Against all odds it seems, I just finished my 2011 reading challenge of 30 books. It seems doable if you think you have the whole year. However, I wasn’t really reading much at all until mid-September when Veronica Roth’s book Divergent re-sparked my reading love while I was at the beach one weekend for a retreat. I think after her book I decided that I should just read stuff that I knew suited my tastes and not feel bad for not reading ‘classy’ literature (whatever that means). Going with that, I’ve read lots of YA sci fi/dystopia/romance/paranormal stuff. I find that I like to read lots of fiction to detox from my job (which is very NON fiction) and YA books are very light and fast reads and don’t include much smut.
The little book challenge counter on my goodreads account mocked me and I was determined to finish those 30 books this year. I knew finishing this goal wouldn’t change the world or my life really, it was just one of those things I was determined to finish.
Because I like rating things, I’ve decided to share my 10 favorite reads of 2011. I hope to bump up the total to 40 in 2012. I’m pretty sure I could read a book a week, but I don’t want to overdo it and feel pressure to blow through books if I’m not feeling it. Please share with me in the comments some of your favorites for the year or books you are looking forward to in 2012. If you are curious for more details about why I liked any of these books, please check out the goodreads account. I’m not that organized of a person, but for some reason I am very detail oriented when it comes to organizing my book reviews.
*clears throat* And the ‘winners’ are:
Contemporary YA Romance
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen – One of my favorite male romantic leads ever. This year was the year I read most all of Dessen’s novels and this one is my favorite so far.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephenie Perkins – OK, I would also have to say Cricket is one of my favorite romantic leads ever too, so maybe I’m fickle. This story was so cheesy, but it worked. I think she included a lot of realistic elements in a kind of over the top story. So fun. So much swoonage
Whatever Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen – While many say this is one Dessen’s worst, I’m the freak who loved it I guess. Who knew a story half about building a model city could be so damn captivating. A lot of times I hate Dessen’s subplots, but this book was all solid to me. My second favorite of hers after This Lullaby.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Yikes, I love this book. It combines the awesome dystopia-ness of Hunger Games and the sappy romanceness of Twilight in a good way. This book was crack to me. It’s not perfect, but it sucked me in. I had to leave work for an hour at one point to finish this bad boy so I could be productive again.
Divergent by Veronica Roth – Again, the world set-up isn’t perfect, but it sucks you in. I kept reading the plot summary on the back for months and deciding it didn’t sound so great. Boy, was I wrong! The plot and romance are solid. Moreover, I loved the character names a lot in this one (Tris and Four). I can’t wait for the sequel. I’m also heavily considering naming one of my future kids a number after this read. Maybe I’ll keep it a middle name so they don’t hate me for life.
Matched by Ally Condie - I probably liked this the least of the 3 YA dystopias, but the characters are so well done. I care about them! Team Xander all the way (even though I’m pretty sure I won’t win). It was fun and I’m invested in this story. Can’t wait for the 3rd and final installment next Fall.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Don Miller – In 2011 I became a Don Miller fan girl. This book made me see life’s challenges in a new light.
Fateful by Claudia Gray – Werewolves + Titanic. Are you intrigued? I was, and it was worth it.
Spymaster’s lady by Joanna Bourne – the only ‘pure’ (Re: smutty) Romance novel I’ve read and given more than 2 stars to. In fact, I gave it 4. This book was a hoot. The spy games were so much fun. I think Bourne is great at writing the romance and dialogue and sucks at plot. Luckily this one had pretty minimal plot.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card - this is a Sci Fi classic, and I’ve finally read it. It’s a brilliant story. I don’t think I really have to sell it too hard at this point. I do wish someone hadn’t SPOILED ME before I read it though : /
So, there they are! I love top 10 lists. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on any of these. I think I figured out the real secret to reading a lot is NOT watching television. So obvious, but so true.
Cheers to all my fellow book worms!