December 28, 2011

2011 End of Year Survey: The Books

Jamie at The Perpetual Page-turner is once again hosting an end of the year survey of the books we read this year! I love making these kinds of lists so I am joining in the merriment. (Links go to my reviews.)

1.) Best book you read in 2011?

Of course, I can't pick just one, so here's a few to battle it out:

For an epic reading experience and a psychologically intriguing premise: The Host

For being the most emotionally wrenching: Forbidden

For being the kind of YA fantasy I just adore: Mistwood

For a relatable heroine and a swoon-inducing romance: Anna and the French Kiss

2.) Most disappointing book/book you wish you loved more than you did?

Sunshine was painful. (And plus I love Robin McKinley's book Beauty so I kind of hate that I found Sunshine so awful!) Also, Forgotten was quite the disappointment -- the execution just did not live up to the cool-sounding premise.

3.) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Popular — I had originally dismissed it as one of those light, "chick lit" YA books about a bunch of snotty girls in cliques. Then I was told there was a mental health aspect, and so I included it in my Psychtember event, only to be wowed over by its clever twist.

Vampire Academy — yes, I finally caved and read it and was most pleasantly surprised!

4.) Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Probably still the Hunger Games series! I think I recommended The Host a few times too (emphasizing that it was better than the Twilight series, LOL.)

5.) Best series you discovered in 2011?

I don't think I read more than one book in a series this year. But I have the feeling I may get totally sucked into the Vampire Academy series... O_O

Other first-in-a-series books that I think are a promising start: Ruby Red, Divergent, Enclave, Heist Society, Unearthly, Memento Nora, Birthmarked.

6.) Favourite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Tabitha Suzuma, Leah Cypess, Stephanie Perkins, Caragh O'Brien, Kerstin Gier, Ann Aguirre, Alissa Grosso, Veronica Roth, Richelle Mead.

7.) Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I don't normally read many novels in verse, but I did quite like Song of the Sparrow. Vampire Academy, The Host and Enclave also make appearances here.

8.) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

Divergent, The Host, Enclave, Birthmarked and Vampire Academy.

9.) Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Probably some of the dystopian books, particularly Delirium, Divergent, and Wither. Unfortunately, though, both Delirium and Wither fell short of my expectations.

10.) Favourite cover of a book you read in 2011?

I adore the rich vibrancy of the Ruby Red cover.

11.) Most memorable character in 2011?

Argh, I always have the most impossible time answering this question! The characters from most of the books I read earlier in the year have faded somewhat in my memory, so I don't think I can answer this fairly. I'm refusing to pick a favourite! :D

12.) Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Mistwood by Leah Cypess and Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell.

13.) Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. So. Intense.

14.) Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I waited all year to read this one! I kept putting it off even though everyone told me it was fabulous. And they were right, it was awesome. Vampire books are generally outside my comfort zone (hence why I read it for my challenge) but I really enjoyed this one! Hopefully a review of this one will be up soon :)

15.) Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2011?

I have a tough time remembering book quotes, but here's one I liked from Birthmarked, which I read just the other day:

"Leon slowly closed his fingers over the watch and slid it back into his pocket. 

'Gaia,' he began. 'You told me once to be good, if I knew how. I wish—'

She waited, unwilling to meet his eyes, hoping he would go on. When he didn't, the silence stretched between them like invisible cobwebs. In the dimmest part of her, she realized she might have wishes, too, elusive wishes that belonged more to a girl in a garden than they did to a captive."

Also, I still have a soft spot for this quote from Mistwood:

"She had learned to pay attention to the variations in Rokan's smiles. There was the sideways half-smile when he found something amusing; the slow, contented smile that appeared only rarely these days; and the wide, dazzling, unrestrained smile she had so far seen only twice, when he first came for her in the Mistwood and when they watched the hawk soar against the sky. And then there was this one, the reason for her watchfulness: the impish grin that meant he wanted to do something he knew was stupid and was going to do it anyhow."

16.) Book that you read in 2011 that you would be most likely to re-read in 2012?

Hmmm, good question. Probably some of the books that have sequels being released in 2012! Enclave, Ruby Red, Divergent, Unearthly, and Memento Nora all spring to mind as series I might need a refresher for before I read the next book. In terms of a re-read purely for fun, Anna and the French Kiss :)

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Tighter by Adele Griffin and Popular by Alissa out for big revelations in both of these! Also, I had to tell my parents all about Forbidden after I'd finished it because it was so darn sad I had to share :(

If you'd like to join in the fun, head on over to Jamie's post here to see all the details and link your own post up!


  1. There are so many books on this list that I have to read still. Great list. Thanks!

  2. *insert clappy hands here* It pleases me to see The Host on the list. I've been in the mood for a re-read so I may have to sneak that in soon. I've been in a fantasy kind of mood recently so I will definitely be looking into Mistwood, too.

    Glad you had such a great reading experience this year. I hope 2012 brings us the goods as well!

  3. I still need to read The Host! Definitely some time in 2012 I will. You must make me!! ;)

    Vampire Academy is so good, eh?? Totally different from what I expected, and I'm so glad I read that series. And Anna!! SO much fun, I just adore it. I could re-read that one a zillion times and still feel giddy.

    Ruby Red! That cover is definitely pretty, and I really liked the book too. I wish the other ones were already translated!!

  4. I like your picks! I only just read Vampire Academy but I really liked it. And I'm glad you loved Anna and the French Kiss.

    Also, this list has made me excited to read Mistwood, Ruby Red, and Forbidden. Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Loved The Host and Anna and the French Kiss too! But I'm terrified of reading Forbidden. I see Vampire Academy made your list quite a few times... I hope to get to it in 2012 and see what all the fuss is about!

  6. You know, I keep hearing that Vampire Academy is surprisingly good. I have avoided it completely because I am not that into vampires or super long series, but I am getting more and more intrigued.

  7. I liked Mistwood and loved Forbidden, Divergent, Anna and The Host. I'm also really happy that you liked The Vampire Academy. It's one of my favourite series!

  8. The Host is so good! I'd like to reread it one of these days.

  9. Your post really makes me want to read Mistwood and its companion novel. Definitely checking it out soon :) The last YA fantasy I tried to read was Robin McKinley's Pegasus, and it was... kind of headache inducing.


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