height=  height=  height=

peace out, 2011!

image made by the amazing Ginger at GReads!

well folks, 2011 has come to a close. it was a pretty awesome year, particularly when it came to the amazing books i was able to devour. 

the lovely and ever-awesome Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner is hosting an End of Year Book Survey. and you know i am all about lists and surveys and recapping the greatness. so here we are!

you can write your own post and link it up over at her blog at the original post: right here

without further ado, faithful readers....

1. Best book(s) read in 2011?
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I know, this is a YA blog so it’s a tad horrid of me to say the est book I read in 2011 was an adult epic fantasy...but seriously you guys, this book is amazing. AND it heavily features YA characters. It takes forever to read, but it is so worth the investment. It’s one of those that I can put it down and pick it back up and get sucked RIGHT back in to the fantasy. So basically, the best kind. Also, Tyrion Lannister for the supreme ruler of the universe please. (i should also add that i am NOT FINISHED with the series so DON’T SPOIL THINGS)

2. Most disappointing book/book you wish you loved more than you did?
The Hunger Games series. Honestly, this is thought of as the END ALL BE ALL of YA literature and I was just not having it. You can read more about my disappointment here, here, and here.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
It was most assuredly Horton Halfpott! I loved this book SO much because it reminded me that middle grade books rule, that silly fantasy still has substance, and that dorky boys are just the best. I recommend this book constantly and was lucky enough to score a signed copy from Tom Angleberger himself. He even recognized me. I was dorkishly shy but fangirling on the inside.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
In addition to Horton Halfpott and A Game of Thrones, I shoved A Monster Calls down many throats (as it is an amazing emotional read that bleeds the lines between fantasy and reality and is written by PATRICK NESS and inspired by SIOBHAN DOWD), as well as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (for being an older YA book that features snarky main characters and dark humor mixed in with the fantasy elements) and also Eve (for being unputdownable and having some Lord of the Flies shout outs)

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG. I love middle grade. I love Greek myth. I am a moron for taking so long to read The Lightning Thief. I need to devour the rest of the series right stat now.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
I love authors who write sincerely and authentically from a YA perspective. The three that stood out to me this year as fresh faces (at least in my little reading world) were Michael Northrop, Elizabeth Scott, and A.S. King. I could read their words forever and a day and fell in love with their characters for a whole variety of reasons.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or a new genre for you?
Again, A Game of Thrones appears on my best of list for 2011. This was a new genre to me and one that I am SO glad I delved in to. Turns out well written high fantasy for adults is my thing. HOLLA.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Three way tie. No surprises there. Shatter Me (seriously, the slow twists in this one were JUST my style and was like a freaking crack fiend), Divergent (dystopian done right will always be thrilling and unputdownable) and I Am The Messenger (I would just sit in my car to listen to this and sob. Sobbing while driving and sobbing in my driveway. I loved this so much.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Thank you forever to Heather of Candlewick for not reporting me or filing an order of protection against me for constant emails about this release. LOVE YOU CANDLEWICK PRESS!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
Lost in the River of Grass. Did not love the book, but I did love that cover. 

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Tina Fey from Bossypants! Is this cheating because it’s non-fiction? I don’t care! I love Tina Fey and I am throwing common sense to the wind!

12. Most beautifully written book in 2011?
Shatter Me. Just like everyone else in the world who read the book this year.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
Tie between I Am The Messenger and A Monster Calls. Both were emotionally rich and presented such hard questions about life and hope and grief and relationships and burrowed their way into my heart.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to read?
The Lightning Thief! I’M SO SORRY PERCY! I’m here now. Let’s roll.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2011?
"I couldn't help but think about school and everything else ending. I liked standing just outside the couches and watching them - it was a kind of sad I didn't mind, and so I just listened, letting all the happiness and the sadness of this ending swirl around in me, each sharpening the other. For the longest time, it felt kind of like my chest was cracking open, but not precisely in an unpleasant way." (172, Paper Towns by John Green)

"Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and hunt." (pg 35, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness)

"I was wearing my best Gap turtleneck and my dates were two adult lesbians, so yeah, I was pretty cool." (pg 35, Bossypants by Tina Fey)

16. Book you read in 2011 that you'd most likely re-read in 2012?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. A lot of shiz went down and I will need to reevaluate before book 2!

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?
Anything to do with Warner in Shatter Me. He is so complicated and broken and dark and mysterious. LET ME FIX YOU, WARNER!

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog discovered in 2011? No surprises here, but I’ll go with Ginger at GReads! This girl gets me, has great taste in music, writes amazing reviews, and spends so much of her precious time pimping books, bloggers, and other bookish things. She’s amazing and wonderful and just the best, as is her entire blog.

2. Favorite review you wrote in 2011? Divergent, mostly because it was written in list/thank you note form. I love lists. And also thank you notes.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? Dear Bloggers, Untwist Thy Panties. In which I mused somewhat coherently on the regulations set by publishers for book bloggers.

4. Most thought-provoking discussion you read on someone else's blog? Almost always this happens at The Perpetual Page Turner. I mean seriously, she pumped this baby out and helped me to reflect on a years worth of reading. AND ALSO she inspired me to make my very own blogging manifesto. How much more though provoking could you get?! THANKS, JAMIE!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)? Armchair BEA, fo sho. I met many lovely new bloggers and really got a feel for the undercurrent of awesome that flows through this community.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011? Interviewing Patrick Ness and chatting with Markus Zusak. I know. 2012 can’t even compare and we all know it.
Markus Zusak
7. Most popular post on your blog this year? My ridiculous reread attempt. I failed miserably, but at least I tried...right?

8. Post you wish got a little bit more love? Pretty much any review for a book that was not a HUGE release or was an older release. I feel like I get bombarded with new release reviews all the time and try to go a bit retro here and there. I must be in the minority on this one.

9. Best bookish discovery (websites, bookstores, etc.)? Ereaders. I embraced the new technology with open arms. And while I haven’t given up on paper books entirely, I am loving the flexibility of my ereader. And being able to read at work. Stick it to the man!

10. Did you complete any reading goals/challenges set at the beginning of the year? I blew past my goal to read 50 books this year and aimed for 75. I feel just short of that, so 75 will be the goal for 2012.
Knocked out the 2011 YA Historical Fiction Challenge.
About finished the Ebook Challenge.
Halfsies for the Off The Shelf Challenge
Halfsies for the Gothic Reading Challenge
FAILED Bloody Jack Challenge. Not a fan.
FAILED Award Winning Challenge.

Looking Ahead...

1. One book you didn't get to in 2011, but will be your number one priority in 2012? The Iron Fey Series and Legend. Both of these are on loan to me from lovely bloggers and I don’t want to keep them hanging! Thanks for your patience, Yani and Jacinda!

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2012? The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Thanks to EVERYONE in the WORLD for sharing how awesome this book is. Also, Shatter Me #2. RIGHT NOW PLEASE and THANK YOU.

3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2012? It’s gonna be all about the balance in 2012.
I love spending time with my husband and watching movies.
I love making crafty things.
Ilove reading and blogging.
There is enough time in my life for all of these if I can find time and prioritize.
Also, I am limiting myself to 10 arc requests this year. That TBR tree is getting CHOPPED down, not whittled.
Also also, continue to work with the 2012 DAC ARC Tours Blog with Tara, Ginger, and Kristi. It’s such a wonderful idea and i’m stoked to be on the project.

If you’re still with me, thank you! I had a blast this year with the blog and I’m so happy to see your comments and chatty chat books with you. Thank you for listening to my rants and my musings and for being awesome. MUCH LOVE.

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Oh how I ADORE you!! Seriously. You are one of my most favorite things to come out of 2011 <3 You've inspired a new blogging goal for 2012: Go More Retro! I want to give those older books love, too. So that's what I'm going to do. Not sure yet on the details.. but I'll limit myself to a certain number of books a month to read/review that have been out awhile. Want to do it with me?! :)

    PS. You have also inspired me to read A Monster Calls. May I borrow your copy at some point in the new year?? Thanks friend!

  2. (my favorite read this year was also not YA, two of my favorites really. I call them crossovers to feel better about myself as a YA blogger. ha!)

    Happy New Year!

  3. I LOVE Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Even my brother loves that series. I also love I am the Messenger (I just read that this year, too!) and you are seriously so lucky to have talked to Markus Zusak! Also, love the Paper Towns passage you chose!

    Happy New Year!

  4. YOU CHATTED WITH MARKUS ZUSAK! You lucky ducky.

  5. Ginger - The feeling is SO mutual. I am all about going retro in 2012! LET US DO THIS THING. Of course I want to do this with you. :)
    Em - I'm not alone!
    Sara - YES. I need to read all of these right stat now. And what could possibly top talking to Markus AND Patrick?!


  6. The Hunger Games certainly is one of the most-read series in YA and, though I liked it, I still liked a ton of other books more than it. I'm a fan but I'm not at the point of really gushing over it.

    And yay for reading Percy Jackson! I hope you get to read the rest of the series soon. Riordan's other series (The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus) are all great too.

    Thanks to your endorsement, I really want to read A Game of Thrones now! I've had it for a month or so, but haven't gotten around to it because I'm so intimidated. I really should read it instead of delaying.

  7. 1. Happy 2012.
    2. I hope you are aware that almost everyone ever listed you as their best blog found in 2011. YOU ARE LOVED.

  8. Dude! I love older book reviews. I have read so many great books that weren't released this year (like Thirteen Reasons Why)that I wouldn't have otherwise. GO RETRO!!

    Much Love to you and the upcoming year Lisa!

    ♥ Trish
    Just a YA Girl

  9. p.s. could I possibly use your Retro book review idea on my blog? I'd really love to and I'd give you credit :)

  10. Alexa - don't be intimidated. Game of Thrones is ready and willing when you are! It's ridiculously easy to fall in to. :)
    Trish - RETRO FTW. And I suggest keeping your eyes peeled...there might be a meme in the not too distant future. :)

  11. A few things: 1) I felt the SAME way about Percy Jackson! How did it take me so long to discover him?! 2) Isn't Tina Fey fabulous? I could not put Bossypants down and I'm pretty sure it's made its way on every list I blog about and 3) I heart retro reviews! I love reading them and getting suggestions for things that everyone ISN'T reading! Great year end wrap up and happy new year! Hope to get to read more from you in 2012!

  12. So, ok. I love it. How could it be bad when the first thing I see is the gleaming golden cover of A Game of Thrones! But I agree completely with your Shatter Me/Warner love. He is a BAMF and I know that he's tortured and emo but he's broken and he WANTS to be gooey on the inside, I can feel it! He was one of my favorite things about Shatter Me.

    And it's never too late for some Percy action! Those books are awesome. I would also say that the companion series to those books--The Heroes of Olympus--are FAB and a little better than the Kane Chronicles (that's the Egyptian series). But I like them all. :-)

    You are churning out pure AWESOME over here. I love it. If you ever want to talk ASOIAF, holla at me!

  13. Candice - At least Percy is in our lives now!
    Amy - YES. GOT. FOREVER. Of course we share the Warner love. I expect nothing less. We will discuss ASOIAF in no time. <3


Hey you! What do you have to say?