2011 Favorites!

December 30, 2011 2011, 5 star books, discussion post, indie author, Wendy, yearly favorites 30

This has been a monumental reading year for me, because it was the year I rediscovered my love for YA.

I also started posting reviews on GoodReads and started this blog, which has been so much fun! Most importantly, I’ve made so many amazing new friends who feed my book addiction, and I’m grateful everyday for having so many people I can go to for recommendations.

Total Books Read:    422

Here are my favorite books published in 2011.

#1 Liesl & Po
A lovely tale full of adventure and magic, and an instant classic alongside books like Mary Poppins and A Little Princess.

#2 Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) A heart-breaking story that combines exquisite Victorian details, steampunk, a love of literature, principled characters, and magic.

#3 Angelfall  Post-apocalyptic YA + kickass heroine + badass angels + cannibals…what more could you ask for?

#4 A Monster Calls 
A difficult but beautiful book for anyone who has ever loved and lost someone.

#5 Deadline (Newsflesh #2)
Another gut punch of emotion from the master of zombie thrillers! Cannot wait for the sequel in June 2012.

#6 Ultraviolet
An unexpected, wondrous book that takes us to another dimension. I loved this book so much because there are parts that remind me of Ray Bradbury and Madeleine L’Engle.

#7 Anna Dressed in Blood
A gothically beautiful ghost story combined with dark humor and a great male POV. Don’t get stuck in a dark cellar with Anna!

#8  Imaginary Girls 
A disturbing, creepy, Twilight Zone of a novel about a pair of sisters and a lake…where nothing is as it seems.

#9 The Shadow Reader 
A fantastic adult urban fantasy with a great heroine and principled, swoon-worthy love interests. YUM.

#10 Forbidden 
And finally, a book that opened up my mind and opened up my heart in a way I never thought was possible. A painful but important revelation in young adult literature.

These ten are the books that I rated 5 stars this year. I also loved Unearthly, Warm Bodies, and a whole bunch of other additional 2011 favorites! One of the things I find really interesting is that many of the books I love the most also tend to be the most polarizing. The strong reactions they tend to draw on both sides of the fence are a good thing, I think, and lead to a lot of great discussion about what makes a book unforgettable.

What were your 2011 faves? I hope you’ve had a great reading year too, and cheers to a new year filled with great reads for us all!

30 Responses to “2011 Favorites!”

  1. Nomes

    wendy, your stats SLAY me

    and also, the fact you could boil it all down to a top ten so precisely :)

    x Nomes

  2. Wendy Darling

    Oh, PS–I actually finished Under the Never Sky on 12/31 so my total has now been amended to 422 for the year!

    I’m so glad you loved Clockwork Prince and Unearthly, too, Laura. Hope you enjoy the others, too…it’s so fun to compare notes and get recs from everyone’s lists. :)

  3. Wendy Darling

    Aw, I look forward to hearing what you think of those titles, VV, Chachic, Christy, and Ari! Even with all the time we already spend reading, it’s impossible to read everything we want to within a calendar year.

    Yay for Clockwork Prince love, KM! I’m so happy you loved it as much as I did. We’re not obsessed, not at all. :D

    Thanks so much, Sam! I loved your choices as well (hah!) and I’m so very happy we became friends in 2011 as well. More mutual snooping to come this year. :)

    Mimi, your comments never fail to make me smile. Thank you so much! I’m so glad we loved so many of the same books, and yay for Liesl & Po love! I hope you enjoy Angelfall, but I won’t hold it against you if you don’t. (Too much. :D )

    Thank you, Heidi! You evil thing, that book would never make it onto any top ten lists, hah. Hope you enjoy L&P and Angelfall when you read them.

    Sashana, I have been meaning to read Graffiti Moon but I still haven’t gotten around to it yet. *hangs head* I definitely will read it in the coming year, though.

    I really need to read more Dessen, Megan, I’ve only read a couple but I really like her. I liked Anna and the French Kiss, too! And yes, Shadow Reader is an awesome read if you like urban fantasy. Hope you have a good time with it (and Angelfall!) when you get around to it.

  4. Laura (All of Everything)

    I can say I absolutely loved Clockwork Prince and Unearthly, and the others are high on my to read list!
    I’ve seen Angelfall pop up a lot recently; it sounds awesome! Definitely have to look into it!

  5. Megan

    My favorites of YA this year was Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Outside In by Maria V Snyder, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.

    I also saw your recommendation on Goodreads for Angelfall so I’m very excited to read that. I also have heard wonderful things about The Shadow Reader!

  6. Sashana

    I just discovered Judith McNaught this year. I have to say she’s working her way into one of my favorites. I probably shouldn’t have included Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley because it isn’t published this year. Did you read it yet?

  7. Heidi

    Fabulous line up! I had such a hard time choosing my favorites this year. Unearthly was almost on it. I still have to get Liesel and Po. I downloaded Angelfall as well. I am so glad I got know you this year. Here is to more reading reviewing and discussing in 2012! Happy New Year Wendy…p.s. I don’t see A Clockwork Christmas on your list,… snickering!

  8. Mimi Valentine

    OH MY GOSH, YOUR LIST IS MADE OF AWESOMENESS, WENDY! I looooooved Clockwork Prince, Unearthly, Anna Dressed in Blood, and Liesl & Po too (it makes me smile that that was your favourite!)! And thanks to your super-awesome review of it, Angelfall is the next book I’m going to fight to get a copy of! I’m a huge fan of angel books, and this one sounds AMAZING! :)

    Awesome list, Wendy! I can hardly come up with only ten because I’ve done so much reading in the past year too LOL. But I’m glad you got back into YA, Wen — it’s an awesome place to be! ;) <3

  9. Sam

    Great list! I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and Imaginary Girls. And, of course, Clockwork Prince! That made my number one. :) I am reading Angelfall very soon so I can’t wait to see what I make of it.

    Happy new year, Wendy! It’s been great getting to know you through Goodreads. :)

  10. KM

    I definitely agree with CLOCKWORK PRINCE! I’d also add the first two books in The Tiger Saga (though a lot of people didn’t like them, I LOVED them!) and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. :)

  11. Chachic

    We only have one book in common in our lists: A Monster Calls. But I really enjoyed reading Ultraviolet. I’m also curious about Anna Dressed in Blood and The Shadow Reader, both books are in my wishlist.

  12. veela-valoom

    It’s amazing how many of these are on my TBR list. I’ve only actually read Anna Dressed in Blood (was high on my list but didn’t make top 10.)

    A Monster Calls is near the top of my list but I really want to listen to the audio so I keep putting it off. Probably time to just buy it and be done!

    Liesel & Poe, Angelfall, Forbidden, Ultraviolet & Deadline are all on my TBR list. Funny how our lists are so different.

  13. Wendy Darling

    I’d love to see what you think of Forbidden, Anachronist. Again, very polarizing, but a great book for the right reader.

    Oh Apu, I mean, Racquel, I hope you get a chance to read Infernal Devices soon! I bleeding heart love those so much. And yes, Newsflesh, Shadow Reader, and Anna will hopefully top your TBR list next year, too. :)

    Great picks, Sashana! I like the way you’ve divided them into categories. Many of the ones on your list are on my “additional faves” list, too. And hey, Judith McNaught! I loved her historical romances back in the day. :)

    Aw, thank you Michelle! I love that we share a love for so many of the same books.

  14. Sashana

    Nice list, Wendy. I see a few that I’d like to read: Angelfall, The Shadow Reader, and maybe Forbidden. I couldn’t keep my list to 10 but here they are…

    YA
    1. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
    2. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
    3. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
    5. Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

    Romance
    6. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
    7. Once and Always by Judith McNaught
    8. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
    9. Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    PNR and UF
    10. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (The whole sries, really, but I don’t want to list them all)
    11. Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
    12. Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead

  15. Racquel (A Book Barbie)

    I bought Clockwork Angel recently so hopefully I’ll read it & then clockwork prince so I can jump an the bandwagon with all you lovers!

    I have not started the newsflesh series buut I know you & Ari love it & if I trust anybody’s judgment on books and take them to heart, it’s you and Ari so I’m gonna need to read it soon!

    I LOOOVE male POV’s (more then female!) so I think I’m going to have to get over me hating reading books in a series so I can just read Anna and The Shadow Reader is another one I’m reading because of you. I loooooove strong heroines and multiple swoony guys, I can’t say no;D

    -thank you&come again.

  16. Wendy Darling

    I love your picks, Bee, especially FURY (as you know)! I have to check out Cayman and Sisters Red sometime soon.

    I think we had a mind meld, Leanna, because all of the books on your list are either on my “additional faves” list or on the TBR list!

    I really want to read Raging Quiet, VV, I hear such good things about it.

    Aw, thank you so much, Booker, you know that love is returned right back at you. I love snooping your shelves. :D

    Liesl & Angelfall are a GREAT way to start off the new year, Sarah! Hope you love them as much as I did.

    And yes, Angie, please give Anna a try! She will haunt you in the very best of ways. So glad you loved Forbidden, too.

  17. Angie

    I need to get my hands on a copy of Anna Dressed in Blood! It seems to be on everyone’s favorites.

    Forbidden was probably my favorite this year. I’ve never cried so hard at a book before.

    Happy New Year!

  18. Sarahbotbonkers

    421! 0_0 That’s so many books! I read only 57 books this year. :( Anyway, awesome list! Those books are on my TBR shelf for a long time now and the only book I’ve read is Deadline, which is really amazing. I’m planning on starting with Liesl and Po next year and maybe Angelfall? :) Happy New Year and more powers to you.

  19. The Happy Booker

    Wonderful list! You already know that I share your love of Anna and Angelfall! There are others that I have added to my to-read list because of your amazing reviews such as Forbidden, Imaginary Girls, and Ultraviolet. I’m excited to read these in 2012! I actually just bought Ultraviolet last week.
    Wow! You read over 400 books. I can’t even wrap my mind around that! I am so jealous! I wish I had more time to read like I want to. But I certainly do look forward to reading more of your reviews and sharing our thoughts and opinions here and on Goodreads in 2012!

  20. veela-valoom

    Lovely list. I made mine a “read in 2011” rather than a published list because there were some books I discovered late but needed to recognize (such as The Raging Quiet, which I would have never found without goodreads).

    Froi topped my list because frankly Melina Marchetta can do no wrong.

  21. Anonymous

    Some I read, some are in my Wendy-said TBR.
    I know I won’t read Forbidden, we already discussed why. I don’t have a moral issue against incest, but someone spoiled the ending for me.
    Nuh huh.

    Love your list!

    Cillian.

  22. Bee

    Pretty awesome list. Some of those books I’ve read, some are on my shelf and some on my wishlist.
    My faves:
    Stephanie Perkins’ ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
    Tabitha Suzuma’s FORBIDDEN
    Angela Morrison’s CAYMAN SUMMER
    Jackson Pearce’s SISTERS RED
    Shirley Marr’s FURY
    Lauren Bjorkman’s MY INVENTED LIFE

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Have a great year ahead!