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Best Books of 2011 (So Far)

They say that when you get older, time speeds up and years flash by. I never could have imagined that this would be true for me.

I mean, didn’t I just graduate from college and get married!? Well, my graduation was over 2 years ago, and I just celebrated my one year anniversary in April. Wow- that was fast!

It really shouldn’t surprise me that 2011 is already half-over, but I’m in shock. To help cope with the loss of half of a year, I wanted to share with you the best books I’ve read so far!

In the following categories, we have…

Best Novel by a Debut Author

Wither by Lauren DeStefano



I really enjoyed the strong, quiet nature of this book. Rhine’s story of kidnapping, love and loss is told beautifully, and I can’t wait to read what DeStefano writes next!

Best Romance

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa



The romance in this book had me turning pages like a mad fiend!! It was steamy, complicated and completely unresolved (in the best way possible). 😀

Favorite Character

Cassel Sharpe in White Cat and Red Glove (both by Holly Black)


Cassel had me laughing, crying and dying for more. I’m in love this curse-working con man!!

Most Interesting World/Setting

Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith



You really can’t top Europe as a setting, right? In this book rustic Eastern Europe, romantic Paris and historical Germany were some of the highlighted locales. As a bonus, the characters are also briefly on a luxurious, high-spped train!! (Swoon!)

Best Ending

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter



Not only did I not predict the ending of this book, but it absolutely shocked me! It had me saying out loud, “You’ve got to be joking!!” This book definitely WASN’T joking, and the ending was a welcome surprise.

Most Exciting Plot, or the Top Book I Wanted to Re-Read Immediately

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (review to be posted tomorrow!)



This novel really taught me what steampunk is all about. But even more than that- it was a fantastic novel overall. The action and adventure were well-paced and extremely exciting. It definitely got my blood pumping!!

And now for the “best of” you’ve all been waiting for…

Best Book I’ve Read All Year (so far)

Divergent by Veronica Roth



This book rocked my socks!!! It had everything I look for in books (romance, action, drama, mystery) and executed it all perfectly. I can’t even count the number of friends I’ve told about this novel. If I had to guess, I’d say it would be in the teens… haha!

What are the best books you’ve read so far this year?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • http://ems-reviews-books.blogspot.com/ Ems

    I definitely agree with The Goddess Test! LOVED that book. I haven’t read the others (yet) but they’re all high on my list. I have Divergent finally, but I’ve got a couple others I have to do first. Better read fast!

    I’d add The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott as some of my favorite reads this year, along with the Past Midnight series by Mara Purnhagen. Just started Populazzi by Elise Allen, and it promises to be fantastic!

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      I know!! I’m dying waiting for all these sequels, though! I’ll def have to check out the Nicholas Flamel book and the rest too! 😀

  • Anonymous

    How did I know Divergent would make the best book list? You’ve only been plugging it every chance you get … so much so that I want to read it just to see what the fuss is about! I guess you’re doing your job. :) I love when bloggers get so excited about something they can’t quit talking about it. I know I do it. I’ve been telling EVERYONE about Assassin’s Apprentice … so yeah.

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Hahaha, it’s so true! I’m shameless. I need to jump on Assassin’s Apprentice fo sho! Hobb doesn’t really write short books though… :)

  • Elissa Backas

    After I finished the Hunger Game series I read Divergent since you were raving about it so much. I loved it! I think, I think I liked it better than The Hunger Games.

  • bdi5870

    Divergent is by far the best book I’ve read so far and The Girl in the Steel Corset is very close second. If someone told me if I could only read Divergent or some Faerie novel for the rest of my life I’d definitely choose Divergent! I used to be all for vampire, werewolf, faerie etc. novels (still am), but Divergent and The Girl in the Steel Corset have really opened my eyes to a whole new love!

  • Celesta Hubner

    haha, I seriously can’t believe it’s already july and this month and going to fly by as well!

    You picked some of the best! Wither is on my shelf to be read very soon and some of those others I loved as well (especially Coronets and Steel, which I emailed you about).

    Some of my favorites this year have been Chime by Franny Billingsley and the Amelia Peabody series (Amelia is HILARIOUS!! I really think you would enjoy it, the second one is even better than the first, especially with the relationship between her and her husband…nothing specific but many allusions that had me giggling like a fiend!)

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  • Jamie Kline

    I found you through Parajunkee…congrats on being the feature this week! I love this post and I agree with a lot of your choices. Wither is my favorite book of the year…but then I haven’t read Divergent yet :) New follower!

  • Melissa Hayden

    Oh very nice list here. :) I’ve got a few of these books on the shelf here to read, a few I want, and read one or two of them too. 😉 Thank you! And congrats on the year. Hope to see you around for many more to come.

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Mel- I plan on being in the blogosphere for a looong time! Thanks so much!!

  • NaKesha Brown

    Great list! I will have to check out the books you’ve listed here and see if I agree.Lol.

    New Follower from Friday Follow. Stop by my blog when you get a chance!

  • Anne Bennett

    Thanks for this list. I am always looking for good YA books and I don’t have some of these in my library, YET!

  • http://profiles.google.com/gwenythlove Gwenyth Love

    I really have to agree with Divergent as best read of the year so far. What a great great book. I love Roth’s writing style and can’t wait to read some more. I have a review for it myself.

    My Divergent Review