Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Book Lists pt. 2: Best Writing; For Twilight Lovers; "Normal" Characters; Kick-Butt Girls



*Back to Introductory Post; Pt. 1; Pt 3; Pt. 4; Pt. 5; Pt. 6; Pt. 7
*Books are linked to my reviews, if available. They're also linked to Amazon. I have read all of these books and written reviews for most, but haven't posted many of them yet. As I do, I will update this page.

Best Writing

I hate these authors. People just shouldn't be able to write this well. It's not fair...

Maggie Stiefvater: Forever and Scorpio Races
Maggie writes the most visual fantasies that I've ever read. Somehow her books always make me see a color palette that fits the book's plot. Forever and the entire Wolves of Mercy Fall series feels silver and white and brown - the color of the wolves and the wintery Minnesota landscape. Scorpio Races feels brown and blue and white - the color of the beach and the ocean. All of Maggie's stories are wonderful, but her books can be read just to enjoy the prose. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Leah Cypess: Nightspell
Complex high fantasy with incredible world building. Leah writes prose that is somewhat on the slow side, but it flows smoothly. Her words are necessary to further the plot, characters, and setting - no filler. Nightspell is a character driven novel. If you like character-driven novels, family relationships, fabulous world-building, and nearly romance-less book, you'll love Nightspell. (Amazon)

Lauren Oliver: Liesl & Po
Reminiscent of classic children's stories. Set in Victorian era England, Liesl & Po is a book of friendship and loneliness, of greed and generosity, of death and life. Oliver's prose is magical. It flows so smoothly that I felt like I was flying while reading the novel. Love the simple yet haunting sweetness of the book. (Amazon)

Laini Taylor: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
A complex, layered book. Laini sprinkles important plot and character bunnies throughout the novel that don't make sense until the end. I love the slow realization that what you thought was inconsequential is really crucial. The point of view shifts are a little jarring, but in an artful sort of way rather than amateur way. Fabulous description of setting, characters - both main and secondary, romance, anger, and heartache.(Amazon)

Jennifer Donnelly: Revolution and A Northern Light
Jennifer writes haunting, depressing, yet beautiful novels. Revolution is particularly well written with stark, clean language that flows quickly. The characters in Jennifer's novels are well-developed. Not always likable, but written in such a way that the reader understands them. She does a lovely job of establishing a previous time period but avoids using language that sounds dated. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Melina Marchetta: Saving Francesca and Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Melina is a master of creating an enticing story with a relatively barebones plot. Witty, smart dialogue is the key feature of this story. The characters and dialogue make this novel. I love her how books are complex tales of humanity. Nothing extraordinary - simply the sadness and glory of ordinary life.
Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Antony John: Five Flavors of Dumb
What makes a book literary quality is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Antony definitely writes in a literary manner. Yet Five Flavors of Dumb is also easy and fun to read, a feat that many literary novels do not achieve. Antony created a complex set of characters with realistic flaws. Even the characters who seem like cardboard stereotypes surprise the reader with personal growth. (Amazon)

Wendelin Van Draanen: The Running Dream
Girl who lives to run loses leg in tragic car accident. Beautifully written. The reader feels Jessica's grief and anger at the loss of her leg and the life she expected to have. But the book doesn't stay whiny. The character progression towards healing and hope feels realistic and satisfying - not sappy. (Amazon)

Ruta Sepetys: Between Shades of Gray
An exceptionally dark and powerful book. The unimaginable torture that the characters in this novel experience is never whitewashed. To do so would be a disservice to the real life victimes of Stalin's regime. Yet in between the horrific story is a wonderful set of characters. Some will make you laugh, some smile, some sneer. The variety of personalities and attitudes fit real people's different reactions to adversity.(Amazon)

Victoria Schwab: Near Witch
Combination of high fantasy set long ago, traditional folk tale, family love and strife, burgeoning romance, and small town narrow-mindedness. Beautiful prose approaching literary quality. The detailed imagery does not get in the way of the plot and character development. Victoria does a wonderful job at slowly developing the main characters and showing the layers beneath the secondary characters' personalities. (Amazon)

Twilight Lovers

Raise your hand if Twilight impacted your reading. Not everyone, but a whole lot of people were greatly affected by Twilight and I am always on the look-out for great Twilight follow-ups.

Twilight: The Graphic Novel vol. 2 by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim
A must for Twilight fans! Incredibly gorgeous artwork. The graphic novels envisions the characters better than the movies. Carlisle's backstory is particularly well done. I loved the subtle use of color. While the graphic novel cannot replace the book, it adds depth to the story. (Amazon)

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer
Another must read for all Twilight fans! Extensive backstories about the Twilight vampires, werewolves, and humans. Disappointing lack of new information about the Cullens, for the most part, but the rest of the book mostly makes up for it. Love the details about the Volturi and the Nomads. Great illustrations. (Amazon)

Die for Me by Amy Plum
Fabulous new series. A bit Twilighty but in a good way. Even better, it's set in Paris. Unique paranormal element with great history and world building. Kate and Vincent have some insta-love, but Vincent is such a great guy that I don't mind. Well developed side characters make book a joy to read. (Amazon)

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The third installment of the Caster Chronicles ups the ante yet again. Ethan and Lena are back together after their struggles in Beautiful Darkness. Strange things are happening in town. Insect infestation, freak weather disasters - it seems like the apocalypse. Ethan too is struggling. The natural order has been disrupted and only Ethan and Lena can fix it. (Amazon)

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead
Perfect ending to a fabulous series. There's less action in this installment since Rose is on the run and has to learn the value of accepting help rather than giving it. Meanwhile, Lissa is waging a political battle at court to acquit Rose and maybe change the future of the royals. Don't forget about romance. Dimitri and Adrian will both make you squeal, yell, and cry in this book. (Amazon)

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Bloodlines lives up to Vampire Academy, but I think it may be even better! Sydney is easier to relate to than Rose - Cautious, thoughtful, ambitious, responsible, subdued, self-conscious. And there's Adrian! I loved him in VA, but he comes into his own here. Not a huge amount of action - mostly set-up for the series - but the plot flows quickly and enjoyably. Also not much romance, but what's there is perfectly done. Heart-stopping! Don't read this unless you've read the entire Vampire Academy series. (Amazon)

Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent by Lisa Bergren
Time travel/historical fiction. Gabi and her sister accidentally travel back in time to 14th century Italy. Gabi runs into handsome, wealthy, brave, and kind Marcello and they quickly fall in love. No time to bask in happiness, because they have a multitude of enemies to fight. Great world-building. Lots of sword wielding girl power. Takes a bit of time to get into, but once the characters and story get their claws into you, you won't put the book down. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2, Amazon 3)

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Conclusion to Wolves of Mercy Falls series. The helicopter shoot is on and Isabel, Cole, Sam, and Grace had to race to save the wolves. It wasn't a page turner, but there was a definable plot and finally some action. New characters become important. We revisited old ones. Relationships improved. Relationships broke down. The book dragged a lot at the beginning. As always, beautiful, cold, stark writing. Controversial ending that I loved, but many people didn't. (Amazon)

Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynne Pike
I love Aprilynne's unique take on traditional fairy lore. We learn more about fairy-land in Illusions because it is told from both Tamani and Laurel's points of view. So refreshing to see another perspective. A new character is added to the series: Yuki, who Tamani is assigned to watch over. Creates a very melodramatic love rectangle between Laurel, David, Tamani, and Yuki. A bit overdone, but there is some great romantic moments in the book. (Amazon)

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsay
Lenzi is a reincarnated Speaker who helps lost souls find their way. She doesn't remember any of her past lives, but luckily she has handsome, kind, loyal Alden to help. Very interesting paranormal element. Lenzi and Alden fight evil spirits but also help good dead people. I like the altruistic element. The plot isn't original but the characters are fun and I quickly came to think of them as friends. (Amazon)

Carrier of the Mark by Carry Fallon
Megan is the new American girl who moves to Ireland with her dad and is instantly drawn to dark, mysterious Adam who doesn't like any of the other girls at school but is also drawn to Megan. Sound familiar? This book is very Twilighty by still delightful. Unique paranormal element. Unlike Twilight, Megan is equally powerful as Adam, if not moreso. Forbidden romance. Great family side characters, especially Aine - who is almost as cute as Alice. (Amazon)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Best angel book I've read yet. Clara is half angel and is still coming into her powers. She is assigned a task to help someone and molds her life around it. Twist on normal love triangle. Great worldbuilding that is different from other angel books. Really fun read. (Amazon)

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Ellie discovers that she is a Preliator: a mortal with an immortal soul tasked to destroy Reapers. With her handsome, kind, devoted aide Will at her side, Ellie is a fighting machine. Complicated angel/devil mythology that is partially explained in this book but will surely be developed more in later books. Hard to tear yourself away from the pages. (Amazon)

Lost Saint (The Dark Divine #2) by Bree DeSpain
One of the "second books" that is better than the first despite following the predictable sequel plot. Grace and Daniel, the happy couple, are thrust into conflict. A new, mysterious guy comes into to thwart their relationship. Stereotypical love triangle, but still highly enjoyable. Rich, fascinating werewolve mythology. Loved the theme of secrets and the dilemma of who to trust. (Amazon)

Midnight Alley and Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires #3 and 4) by Rachel Caine
Morganville Vampires is the potato chip of YA paranormals. You can't read just one. The stakes are raised in this installment. Claire moves to Morganville to attend college and realizes the town is strewn with vampires. Claire quickly becomes a mediator of sorts, having relationships with humans and vampires, both good and evil. Hot romance with Claire's boyfriend Shane and great moments with friends/roommates Eve and Michael. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Matched by Ally Condie
Dystopia but the love triangle romance appeals to any Twi-hard. Cassia is happily ensconced in a utopian society where the government makes all decisions for a person. She is thrilled to be "matched" with her best friend for a future husband but then devastated to learn that she was supposed to be with someone else. When she gets to know her true intended, the walls of her perfect society begin to crumble. Book flows quickly; incredibly easy and enjoyable to read, even if not wholly original. (Amazon)

City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass; City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Clary falls into the world of the Shadowhunters, an organization dedicated to destroying demons, when her mother disappears. She teams up with sexy, arrogant, handsome, incredible Jace; snooty Isabel; quiet Alex; and even her nerdy friend Simon. Incredible world building. Fall to your knees romance. Very descriptive prose. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2, Amazon 3, Amazon 4)

Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Kate accepts a bargain from Henry (aka Hades) to join him in his house for 6 months, pass tests, and perhaps become his wife in order to save a schoolmate and prolong her dying mother's life. Greek mythology very light. Kate is incredibly self-sacrificing and Henry is handsomely intriguing. The romance builds gradually. Love how mysterious the tests and characters were - the tests suprise Kate and the reader and no one knows who amongst the character is really trustworthy. (Amazon)

Switched by Amanda Hocking
Wendy has never fit in. Even her own mother tried to kill her. Turns out she's really a troll who was switched at birth. When she goes back to her real family, the danger, drama, and romance begins. Wendy is a strong character with lots of gumption. Great beginning to a series. Lots to criticize if you want to, but lots to enjoy if you give it a chance. (Amazon)

Normal Characters

You don't need flashy plots and over-the-top characters to make a good story. Here are some books featuring characters with relatively "normal" All-American (or All-Australian) lives.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Truth. You can whittle the theme of Just Listen down to that one word. The importance of being truthful to your friends and family. But most of all, the importance of being true to yourself. Super sweet romance. Owen is the nicest boy even though he seems sullen at first. Annabel's family is an important subplot, which is refreshing. Just Listen also succeeded by never feeling fake or contrived. Lovely. (Amazon)

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Another winner from Stephanie. Just as fun and sweet a romance as Anna and the French Kiss. Lola is a vivacious character. She spends her life creating and dressing up in costumes, which make her personality shine while also masking a deep-seeded insecurity. She is also stubborn, self-righteous, and quick to jump to conclusions. Cricket is as nice as can be. Awkward and nerdy. A little insecure. Very patient. Kinda "boyish," in a cool way. A highlight are Lola's dads Andy and Nathan. So nice to see well-developed, caring parents. And the romance! Super sweet. Nice build-up - feels like something that could actually happen. Love the Anna and the French Kiss tie-in too. (Amazon)

Home for the Holidays (Mother Daughter Book Club) by Heather Vogel Frederick
The penultimate book in one of my favorite middle grade series, the Mother Daughter Book Club. The five girls are now 15 years old. This year they're reading the Betsy Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. The book very loosely follows the Betsy Tacy books. All the girls are traveling various places, there's a big emphasis on Christmas, and there is lots of arguing as friendships are challenged. Boys of course play a big role in the fights. Overall, a fun book appropriate for all ages. (Amazon)

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
One of the rare YA books that is of literary quality, but is also easy and fun to read. On the surface, the book is about a deaf girl taking a crap band from obscurity to something resembling success. But at its heart, this book is a character story. A tale of self-discovery. Of family. Of friends. And even a little romance. (Amazon)

Then I Met My Sister by Christine Hurley Deriso
Great YA contemporary. Summer has lived in her dead sister Shannon's shadow her entire life. Shannon was perfect. Summer is not. Everything changes when Summer finds Shannon's journal. Loved the family dynamics and how the journal tore down and built the characters back up. Subtle yet sweet romance subplot with Summer's friend Gibs. (Amazon)

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Janie is the farm girl at her school. She's hyper aware of being different and weird. A coming of age novel. Watch Janie learn to love herself and realize who and what is good in her life. Great side characters like a "perfect" best friend Sarah and a boy interested actually named Monster. More of a character story than a plot driven novel. (Amazon)

Beat The Band by Don Calame
Must read for anyone who loved Swim The Fly, or anyone who likes funny contemporary fiction featuring very normal male characters.  Cooper, a brash, hormone-crazed teen, convinces his friends to enter into the school Battle Of The Bands contest. He envisions their future rock-star gods, and with girls running at them tossing their clothes off. Cooper's plan to become Mr. Cool suffers a setback when he's matched up with Hot Dog Helen to do a semester long project in health class on methods of birth control. Very funny book, although not as funny as Swim the Fly. (Amazon)

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt
When Type-A perfectionist Payton's world falls apart after her dad is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Payton's counselor tells her to choose a focus object to help manage her stress. She chooses Sean Griswold's head. This turns into a great friendship and slow romance. Sean is a fabulous character who pushes Payton to break out of her angry shell. Also a wonderful, realistic portrayal of a loving family going through a hard time. (Amazon)

Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Piper's Son is about the love and pain of a close family and the camaraderie and anger of friends.  A great companion to Saving Francesca. Witty, smart dialogue is the key feature of this story. Melina is a master of creating an enticing story with a relatively barebones plot. The characters and dialogue make this novel. (Amazon)

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
A story of friendship and family. Francesca is starting Year 11 as one of the few girls in a former boys' school. And her mother has sunk into a deep depression, bringing her family down with her. Francesca is miserable until she finds a loyal group of friends who build her back up. The highlight of this book is the banter between the characters. The dialogue is worth reading regardless of the plot. You'll fall in love with Francesca, her family, and all her friends. You can enjoy them again in Piper's Son. (Amazon)

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
Travel back in time to a life where children are innocent, kind, and all about having adventures. Set in present day, but feel timeless. In this installment, the three youngest Penderwick sisters are on their own (with their aunt) for vacation when their father, stepmother, and oldest sister all go elsewhere for a few weeks. The plotline sounds uninteresting, but it's fascinating to see what adventures these kids can have. The author does a great job of showing how things that seem inconsequential to adults can be a big deal to a kid. (Amazon)

Kick-Butt Girls

No withering flowers here.

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead
Perfect ending to a fabulous series. There's less action in this installment since Rose is on the run and has to learn the value of accepting help rather than giving it. Meanwhile, Lissa is waging a political battle at court to acquit Rose and maybe change the future of the royals. Don't forget about romance. Dimitri and Adrian will both make you squeal, yell, and cry in this book. (Amazon)

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Bloodlines lives up to Vampire Academy, but I think it may be even better! Sydney is easier to relate to than Rose - Cautious, thoughtful, ambitious, responsible, subdued, self-conscious. And there's Adrian! I loved him in VA, but he comes into his own here. Not a huge amount of action - mostly set-up for the series - but the plot flows quickly and enjoyably. Also not much romance, but what's there is perfectly done. Heart-stopping! Don't read this unless you've read the entire Vampire Academy series. (Amazon)

Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent by Lisa Bergren
Time travel/historical fiction. Gabi and her sister accidentally travel back in time to 14th century Italy. Gabi runs into handsome, wealthy, brave, and kind Marcello and they quickly fall in love. No time to bask in happiness, because they have a multitude of enemies to fight. Great world-building. Lots of sword wielding girl power. Takes a bit of time to get into, but once the characters and story get their claws into you, you won't put the book down. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2, Amazon 3)

The Daughters Join The Party (Daughters #4) - Joanna Philbin
Gossip Girl light., Emma is the daughter of a presidential candidate. Reckless, brave, and outspoken, she gets in over her head and gains national notoriety for it. She has to rely on her friends and inner character to stay true to herself. Nice characters, strong friendships, some romance, and uplifting messages. Fame, fashion, and wealth. (Amazon)

The Season by Sarah MacLean
A mixture of romance, friendship, and mystery all set in aristocratic Regency-era London. Our heroine Alex was born into great wealth. Her role in life is to socialize and quickly marry well. Alex doesn't want any of it. Our hero Gavin grew up with Alex and her brothers. He is like an older brother to her, treating her at times like a child and at times like an attractive young woman. The dialogue between them was fabulous. Witty, somewhat daring, and sarcastic. A fluffy fun book. (Amazon)

Nightspell by Leah Cypess
Complex high fantasy with incredible world building. Nightspell is set in Ghostland, a kingdom where ghosts and the living reside together. Loved how well the ghosts were described. A character driven novel. At various times in the book, I hated, feared, cared for, and pitied the characters, both ghost and living. The pace is slow but steady. If you like character-driven novels, family relationships, fabulous world-building, and nearly romance-less book, you'll love Nightspell. (Amazon)

Eon by Alison Goodman
Eon's entire life is dedicated to becoming a Dragoneye. His entire life is a lie. He is a 16 year old girl masquerading as a 12 year old boy. Eon's attempt to become a Dragoneye carries her farther than she ever imagined. The book draws on Chinese and Japanese legends. Constant action, great food scenes, and a strong, capable girl main character. It is high fantasy but it feels more like historical fantasy, because the Asian setting feels so real. (Amazon)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Stunning. A book equally about romance, family, and personal discovery. Even better, it's set in Prague. Karou is a regular girl who was raised by chimaera, half-animal/half-human creatures who live in a different world. Karou runs errands for her foster-father Brimstone who grants wishes. Akiva is an angel who hates chimaera more than words can describe. When Akiva and Karou meet, their souls collide. Karou is a strong, brave, funny, loving character who doesn't take guff from anyone. Heart-stopping romance. Shocking twists. Complex yet understandable. You'll re-read portions of the book after you finish and realize that there are so many important little things throughout the book. (Amazon)

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
A book where the main character does a complete 180 throughout the course of the plot, in looks and personality. A book that emphasizes the characters' faith in a way that fits seemlessly with the plot and is never preachy. A book that starts out weak and grows stronger and stronger. A book that incorporates Spanish language, culture, food, architecture, and more. A book where romance is present but not nearly as important as the protagonist. A book with major plot twists. Highly unusual, but highly enjoyable. (Amazon)

Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Sequel to Paranormalcy. Evie has the normal life she's always dreamed of, but it's boring. Lend is still the awesome boyfriend, but he's not around. Evie jumps at the chance to work again for the IPCA on a contract basis. Enter stage-right new boy Jack who may be trying to help or hurt Evie. Lots of funny moments, although not as many as in Paranormalcy. Good character growth and world-building development. (Amazon)

The Greyfriar and The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith
Fabulous, unique vampire story. A mixture of suspenseful action scenes with a slow-building romance will satisfy readers of multiple genres. The vampires are intensely violent creatures more like animals than humans. Our heroine Adele looks snooty and weak at first, but we quickly discover she is brave, passionate, daring, and powerful. Lots of political intrigue, steampunk elements, as well as sci fi/fantasy tie-ins. The romance is subtle but so sweet that I repeatedly re-read my favorite "Aww..." inducing moments. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
The perfect combination of historical fiction and fantasy. The Faerie Ring is set in Victorian England. You get to see the extremes of wealth and poverty in this novel since Tiki, the main character, lives on the streets and never met a pocket she couldn't pick while Leo, another main character is the son of Queen Victoria and lives in Buckingham Palace. Add to that a stolen ring that establishes peace between mankind and the fey and you have a story that will totally carry you away. (Amazon)

Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Wildwood is an incredible concept and a good book, but it fails to reach its full potential. The idea behind it is fascinating. A secret world exists within the city of Portland. The Impassible Wilderness is full of talking animals and humans and it has its own politics, history, and culture. Prue and Curtis venture into the forbidden forest to rescue Prue's baby brother and brave all sorts of dangers.  As you'd expect from Colin Meloy (lead singer of The Decemberists), the vocabulary is incredibly sophisticated. Perhaps too much so. Unfortunately, the book drags and is way too long. Still fun to read, but a bit of a chore. (Amazon)

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Rollicking adventure story. Mary, aka Jack, pretends to be a boy and gets a job as a ship's boy on a navy ship. Mary and her fellow ship boys get themselves into one dangerous situation after another. Mary always manages to save the day. The book is told in Mary's cockney accent which is somewhat irritating, but does set the atmosphere. Great book for younger teens. (Amazon)

Always a Witch by Carolyn McCullough
Sequel to Once a Witch. Combination of witchcraft and time travel. Tamsin Greene is no longer Talentless. She is an incredibly powerful witch and will need all her powers to rescue her past and present family from Alistair Knight. Great, headstrong female lead complemented by cute romance. (Amazon)

Princess for Hire and Royal Treatment by Lindsey Leavitt
240 pages of pure, unadulterated cuteness. Desi goes from being a nobody 14 year old girl to a substitute princess. Fabulous main character. Despite having the typical low self-esteem of a normal teenager, Desi is independent, brave, and outspoken. Nothing too surprising plot-wise, but thoroughly enjoyable. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
A middle grade historical fantasy set in early 19th century England and centers on a family that is just outside the cusp of wealth. Since the family is desperate for money (to pay off Kat's brother's gambling arrears), Elissa the oldest sister is going to marry the horrible (but rich) Sir Neville. Kat is bound and determined to stop this. In a parallel plot line, Kat finds her deceased mother's magic book and ends up being thrust into a world of magic that she couldn't have imagined. The two plot arcs intertwine as Kat has to get her sister away from Sir Neville while also juggling magical powers and magical politics. (Amazon)

Switched by Amanda Hocking
Wendy has never fit in. Even her own mother tried to kill her. Turns out she's really a troll who was switched at birth. When she goes back to her real family, the danger, drama, and romance begins. Wendy is a strong character with lots of gumption. Great beginning to a series. Lots to criticize if you want to, but lots to enjoy if you give it a chance. (Amazon)

9 comments :

  1. Wow Alison, that is quite an amazing list! This must have taken you forever to compile:) I adored The Scorpio Races, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Waterfall series, SO GOOD! Looking forward to all your other lists:)

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  2. These are really beautiful posts Alison! I'm glad to see the River of Time series mentioned several time. And there are a few on your Twilight list, I haven't read yet. I'll have to do that soon.

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  3. Maggie Stiefvater and Laini Taylor are definitely amazing - I'm jealous of their awesome writing skills! :P And I love really strong heroines, so Vampire Academy is a favourite of mine! Great list :).

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  4. I love these lists. I feel like I get to add so many book to my TBR pile and also remember how wonderful other books were that I've already read.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

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  5. I adored Matched and my sister is loving Wildwood!

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  6. There are several books that are on this list that I need to read. I love these.

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  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi! If you're not into bleak post-apocalyptic stuff, I'll be honest: "Ship Breaker" probably isn't your cup of tea.

    In other news, it's nice to see "Five Flavors of Dumb" make your lists. I enjoyed it, too.

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  8. Ha! I often get insanely jealous of talented writers too. Thank you again for the great choices here. Writing has become very important to me in the books I read over the past year, I've noticed. My least favourite books of the year all had awkward writing, I felt.

    Also, as much as I love to read about kick butt girls, I think I actually like normal girls better... probably because I can better relate to them! And I often want to be friends with them too.

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