Monday, December 12, 2011

My Favorite Books and Moments of 2011

This is the second year in a row that I've joined my friend Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner in taking a look back at my favorite books and moments of 2011 her End-of-Year Book Survey.


1. Best book you read in 2011? 

ONE BOOK? HAHAHA no. Here’s my top 10, in no particular order:

1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
3. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
4. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
5. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
6. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
7. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
8. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
9. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
10. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

You should see how long my runners-up list was!

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

Two of my favorite authors wrote the two most disappointing books I read in 2011. So no way in hell am I naming them. And I don't usually review books I really dislike. Sorry!

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

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder – it was my first foray into verse novels, which I adamantly REFUSED to read for some reason. Well, damn, consider me changed because that novel was TO DIE FOR.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

I hope by now you can predict the answer to this: the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty aka my favorite books ever. No, really, EVER. I’m that serious when I tell you to read them.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Maybe this should have been my most surprising! I did not expect to fall head over heels with this series…maybe because it’s called, um, Vampire Academy, which I may or may not have made fun of before. But it was so so so powerful and fun to read.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

E. Lockhart, Tera Lynn Childs, Sarah Mlynowski – you know, the girls.

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

My first romance novel! Nine Rules to Break While Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean. Again, I have seen the light! It wasn’t degrading and trashy – it was smart and fun. I’m a new fan.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater – I read the entire book with my hand over my chest, trying to calm my heartbeat.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

ANYTHING by Cassandra Clare! Aka City of Fallen Angels and Clockwork Prince. I just devour her books and MUST get them and begin reading them instantly on the release date. I’m already looking forward to the next two!

PS: Remember when Cassie Clare wrote a post for me about her top fiction characters? I'm still freaking out that that happened.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan – I’d hang this one up on my wall. It’s just so gorgeous to me.

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

Boy: Dimitri from Vampire Academy. THAT ONE SCENE (you know the one -- the bridge scene) made me cry on a crowded train downtown for work. Not cool.

Girl: Ruby Oliver from The Boyfriend List. I completely related to her and loved and laughed my way through her entire series.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011? 

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – Gorgeous. Suspenseful. NEW. I loved her writing.

Remember that time we went out to lunch with her?

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

Vampire Academy. I know I keep repeating it, but after I posted that silly little video up there, I got TENS OF THOUSANDS of views in a single day. For a new baby blog was just – HOLY COW. It had such a huge impact on me, and I'm so grateful to all of Richelle's fans for their support (and to Richelle too for linking to me!).

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

If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I'd heard so many great reviews, but I didn't read it until the start of 2011, after miss Jamie sent it to me as a Christmas present. Thank goodness she did.

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

I went through all the quotes I highlighted on my Kindle. And all the pages I dog-earred in my books. Turns out, I only like highly inappropriate passages that I would not care to repeat on the Internet where my mother-in-law and her friends can read them.

Here are a few that were more PG:

"I feel about Photoshop the way some people feel about abortion. It is appalling and a tragic reflection on the moral decay of our society ... unless I need it, in which case, everybody be cool."
-- Tina Fey, Bossypants

"From a purely objective viewpoint, Myrnin was a good-looking guy -- frozen at the age of maybe his mid-twenties, with dark hair and a ready smile. A sharp but handsome face. If only he didn't have to crazy it up all the time."
-- Rachel Caine, Last Breath

"If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist?"
-- Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

Also: The last four words of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it yet, but OMG I squealed.

16. Book you read in 2011 that would be most likely to reread in 2012?

Divergent by Veronica Roth. The moment this book ended, I wanted to reread it. But I'm going to wait until I can get my greedy little paws on the sequel, Insurgent, so I can read them both back-to-back.

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?

Any book I ever read at the same time as Jen from Makeshift Bookmark.

Basically, on any given day, we're having conversations like this:

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?

By May 2011, I had discovered most of my favorite blogs and MET THE BLOGGERS BEHIND THEM. Which I think is totally cool.

But two blogs I loooove I didn't discover until late, and I have yet to meet their wonderful authors. Maybe in 2012? Check them out:

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

HA, probably any of my stick figure videos. I can't get enough of them. Here's the one for the Mortal Instruments series:

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

Much to my big sister's ABSOLUTE pleasure, it had nothing to do with me. We have completely different taste in books, yet she was begging me for book recs. So I let her take over the blog for one day and the discussion and book recs poured in. It was so fun to see everyone talking about non-YA books for a change around here!

Check out her post here. Can you tell that she's a big sister in that she picked the most unflattering image of the two of us ever taken (yes, we're babies, but we're making drooly doofus faces) just to spite me?

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog? 

Anything and everything on Steph Su Reads.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? 

Book Expo America in New York in May. Not just for the authors and the fancy publisher events (though those were AMAZING), but more for the party times with my blogger girls.

April, Tara, Jamie, me, Carla, Jennifer and Melanie -- and shout out to Shanyn. Was she taking this pic? Where is she? And to Tara G!

Also: When Ginger came to stay this summer!

And when I met a jillion great blogger friends at Dark Days.

DJ, Erika, Jen, Lynn, Tara, me, Heidi,  Kristi, Jasmine & Jacinda.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011? 

I'm going to let these moments speak for themselves:

Me, Maggie Stiefvater, Tara

Me & Lauren Oliver

MEG CABOT (!!!!!!) & Me at a Scholastic Party

Just chatting it up with Richelle Mead

For all of my author pics from 2011, click here.

7. Most popular post this year on your blog?

Jan. 30, 2011: Vampire Academy Review As Told by Stick Figures

8. Post you wished got a little more love?

HA! Any post! When you put so much work into something like a blog, it can be a little disheartening when something you felt you worked hard on doesn't get a lot of exposure.

9. Best bookish discovery?

Google Reader. I was so late to the game on this, but thank goodness I got with it. Now, I can just scroll through the posts on all my favorite book blogs -- so much easier.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? 

I'm not into challenges because I just read what I like, when I like...but I did hope to branch out a bit more this year, and I definitely did, with romance novels, more adult books (thanks, book club!) and even a verse novel.

Looking Ahead

1. One book you didn't get to in 2011 but will be your number one priority in 2012?

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver and The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann -- two of my fave authors, so I have to read these stat.

2. Book you're most anticipating for 2012?

I can't wait to read The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead, Insurgent by Veronica Roth and City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Plus, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins!

3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in 2012?


Phew. That was a long list. Let me know your thoughts! And click here to check out my End-of-Year Survey for 2010: Part 1 and Part 2.

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. Sounds like you had an awesome year!

    I feel like I'm one of the only people who still hasn't read any of Cassandra Clare's books. Must fix that soon.

  2. So much goodness to recap!! I loved revisiting your bookish/blog life from the past year :) When I think of you & your blog your Vampire Academy stick figures come to mind first.. and then of course Jessica Darling. I have YOU to thank for introducing me to her AND MARCUS FLUTIE!!!

    I adore you, I hope you know that! <3

  3. Well Vampire Academy is a great serie :) And thank God you made that video!! I would have never found out about your awesome blog if it wasn't for that! :)

    And thank you so much for telling me to read Iron Fey and The Hunger Games!! Iron fey became one of my favourite serie ever! :)

  4. I think 2011 was a pretty epic year for you :) BEA already seems like ages ago and all of those author events we attended... bring it on 2012!

    PS - I need more stick figures in my life por favor.

  5. I am totally with you on the most anticipated part. Well, most of the parts, but especially that one :)

  6. 2012 is going to be a great year! loved loved loved all your answers! and YES, we WILL meet in 2012! :)

  7. I loved scrolling through your entire list! Wow I can't imagine going through the entire year and racking up all the memories from everything. Which is probably why I won't (because yay lazyness!) but I really enjoyed yours!

    Your stick figure videos light up my life, btw.

  8. Great wrap up! There are some books on your list I haven't heard of so I'm going to have to go check them out.

  9. i loved all of this so much! added some more to my book list and LOVED many of the books on here. i think i read through all of this like 3 times because i loved it all so much

  10. WOW! What a great year of books! I love your recap! Thanks for taking the time to document this for us followers. I have you to thank for introducing me to Megan McCafferty and her awesomeness. Looking forward to another great year in books! P.S. I LOVE your blog!

  11. Loved this recap! Looks like you had a fantastic year :-)

  12. so much to absorb.

    but let me say this - your stick videos make my day.

    as do you.

  13. Thank you for mentioning THE DAY BEFORE - I love surprising readers. :) Happy Holidays!

  14. You are a goddess! I couldn't possibly put something like this together. Sincerely, I think once I post something I completely forget about it after that. LOL You've had a great year in bookishness!

  15. I'm dying to read Insurgent too! And what an amazing year you've had - so many great authors you got to meet! :)

  16. Oh my gosh - love the text between you and Jen. How awesome is that? It's so much fun to read a book at the same time as someone else. It makes the experience that much better. :) Love your list!

  17. I only read If I Stay this year too - I never thought about it when I wrote my post but I remember being really sorry I hadn't read it earlier... It was SO GOOD :D And yay! There's so much Divergent love in these posts :D And Vampire Academy is SO awesome :D Have you read Bloodlines yet? If you have, what did you think of it? And if you haven't, YOU SHOULD! :D

    Hope the rest of your 2011 is amazing and that 2012 is also amazing!

    Here's mine!

  18. I can't wait for Insurgent either. I also read E. Lockhart for the first time this year and fell in love with the Ruby Oliver books. :)

  19. I love Lisa Schroeder, I think she is the best Verse Novel author, glad to see you tried her, verse novels are my simple pleasure.

    Here is mine if interested

  20. I've heard such good things about Romancing a Rake... I might have to read it! I don't know that I've ever read something you could classify as a "romance." Happy New Year!


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