Friday, December 30, 2011

Bel's Top 10 of 2011

Coming up with my favorite 10 reads was no easy task, especially since I've been reading like a fiend for most of the year. But here’s my stab at it and in no particular order …

The Mortal Instruments Series

Like Nat, I have to cheat here because I just couldn't narrow it down. It's like picking out one puppy from the litter - it breaks your heart to separate it from its siblings. Not only do I enjoy the storyline and all the characters immensely, I just simply love Cassie Clare’s writing.  She is so good at writing snark and so good a writing non-smutty smut that we BiblioJunkies would just die if Ms. Clare decided to write an adult series. Can you begin to imagine how far she'd go? In all seriousness, I’ve said this before, this series opened the floodgates for me and because of it I’ve experienced a whole new genre.

Hush Hush & Crescendo
On the subject of snark – I do believe that people are familiar with my, um, deep, deep appreciation (read: lust) for Patch Cipriano. In fact, I'm a wee bit disappointed (gutted if I wanted to be melodramatic about it) that I didn't find him in my Christmas stocking. And I know I'm "cheating" again here by naming two books but seriously, it's Patch! Both are filled with plenty of great one-liners and images that make you want to scream in a good way. And that wicked ending in Crescendo had me all strung up. I simply can't get enough!

The Maze Runner
To me, The Maze Runner is the best of the series. James Dashner upped the ante by removing every one's memory and giving them a blank slate. How do you move forward from that with no reference points and no idea who to trust? Everything from the hellish environment to the relentless action left me banging my head for answers and utterly exhausted.

The Iron Knight
The Iron Fey series is one of the most spectacular and intricate out there but The Iron Knight is the one had the most effect on me. Ash is the ULTIMATE knight in shining armor. The trials he goes through make you ache. His resolve to be with his beloved Megan make you pine for him even more. It's no wonder he has such a rabid legion of fans. And with Puck and Grimalkin as travel companions, how can this not be a thrilling adventure?

Thirteen Reasons Why
My niece recommended this book saying it was one of her favorites.  I have to agree with her. I clung to every page of this story and felt a myriad of emotions because it had of its sensitivity and straightforward bluntness.  While the ending doesn’t exactly make you jump up and cheer, you still feel its quiet but hopeful impact. And sometimes subtle works best. 

Saving June
After having read Thirteen Reasons Why I thought, one - I’d be doing a comparison between these two books and two - I’d be spending a very depressing couple of weeks. I was sooo wrong because this turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read in years! Harrington’s effortless blending of humor and sarcasm balanced perfectly the serious side of the story. And adding to its awesomeness, this book came with its very own soundtrack.

The Likeness (non YA)
I love a good psychological mystery and Tana French delivers in this Irish thriller. The mixture of murder and suspense had me on edge throughout.  But what I enjoyed most was how each little plot twist had me gasping. Plus, it's set in Ireland where good things like U2, Snow Patrol, Two Door Cinema Club and Michael Fassbender come from ... not that they had anything to do with the book.

Thank you, thank you Sophie Jordan for putting something different out there! I was already on a slight vampire/werewolf overload when I stumbled upon this Romeo and Juliet style dragon tale (ha! see what I did there?). I was so caught up in Will and Jacinda's connection and worried for them non-stop. And the cliffhangers for Firelight and its follow up, Vanish, left me hungry for more.

Clockwork Prince
Oh my! Cassandra Clare you really love to make us suffer. Aside from the excellent story, there are the gorgeous Will and Jem and that poor girl Tessa who has to look at both of them. Through all the publicity we were all made well aware of the DSBS. But boy was I a bit giddy with that other DSBS that came before it! I'm not ashamed to say that those pages have been bookmarked and I've re-read them a few times times. Oh Jem …

Cold Kiss
Morbid, creepy, morbidly fascinating - it didn’t hit me until recently how much I liked this book. It happened when I was listening to my iPod and a gorgeously haunting song came on that encompassed the book's entire theme - sorrow, loss and letting go. I instantly thought of Wren and Danny. It was one of those moments that made me shiver. While the storyline is set in a paranormal arena, Wren's deeply personal loss is one that anyone can understand.  

So there we have it.  Hope your New Year is filled with plenty of good books, surprises and much, much more!



  1. Nice Top 10 listing.



  2. The Iron Knight is pretty awesome!
    And The Mortal Instruments just fantastic.