main characters because I prefer/relate to female characters (since I’m one).  But in an effort to be better adept at recommending “boy books” to my male students I read Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar and loved it!  Scott was a male main character/narrator who I completely identified with and I was very surprised by and impressed with the book!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

I think I have two for this one.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins most definitely.  My students hadn’t really heard much about it and we added it to the 8th grade summer reading list.  I’ve been asking those that didn’t do their summer reading, “Have you read The Hunger Games yet?” And they’ll respond with something like, “No but my friend/sister/brother has and they love it!”.  So I encourage them to read it as well! Also, I tell other adults about how they really need to read this series; it helps when there is a movie on its way.

Also, I think City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is the other title I’ve recommended most this year.  I have tons of girl students who have read the Twilight series and maybe the Vampire Academy series or the Vampire Kisses series, but they don’t know what to read next.  So I tell them how cool Clary and the Shadow Hunters are and how there are all sorts of supernatural creatures in this series, not just vampires.    They check it out and get hooked; my job is complete!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I know the books have been out for a while, but I didn’t start reading them until this year; I love The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter!  I’ve only read two of these books so far, but they’re my escape to normal life (they’re spies but somehow I think this is normal) after reading too much supernatural or dystopian fiction.  This series is just so light and fun they leave me wishing I was a part of Cammie’s group of friends.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Well, Stephanie Perkins isn’t really a new author, but I hadn’t really known who she was before reading Anna and the French Kiss. Lola and the Boy Next Door is in my TBR stack!   I also adore Veronica Roth and Divergent was awesome.  I can’t wait to read more of her writing in the future!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher really wierded me out at first.I think it was because I couldn’t categorize its genre.  It’s a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, and dystopian fiction.  My mind was boggled and somewhere I found myself absolutely loving it.  I guess the librarian in my likes to classify and when I have trouble doing so it makes me uncomfortable.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

When I started the Clockwork Angel audiobook by Cassandra Clare I was completely enthralled and listened to it whenever it was socially acceptable to.  I even did dishes every day for like two weeks just so I could have an excuse to listen to it! (If you know me, you’ll know that I despise washing dishes!).  I was happy and my husband was happy (that he didn’t have to do the dishes!).

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.   Oh I have been waiting for more Will and Tessa (and Jem even though he’s not my favorite) since I finished Clockwork Angel in March.  I know it wasn’t a super long time to wait, but when one loves Will Herondale you require his presence more frequently.   :)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The cover for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater gets me every time.  The icy blue of the trees and branches surrounding the title does make me feel that wintry chill.  It’s just so lovely.  But I also adore the cover of Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George.  Period costumes are an automatic win for me. And I love how the girl’s gown is rustling as she walks (runs?).  So pretty!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeShiver by Maggie Stiefvater

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

Ruby Oliver from The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart is hilarious.  She’s so neurotic, loveable, sarcastic, funny, way overdramatic, smart, but also very self un-aware.  I love how complex her character is; I feel sorry for her and at the same time have no sympathy for her!  It takes great writing to get at all the character’s complexities.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Matched by Ally Condie.   How can a book with such a focus on words not be beautifully written?  Cassia and Ky cherish poetry and the written word so Condie takes this plot line and weaves it into the narration.  I mean for real: “So in the middle of all the noise, I point to the sky. I hope he understands what I mean, because I mean so many things: My heart will always fly his name. I won’t go gentle. I’ll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him. And I know he understands as he looks straight at me, deep into my eyes. His lips move silently, and I know what he says: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know. Tears well up but I blink them away. Because if there is one moment in my life that I want to see clearly, this is it.” (from Matched by Ally Condie) So well done!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

This question is hard to answer.  All the books I’ve read leave an impact on me.  I guess I’d have to say The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I was so struck by the many different female relationships/friendships were displayed in this novel.  I also adore Stockett’s comment in the authors note about how just trying to understand each others stories is what causes change.  I love this because we’ll never fully understand every person’s personal experience in life, but its they trying to listen and understand that makes all the difference.  I think this is incredibly important.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

I waited years to read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  A student recommended it to in 2007 so I tried to start it but had trouble getting into the story, so I stopped.  But I realized I needed to read it if I was going to be a decent Media Specialist, so read it I did.  I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as good as everyone made it out to be. Oh well, I finally read it!

Matched by Ally Condie15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

“And I’ll tell her that I don’t want my life to be samples and scraps. A taste of everything but a meal of nothing.” -Cassia in Matched by Ally Condie.  I love the desire for more life expressed in this quote.  I want my life to be better than a “meal of nothing”.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

Maybe Rumors (Luxe #2) by Anna Godbersen.  There is so much going on in this series that I’d have to reread at least the previous book before I started the next! I read this one in July and don’t remember much about it at all!

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The scene in The Help  by Kathryn Stockett where Minnie is surprised by an axe wielding Johnny Foote!  I laughed and laughed so hard and I wanted to know where my friends were (in their reading) so we could talk and laugh about it!  I think I told my husband all about it even though he had no idea what I was talking about since he hadn’t read the book.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

This was my first year involved with book blogging but Heidi at the YA Bibliophile, has been so friendly and helpful! Like me, she is a middle school Media Specialist who love YA fiction—I feel like we’re very similar.   She was even my Broke and Bookish Secret Santa!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

I think review I wrote on both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. It was me too excited to even try to hide my fan girl tendencies. It was a review full of gushing, but I loved it because I had fun writing it.


3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

I’m still a relatively new and small blog so I haven’t really had any discussions.  Maybe in 2012?!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Almost everyone had thoughts on the “Darkness Too Visible” editorial in the Wall Street Journal.  I didn’t share my opinion too much, but I was very intrigued to read everyone else’s thoughts.  It is an interesting topic and reading other opinions helped me think about both sides to the argument in ways I hadn’t before.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Well, I haven’t done too much of this, but my school did pay for me to attend the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) conference this year and I had so much fun!  FAME is full of school librarians (from all grade levels) learning more about our profession and sharing ideas and tips.  But there are also authors! (My personal favorite part!)  I got to meet Kiersten White, Roland Smith, Gordon Korman, James Preller, Jennifer Allison and more!  They were all so friendly and nice and even signed books for my students.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

I think the best moment of blogging for me this year was having authors like Roland Smith and David Lubar re posted my reviews of their books on Twitter or Facebook.  Such an honor to know they visited my little blog to begin with and liked what they saw enough to share with others.  Incredibly humbling!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most viewed post was the book review I wrote for The Luxe by Anna Godbersen with 193 views.  It actually has double the amount of views any of my other posts have!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I really had fun posting about my top ten all time favorite teen fiction crushes. I mean, who doesn’t have some series love for boys in books?!  I guess not as many people as I had thought! haha

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

NetGalley all the way!  I kept wondering how book bloggers keep getting their hands on all of these ARCs!  Finally I got the courage to ask someone and Heidi and YA Bibliophile showed me the way of Net Galley!  It is a book blogger’s dream to request advanced copies and have the publisher just give them to you! Very cool!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Other than reading all fifteen Florida Sunshine State titles, nope.  Next year though! I’ll be participating in the Debut Authors Challenge 2012, hosted by The Story Siren.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson has been on my list for a while now and is one of my main priorities on 2012.  Also Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George are must reads in early 2012.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Tris and Four! Also, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.  If Tessa doesn’t end up with Will, I’ll still love Cassandra Clare, but my head might esplode!! (yes, esplode!)


3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

I’d like to get more readership and maybe even do a giveaway sometime this year.  The thought of a giveaway scares me; it suspect they are more work than they look!