Saturday, 31 December 2011

Favourite Books of 2011

It's that time again this year! December for bloggers is the time to reflect on what we've read and think about the books we would like to read in the new year...and what books we want on our present lists!

This the second year that I have done one of these, it's so nice to know that this blog is still going strong. It's been an amazing year and I hope I'll be doing another one of these this time next year. If you want to have a look at the one for 2010, click here.

On the Books of 2011 page, I added my favourite book of that month and this is an end of year round up of  my all time favourite books of this year. Enjoy!

January: A Song for Summer - Eva Ibbotson
This is the first book of 2011 I read and it is one that has stuck with me for the rest of the year. It is incredibly beautiful and powerful to read and I think it shows the essence of Eva Ibbotson's great writing skills.
I also read another one of Eva Ibbotson's - This Morning Gift. Which although it was good and enjoyable, for me, it just didn't suit my tastes and I found it a little boring. Eva Ibbotson's plots can be quite complex but this book and The Secret Countess are ones that are more simple and much more enjoyable.

Review | Goodreads

February: Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
This is one of those books where you're not sure whether it's going to be good or not. I mean, it was an interesting concept but I read so many bad reviews for this before I started.
And until about halfway through, I thought it was so-so. This book has some of the most well thought-out and most original characters I have ever read in Audrey, Victoria and Jonah. The plot is fast and keeps you interested without being too fast paced. It has an interesting storyline and one, although it's never happened to me, I could relate to. Although there is a lot of swearing, like on every page, this book creates a fun, musical atmosphere that is so enjoyable and optimistic to read. You can tell I enjoyed it as I read it in only a few days.
Review | Goodreads

March Part 1: Chocolate Cake with Hitler - Emma Craigie
This was an extraordinary book, one that I remember frequently and really got me interesting in the whole story of Hitler's last days. This has a lovely range of characters in an interesting and intriguing setting. You can see how much research and detail has done into this novel and it has, although a horrible, shocking ending to the main story, a look at the different characters mentioned and how they spent the rest of their lives. This is a book that makes you reflect on life and how experiences like this can change you.

Review | Goodreads

March Part 2: The Legacy - Gemma Malley
Yes, I couldn't choose which one to have that month so I chose two. The Legacy was a book I waited for, for what seemed like ages. I had read the first two books in the trilogy, The Declaration and The Resistance and loved them - but they left so many things unanswered to I was itching for the library to have this book in. And it did - finally. This was my first dose of dystopian fiction and I loved it, from the characters of Peter and Anna to the plot to the interesting twists and turns that line the whole series. Gemma Malley, for me, is a genesis.

Review | Goodreads

April: I was Jane Austen's Best Friend - Cora Harrison
I admit I was dubious of this book when I saw the title and cover, something stopped me buying it until it was in the sale. But I absolutely loved it. The characters are amazing and really reflect the characters of Austen's best loved book, Pride and Prejudice. The plot, language, descriptions, characters, romance was just spot on and this instantly became my favourite book after reading. I'll looking forward to reading the next in the series, Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend (yes, I am dubious of the title still) which I'm waiting for the paperback version before buying.

Review | Goodreads

May: Looking for Alaska AND July: Paper Towns - John Green
Okay so there were two John Green novels at the top for 2011 but I thought I'd combine them.
Looking for Alaska was interesting and gave me a nice introduction to John Green in general. This was a great book with interesting characters, a great plot and a lovely setting. It isn't a perfect novel, I thought the second half of the novel was nothing special but for me, the first half made this book.

Review | Goodreads

Paper Towns was a much better read for me than Looking For Alaska. The plot and characters were much better and I don't think I've EVER laughed so much when reading a novel. This  book had me in stitches on every page, some of my favourite quotations come from this.
Great book, I would recommend it to anyone.

Review | Goodreads

June: Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
I was introduced to this book by a friend of mine, she wanted me to read it thinking I would enjoy it. And boy, did I. It's quite interesting when you get behind an idea like a painting. I loved the original setting and characters that accompanied it.
Although this is a fiction book, I liked the idea that it could be real and that the story could have happened. So glad I read this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction or this movie.

Review | Goodreads | Movie Review

July: The Roman Mysteries: The Man from Pomegrantate Street - Caroline Lawrence
The Roman Mysteries was a series I started reading when I was in Year 4 (3rd Grade) and have read it over and over since. This year marked the end of the main series with the release of the final book in the series.
I loved it and it is my favourite of the whole series. This series is aimed at children 9-12 but is still amazingly interesting for a 16 year-old like me.
They have some great characters with vivid descriptions and lots of twists and turns throughout. The ending was perfect and a great end to the books that filled my childhood.

Review | Goodreads

August: Theodore Boone - John Grisham
I've always known about John Grisham, in fairness, who hasn't? But this was a nice way to be introduced to his writing and interesting with him branching on to teenage fiction. Theodore Boone is such a unique person with a life which is quite...nice. I would love to be him for a day.
There's something very different about this mini-series of books which makes you want to read them and read them.

Review | Goodreads

September: The Rogue's Princess - Eve Edwards
I absolutely fell in love with Eve Edward's writing and characters in her first novel The Other Countess. This year saw the release of the next two in the series, The Queen's Lady and this one, The Rogue's Princess continuing following the male Lacey's falling in love. Soppy, but she does it so well.
The Other Countess is my favourite so far but this one is close behind with moments I laughed out loud and moments I had tears in my eyes. She really is an author to watch eagerly.

Review | Goodreads

October: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
There is always that book where you seem like the last person to finally get around to reading it and then, when you do, you think 'Why on earth did I not read this one before?'
The Hunger Games is the case here. I borrowed the book from a friend after my close friends were always saying 'Rebecca, you have a blog about books, why have you not read it?!'
This is one of my favourites, the characters, plot and setting are all so unique and something incredibly different. I am so looking forward to the movie version in 2012.

Review | Goodreads

November: Wither - Lauren DeStefano
This is another case where I wondered why I hadn't read it yet. I bought this book in the summer because I loved the cover (sad but true I'm afraid). This is an amazing book with lots of morals we don't think about challenged.
For me, the thing that clung to me was the descriptions and DeStefano's beautiful writing. This is an incredible book that stays with you.
I'm looking forward to the sequel, Fever, released in February!

Review | Goodreads

December: Saving June - Hannah Harrington
This was my first Netgalley book and I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it at all. In fact, I really enjoyed it and I realised that this is the kind of book I truly like.
There are many faults that annoyed me but ultimately, this book reminded me so much of Sarah Dessen's work. The continuous change of location and the look at Harper's judgements about those around her constantly changing really interested me. One of the most surprising reads that I enjoyed indeed.

Review | Goodreads

Notable Mentions:
- Bright Young Things - Anna Godbersen
- Once - Morris Gleitzman
- Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery - Keren David
- Where She Went - Gayle Forman



  1. Great list! I definitely agree with The Roman Mysteries and The Hunger Games, they are brilliant. I reslly want to read The Legacy and Looking For Alaska so much! I love Eva Ibboston's books lots, so I will probably like Song For Summer. Thanks for posting!

  2. I've read The Hunger Games and Audry Wait! Audry Wait is so funny and The Hunger Games is fantastic!! =)

  3. Zoe: Oh thank you! These are the books I would always recommend to they are good in my opinion.

    Rose: Yeah, they are just two of my favourites :)


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