Guest Post by Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte
2011 has, undoubtedly, been a wonderful year for readers! As for myself, I've come across several novels that I've fallen in love with, in fact some were titles that I hadn't expected to enjoy but had. With that, Brenna kindly asked me if I'd be interested in sharing my top 20 picks from novels I've read in 2011.
My Top 2011 Reads
20 Titles I Highly Recommend
1. Saving June by Hannah Harrington - Ironically, I hadn't read Saving June until a couple of weeks prior to the end of the year. I'd heard a glowing abundance of positive remarks in regards to Hannah Harrington's latest and couldn't wait to see what all the hype was about. What I found was not what I expected and Saving June turned out to be my favorite contemporary novel of the year!
2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - This novel shook me off my seat with it's thrilling and down right creepy moments - it was wonderful! If you're a reader who loves a creepy ghost story, Anna Dressed in Blood is an absolute must read! Kendare Blake fed me nightmares with a particular scene which involves the attic door (read it, you'll see why it gave me nightmares when you do!)
3. Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace - The moment Angeline Kace approached me with a pitch on her debut novel, Descended by Blood, I knew it was something I was going to enjoy. The verdict? It was just that...and more! Descended by Blood delivered a unique spin on vampires with a downright sexy and kickass storyline. I'm Team Mirko by the way, are you?
4. Bloodspell by Amalie Howard - Vampires and Witches, what more could you ask for? Amalie Howard's debut novel and first installment in her Bloodspell series had me falling in love immediately! The dialogue was unique and I couldn't help falling in love with Victoria and Christian. I'm highly anticipating it's sequel!
5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis - In all honesty, before diving into Beth Revis' Across the Universe...I hated sci-fi novels! No, hate isn't really a strong enough word for what I felt. More like despised? Anyways, after reluctantly diving into an advance readers copy of the title borrowed from a co-worker, I found myself loving it (a big surprise for me since I'd never had positive experiences with sci-fi novels in the past). With that said, Across the Universe was very different in comparison to other novels in it's genre, and Beth's twists and turns, not to mention the incredible world building, had me hooked!
6. Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting - I don't think there's anything that I can say that will ever fully express how much I adore Kimberly Derting's Body Finder series. After loving The Body Finder to bits, I couldn't wait for the release of Desires of the Dead (it's sequel). The twists and turns had me gripping it's pages with anticipation. In fact, there's a new character that shows up in the novel that I couldn't help falling for (or swooning over like a love-sick school girl).
7. Timeless by Alexandra Monir - A time-traveling romance, filled with enough drama, romance, and suspense to have you shaking with anticipation for it's sequel...yep, I think that's Timeless in a nut shell. After reaching the end of Timeless, I'm really looking forward to seeing how Alexandra Monir pushes the story further. If you haven't given this one a try yet (I'm aware that most review bloggers unfortunately haven't) be sure to do so. The storyline is phenomenal!
8. The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver - I fell for Jana Oliver's world of Demon Trappers and I fell for it hard. In fact, I'd been recommending the series to friends and family since and from their feedback...they've all loved it! (It should also be noted that I have a obsession over the UK covers for the series)
9. Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke - Everyone who knows me (or frequents my blog) knows that I absolutely adore Deborah Cooke's pyr! I'd been a big fan of her adult Dragonfire series since their original release and was uber excited for Deborah Cooke's upcoming YA series about the next generation of Pyr, the Dragon Diaries. Flying Blind was exactly what I expected - exciting! (Note: Winging It, Flying Blind's sequel, was also released this year!)
10. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - I'm usually quite wary about diving into novels that have anything to do with Angels. However, what Cynthia Hand delivered was quite unique and thrilling! I instantly connected with Clara, something that doesn't happen to me and MCs very often. So tell me Unearthly readers, are you Team Tucker or Team Christian? (Me? I'm Team Tucker all the way!) Note: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is being developed into a CW series!
11. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Hands down, Delirium is one of my absolute favorite dystopian novels to date! I couldn't wait to dive into it when it was officially released. I actually nabbed it the moment the shipment arrived (at that time I was still working at Chapters, a local book store.) Needless to say, I stayed up all night, even though I had an early shift the following day, and read it from cover to cover.
12. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton - As I mentioned in my short shpeel about Unearthly above, I've always been quite wary about diving into Angel novels. However, after enjoying Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, I decided to give Angelfire a shot. In my review I described Angelfire to be a cross between The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. The ending result? I loved Angelfire, and it's worked it's way to my heart each and every time I've re-read it!
13. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare - I love Jem! Though, I'll never love Jem as much as I do Magnus (there's no competition there. nope..none at all) With Clockwork Prince's release, the anticipated sequel to Clockwork Angel, the world of the Infernal Devices as I knew it was flipped upside. Cassandra Clare brought a hectic terrain of twists and turns that I hadn't expected. If you've yet to dive into the Infernal Devices series, I certainly recommend that you do so. However, be aware that Magnus Bane is mine!
14. Red Glove by Holly Black - Holly Black is made of awesome! No, really, she's seriously made of awesome! If you've yet to read White Cat, the first installment in her Curse Workers series, well I'd hate to say it but you're missing out on quite a bit. A story that's paranormally delicious and a mafia twist - what more could you want from the world of Curse Workers? Note: Movie rights to the Curse Workers series have been optioned.
15. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - I was exceptionally reluctant when it came to reading The Gathering. I hadn't enjoyed Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy very much. However, the storyline the Kelley's The Gathering pulled me instantly. I'm really intrigued by it and can't wait to see what it's sequel, The Calling, will bring.
16. Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday - In my early review of Deadly Cool, I described it as "a wonderfully entertaining teen murder mystery with a perfect dose of humour". It is just that...and more! If you're a fan of murder mysteries mixed in with a small twinge of romance, Deadly Cool is the read for you. And...how could you deny your curiosity about a murderer who used a pair of Ipod earbuds as a murder weapon?
17. Damned by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie - One thing that drew me into the Crusade series by this author duo was it's exciting take on vampires. No, they don't sparkle in the sunlight OR desire to be human. These vampires pretty much scare the hell out of you and want to tear you apart limb from limb, and they aren't afraid to show you just that. However, it wasn't just the vampires that intrigued me, it was it's deep, multi-character storyline which focuses on Jen, Antonio, and countless others. It features their stories on why they joined the fight against the "cursed ones" and at the same time depicts them overcoming their own inner demons (which sometimes involves something that happened in their past).
18. Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston - Once Every Never was one of the first novels I'd read by the formidable Lesley Livingston. Was I impressed? YES! Once Every Never was a race against time, a time traveling wondering, and a romance all binded up into one beautiful novel. It's rather unfortunate that not many readers have read it (mostly because of it's lack of availability in local stores outside of Canada) however I do implore that readers with a strong passion for any of the above take the time out to find this novel and read it!
19. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - This one is a must read! I've got quite a few friends who actually haven't read this one yet, and believe me...I'm in the process of forcing them to pick it up. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a supernatural read that can be enjoyed by both teens and adults alike. It features an array of peculiar and strange photographs that compliment the story in very distinct way. It should also be noted that the novel is planned to be adapted into a film, and that a sequel to the novel is in the works!
20. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - I highly doubt that many people haven't heard of this one. (If you haven't, well, I'm not quite sure what to say to that..) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern certainly hit the book blogosphere by storm with it's high praises and blurbs about it's comparison to Harry Potter (something I highly disagree with, by the way). The Night Circus was absolutely magical, and if you have yet to read it...I suggest you do so soon! Note: The Night Circus is planned to be adapted into a film.
What are your favorite 2011 reads?
Feel free to share your own list in the comment section below!