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Friday, December 30, 2011

[Post] Top 10 2011 Releases Read This Year

Almost all of my fellow bloggers are putting up variations of their top 10 lists so I figured I would hope right in and share some of mine with you.

Today we have the top 10 2011 released books that I read this year. Tomorrow I will feature some other great books I read this year that were released prior to 2011 and later I will share my top anticipated releases for next year!

#1 Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

***Easily the best book I read this year! I am still taking about it, and dying with impatience for the second one. Read my review here.

#2 Touch by Jus Accardo
When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

***If it wasn't for Divergent, this book would have been my top pick for 2011.  What a fabulous and unique story with strong realistic characters. You should all read it now! Read my review here. 

#3 Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

***One of the creepiest and goriest books I read this year, and absolutely amazing! If you don't mind a little horror in your YA I suggest you give this one a read! Read my review here.

#4 The Death Cure by James Dashner

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

***A fantastic ending to a fabulous series. I couldn't ask for too much more with this book. And...there seems to be a prequel coming out next year! I recommend this whole series to everyone. Read my review here.

#5 The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

***I haven't published my review on this one yet, but let me tell you it was amazing! A super ending to a decent series. I was surprised to hear this book almost wasn't written, but I am glad it was. It made the whole series.

Imagine a world ruled by Werelords--men and women who can shift at will into bears, lions, and serpents. When Drew suddenly discovers he's not only a werewolf but the long-lost heir to the murdered Wolf King's throne, he must use his wits and newfound powers to survive in a land suddenly full of enemies. Drew's the only one who can unite the kingdom in a massive uprising against its tyrant ruler, Leopold the Lion. But the king is hot on Drew's tail and won't rest until he's got the rebel Wolf's head.

***This book was such a unique and enjoyable experience. I look forward to book two next year. Read my review here.

#7 The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

***Another surprising and unique story with a great main character. Read my review here.

#8 Variant by Robinson Wells
Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

***I loved this book! At first it seemed highly predictable, but I was very very wrong! Read my review here.

#9 Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. InLinger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

***Not as great as the first book in the series, but still a wonderful wrap-up.  Read my review here.


#10 Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane
ALL WARS HAVE RULES

Rule Number One: No killing innocent bystanders.

Rule Number Two: No killing anyone under the age of eighteen.

BREAK THE RULES, BECOME THE TARGET

Since the age of eighteen, Joseph has been assassinating people on behalf of a cause that he believes in but doesn't fully understand. The War is ageless, hidden in the shadows, governed by a rigid set of rules, and fought by two distinct sides-one good, one evil. The only unknown is which side is which. Soldiers in the War hide in plain sight, their deeds disguised as accidents or random acts of violence amidst an unsuspecting population ignorant of the brutality that is always inches away.

Killing people is the only life Joseph has ever known, and he's one of the best at it. But when a job goes wrong and he's sent away to complete a punishingly dangerous assignment, Joseph meets a girl named Maria, and for the first time in his life his singleminded, bloody purpose fades away.

Before Maria, Joseph's only responsibility was dealing death to the anonymous targets fingered by his superiors. Now he must run from the people who have fought by his side to save what he loves most in this world. As Children of Paranoia reaches its heart-in-throat climax, Joseph will learn that only one rule remains immutable: the only thing more dangerous than fighting the War...is leaving it.

***For a book completely out of my comfort zone I was amazed by how much I enjoyed reading this book. Read my review here.

Honourable Mention:

I just finished this book so it actually didn't make it into the above list, but it should be there, but I wouldn't know who to kick out so I'll just share it here with everyone.

The lacy gold mapped her entire body. A finely-wrought filigree of stars, vines, flowers, butterflies, ancient symbols and words ran from her feet, up her legs, over her narrow waist, spanned her chest and finished down her arms to the tips of her fingers.

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.

***An absolutely fantastic vampire book. It's new and fresh and I cannot wait to devour the next two in the series. Look for my review in the new year!

What are your top reads for the year?

2 comments:

  1. ooh great list!! DIVERGENT = LOVE <3
    I also read girl of fire and thorns, my first historical ya and it was great
    I haven't started the iron fey but i got the first two books, everyone is in love with this series!!
    same for Touch!! i heard great things about it.

    Great list!!!

    - juhina

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  2. @Maji Bookshelf

    I enjoyed the Iron Fey series overall, but found the first 2 books to be slow and almost unlikable, so keep going and you will find it picks up in book 3. Touch was amazing, You should read it!

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