To Do Lists, Young Adult

Peace out, 2011! I’ll see you next year!

In honor of New Year’s, and as an escape from watching the “Top 100 moments of 2011” on every freakin channel on TV, I’ve decided to participate in The Perpetual Page-Turner’s 2nd Annual End of the Year Survey.
Hooray Books!

I’m not gonna lie: this is going to be a major challenge for me because how do you wrap up a fantastic year’s worth of reading into a single survey? How do you adequately explain just how wonderful books were or how much you loved an author in a short amount of words? I’m always up for a challenge but this one seems… well… a little cruel to my beloved books. Luckily, I’ve told them all how much I loved them and they all have their own special reviews, so maybe they’ll understand.

On to the challenge!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? – Better be glad there’s categories otherwise this question will get you in trouble!

YA contemporary: I haven’t read a whole lot of YA contemporary this year, but if I had to pick between the maybe 3 I’ve read, it would be a tie between The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. The Sky is Everywhere would probably win between the two, but only because I was a train wreck (in a good way) after reading it. Oh! And The Princess Diaries series… enough said about that!

Dystopian: Totally would have to be Divergent. I was shocked. Literally shocked. It was such a great read. There is not enough praise for this one.

YA paranormal/supernatural: This wasn’t really a genre I picked too much up of either, so I think I’d have to go with The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore. A book that takes place in Alabama, features a truly Southern ghost story AND has a handsome, Welsh love interest? YES PLEASE!

Fantasy: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, which I guess could be considered fantasy, right? I was looking forward to reading this like whoa. And when I finally did… whoa! I loved every second of it!

Adult Fiction: Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I haven’t read that much adult fiction this year. Or at least finished any adult fiction this year. After starting to read YA books at an obsessive rate, there are just way too many for me to actually keep interest in a grown up book. Although, one I did read, and really enjoyed, was Nora Roberts’ Midnight Bayou. Southern ghost story and sexy male lead? Again… YES PLEASE!

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
I feel like this is a tie between Ally Condie’s Crossed and Rick Riordan’s The Son of Neptune. I REALLY wanted to love both of these but just… didn’t. I enjoyed them, but I wish I loved them.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Anna and the French Kiss. I really was shocked at how much I loved this book. I thought it was going to be just a cutesy little easy read and it totally wasn’t! I feel like I can’t sing enough praises for it.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Most of my friends don’t actually read YA, so I’m always hesitant to recommend books to people. But I know I passed a lot of “you should read this!”s to friends about the Hunger Games trilogy. Mainly because YOU SHOULD READ THIS!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
Definitely The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins – as if you didn’t know that already! My thought about this series is the same as it was when I discovered Harry Potter and Percy Jackson: WHY HAVEN’T I DISCOVERED THIS SOONER?!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Pretty much every author I read! No… I think that while I’ve read stuff by some pretty awesome authors, I definitely have favorites. Cassandra Clare, Lauren DeStefano, Jandy Nelson, Suzanne Collins… the list could go on and on if I’m not careful!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I wouldn’t say it was totally out of my comfort zone or even a new genre, but there were many moments in it that made me feel very uncomfortable, like I was experiencing a whole new world of honesty and truth in writing.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Divergent by Veronica Roth. This one took me a little while to get started but when I did… this book did not leave my hands for 6 hours. Even the rare slower parts were unputdownable.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
That would have to be The Son of Neptune, which is the second book in the Heroes of Olympus (Percy Jackson) series. I had been waiting for it for like a year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
Oh man… this one’s hard! I’d say it’s a tie between Matched by Ally Condie (notice my little blavatar thingie?) and Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I loved both of these covers oh so much and they definitely were the reasons I read the books. Another cover that was a favorite, although the book was not, was Entwined. The cover is so pretty!

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Is it lame for me to say Katniss Everdeen? I really loved her and though she was kind of kick-ass awesome. But in a chance to be different, I’ll choose use  from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He really was my most memorable character because… he’s just so special. But not short bus special.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
It’s really going to be a tie between Delirium by Lauren Oliver (despite me throwing this book across the room, it really was beautiful) and The Sky is Everywhere. Both were beautiful and heartfelt, poignant and stirring. I sort of envy how they are able to write so emotionally without sounding hokey or cheesy. Something I have not mastered yet.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
Embarrassingly, it was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I think I just GOT it and it really played with my head a bit.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Y’all, THIS is embarrassing: Ella Enchanted. I mean, this book is major old and I would have LOVED it when I was younger. Sadly, I’m just now reading it. Of course, I loved it just the same, if not maybe more than I would if I had read it when I was younger. I’m pretty sure my exact thoughts were “I can’t believe I’m just now reading this!”

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
Oh, geez… I don’t know! I wish I remembered these things, but I don’t. The one that does still stick with me is “And in that moment, we were infinite.” from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think it sticks with me because it’s so honest. I think we all had that moment when we were young, that we could live forever and felt exactly that way.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Wither, The Hunger Games

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!
Okay, this one is spoiler-rific so I’m gonna make it white. Highlight to check out what I’m DYING to talk about. In The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, I had a major WTF moment when Humberto’s throat gets slit. I mean, WTF?! I did a double take, had to go reread that part just to make sure what I read actually happened. I have never been so shocked and appalled at a scene like that. Whew, okay, glad I got that off my chest.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
Forever Young Adult. I’m pretty sure this is what made me want to blog. That and all of my awesome new blog friends!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?
I honestly don’t know if I’ve had any real favorites but I have a few favorite titles for my reviews:
Anna and the French Kiss –
Zut Alors! I have meesed something!
The Hunger Games –
What do you mean this book isn’t about food?
Matched –
I’m gonna need my green pill.
Wither –
Now I want you to chase me, and I will show you how to run fiercely.
City of Ashes –
We’re kissin cousins ‘n that’s what makes it all right

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Haven’t had too many of these. Maybe in 2012 we’ll get some good discussions going on!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I’m gonna have to leave this one blank – other than my telling you that I’m gonna leave it blank – because nothing’s really coming to mind. New Year’s resolution – pay better attention to what I read on other people’s blogs!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I haven’t participated in many things, but I’ve only been doing this for a couple months! I have enjoyed all the Top Ten Tuesdays I’ve done; those have been challenging and fun.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
Probably getting my first follower. That was a pretty awesome moment because I felt validated, like “hey, someone actually likes what I’m doing!”

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
It’s probably a tie between my review of Anna and the French Kiss or one of my Top Ten posts, both comments and views wise.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Probably most of my older reviews. (I would love you so much more if you checked them out!) I wish I had started getting the word out about my blog – through commenting on others blogs, tweeting, etc. – BEFORE I wrote a bunch of reviews. Sadly, all of that was kind of wasted. But, live and learn!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Haha, probably the Kindle. I had a really hard time justifying this and felt like I was cheating on books somehow. But, luckily, books love you no matter what the technology.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Not really. I tried to make a list of all the books I wanted to read over the summer and while I did make a good dent in that list, the stupid thing kept getting longer and longer! I pretty much set myself up to fail with that one.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?
Lemme see… what’s on my bookshelf right now…. No. There are so many books that I wanted to read but, unless I miraculously can get through them in the next 36 hours, it’s just not going to happen. Right now my priority will be finishing up the books I have on my shelf – The Apothecary, Everybody Sees the Ants, Texas Gothic, Blue Bloods – before I get to any new ones. But I think the next book that I get will hopefully be Clockwork Angel. I’m really excited to get into this series!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
Fever by Lauren DeStefano, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Daughter of Athena by Rick Riordan… SOOOO looking forward to these!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
In my reading, I just hope to read more. And more, and more and more! Maybe step out of my comfort zone a little more and explore some books that don’t really seem to appeal to me on the surface – such as books about fairies or fae or whatever they’re called. With my blogging, I really hope that I can help this blog to take off and become better, as well as gain more followers and readers.

Wow, 2011 was really kick-ass in the reading world. I still can’t believe how deep I’ve gotten into all of this and how much fun it’s been! I can’t wait for 2012 – which officially starts in less than 2 days! Here’s to good friends, good blogs and good reads for the future!

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