Dec 312011

I wanted to wait until 2011 was as close to being as finished as possible before I posted my End-of-Year Book Survey, hosted by the lovely Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner

This is the second year I’ve participated and let me tell you, this year might have been more difficult than the year before! So many good books and awesome memories to recount, and here’s to hoping I can squeeze all (or most) of them in this post.


1) Best book you read in 2011?
There is just no way I can pick one, so here are just a few that are in the running:

-Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
-Saving June by Hannah Harrington
-Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
-Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
-The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
-Divergent by Veronica Roth
-Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
-Where She Went by Gayle Forman
-Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

2) Most disappointing book/book you wish you loved more than you did?
Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison. The premise was so interesting but the book just wasn’t for me.

3) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. This book came out in 2009, but I didn’t read it until 2011. This was my first book about zombies and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. Needless to say, I LOVED it!

4) Book you recommended the most to people in 2011?
I think that the Harry Potter series will forever and always be my most recommended :) But besides that, I pimped out Between Shades of Gray and Saving June quite a bit.

5) Best series you discovered in 2011?
This is a tough one, but I would have to pick the If I Stay series by Gayle Forman. There are only two books out so far, but they are absolutely amazing.

6) Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Oliver, Tahereh Mafi, Veronica Roth, and so many others.

7) Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I read A Game of Thrones just recently for book club and surprisingly fell in love with it. I’m not usually big into adult fantasy but the book just sucked me in. 

8) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
There were so many books that had me up way past my bedtime this year, but I would have to say Divergent by Veronica Roth. Oh Four…

9) Book you most anticipated in 2011?
I think this is a tie between City of Fallen Angels and Lola and the Boy Next Door.

10) Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

11) Most memorable character in 2011?
I definitely can’t just pick one… so I would pick both Harper and Jake from Saving June, Juliette from Shatter Me, and Audrey from Audrey, Wait!

12) Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater and The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.

13) Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
Between Shades of Gray had the most impact on me in a historical fiction sense, and Saving June is now my perfect example of what I look for in a contemporary YA novel.

14) Book you can’t believe you waited until 2011 to finally read?
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. I have had this entire series just sitting on my shelves and I finally gave in and read the first book. Needless to say, I will be devouring the other three this year :)

15) Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2011?
This question could probably be a whole post on it’s own. Here are just a few of my faves:

“You?’ is all I can manage to choke out. 
‘Always me,’ she replies softly, bashfully. ‘Who else?” 

- Gayle Forman, Where She Went

“Sometimes kindness can be delivered in a clumsy way.”
- Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray

16) Book you read in 2011 that you will most likely reread in 2011?
I will most definitely be rereading all of the first books in the series that have sophomore novels coming out in 2012, including Shatter Me and Delirium.

17) Book that had a scene you HAD to talk to someone about?
I think for the answer to this question, all you would have to do is look at my gchat history with Ginger and Anna :)

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1) New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
Lisa is Busy Nerding – if you don’t already read Lisa’s blog, I highly suggest you change that ASAP!

2) Favorite review you wrote in 2011?
Between Shades of Gray. It was by far my most heartfelt and longest review.

3) Best discussion you had on your blog?
Here is a blogger fail on my part this year – I didn’t post nearly as many discussions as I’d hoped, so that will be one of my most important goals for 2012.

4) Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on someone else’s blog?
Supernatural Snark has a knack for thorough and awesome reviews.

5) Best event you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

BEA! Jamie, Britney, Heidi, Farrah, Kristi, Tara, me, and Anna at the Children’s Author Breakfast

Jamie, Carla, Anna, Shanyn, and me outside the FedEx in NYC…

Teen Book Con in Houston…

And of course, Ginger’s visit to Chicago!

6) Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
This will just have to be shown through pictures.

Meg Cabot at BEA

Maggie Stiefvater at BEA
Lunch with Tahereh Mafi

7) Most popular post this year on my blog?
Oddly enough, my second Dear Diary post that was started by Anna has the most views, following by my City of Ashes review.

8) Post you wished got a little more love?
Let’s be for real – I wish all of my posts got a little more love :)  

9) Best bookish discovery (book-related sites, bookstores, etc.)?
I have discovered a super-cute indie bookstore in my new neighborhood, The Book Cellar. It is a bookstore/wine and cafe shop, so you can’t beat that!

10) Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for 2011?
I signed up for a few reading challenges but didn’t really keep track of my progress. This year, I plan on signing up for just a few and doing a better job of keeping my progress up to date.

Looking Ahead

1) One book you didn’t get to in 2011 but will be your #1 priority in 2012?
I have an ARC of Pandemonium that I will be devouring very, very shortly.

2) Book you are most anticipating in 2012?
SHATTER ME #2!!!!!

3) One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2012?
I solemnly vow to write my reviews IMMEDIATELY after I read the book. If I can manage that, I will be a happy camper :)

  6 Responses to “My Bookish Highlights of 2011”

  1. I’ve got Saving June in my TBR pile. I’m glad to hear it’s good!

    I didn’t like Here Lies Bridget, either. It could’ve been good, but I just couldn’t muster up any sympathy or good feelings for such an abhorrent main character!

  2. I’m a big fan of Divergent too! I’m seriously dying to read Insurgent already (although I’m afraid that I’ll expect too much of it and it won’t be as good as I think it will be in my head).

    And Stephanie Perkins is a wonderful writer! Her stories always manage to make me smile, tear up, sigh, swear – well, basically to express any emotion. I love her characters too!

    I feel the same way about reviews – I really should write them after I read the book so I don’t forget what I wanted to say!

  3. Wow excellent post. I have so many of these on my bookshelf that I have to get to. And I totally agree with you on Supernatural Snark…thorough is the correct word!

  4. Oh man I love looking back on all our 2011 adventures … who knows what we’ll do in 2012!

  5. this just in – YOU ARE THE BEST.

    i think you’re super rad and i’m sooooo glad i’ve gotten to know the Tara behind the blog.


  6. great books and events! I hesitated, but decided to keep my blog stats for the BBAW event. so here is book recap: http://wordsandpeace.com/2011/12/30/year-of-reading-2011/

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