Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Best Reads of 2011

It's the 13th day of the month, which means there's another 13th-Day Question for us 2013 debuts over at The Lucky 13s. This month's question: "What is your favorite book of 2011?"

I had a hard time picking just one book, and I certainly didn't get a chance to read everything I wanted to read in 2011. You can find my selection over at the Lucky 13s post, but I'm also sharing a quick rundown of my top three favorite YA novels right here.

Myracle has it all in this gripping YA novel: characters you get to know deep down to their bones, a rural North Carolina setting so real you can see and smell it, and a plot that twists and turns until the the lead character solves the mystery behind a heinous act of violence.

I was blown away by the beauty of Mitchell's writing. The love story at the center is just as supernatural as anything you'd find in other paranormal romances, but the characters' otherworldy abilities are highly unique. Mitchell's Victorian world pulsates with life. I can't wait to dive into the sequel, The Springsweet.

Not only has Taylor's boundless imagination conjured up fantastical characters and settings that frighten and entertain, but she has grounded her story with enough reality and honest human emotions to make us believe her unique tale could have actually occurred. Following her lonely, blue-haired, art-student protagonist, Karou, on her teeth-collecting expeditions thought the darkest alleys of the world is a gripping, enjoyable ride.

My top three favorite books from past years 
that I finally discovered in 2011:

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (I majored in English in college; I'm such a phony, as Holden Caulfield would say, for not reading this book sooner.)

What were the best books (YA or otherwise) that you read in 2013?


Ara Burklund said...

Thanks for posting these! Always great to hear about recommended reading! For me, I discovered Jo Knowles, whose work has been around for awhile but I'd never gotten around to reading. JUMPING OFF SWINGS was my favorite book this year, with her LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL running closely behind. Since I'm a big library reader, I also finally got around to enjoying VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE and GUYAHOLIC off Carolyn Mackler's backlist. Can't believe I missed these two titles from her--she has such a great sense of humor! As far as brand-new 2011 books go, I thoroughly enjoyed Libba Bray's BEAUTY QUEENS.

Cat Winters said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Ara! I hadn't heard of some of those. I really wanted to get my hands on BEAUTY QUEENS this year, but that one will have to go onto my 2012 TBR pile.