01 January 2012

You made me happy in 2011 ...

In 2011 I managed to read quiet a lot of books, those countless hours I spend on the train every day helped a lot. 

When I looked through my Goodreads read page this morning I saw that I rated most books with three stars, some with two stars and a few with 1 star. Most often I had trouble with the writing style in the books that were just ok for me. The 1 and 2 star ratings contain books that portrayed cheating in a way I hate and some of the books had horrible jerks as heroes. Some of these books were on my most excited to read in 2011 list, so I was pretty disappointed in them. 

Of course I also read some books that I enjoyed and even loved. I'm happy with how many books I was able to rate with four and five stars in 2011. Nearly all of the 5 star ratings are books I reviewed and from them I chose my favourites. I didn't want to limit myself to 10 books, so I just picked all of the books that brought me the most fun and that touched me deeply. The books are from various genres both from the adult and young adult section. This is going to be a long post :)

By the Queen ...
... the Queen of Romance of course. I love Nora Roberts and enjoyed pretty much all of her books, she is one of my favourite authors ever. So of course two of her books from 2011 belong to my best of 2011 list. 

The next always (so lovely and cozy)
New York to Dallas (Eve and Roarke, need I say more?)

It's getting hot in here ...
Not all erotic romances I read this year worked for me, but these three made me excited for more.

Mesmerized by Lauren Dane (The Phantom Corps series is so good)
Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning (this author's rock stars are the best)
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud (a rock star retelling of Pride & Prejudice with lots of messed up characters and over the top scenes)

Zombies and magic ...
A lot of UF and paranormal romance stories couldn't capture my interest in 2011, hopefully this will change in 2012. But two books made me want to jump up and down because they were so good. 

My life as a white trash zombie by Diana Rowland (one of the most unique books I read in 2011 and the cover is perfect)
Venom by Jennifer Estep (love the Elemental Assassin series)

So cozy ...
I love cozy mysteries and this year one of them was so good, that I can't wait to read the next in the series. 

Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon

From the past ...
From time to time I get into a phase in which I crave to read historical romances and lately I'm in one of those phases. Two historical romances have earned a spot on my fav books of 2011 list.

Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh (love this series and Freya is an amazing heroine)
The madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley (wow, the characters in this book are so unique and good!)

Love, romance and action ... 
Contemporary romances were my first love (when I started reading adult books) and I still adore a good, lovely, sexy and funny story. But sadly some of my biggest disappointments in 2011 came from this genre. But I'm hopeful that 2012 will bring more great contemporary romances, books like my two fav books in this genre in the last year.

Everyone loves a hero by Marie Force (an emotional love story with a very satisfying end)
Icebreaker by Deirdre Martin (another great book in one of my favourite contemporary sports series)

Edgy, messed up, chick-litish and so good ...
Edgy contemporary romances with chick-litish elements (does this word combination even exist?) with main characters that feel real and that are a bit messed up, belong to my favoutites in 2011. The three books you can see on the picture were all wow, and both Sarra Manning and Hazel Osmond belong to the fantastic authors I discovered in 2011. 

Who's afraid of Mr Wolfe by Hazel Osmond (A wounded hero who needs to learn to love again)
Unsticky by Sarra Manning (Perfection!)
You don't have to say you love me by Sarra Manning (So lovely and emotional)

So special ...
I can't get enough of emotional books with main female characters that touch me deeply and that make me cry (in a good way). And these two books both deal with pain, love and hope in a wonderful and impressing way. 

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe (who knew that free verse could be so fantastic?)
The language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (special, emotional and lovely)

You made me cry but I still loved you ...
Books that deal with loss and grief don't always work for me, but these three stories were too good to not love them.

Let's get lost by Sarra Manning (an angry heroine I learned to loved)
Hold Still by Nina LaCour (made me cry so hard)
Shadow Falls by Amy Kathleen Ryan (a wonderful setting paired with an amazing writing style)

Young romance, mystery and unique relationships ...
I read a lot of books from the Young Adult section in 2011 and especially some of the big books that many readers loved didn't work for me. But others did so perfectly and that made me very happy. 

Anna and the French kiss by Stephanie Perkins (just wonderful)
The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker (an addicting mystery)
Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan (adorable)
Looks by Madeline George (a heart-warming story about two girls who couldn't look more differently, plus one of the best covers I've seen in 2011)

Fantastic fantasy ...
Fantasy is the one genre that I rediscovered in 2011. I was fascinated by most books I read in it and I'm excited for more in 2012.

The city in the lake by Rachel Neumeier (mesmerizing)
Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce (loved this first book in the Beka Cooper series)
Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman (thrilling, fascinating and just great)

Evil angels and other creatures ...
Evil angels fascinated me this year as did other kinds of monsters. The Angel series is right now one of my fav paranormal romance series, I just wish that the covers would be prettier. And Bleeding Violet and its weirdness somehow worked for me perfectly.

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (weird, brutal, crazy and great)
Angel and Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly (wow, this series is amazing!)

Paranormals, gods and witches ...
It's interesting that this year more paranormal stories from the YA section than from the adult section worked for me. But of course I didn't love every paranormal YA book, but these four managed to get my approval. 

The splendour falls by Rosemary Clement's Moore (mesmerizing)
Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter (I love this series!)
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (a great start into the Mythos Academy series)

So, these were all the books that made my reading year 2011 fantastic, great and happy. Hopefully next year there will be as many fantastic books to show you. Happy 2012 to everyone and may many awesome books may cross your way!

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