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Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

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Home » Diane Chamberlain, Doll Day, Ilona Andrews, J.T.Ellison, Marie Lu, Melissa Marr, Uncategorized, Veronica Roth

Day’s Favorite reads of 2011 (and least favorite too)

Submitted by on January 3, 2012 – 7:28 am12 Comments

Goodbye 2011! I don’t know about you all, but the past year has been fairly bi-polar for me personally. As I sit here and ponder my favorite books of the past 365 days, I find my reading selections reflect my year to a certain degree. There isn’t really a general “type” of book that I found particularly better than any others. For the most part, my reading selections were decided more by the mood I was in at the time and if it captivated me immediately- well all the better. :)

The Good . . .

1. Legend by Marie Lu – This book seemed to entertain me from start to finish. I loved the characters (I mean who can resist a character named Day;)) and the story was exciting and kept me turning pages into the wee small hours of the morning. I love a good dystopian story but am a bit tired of the swarm of Hunger Games clones. Legend is a dystopian that is it’s own story and this one surprised me…in good ways.  (Read my review of Legend) 

2. Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews I admit that when I first began reading this series a couple years ago, it was kicking and screaming. My friends kept talking about the characters and making references to various scenes from the books that I finally caved and began reading the Kate Daniels series. The first book didn’t instantly impress me, but out of determination not to be left out of the conversations I kept reading and boy am I glad I did! This series has what I feel is probably one of the best urban fantasy worlds. The authors attention to details and their world building skills continue to improve with every book and Magic Slays is no exception.  As the fifth installment in the series, Magic Slays could have fallen into a slump, but instead it soared showing growth, maturity and added depth to memorable characters that I have grown to love. (Read our review of Magic Slays)

3. The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain – This book grabbed my attention from the very first page and didn’t let go until I had finished reading.  Centered around the close relationship of three bestfriends, The Midwife’s Confession is a book fraught with poignant emotion and raw feelings. When one of the friends takes her own life, the desperate act throws those who cared about her into a roller coaster of discovery that will change everything in their lives they once were so certain of . . .  (Read my review of Midwife’s Confession)

4. Darkest Mercy by Melisa Marr – 2011 brought with it the final installment in the bestselling Wicked Lovely series. Those that have followed the enchantingly addictive and alluring characters in this series will be captivated and consumed by the places Marr takes them in Darkest Mercy. Marr’s fans are rewarded for their reading by what I feel is a true gem of a conclusion. This was one of the most satisfying endings to a series I have ever had the pleasure of reading and is why this book made my favorites list! (Read my review of Darkest Mercy)

5. So Close The Hand Of Death by J.T Ellison – This was the sixth book in Ellison’s Taylor Jackson series and it was unputdownable! Nashville homicide Detective, Taylor Jackson has been hunting the same sadistic serial killer for years, but he has managed to keep one step ahead of her efforts while at the same time stalking her and attacking those closest to her with savage execution. But, it all comes to a head in SO CLOSE THE HAND OF DEATH and had me biting my nails all the way through! (Read our review of So Close The Hand Of Death)


6. Divergent by Veronica Roth – I loved everything about this book…really! There isn’t one thing that I have a problem with. I adore the setting of a dystopian Chicago, and as a part-time Chicago girl myself, I appreciate the author incorporating various things about the city. From the railway system to Willis Tower to  the imagery of a rundown Navy Pier,  I could close my eyes and picture scenes from the story perfectly. The characters were wonderful and beautifully flawed in ways that made them more identifiable and believable. Oh, and did I neglect to mention the detail that there is NO LOVE TRIANGLE in this book…thats right, none!  (Read my unconventional review of Divergent)

There were many more that I could have added, but some of the other dolls already selected those and let’s face it…they say it better than I could have. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some other noteworthy favorites…

  1. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  2. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  3. The Affair by Lee Child
  4. Last Breath by Rachel Caine
  5. Graveminder by Melissa Marr
  6. The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver
  7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  8. The Body Finder by Kimberly Dertling
  9. Ahses by Ilsa J Bick

Of course, if I give you the good I may as well give you the not so good…and unfortunately, there were a few that I just didn’t love. :(

The not so good. . .

1. Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning – Oy Vey! This was such a highly anticipated book for me personally that it pains me a little to admit that it just did not live up to my expectations. The cover was GORGEOUS and I was really excited by the sheer volume of the book. I mean, what booklover doesn’t desire more pages in a great book, right? Too bad that those pages were full of verbose inner dialogue reminiscent of 1990′s Dawson’s Creek scripts and the heroine’s (Mac) flip flopity behavior made me want to strangle her. All that aside, the thing that probably frustrated me the most was the lack of a satisfying and concise conclusion. The lovely Karen Marien Moning had led me to believe that this was a five book series and all would be revealed by the end of it, but it wasn’t. *sigh* I still really adore the series as a whole but sadly, when you add up all the above factors- this last book was one of my most disappointing reads of 2011. (Read our review)

2. Where All The Dead Lie by J.T. Ellison – You may be shocked to see this title on this list due in part to the fact that the previous book in the series made my list for favorite reads of 2011. As much as I adore this series (and LOVED the earlier book) this addition left more to be desired. There were moments that seemed rushed and others that just felt like they dragged, but the biggest disconnect I had was with the main character. (Read our review)

3. Crossed by Ally Condie –  After the amazing debut of Condie’s first book in this trilogy, MATCHED, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the follow-up (Crossed). Unfortunately, CROSSED was another 2011 book that did not impress me. Perhaps it was the change in setting, or split POV’s that I just couldn’t seem to get into? (Read our review)

4. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan – This 2011 release was one that was pitched as the “Next Hunger Games”…it wasn’t…at all.  The characters lacked the ability to captivate and although the concept was intriguing I didn’t think it was executed properly. The biggest issue I had with this book was how it portrayed religious people. I really dislike stories where it begins to feel like the author is pushing their own agenda. Whether or not that is the case with GLOW remains to be seen, but it just didn’t sit well with me personally. (Read Desi’s review)

5. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater – Considering that I fell in love with Stiefvater’s lyrical writing in her previous books it may surprise many that FOREVER was a book that I actually stopped reading (and I never do that). I just never reconnected with the characters in this final book in the ‘Mercy Falls’ trilogy and the storyline just went in a direction that I had no desire following. I ended up getting the details for the rest of the book from our resident teen, Desi, and that was enough to convince me that I didn’t miss out on too much from not experiencing the whole book first hand. :( (sorry, I didn’t review it)

Now it’s your turn. Have you read any of these titles? Do you agree, disagree…tell me, tell me, TELL ME! I want to hear your thoughts. :)

Day is a dreamer who has never met a stranger. She is fearless and will talk to anyone and read anything! She taught music and dance and was a singer/actress for years, performing on stages both nationally and overseas. Now married with children, she spends less time singing on stage and more time writing songs at home. But, family life has not completely slowed this chick down. She still loves an adventure and learning new things. She resides in Texas with her family, Great Dane (Sophie), Labradoodles (George & Cosmo) and Chihuahua (Juan Carlos).
Doll Day
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  • says:

    Wow totally agree with about forever, and shadowfever..and its not really the end. Agree with about the best books .

    Reply to this comment »
    • Doll Day says:

      Thanks Julie! If I hadn’t built up Shadowfever so much in my mind and been discussing everything fever series for over 2 years…well, I don’t think I would be disappointed whatsoever. There were some very beautiful moments, but it felt weighed down by all the fill. I know I am the minority when it comes to SF, and I hate that I didn’t love it as much as so many others, but it is how I feel. *shrugs* Shadowfever “fecked my mind”. :)

      Reply to this comment »
  • Doll Noa says:

    Well, you know I agree with you on Shadowfever and Magic Slays. This really has been a year of extremes. I have to say it was not my favorite year in books – Bring on 2012!!!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Karen says:

    I know Forever disappointed quite a few people.
    I still need to read about half the books on your best list but I agree with Divergent, Enclave and Darkest Mercy.
    I had rough reading year. It was 50/50 at best. Here’s hoping 2012 looks brighter!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mona Leigh says:

    I agree with some, but not all your choices. ;-) Personally, I loved Shadowfever. I’m still working on my list for the blog, but maybe I’ll surprise you, too. :)

    Reply to this comment »
    • Doll Day says:

      I know…I hate that I didn’t have the same experience reading Shadowfever that you all had :(. It’s like watching people enjoy a decadent dessert that looks sooooo appealing and scrumptious only to take a bite and discover that there was one ingredient in the recipe that you are allergic to and now you are overcome with a nasty side effect. Sucks…because for a small moment you tasted the yumminess that was the dessert but your allergic reaction to it overshadowed the experience as a whole and now you associate the dessert with the reaction. :(

      Reply to this comment »
  • Mona Leigh says:

    Great analogy, Day. LOL

    Reply to this comment »
  • Lil says:

    We read such different books and we don’t agree on Shadowfever yet you are one of my favorite people. I need to read your list! Adding it to my to-reads!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Doll Day says:

      Awwww…Lil :) Thanks! I am just a strange reader, I call it mood reading. Sometimes I will get on genre kicks and binge on everything in that genre until I just don’t like it anymore (or the “mood” changes), A few years ago it was Historical Fiction, then it was horror, then UF & PR…you see where I’m going with this? Plus, I try to read things that you all aren’t to add variety.

      Reply to this comment »
  • [...] Tuesday, Day shared her list of favorite reads from the past year! Read it here [...]

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