Our Books of 2011!

1/4/2011: Chasing the Sun (Blood Rose Trilogy Bk #3) by Kaki Warner (Berkley)

Why I love this series: I remember picking this out of the slush and thinking “this writer has not only won awards, she has a sense of humor.” Then when I read the first book in the Blood Rose trilogy, PIECES OF SKY, not only did Kaki’s humor shine through, but so did her passion. While traversing the hard backdrop of 1860s-70s New Mexico Territory, I fell in love with the Wilkins brothers. First came Brady, then Hank’s story—but since day one I had a special place in my heart for Jack (the youngest brother, and the wildest of heart). This is his story, and I think you’ll fall in love, too!

1/25/2011: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang (Pocket)

Why this is my new urban fantasy series: I love Abby, the main character.  She's in over her head in this supernatural world, and she knows it.  But that doesn't stop her from getting involved in a guy too sexy for his own good or kicking ass and saving people (human and nonhuman) from the bad guys.  And I love Phin.  He's phenomenal.

3/1/2011: Betrayal ~Haunting Emma Book Two~ by Lee Nichols (Bloomsbury Children’s)

Why Emma Vaile Kicks Ass: This series was an easy pitch for me. It’s BUFFY with ghosts. And I loooove Buffy in a way that deserves many “O”’s in the word love. I grew up totally idolizing Buffy. Not only was she pretty, but she was smart, witty, cool, and she could beat up anyone that stood in her way. And I didn’t find a heroine in YA paranormal fiction that was even close to that until I met Emma Vaile, the star of the Haunting Emma series. Emma will have you laughing one minute, yearning for Bennett Stern in the next, and after that, she’s saving the day by being such a badass. In this book, Neos (the bad guy…er, bad ghost), is still after Emma, but this time someone she cares about is helping him. It’s the ultimate betrayal….hehe. You’ll just have to read to find out who!

4/19/2011: Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz (Simon Pulse)

Why spending my summers on the beach will never be the same: I love how authentic Chase is.  I love the portrayal of his family, and I especially love that every family member feels real and alive and developed, even the parents.  I love the sparse prose and the hard hitting lines that made me think wow.

4/26/2011: The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless by Allan Woodrow (HarperCollins Children’s)

Why it’s so important to have an evil cackle: Because all of the most famous super villains have them, that’s why! And Zachary Ruthless is well on his way to becoming the world’s greatest, Bwa-ha-ha! The first time I read this manuscript, I just sat at my desk, chuckling, until my boss finally said “WHAT is making you laugh so much?” Allan Woodrow’s writing is perfect for kids 8-12 (or adults who are kids at heart)—it’s like he has a direct line to your funny bone. And come on, who doesn’t love a story with death rays, exploding mustard balloons, and zucchini flavored gum, right?

5/3/2011: Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)

Why one choice can transform you: We all reach moments in our lives where we are presented with a choice. Should I hang out with those kids, or not? Should I go to this college or that one? Should I listen to my parents, or walk my own path? Each and every choice made shapes our lives. And in Veronica Roth’s debut, one choice can transform you. I flew through this manuscript and then sat there, shocked, and even a little tingly. This book changed the way I thought about my own decisions. And it was a wild ride, too.

6/9/2011: A Good Knight’s Rest by Shelley Moore Thomas (Dutton Children’s)

Why we all need to meet the Good Knight: Because he’s the sweetest, most chivalrous and caring knight around. And because the baby dragon’s are SO darn cute (see the cover??). This is the sixth Good Knight title by Shelley, and each one is wonderful to read out loud to your little one.

6/28/2011: Torn by Erica O’Rourke (Kensington’s K-Teen *Lead Title)

Why my heart melts when I read this story: I thought I was done with love triangles. I really, really did. But then I read Erica’s manuscript and was blown away by the raw emotion of a girl who just lost her best friend, by the hardship of living two secret lives, and by the heartbreak of choosing between two equally dangerous, but equally gorgeous guys. Mo Fitzgerald is stuck between the Chicago mob, and the ancient magical society of the Arcs—it’s up to her to decide where she lands. Erica won this year’s Golden Heart award for the YA category and it couldn’t be more deserved! (cover art not final)

7/5/2011: Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers ~Book 2 of the Personal Demons Trilogy~ (Tor Teen) 

Why book 2 is even better: I love Luc.  I love how hot he is.  I love that Frannie's a normal teenage girl in an extraordinary situation, that she's tough, and trying to hold her own in a world where she feels out of her league.  And most of all I love that she has this untapped talent.  And I love that no one is safe in book two.

7/25/2011: And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky (Simon Pulse)

Why this book should have been around when I was 15: I love Keek.  I love her voice.  I love how cool she is.  I love how she's going through so much, and yet she knows exactly where to turn and how to get through it all--her typewriting and The Bell Jar.  I desperately want Keek as a best friend.  I love the structure, the poetry, the lines that make me go wow, the characters and the angst.  It's perfect.

9/1/2011: Luststruck by Kody Keplinger (Poppy)
Why do I love this book? Because Kody is honest in how she approaches teen life, and in particular here, sex in teen culture. In this book the girls of Hamilton High go on a hook up strike in order to end an old sports rivalry. Along the way they realize that hooking up (or lack thereof) is not the only way we try to control one another—using labels like “slut” or “tease” or “player” or “virgin” can be a way to keep others down. And that friendship and following your heart are more important that control, no matter what the cost. (cover art not final)

12/2011: Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz (Roaring Brook)

Why this book made me fall in love with reading all over again: I love the very first line.  I love that Wil feels so real that I’m crushed that he doesn’t really exist. I love that there are so many lines that make me laugh out loud or sit on the edge of my seat in panic or even sob. I love Zombie Tag, the game.  And of course, I love the relationship between Wil and Graham, and the portrait of Wil’s grieving—not just because his brother is dead, but because his brother is growing up. (cover art not final)

You may also like


storyqueen said...

Yay! Thanks for the shout-out!

Lots of great books are coming out this year.


Michelle Flick said...

Thanks for posting the reads... I'm super excited for Betrayal with Emma... I am a huge Buffy fan too so I can't for this now!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for posting all these books. I really want to read Divergent just from the cover.

Michael Barron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

There are so many books I'm excited to read this year, and this post holds a few of them!!

Kristin Halbrook said...

Yay!!! So many awesome books to look forward too. :D I love your thoughts on each.

Liana Brooks said...

Those all look wonderful. I can't wait to read. :o)

Pamela Cayne said...

So many delicious books coming out--thanks for the list!

Unknown said...

W00t! Thanks for the shout out! :D

All of these look so good!