I had hoped to get these lists out before the New Year started but alas, the holiday festivities took precedence and (shame on me) my blog was put on the back burner! Keep in mind I am extremely fickle when making “favorite” lists, I can’t choose a favorite author, movie or book and when asked this question I constantly cheat by claiming that “there are too many to choose from” as to avoid my own personal Sophie’s Choice. With that in mind, I decided to only choose five of my top books from this year and only chose books that I have reviewed on the site thus far, that limited me quite a bit and frankly made my choices a bit easier to make! Without further ado, my favorite (reviewed) books of 2011:
This book was fascinating in so many ways, the pictures not only complimented the text but they stood on their own as their own individual stories. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a many layered story that starts off with an almost horror aspect that keeps you turning the page and looking for more as the story ends.
By Adam Gidwitz
I loved this book. The narration style was hilarious with some aside statements made to both parents and children as well as to the characters in the story. The narrator tells the reader how it is, even if it is not always happy and positive. In fact, the narrator often explains how bloody and terrible the situations coming are going to be and “prepares” them for what is to come. It is no secret that I love a good fairy tale re-write, and although my first impression was that this story would be too juvenile for young adult (or adult) readers, after reading it I found it to be a refreshing change and relatable to readers of all ages.
Brom completely re-imagines the tale of Peter Pan, turning it into a thoroughly detailed and layered story. The question of who (or what) is evil is presented and as a reader I found myself wavering between the two, into an almost gray area. Brom tells the tale of horror, betrayal and dedication through a child narrator named Nick, a narrator I quickly fell in love with. The illustrations are amazing and give the story even more of an otherworldly effect.
Bill Willingham has completely re-created the characters from popular fairy tales. Snow White is Deputy Mayor of Fabletown and her prince of old is not so charming. The story arcs are diverse, ranging from murder mysteries to a political war with a surplus amount of back-story on your favorite fairy tale characters. I can’t get enough of these and I am quickly reading through his other novels as I wait patiently for the next installment in his Fables series.
I absolutely loved this book. The imagery in this book was beautiful and the love story was absolutely heart wrenching. Celia and Marco’s first kiss was magical and it set the standard for their love affair in a beautiful way. Erin Morgenstern writes with such detail that it really feels as if you are transported to the center of the ice garden where Celia sits, longing for Marco. I first listened to it on audio book, read by Jim Dale (!!) and then went out and bought the hardcover so that I can read it over and over again!