These are all my favorites that I’ve read in 2011 in no particular order.
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I read this one all the way back in January and I cannot stop talking about it. It was one of the first books I picked up in 2011 and I’ve been pushing it to others ever since.
- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick – One of my biggest regrets this year is not getting an autographed copy of Wonderstruck or even The Invention of Hugo Cabret when I attended Selznick’s Books of Wonder event a few months ago. He is such a talented author and illustrator and a fantastic storyteller. I can’t get over how wonderful his books are.
- Blood Red Road by Moira Young – There’s a heck of a lot of dystopians out there and most of them just didn’t cut it for me. Blood Red Road is a major exception. Fantastic world-building and a kick-butt heroine. What more could I ask for?
- Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan – I haven’t read this one in years and I was so glad I got the chance to pick it up again. It was definitely just as good as I remembered it to be.
- Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake by Sarah MacLean- I am now a total fangirl for Sarah MacLean. This is one romance novel that I won’t be ashamed to be caught reading. It’s that good. I can’t believe how giggly I got over reading it.
- A Spy in the House by YS Lee – Hands down one my favorite historical series. There is just too much James & Mary goodness. And Victorian girl spies!!! Do I need to say more?!
- Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead – Oh my god, this is my favorite paranormal series EVER. After reading this series, there is little point for me to pick up another vampire novel. This is one of the few series that definitely requires a reread from me!
- Bumped by Megan McCafferty – It started out a bit weird, but eventually I fell in love with Bumped. The author of Jessica Darling can do no wrong!
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – There are a lot of angel books out there. But none of those angel books can ever match up to this one.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This is – gasp! – an adult book … but it does have cross-over appeal. I was awestruck by Morgenstern’s phenomenal writing style and rich detailed prose. Couldn’t get enough.
Summary: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
- Morgenstern is a gifted writer; her prose is like no other
- Fantastic, heart-wrenching love story
- Unforgettable world-building that will transport you to the turn of the 19th century
I debated whether or not to review this one. It’s not YA and it’s not a romance novel. But eventually, I realized that I do have a bit to say about it, so I might as well just write them out.
First of all, I don’t think it would be fair if I summarized the novel for you. I think part of the enjoyment that comes with reading THE NIGHT CIRCUS is experiencing the circus for yourself like the audience members attending the Night Circus for the very first time in the book. There’s fun and excitement opening up the first few pages of the novel, not knowing what quite to expect but knowing that something good has to lie between the covers.
What I will tell you is that THE NIGHT CIRCUS is a love story, and it is a fantastic one at that. I loved the chemistry and tension between Marco and Celia. I think it was very easy to put one’s self into Celia’s shoes. I easily empathized with Celia, and I definitely felt my heart breaking whenever hers did. THE NIGHT CIRCUS is a rollercoaster of so many different emotions: passion, excitement, betrayal, and more. It’s hard to predict what will happen in the book, and that uncertainty was quite depressing. Would it end with a Happily Ever After? As a reader, I was uncertain until the very end.
Love the world-building. Morgenstern’s writing just transports you to the turn of the 19th century England and New York. Morgenstern is so descriptive and you can’t help but feel like you’re part of the story. Her descriptions of the circus are rich and vivid. It’s a circus like no other, but she explains every tent, nook, and cranny so beautifully.
This has little to do with the book, but more to reviewers and critics. I think it’s quite unfair to compare THE NIGHT CIRCUS to Harry Potter. While THE NIGHT CIRCUS was – no doubt – beautifully written, you can’t just compare it to Harry Potter. THE NIGHT CIRCUS isn’t even a children’s novel!!! Besides that, the only other similarities between the two is that David Heyman, producer of the Potter films, is in talks to produce the film adaptation of THE NIGHT CIRCUS. But before I digress even more….
Overall, THE NIGHT CIRCUS is one of the best books that I’ve read this year. Morgenstern crafted a beautiful novel. It exceeded my expectations, but I wouldn’t go out as far to say that it is the next Harry Potter. Nonetheless, I have pushed this book to several people already, and I can imagine continuing to encourage others to pick it up.
Why I’m Biased: I’m obviously biased against books that have been compared against Harry Potter. There was also a lot of hype around this book.
About the Author
Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist, who describes all her work as “fairy tales in one way or another.” She grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two very fluffy cats.
Find the Author
A weekly meme on the books on the top of my list to read and books recently acquired, borrowed, or bought. Inspired by the Story Siren’s In My Mailbox.
So I haven’t been home for more than 24 hours in a while. Which means that I haven’t had the time to actually record an IMM vlog from my house. I’ve gotten quite the collection of books at home that I have yet to show you all, but I think I want to save it for when I can actually take a picture or record a vlog. Hopefully, I’ll find the time to cross the Hudson River in a few weeks. But for now, you’ll have to settle for my reading pile!
Top of the Shelf / Currently Reading
What’s next on my to-read list for the upcoming week. I’m doing a blast from the past. I doubt any of you [devoted] followers remember this mini-feature that I used to do along with my Top of the Shelf posts. But since I am somehow finding time to squeeze in reading in between all the school work, I decided to bring it back. Also, because I feel like I need a lot more variation in my reading.
To make my to-read list a little more interesting and varied, each of the books must fall under a certain category:
Young at Heart –
Young adult novel.Well, it seems more appropriate if this was a middle grade novel…
Not Your Sister’s Book – Adult novel that a six-year-old wouldn’t touch
Market Fresh – Recently released or soon to be released book.
- Young at Heart – The Shadows by Jacqueline West. This is the first book in the Books of Elsewhere series. I heard about this book when I interned at a literary agency in the spring. I haven’t read a middle grade novel in a while so I’m really excited for the change of pace! Borrowed from the NYPL ebook library.
- Not Your Sister’s Book – To Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn. This is also a first in a series. I have not read a Julia Quinn novel in a while ever since I finished the Bridgerton series earlier this year. I can’t wait to dive back into the work of one of my favorite authors, but this will probably be the last of the three that I will read. Mostly because I just requested it through my library. The good news is that I’m first on queue. Will also be borrowed from the NYPL ebook library.
- Market Fresh – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The amount of positive reviews this one has is a bit worrying. Can it really be that good? I guess I’ll find out soon… Borrowed from the NYPL ebook library.