Dec 26, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Top Ten Books I've Read in 2011

Sometime in November, I signed up for the Top 10 of 2011 blog event that is hosted by Lisa @ A Life Bound By Books and Jessica @ Confessions of a Bookaholic, and co-hosted by Rachel @ Fiktshun and Jaime & Patricia @ Two Chicks on Books. It's a 5 day event recapping your favorite books, covers and characters. Today's topic is...

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date:December 2, 2010
Read in: August 2011
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
I absolutely loved this book. I picked it up and couldn't stop reading it. This is one of those books that you want to go back and read it at least once a year. I don't have my own copy of it yet, but I plan on getting one. Loved the characters (Hello, St. Clair!)and the writing was just amazing! 

(Timeless, #1)
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Read in: September 2011
When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.
This book was beautiful and an amazing love story. I can't wait to dive into the second book. The writing is beautiful and the romance is just heart-wrenching! I want to re-read this one again soon.
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Read in: July 2011
Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad.  With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.

But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever…
Amazing start to a new series! This novel is unique and kick-ass with an equally kick-ass heroine! 
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Release Date: February 15, 2010
Read in: December 2011
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.
A very unique and refreshing story. The heroine has an awesome, though sometimes not so awesome, power to find the dead--human or animal.
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Read in: October 2011 
Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.
Awesome book! So many paranormal creatures in here! Very unique and refreshing. Will definitely be getting to it's sequel soon!

(Touch Mortal, #1) 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Read in: June 2011
Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


So long happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.
Unique books filled with fallen angels and a kick-ass heroine with an awesome power. This was a strange book, but that made it even harder to put down! 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: February 1, 2010
Read in: November 2011
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Unique fey story that I am very mad that I waited until this year to read! Very awesome fantasy!
(Nightshade, #1)
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Read in:  October 2011
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
VERY awesome werewolf series. It's unique and they can turn into wolves anytime they want! REAL wolves and I love that the heroine was a wolf and that she lived in a pack! 
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: March 1, 2009
Read in: October 2011
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued — in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.
When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!

VERY awesome historical romance. I really want my own copy so I can re-read it over and over again.
(Bloodlines, #1 -- Spin-off series to Vampire Academy)
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Read in: September 2011

The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

The Vampire Academy series is one of my top favorite series, definitely my top YA vampire series, so of course I'd love the spin-off series! I really enjoyed getting into Sydney's head, though she can be uptight, she is a great character. 

Honorable Mentions
Summer Trilogy, by Jenny Han; Abandon, by Meg Cabot, Catching Fire & Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins; Queen of Babble, by Meg Cabot; Hex Hall & Demonglass, by Rachel Hawkins; My Soul To Take, by Rachel Vincent; White Cat & Red Glove, by Holly Black; A Need So Beautiful, by Suzanne Young;  Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have), by Sarah Mlynowski; Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher; Memento Nora, by Angie Smibert; Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray; Hush, Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick; Audrey, Wait!, by Robin Benway; Forgive My Fins, by Tera Lynn Childs; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; The False Princess, by Eilis O'Neal; Stay, by Deb Caletti; Choker, by Elizabeth Woods; Fallen, by Lauren Kate; Last Sacrifice, by Richelle Mead; The Ghost and the Goth, by Stacey Kade; Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand; Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl and Angelfire, by Courtney Allison Moulton. 
Tomorrow's topic is: Top Ten Book Covers of 2011!

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