The following books weren’t necessarily published in 2011, but I picked them up and blogged about them during the year. Note: if you find yourself wanting to give one a try, please check out the giveaway at the end of this post. Without further ado, my ‘best of 2011’ list!
Cinder by Marissa Meyer – A sci-fi/fairytale mashup with a unique premise, fun characters, and a wonderful hook. I’ll be looking forward to Marissa Meyer books for years to come.
Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham – I’m a big Willingham fan, and this foray into middle grade adventure only solidified that affinity. Talking animals and a grand chase? Yes please!
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve – One of the things that has impressed me with YA authors taking on steampunk is that the books tend to be smart, epic, AND emotionally riveting. Can’t wait to read more in this series!
Pegasus by Robin McKinley – Robin can do no wrong (as far as I’m concerned), and in the best of her books, she sets the whole world right. Pegasus is the first portion of a longer story that already has a place on my ‘all time favorite’ shelf.
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry – An excellent meditation on human nature, this gritty novel explores what people can, and cannot, stand to witness. Also: zombies.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – The most beautiful story I’ve read in years? Perhaps. Certainly the one with the loveliest language and sweetest imagination. +10 points and an extra happily ever after.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – I finally read a Maureen Johnson book, and I liked her prose even more than I expected to. This is SUCH a good story, besides also being the perfect teen book. It’s well-written contemporary, with tiny splashes of horror.
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell – I have a thing for fairy tales retold. This middle grade fantasy set in Middle Ages Eastern Europe was especially good, and reminded me of Karen Cushman’s award-winning historicals.
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson – The lone non-fiction selection on my list, this book offered conversational fodder for six months and proved to be an unexpectedly good present for Mother’s Day.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – One of the books that truly took me to another place and showed me its magic, history and heartbreak. An honest and beautiful story, especially as it was so unexpected.
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley – A strong debut fantasy with excellent world-building and an epic plotline.
Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt – A sweet story about an slightly OCD girl dealing with family tragedy and finding new ways to cope.
And there you have it – my top ten of 2011, plus two honorable mentions. I’ll give away one book from this list to two lucky winners. To enter, simply fill out the FORM. Giveaway open internationally (books to be shipped from the Book Depository); it will end January 30th at 11:59pm EST. Winners will be selected randomly and notified via email. For an extra entry, comment on this post telling me some of your favorite books of 2011 (and feel free to link your blog post, if you have one). Good luck!