2011 Wrap-Up

First of all, who knew that I would actually keep up with this blog for SO LONG?  OK, so six months is not SO LONG to most people, but for me it’s a lifetime in blog years.  Hopefully I will be able to keep up with it going into 2012–at least until the Mayan prophesy is realized and the world ends.  Not that I believe in that or anything.

So, this week, YA Highway has a perfect RTW prompt to round out the year:  What were your top five favorite books of 2011?

This is really hard.  I read some great books this year, even despite having a long lull in reading toward the end of the year.  In no particular order…

1.  ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins.  Swoon.  Seriously swoon.  That swoon is for Paris, Etienne, AND Stephanie Perkins herself.  This is possibly the best contemporary romance I’ve read EVER.  Though I’m about to embark on LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, which seems to be a favorite among YA reading circles at the moment, so perhaps I’ll have a new favorite contemporary romance EVER very soon.


2.  STOLEN by Lucy Christopher.  I wasn’t sure if I could enjoy an entire novel told in second person, but it worked so well for this story.  What I liked most about STOLEN was that I found myself rooting for romance despite the incredibly disturbing circumstances.  It was definitely a very different sort of story.


3.  JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta.  This book was beautifully written, with an intriguing web or people and backstory and history and romance.  Briefly, Marchetta’s writing made me question whether or not I even know how to write at all.


4.  LOVE IS A MIX TAPE by Rob Sheffield.  I read this while my husband was at work, and thank God.  I was a disgusting, tear-soaked, boogery mess by the end.  And when my husband came home I hugged him for an awkwardly long time.


5.  THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness.  The dialect in this book was really interesting, and the whole thing was really disturbing.  Like, gave me super-weird, uncomfortable dreams type of disturbing.  I haven’t moved on to the next books in the series yet, but I definitely plan to.


And because I’d be consumed with guilt if I didn’t mention a few more books that I loved in 2011, here is my list of honorable mentions:  AUDREY WAIT! by Robin Benway, GRACELING by Kristen Cashore, THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY by Jenny Han, and BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey.

What were your favorite reads in 2011?  Any books you’re looking forward to reading in 2012?

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Lora says:

    Great picks! I definitely have to check out some of these next year, especially Anna and the French Kiss, Stolen, and The Knife of Never Letting Go .

    • Crystal says:

      Yes–fair warning is definitely in order. My husband was so confused, lol, and I could barely even tell him what I was so upset about. He’s not a book-crier, or a movie-crier for that matter, so he just doesn’t understand.

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks 🙂 And I was putting off Jellicoe Road for a while, for whatever reason, and I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. It’s definitely an all-time favorite.

    • Crystal says:

      Part of me was disturbed and yet part of me was not–a fact which made me disturbed in itself. It was very emotionally confusing, which is why it stuck with me so much, I think.

  2. Cassi Haggard says:

    Two of my FAVORITE books (Jellicoe Road & Knife of Never Letting Go) made your list! I read them in 2010 so I couldn’t include them on this years list.

    Actually I couldn’t narrow it down to 5 for RTW so I just posted my top 10 list.

    Stolen & Anna both are on my TBR list.

    • Crystal says:

      I finished it last week and it rocked my whole world! I stayed up super-late to finish it, and then I had delightful dreams about Cricket 🙂

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