December 31st, 2010

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Top Five, My Favorite Read of the Year, Book One...

We've reached the final five of the Top Fifteen countdown, and I have to say, other than number one (which really appears to have been written just for me), these are all amazing books! It's really just a cluster of book love here ;) I don't own all of these yet, but I will -- they're at the top of my To-Buy list, and they will all be oft-read!

Yes, this is the one which could have been written just for me -- squee!

the candidatesDelcroix Academy: The Candidates, by Inara Scott
Why is this written for me? First, I love school stories, especially boarding school types. Yes, it has to be well done, and to me, this one is (obviously). Second, I love paranormal-style characteristics. More than urban fantasy, paranormal intrigues me, and even reading adult books with similar style challenges picques my interest. Third, although there was a type of love triangle, Dancia clearly has romantic feelings for one and platonic feelings for the other, despite how the boys feel (and that's what I like). And then, there's the mystery -- what's really going on at the Academy? What really happened with Jack? What's up with the group of kids who are chosen as 'leaders'?
The story: Dancia is invited to attend the prestigious Delcroix Academy -- on scholarship -- but she's not sure why. Surely they can't know her secret? But after she begins the year there, she realizes she isn't the only one with a strange secret, and perhaps those who run the academy are less benign than she first hoped.
I'd recommend this to anyone who loves the same types of stories I do (hehe) -- it's a fun, exciting, sweet read, and I can't wait for the next one :)
me b&w

Book List for 2010!...

So this year, I only read 151 books, down 96 from 2009 (ouch). However, I really liked many more of them (37 ****+ reads compared to only 26 in 2009). For the number geeks out there, that's 24.5% compared to 10.5% -- so that's nice :)

Since I just did my Top Fifteen, and I listed my ***** reads at the end of June right here, I think I'll only list the 37 ****+ reads (which meant that I really liked them and will mostly likely read them again sometime). If you count, you might notice the total is 38, because one of them is a five-star read which wasn't caught by the top fifteen or the first six months of the year (go figure).

Anyway, here they are, some of the best books I read this year (in alphabetical order):

13 TO LIFE, by Shannon Delany (YA urban fantasy)
ACADEMY 7, by Anne Osterlund (YA science fiction)
AND THEN EVERYTHING UNRAVELED, by Jennifer Sturman (YA mystery)
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (YA urban fantasy)
BEFORE I FALL, by Lauren Oliver (YA contemporary)
BETRAYALS, by Lili St. Crow (YA urban fantasy)
BIRTH MARKED, by Caragh O'Brien (YA dystopic)
CAPTIVATE, by Carrie Jones carriejones (YA urban fantasy)
CHASING BROOKLYN, by Lisa Schroeder lisa_schroeder (YA contemporary - verse)
EPITAPH ROAD, by David Patneaude (YA dysoptic)
GONE, by Lisa McMann (YA paranormal mystery)
HOW TO TAKE THE EX OUT OF EX-BOYFRIEND, by Janette Rallison (YA contemporary)
IMMORTAL BELOVED, by Cate Tiernan (YA paranormal)
IMPACT, by Douglas Preston (Adult Suspense/Thriller)
INSIDE OUT, by Maria Snyder (YA science fiction)
LIAR, by Justine Larbalestier (YA mystery/contemporary)
LINGER, by Maggie Stiefvater m_stiefvater (YA urban fantasy)
LITTLE BLOG ON THE PRAIRIE, by Cathleen Davitt Bell (YA contemporary)
LOSING FAITH, by Denise Jaden denise_jaden (YA contemporary)
M OR F?, by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbitts (YA contemporary)
NOW YOU SEE HER, by Linda Howard (Adult romantic suspense)
OTHER, by Karen Kincy karenkincy (YA urban fantasy)
PALACE BEAUTIFUL, by Sarah deFord Williams pixiechick_sw (Tween contemporary)
PARANORMALCY, by Kiersten White (YA paranormal)
PARTY, by Tom Leveen (YA contemporary)
PAST MIDNIGHT, by Mara Purnhagen (YA ghost/paranormal)
PUCKER UP, by Rhonda Stapleton (YA romantic comedy)
RADIANT SHADOWS, by Melissa Marr melissa_writing (YA urban fantasy)
SHADE, by Jeri Ready-Smith (YA paranormal)
SHADOW MIRROR, by Richie Cusick (YA paranormal)
SIREN, by Tricia Rayburn (YA urban fantasy)
STILL SUCKS TO BE ME, by Kimberly Pauly (YA urban fantasy)
STUPID CUPID, by Rhonda Stapleton (YA romantic comedy)
TENSION OF OPPOSITES, by Kristina MacBride (YA contemporary)
THE MAZE RUNNER, by James Dashner (YA dystopic)
THE MERMAID'S MIRROR, by LK Madigan lkmadigan (YA urban fantasy)
THE REPLACEMENT, by Brenna Yovanoff (YA urban fantasy)
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, by Jandy Nelson (YA contemporary)

By category (books I really liked or loved out of the total number read):

YA = 39%
Urban Fantasy = 10.5%
Romance = 2.6 %
Contemporary = 10.5%
Dystopic = 4.6%
Fantasy = 1%
Science Fiction = 2%
Spy/Adventure = 1.3%
Paranormal = 6%

MG = 2.6%

Adult = 2%

So yeah, my reading is almost exclusively YA -- but considering I only read a handful of adult books, I clearly only read those I pretty much know I'll love (very true). With middle grade, I attempted a few more, but it's very hard to hold my interest with a middle grade book.

My goal for 2011 -- to read at least 200 books :) Since I'm off to ALA in another week, I'll have quite the TBR pile...we'll see how it goes. Happy reading, All!