Maria’s 2011 Favorites

“Top Five” Books/Series of 2011

These are the books I would (and HAVE) recommend to my best friends…books I couldn’t put down, and wanted to read over and over…books that made me laugh, and cry, and feel everything in-between! SO here they are (in an order which I re-arranged several times – LOL!!)

5. The Queen’s Thief Series – Megan Whalen Turner 

Re-reading my reviews of these books (see links below) I was amazed by how little I said about book 1 the first time I read it…and by the fact that in the other book reviews I felt the need to warn everyone that the first book is slow, but worth it if you stick with it…I am currently re-reading the first book, and I am enjoying it a lot this time, but that is mostly because, knowing what I know now, it is fun to see the events through “enlightened”eyes…that’s really all I can say without ruining the big surprise at the end! Books 2 – 4 were much more exciting to me…perhaps that is because I knew to expect great things!! Lots of mystery, big surprises, and terrific characters, all expertly woven into amazing stories (each of which can stand on it’s own), with the information given out at exactly the right pace…GENIUS! This is recommended for EVERYONE – male, female, young, old, fans of action, fantasy, historical fiction, romance, mythology…it is just amazing!!

The Thief
goodreadsreview
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The Queen of Attolia
goodreadsreview
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The King Of Attolia
goodreadsreview
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A Conspiracy of Kings
goodreadsreview
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4. Graceling and Fire – Kristin Cashore

     What can I say about these books that I didn’t say the first two times I read them?? They are beautiful, haunting, exciting stories that you will want to read again and again! The heroines are so strong and independent (in a time and a world where women are considered “property”), and I love all the characters and relationships! Just fantastic…I can’t wait for the third book!!

Graceling
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Fire
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3. Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and The Peach Keeper – Sarah Addison Allen

These books are not a series, but they are so much alike (in tone, style, characters, and my enjoyment of them), and I read them all so close together, that it felt like one experience rather than 4 separate books. I like them most to least in the order listed (which is also the order they were written) – but even the last one was fantastic!! These books opened the world of “Magical Realism” to me…I had not read anything from this genre before…and I absolutely adored it!! Reading one of these books is the literary equivalent of sitting down with a pan of brownies and eating them all…(without the stomach ache at the end!)…total comfort food! I found myself unable to keep the smile off my face, or to keep the sighs to myself, as I often hugged the books to my chest before putting them down (when reality forced me to do so). I haven’t re-read them yet – but that’s only because I haven’t been able to get them on CD yet. Recommended for true romantics!!

Garden Spells
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The Sugar Queen
goodreadsreview
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The Girl Who Chased the Moon
goodreadsreview
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The Peach Keeper
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2. The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices – Cassandra Clare

I can’t separate these 2 series…I know a lot of people like TMI better, but I love TID just as much – and it is tearing me up just as much as TMI did the first time around!! These books have it all…tons of action, sarcastic humor, mystery, a really cool paranormal world, and heaps of super steamy romance!! LOVE each and every book!!! I’ve read them all twice (so far) except for the newest one and they were all better the second time around! I will be so sad when this series is complete – I know I will miss he characters!!

City of Bones:  8.5/10
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City of Ashes:  9/10
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City of Glass:  9.5/10
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City of Fallen Angels
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Clockwork Angel
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Clockwork Prince
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1. Three-way tie: Delirium – Lauren Oliver, Divergent – Veronica Roth, and Shatter Me – Teherah Mafi

     I just can’t rank these…they are all just AMAZIING!! They are all dystopian/sci-fi novels with equally compelling worlds, relate-able heroines, crush-worthy boys, tons of action and suspense, and were all unbearably difficult to put down!! They each have me on the edge of my seat for their sequel too!!! Shatter Me may have a slight edge on the other two just because the writing style was so completely different, and I absolutely adored it!! Divergent had the most satisfying ending, and the most realistically developed romance. Delirium tore my heart out the most, and had the most breathtaking romance (beware the cliff-hanger ending!!)!

All three of these books will keep you up late at night – both reading and thinking! Absolutely the most fun I’ve had with a book all year! 🙂

Delirium
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Divergent
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 Shatter Me
goodreadsreview
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So there you have it – my top 5 reads (with some cheating the numbers) of 2011 – hope you found something you loved too! 🙂

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