Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 Books I've Read in 2011

Going through all the books in my mind was hard. Like really. Because, I can't figure out whether I read them in 2010 or 2009, which was weird. 

Secondary School life is much more packed than the idyllic primary school times, so the clearest that I could work out with in my mind was all the Dramione Fanfiction that I read through while doing homework. 

So, honestly, when did I read any real paperbacks or hardcovers at all? 

Then it dawned upon me like some enlightening prophetic sentence: I read them during EOYs. And yes that's right, I read the most books during exam period, out of the academic year. Anyway, I made up for the lack of reading in the holidays. 

After loads of thinking on my part, here's the top ten books that I've read for the year (not in any order), not all of them are published in 2011 though:

Title: Eon 
Author: Alison Goodman

This book is one of the best ancient fantasies ever! 'Eon' starts with a climax and ends with one, beautifully. Beautifully written, I finished it in two days at school and at home, and ran to Kinokuniya to get its sequel the very third day, right after school. All about dragons, palaces, emperors, dragoneyes and harems, 'Eon' is a parallel universe of Ancient China and Japan, with a mystical touch and marvellous action scenes. Unfortunately, its sequel, Eona, lacks some of it's prequel's smooth flow and fast-paced storyline, instead, choosing to dwell on the heroine's insecurities-- so much that she seems selfish. But, to give it  credit, 'Eona' incorporates some very excellent romance, so this is a series that will satisfy readers of both ends of the spectrum, the adventurers and the romantics.

Title: Divergent (review)
Author: Veronica Roth

This must be the best dystopian novel of 2011, and we all know that 2011 was the year of great dystopians.


Title: The Reluctant Heiress
Author: Eva Ibbotson

Eva Ibbotson always hands me some novel with too many a word. There's so much description and complex dialogue that left me hanging there at first with a "huh?". But as per usual, I was won over by the last-pages declarations of love by the main characters. I read "Company of Swans" in 2010 and was searching for a similar story. This one had the same formula-- sweet and elegant girl who is still innocent after all the hardships she went through + dashing and rich guy + happily-ever after. However, with her beautiful writing and unique characters, Eva Ibbotson won me over with the Reluctant Heiress. Wonderful historical fiction novel! (the REVIEW is coming soon, perhaps in the middle of the fairytale campaign!)

Title: The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1) 
Author: Julie Kagawa 

This is a series that I followed faithfully, but not till the end. The writing in this book is refreshing, witty and brilliantly effortless, and Julie Kagawa undeniably has a flair for writing. The idea of faeries has been toyed with by many, such as Allan Frewin Jones' Faerie Path and Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. But Julie Kagawa makes us see them through whole new eyes, with elements from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Alice in Wonderland and of course, the Grimm Brother's fairytales. Horrifying yet beautiful; dark yet magical, this is simply the best fairytale that I've ever read.

Title: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)
Author: Ally Carter

Heist Society was a whirlwind for me in 2010, so stunning and mind-boggling that it took me a while before I could get it out of my head. And then, I went back to the habitual cycle of school and the smart heroine, Katarina Bishop, faded from my cluttered mind. Imagine my surprise and glee, when I got hold of the second book! This time, she and her best friend-- gorgeous, rich mastermind Hale-- are around the globe trying to steal back the infamous Cleopatra Emerald that was conned from them. And the book unfolds like a blockbuster, as we watch them chase the gem around the globe, on yatches with swimsuits to gowns and tuxes in casinoes. It was a unbelievable ride, and Ally Carter surprised me once again, with her outrageous criminal schemes that are amazingly believable. Uncommon Criminals is a visually captivating and mind-challenging read that will leave you longing for the third installment.

Title: The Night Circus (review)
Author: Erin Morgenstern

Will be one of my favourite books for a lifetime.

Title: Firelight (review)
Author: Sophie Jordan

Best paranormal romance ever.

Title: Never Let Me Go (review)
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro

I did 12 book reports about this novel, it was a holiday homework. Those 12 reviews resulted in me feeling very deeply for this novel because of a lot of re-reading and careful analysis. A touching novel told in a vernacular style, Kazuo Ishiguro taught us the importance of friendship and love and made me rethink the reason of our very existence. Kathy is a true character who amazes me with her unwavering sense of truth and immense capacity to love!

Title: Spellbound (review coming soon)

Beautiful and real. Hope Spellcaster is as good!

Title: Fateful (review coming soon)

Titanic meets werewolves. Servant girl with big dreams meets heir to large fortune. What could go wrong?


Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot

I absolutely adore Meg Cabot's witty and fun writing style and have read every single one of her YA books except for Princess Diaries (uh?). After Percy Jackson, all the stories about Greek mythology paled in comparison and left me craving for some fresh idea. This one was it. A dark, fantasical story about the Underworld. Meg Cabot gave me a totally swoon-worthy character, John Hayden, who caught my eye even with his infrequent appearances. You can't help but wonder, why is the main character-- Pierce-- not that into him? Watch out for the next installment, Underworld. There had better be some fizzling romance!

Happy New Year!
Sel xoxo :)

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