It seems like just yesterday I was posting last year's Top Ten Books list...or not. Actually, sometimes it feels like not so long ago, but other times I can't help but think "Last year? When was that?" And it hasn't even been a whole year since the last post like this!
I have read a lot of good books this year. Out of 79 books, it was tough to pick only ten, but I managed it. Somehow.
But first, I'll start with some stats.
Number of books: 79
Total Pages: 31,037
Average pages per book: 393
Average pages per day: 85
Average length of time to read one book: 4.5 days
Average rating: 3.8 stars
And now to the actual top ten. I'll start with 10 and count down to one. Rereads are not included (even though I reread some pretty awesome books this year). Also, to be more fair and balanced, I only included my favorite book from each series, mainly to keep stuff like Eon and the Seven Realms from taking over the entire list all by themselves. Click the titles for full reviews (but know that some of my early reviews aren't very in-depth!).
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Okay, I know half of you are really annoyed right now. The Hunger Games? It's everywhere! Well, that's what I thought, too. But...I ended up really, really enjoying this. It's exciting and awesome and gives off that let's-not-let-this-happen-to-our-society dystopian vibe. And I'm hoping the movie won't be too bad.... We can only hope.
PS: Team Peeta all the way.
9. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
8. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
It's been a few months since I read this, but...I still can't figure out what on earth I just read. In a good way, I mean. This book is very open ended. I love how it never specifically states whether the alternate dimension was real, or just a product of Jack's crazy imagination. I'm leaning toward the latter. The whole thing is just strange and scary and awesome. It's very difficult to explain, but it's a very good read.
7. The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
This book looks at love triangles, says "Ah, who needs those?", and tosses them out the window in favor of a highly complicated love pentagon. Pentagon. Okay, so it's not truly a love pentagon, but it's about as close as you'll ever get (I explained this at the bottom of this post. And romance isn't even the main part of the story. I love how utterly complex this series is. Sometimes, from chapter to chapter, I can't even figure out which characters are the "bad guys". Which I like. And it ends really dramatically, and leaves me hanging until next fall.... If nothing else, it's shiny and purple.
6. Plague by Michael Grant
Eight months have passed (in the story) since Gone. That's a long time. But thankfully, all my favorite characters are still around (Edilio!). I loved this series from the very start, and it's done absolutely nothing but get even better and better. There's a lot more action and suspense crammed into this book than some whole series can manage.
5. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
I actually started out disliking this book. I really wasn't that into it for about three-fourths of the way...until I read the ending. This might just have to fight it out with The Scorpio Races for the best ending I've ever read. The end was so utterly unexpected, and so unique, and so BAM! And now I love it.
4. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
I wasn't expecting this to be very good. I don't know why; I just wasn't. So it turned out to be a very nice surprise. Sort of a "Happy Birthday Annie, I'm going to be awesome just for you". Except that it was awesome before I picked it up, and I have no idea why I waited so long to pick this up in the first place. I really need the next one now. Why do I have to wait for all these awesome sequels?
3. Eona: The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman
It was tough to pick between Eon and Eona for this, but in the end, Eona came out just ahead. This is one series that I really, really wish had more books to it. I would've happily read through an entire ten-book Pendragon-size epic. But with the ending for this book, I don't think there will be any more. Because it was an awesome ending.
2. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
This was pretty much a dead tie between this book and my number one book. In the end, the only reason this didn't win is that I had to wait a whole three years for it, when it seems every other writer can get a sequel out in one. But it was worth the wait. Definitely. I liked how it all turned out in the end (okay, for the most part). Is this where I'm supposed to say I was Team Murtagh all the way through or something?
1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
This beat Inheritance only by a hair, but it beat it out nevertheless. I suppose my love for horses contributed to my love for this book, but still.... It's fabulous. You should all go read it, right now. It's packed with emotion and awesomeness and HORSE RACES and HORSES and WATER HORSES and PONIES and...okay. Seriously. I recommend this book to everyone. It's amazing, and the ending is just so gorgeous and heartbreaking and wonderful.
So...I suppose that's it for this year. What's your top book of 2011? Your top ten?