Seeing as how this weekend also happens to fall on the start of the new year, I thought this round-up would appropriately cover everything I’ve read this year.
Clocking in at 104 completed titles, this is the largest number of books I’ve read in a calendar year (at least since I started keeping track of this sort of thing), and that’s not counting the things I never quite finished. I’ve re-read a lot of old things (J.K. Rowling, Daniel Handler) and got to enjoy a lot of new things. These books have had vampires (Charlaine Harris), good zombies (Daniel Waters), bad zombies (Mira Grant), witches (L. Frank Baum), fairies (Gail Carson Levine), mutants (Michael Grant), and mean girls (Judy Blume). I’ve read the supposedly good for me (Mary Roach) and the unabashedly bad for me (Francine Pascal, Tyra Banks).
Of course, in year end posts, one is legally required to do a Best and a Worst (I am pretty sure this is true). Since I read 104 books this year, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to choose one of either of those, especially since I re-read a few favorite books, who therefore have an unfair advantage. But taking all that into consideration…
I read the first three of Jeff Lindsey’s Dexter series, as I’m a fan of the TV show. I liked some of the series’s concepts, but found the execution lacking, no pun intended. I hated Meg Cabot’s Abandon, Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked, and Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier. I read Daniel Waters’s Generation Dead series for the character of Karen alone. I started trilogies by Ally Condie (Matched) and Veronica Roth (Divergent), and while I will likely finish both, I only really liked the latter.
On the flip side, I was pleasantly surprised by Alex Flinn’s Beastly and loved Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. But my absolute favorite (new) read of the year (it was close, Fug Girls!) was Libba Bray’s hilarious Beauty Queens, a novel about a plane of teen pageant contestants who crash on a not-so-deserted island and are forced to fend for themselves with all of the gifts they’ve been taught in pageant training. This, like so many other things I’ve read this year, is a futuristic dystopia, but one that is both a far too believable glimpse of our own dark future (nothing but reality television and an endless supply of body chemistry-altering beauty products) and completely side-splitting. I’m looking forward to re-reading it soon for a write-up, but if there was any new book from 2011 I’d recommend, it’d be that.
Happy New Year and happy reading, everyone!