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26 December 2011 @ 01:45 pm
The Best of 2011  
I know everyone's doing this and making lists but why not? It's fun! I want to join in too. So here's the long comprehensive list of awesome things for the year 2011.

Best Covers!



Tris and Izzie 
by Mette Ivie Harrison

Just look at that gorgeous cover! The scenery, mood, color scheme is all so beautiful. I'm not too sure about the girl's expression here but everything else about it is just wonderful. I would love to have a cover like this on one of my books if I ever get published. Too bad the story didn't live up to it (more on that later).




Eona by Alison Goodman

This cover just screams bad ass! The dragon, the girl with the sword, the way her hair is blowing and she has the whole don't mess stance is freaking awesome. Even better that it's Asian-ish! Asian, ftw!




So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev
I actually love all the covers for this series. Ah, I love all the details in this cover and the bright white/silver of her dress and her hair. It's so fantasy and awesome. Sad to say I've only read the first book, although I must remedy that soon. 




Exiled by RaShelle Workman

I am a lover of all things vividly and brightly colored and this cover has everything I could want. Just look at all the striking things in here, especially those butterflies. Whoa.




Everblue by Brenda Pandos

The blues! The reds! The contrast is so eye-catching that I can't help but stare at it. The title is also in some cool font and the random swirly thing totally leads you into the tangle of her hair in the water. 


Best Debut Novels of 2011



Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

I'm telling you, this book was awesome! Magic, adventure, plots, and a spunky main character done with a light-hearted tone. Cannot get any better. It's set in the Victorian Era too, one of my favorite time periods.





Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Dang, this book was fantastic. The main character was hardcore. I loved the risky way she decided to write everything in accent, and man how can you go wrong with cage fighting?!




A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

A sci-fi retelling of Sleeping Beauty. This book was unique, original, and had some pretty awesome character development.




Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Instant love for the inclusion of unicorns! I loved the time-traveling aspect of this novel and the fantasy elements. I would consider it a nice milk tea bubble drink after a hard day.




Geist by Philippa Ballantine

This is the author's actual major publishing debut and boy, it was yummy. Not entirely perfect as it sagged in a few minor areas but the world building and character creations were top notch. A unique spin on some old creatures and fantastic chemistry between the main leads made this a fun read.


The Best Sequels



Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

I waited oh so long for this book to come out and it didn't disappoint. A totally radical new world, tension, fast-paced plot, nefarious doings, and delicious romance made this so wonderful. (ANDEVAI!) It was everything I wanted and more. I don't want to get into too much depth as I plan to review this more fully later.




The Hidden Goddess by M.K. Hobson

I would call this the companion to the Spiritwalker Trilogy as they have many similar aspects including the characters but I would stop there as they both have their own unique and intoxicating plots. This installment was no different. The darker history of characters are explored and the ending was so swoon-worthy that it was so perfect for my beloved couple.




Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

I totally did not think this series was going to be as good as I did but holy damn. This was one of the best urban fantasy series ever. It totally had me craving more when I was skeptic of the genre before. The plot twists in this book was insane and the delicious Barrons. Oh, yes, Barrons...




Eona by Alison Goodman

Hey, this is the second time this book appeared on here. WHOA. But, seriously, it was that good. Oh man. I can't believe it's over. And, Kygo? SEX. Magic and Asian-inspired fantasy? GIVE ME MORE. You hear me publishers? MORE!




The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Aww, this series is over. Thank goodness for the spin-offs! The final battle may have been anti-climactic and I never was a fan of the Percy x Annabeth romance but the Greek mythology imaginings were fun, cracked out, and a joy to read. Not bad of an ender I say.


Surprises



Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman

I was pretty bleh about this book because it was actually something I had to read for class but I was totally blown away by the beauty of the writing. It's so packed with emotion and her descriptions of the paintings she had to sit for are amazing. It's so heartbreaking but wonderful at the same time.




Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

You know how I don't read much contemporary fiction, if at all, but the coolness that is Nafiza, recommended it to me. For such a short book it covers depression, misery, character growth, illness, acceptance, and the blooming of first love. Totally fabulous.




Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

I absolutely hate vampires. I avoid books with them in it like the plague. I like my vampires evil and nasty bloodsuckers without much morals if you please. Not no angst-ridden, love-tormented saps. But this book took me for such a surprise. I loved how humorous and lighthearted it was and how it never was meant to be taken seriously. And the unicorns? FREAKING COOL. 


Honorable Mentions



Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

The depth and subtle nuances in this book are fabulous. Even if the romance wasn't really what I wanted it brought everything around full circle. For such an obscure book, it's pretty damn good.




Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

I wasn't a big fan of steampunk but this series totally changed that. The world building? Blew my mind. It certainly helped that the illustrations were absolutely stunning. I loved the main character she's just too awesome to be summed up.




The Traitor in the Tunnel by Y.S. Lee

I can't get enough of this series. James x Mary are just too awesome for their own good. Every time they're together the pages smoke from their chemistry. And the kissing scenes? HAWT DAMN.




The Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato

A book set in renaissance Italy with the palio as its conflict? INSTANT WIN. The writing was smart, intelligent, and the pull between control and one's inner desires are a great highlight of the book.


So what were your favorite books of the year?
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thehibiscus on December 27th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
The cover of Tris and Izzie makes my heart out. It deserved a much better story than the one it got. Oh I gotta read Geist. I'm looking for more fantasy with strong female protags. I was recently reading Eona again and I think it just gets better the second time round. I hope 2012 is just as amazing bookwise. The debuts seem to be of a much better quality so there's hope from that side. Haha. (And I'm SO glad you enjoyed Sean Griswold's Head.)
need_tea on December 28th, 2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
I wanna read Eona again. I gotta get myself copies but I'm OCD and want the same styled covers... Gotta wait for paperback. Geh. I think you'll love Geist! I totally wanna read the next one. ^^;;.

The 2011 debuts were pretty good this year. I actually found books I really liked and they had some originality!

YUS for Sean Griswold's Head! I seem to like humorous paranormal stuff and more humorous contemporary fiction than serious and melodramatic and all introspective things. Heh. Maybe that's my key.