Top Ten Books of 2011

Posted 27 December, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 13 Comments

Can you believe it’s the end of 2011? Next year is 2012, and we’re all gonna die (kidding…I hope). I figured I’d finally join in the Top Ten Tuesday fun, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, especially since it’s a wrap-up list.

So many good books this year (though my reading experience this week has kind of sucked. I’m having a hard time finishing books lately. Boo.). Here are my Top Ten Books of 2011 in no particular order:

1) CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally (Review here)
YA Contemporary Romance
Jordan is a fantastic character–such a tomboy and very stubborn but so vulnerable and unsure of herself as a date-able girl. A good romance but a better girl-finds-herself story. 

2) SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi (Review here)
YA Dystopian
This book left me breathless. Amazingly creative and unexpected, I couldn’t put this one down. And are you following Tahereh Mafi on Twitter? She’s a hoot!

3) MAKING WAVES by Tawna Fenske (Review here)
Adult Romance
I love this woman, and I love her debut (I bought the ebook for my mom). She’s hilarious and her wildly quirky writing makes this story laugh out loud funny.

4) AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly (Review here)
YA Contemporary
Damn this book for making me cry. I got so involved with these characters, I truly felt their emotions (now that’s some good writing!). A great triumph over the odds story.

5) READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline (Review here)
Dystopian (billed as adult but could be YA, since MC is a teen)
As a child of the 80’s, my heart belongs to that decade and, most especially, John Hughes. Though it’s set far in the future, this story brings back many memories of that quirky decade.

6) LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins (Review here)
YA Contemporary Romance
Love Lola, love Cricket, love the reappearance of Anna and Etienne, love the two dads, love-love-love! This woman really knows her way around a romance.

7) THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson (Review here)
YA Paranormal Mystery
This story was not at all what I expected, which I love. When a book can surprise me, lead me down a path that’s dark with an end that is shaded in mystery, I’m all in.

8) ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake (Review here)
YA Paranormal Ghost Story
How long has it been since I’ve read a ghost story that kept me up late at night? Too long. But Anna hit the spot, evoking memories of burrowing under the covers with my flashlight.

9) ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre (Review here)
YA Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Dark, creepy and filled with ravenous creatures who just want to eat you, this story is definitely a fave of both my students and myself. Death lurks around every corner in this world. 

10) SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD by Lindsey Leavitt (Review here)
YA Contemporary Romance
Such a sweet romance, one that builds organically — no insta-love here.  I don’t know exactly why this one hit me so hard but it squeezed my heart…in a good way.

I’m actually kind of surprised by all the contemporaries on this list, since I consider myself to be a fantasy/paranormal freak. Go figure. But I’m not so surprised by all the young adult titles on the list; I inhaled young adult books like they were going out of style this year.

What about you? Any surprises? Leave a link so we can compare lists!

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

13 Responses to “Top Ten Books of 2011”

  1. First of all, love your new blog design Mary! The header is just too cute:) And you have some of my favorite books on this list as well, Catching Jordan and Amplified were both huge surprises for me, I didn’t expect to love them as much as I did:) Anna Dressed in Blood was outstanding, I can’t wait for the next book!!!

  2. Oh! I’m reading Sean Griswold’s head soon! I hope I like it so much. I actually have many of your books on my soon to be read pile!!
    I’m really excited now.

    also, love the new look!
    the pictures of Fi are ADORABLE and it’s just a lovely, clean design

  3. @Jenny and @Alex– Thank you so much for the sweet compliments on my new blog design. Darned thing took me forever so I’m glad it comes across well!

    @Tanya– Ooh, you’ve got to read Anna Dressed in Blood. A fabulous horror/ghost story!

  4. Love the new design!

    I’ve been surprised with how many contemporaries I loved this year as well! I think it’s a genre that has really grown on me.

    Sean Griswolds Head was AMAZING! And I think you have a fantastic list!

  5. I only typically read YA Fantasy in some regard or another, but I think I’m going to have to add ALL OF THESE to my to read list. I’ve eyed two or three of them already. Count me SOLD.

  6. That’s a great list! I loved Shatter Me and Catching Jordan, both were fantastic! And Lola and Anna Dressed in Blood! 🙂 I really want to read Amplified! And I love the new design!

  7. Catching Jordan, Shatter Me, and The Name of the Star are totally in my top picks as well. Oh man, I still need to read Amplified… I’m really looking forward to it!

    Awesome choices!! =)

  8. Anna Dressed In Blood definitely made my list. Actually, it’s made most of my lists. I loved it. I really need to get a copy of Catching Jordan since I keep hearing how epic it is over and over. Thanks for sharing your list!