Best Books of 2011
10. Recovery Road by Blake Nelson-A realistic and heartbreaking (and still hopeful) look at life after rehab. This was a read in one sitting book for me. The characters stuck with me and I was investing in Maddie's recovery.
9. Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker-This is a story about faith, first love, and searching written in a wonderfully realistic way. I was impressed with the story and the characters and again, it's a book that stuck with me.I wish all books featuring religion were this balanced.
8. Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt-Blending humor, romance and serious family drama, this was a book that I read, then immediately booktalked to all my teens. It's heartfelt and hilarious at the same time-plus it has an adorable romance with one of the best scenes ever (when they're in the Revolutionary War bunkers-too cute!)
7. Divergent by Veronica Roth-There were a lot of dystopian novels out this year, but Divergent is one of my favorites. The story is engrossing, I wanted to know more about the world Tris was in, and I connected with the characters. There are some truly haunting scenes that make this a creepy dystopian and I was hooked. Plus, no love triangle!! (Thank You Veronica Roth!!)
6. Wither by Lauren DeStefano-Even though Wither is a dystopian future, the novel had a historical feel to it which I really liked. It was the perfect read after my Downton Abbey obession and it combined my weird fascination with the sister wives thing. Plus it added it lots of mystery and questions and I was hooked. I can't wait to find out what happens!
5. Where She Went by Gayle Forman-It's the sequel I didn't know I needed yet Gayle Forman knew I needed to read. Revisiting with Adam and Mia was wonderful and heartwrenching. This book is emotional! There was a magic moment where I wasn't sure what I thought and then suddenly everything clicked and I needed to know more and I needed Adam and Mia together.
4. Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King-A.S. King is amazing! Who else could combine a POW/MIA grandfather that's visited in dreams, animal-like parents, crazy aunts, ninja girls, bullies, and party ants and make it work in a way that you never want to put the novel down? It sounds like a crazy premise, but it works and the way everything weaves together is wonderful!
3. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin-This is my guilty pleasure book of 2011! It's the "curl up in a bubble bath, eat chocolate, drink wine and read this book" book. I was hooked on the gangster style future and there's just enough mystery and romance to keep me wanting more.
2. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick-Of course I'm going to love any book that references my favorite book, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler! But more than that, the parallel plotlines weave together in an almost magical way and the illustrations are top notch. A wonderful amazing book that took my breath away.
1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor-Lush, gorgeous writing, an imaginative world, and an inventive take on starcrossed lovers. I was hooked on this book from page one. I want to live in the world that Laini Taylor creates. The characters all seem so real and it's one of those books that puts you in a "reading fog" (you know, where you have to adjust to the real world for a moment after you stop reading). A fantastic book-I'm ready for more!
Best Books Read That Were Published before 2011
5. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn-I rarely read adult fiction, but I read this for my adult lit class and laughed so hard. It's a very, very funny regency romance. I recomended it many friends who also enjoyed it.
4. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool-OK, Newbery Committee, you picked a good book!
3. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King-Like I said, A.S. King equals amazing! Plus, any book where the father/daughter remind me of Keith and Veronica Mars, I'm sold.
2. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John-Why did I not read this sooner? Fantastic book about coming into yourself, music, friendship, family, and what it takes to make a band.
1. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson-LOVED this book! One of my new favorite romances, this will be a book I turn to and read again when I need something to cheer me up. Amy and Roger's romance must last, because if it doesn't, I will cry. I laughed and even cried a bit through this one and it was a great romance that had so much more.