Hey guys! This is our first stop in the Top 10 of 2011 extravaganza, a great event put together by Jess @ Confessions of a Bookaholic, Rach @ Fiktshun, Jaime & Patricia @ Two Chicks on Books and Lisa @ A Life Bound By Books. We’ll go through 5 days of top 10 for 2011, and since I’m loving lists generally, this is great fun for me.
It’s not yet too late to join as well, I think, if you haven’t, so head on over to any of the awesome hosting ladies and enter, hm?
So, then let’s move on to this fab list, hm?
1. Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch
This is a story about T.J., a young boy and his little sister Angela. Their irresponsible mother puts them in horrible situations and they’re finally taken away from her and then adopted by a nice loving couple.
The novel paints a heart-wrenching picture of the way two kids manage to deal with their life and the really sucky things that happen to them.
This book kicked me hard in the heart, it’s incredibly touching and an emotional rollercoaster, and I loved every minute of it, it’s still with me though it has been like close to 2 months since I read it.
2. Caregiver by Rick Reed
Dan and Adam, both involved in longterm relationships with their partners, meet through the AIDS Alliance buddy program. Adam’s in pretty bad shape health-wise, but his spirit is far from weakened. During their rather brief but deep friendship a lot happens in both their lives, and their connection pretty much ends radically changing all of the 4 men’s lives.
I was chewing my lips all through this novel, and though I had this horrible feeling something really bad was going to happen (and with poor Adam having AIDS it wasn’t like I was so wise to figure out something grim was somewhere down the line…), I totally loved it. The characters were amazing, and I loved how their relationships developed, how they developed as a result of their changing lives. It’s a novel about love and life, I decided after reading it, but it puts everything in better perspective through loss – doesn’t life often do the same? 🙂
3. Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions by Nina Hamberg
A touching and memorable read, this is the story of Nina’s life, her relationships with her parents, her lovers, but more importantly I believe, the story of her relationship with herself. In the end, Nina comes out of the bad or less then good events being a strong and independent woman, and ultimately finds happiness.
One of the most cathartic reads of this year for me, Grip is one of the books I keep on my nightstand at all times. And I also have a poster of it on the wall, so it’s easy to tell I’m a fan. Beautiful read.
4. Coffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter
A novel about how 7 friends from high-school deal with the death of one of them, and what it’s like to return to their little hometown all grown up after most of them made their escape from it, Coffee at Little Angels also deals with loss, but gives beautiful perspective on life and love.
This novel holds some of the most memorable images for me, and some of the most amazing quotes, my absolute and utmost favorite being the first chapter, Phillip’s chapter. I go back to it and reread it a few nights a week sometimes, just once maybe other weeks, but I always come back to it with the same longing and delight.
5. Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh
The forth and final book of the Royal House of Shadows, this is the story of Micah, the youngest of the princes, and Liliana, the daughter of his parents killer. A spell gone wrong has taken away Micah’s memories of his kingdom and what happened to his family, and Liliana sets out to bring back his memories. She manages to do substantially more then that, however.
Though I liked the other novels in this series as well, this has been by far my favorite, I loved everything about the characters, their chemistry, the way they blossom. Awesome PNR novel, I totally loved it.
6. Anathema by K.A. Tucker
Evangeline, a 18 yo girl who hasn’t had exactly a glamorous (or full) life so far, meets some intriguing characters and is soon dragged into a fabulous new world. Juggling danger, vampires and vampire mutants (oh,yes!) and an adorable crush, she’s embarked on the adventure of her life.
This is one of the few YA novels that I really, truly went nuts over. I totally loved Evangeline and her relationship with Caden, it’s the first novel of a series that I fully intend to devour (figuratively speaking, of course, I know fibers are a good thing in your diet, but eating books might be sort of bad for your health instead, lol).
7. The Map of the Known World by Steven Smith
Elowen, a 14 yo orphan living in a world ruled by Prester John, sets off to find shelter after discovering who and what her mother was. She’s helped by various magical creatures along her way, giving us a great tour of a beautiful fantasy world.
I’d think of this as more middle-grade then young adult, honestly, because it’s a fairytale, a beautiful fairytale, and I enjoyed it a lot more then I expected I would. I’m not necessarily a fan of middle-grade/YA stories because I enjoy mature feelings and situations more, but I loved reading this book because of the beautiful word the writer has built, it’s totally awesome.
The 9th book in the series, this is one of my favorite novels because of Eric, of course. I’m a hardcore Eric fangirl, with the pompoms of d00m and psycho cheering and all. 😀
This book I liked better then others because of how Sookie’s relationship with Eric goes, and how there’s a murder mystery and the fairies doing their thing. I don’t know, up to here, it’s my fav of the series I think.
Book #1 In the Black Dagger Brotherhood yummy-licious series, this is the story of Wrath, one of my favs vamps in this series, the other being Vishous. I loved this book more then V’s because Wrath is such a powerful (and hot, w00t w00t!) character, but then again so is V, the reason I liked his book less is I felt his mate should have been someone else then he got in the end. Perhaps also because Dark Lover is the first I read of the series I like it the most of the rest, there’s always something special about the first book you read from a series, regardless if it’s book 1 or not.
Book #5 in the Lords of the Underworld series, this is Aeron’s book, and since he’s my favorite character so far, this is my favorite book of the series. :3
He’s bada$$, I can’t help it xDDD I also loved all the conflict in the novel, every character is conflicted, and Aeron perhaps more then others, or I resonate with his conflicts more I guess. Anyways, I loved the book, and it’s still my fav of the series so far.
Looking over the list, you can tell the dramatic factor decreases as we go lower into my top 10 and the hotness level makes a presence instead; we can safely conclude that my favorite reads include dramatic situations and mature relationships, regardless of the fantasy world where they take place. The best combo really would be a mix of both, but if given the choice of my fav between the two, I’d go with dramatic situations, and maturity as second.
Of course, there are 3 honorable mentions I simply must make, and they are: