Wednesday, January 25

Best of 2011 - Part II

And here it is, part II of our recap of 2011 :) In this post, we discuss books of course, but also series and authors :) Through a series of categories, we look back at what marked our reading year!! Don't be shy and share with us what and who marked yours!

Most anticipated book in 2011


Ames: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh - I don't really need to explain why, right? LOL

Nath: Nath: The list is long, really long LOL. If I had to choose, it'd be Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (Hawke and Sienna's story!!), Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (talk about cliffhanger!!)... and Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen :)

Book that took you by surprise in 2011

Ames: Sea Change by Darlene Marshall- you can read my review here.  OMG I loved this book!  Go read my review if you haven't already.  It had a cross-dressing heroine!!

Nath: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James. She's a hit and miss author for me and to tell the truth, I'm not a fan of fairy tales and their retelling. That's why it took me so much time to pick up this book, despite all the raved reviews. Even then, I didn't expect much and certainly not to enjoy it as much as I did!

Books that met your expectations

Ames: I had super high expectations for this book and it definitely delivered – Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Nath: Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan, Ghost Story by Jim Butcher and Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Best new series

Ames: Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne.  This book made me like mysteries.  LOL  And at the core, there's a taboo romance between a woman of the cloth and a married chief of police.  And our heroine?  She's the definition of kick-ass!

Nath: Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. It reminds me a bit of the Stephanie Plum series :) Lots of fun!

Series that are still going strong

Ames: Even though I’m not caught up, the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

Nath: Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews definitively. Everything in that series is gold :) My other choices are the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman, the Lucy Valentine books by Heather Webber and Psy-Changelings by Nalini Singh. LOL, yes, I read a lot of series... Who doesn't nowadays? :P

Series that I've given up on

Ames: Since I didn’t even make an effort to read any this past year, I’d have to say Lora Leigh’s Breeds and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters.

Nath: The Dark Hunters series was my choice last year. This year, it's Immortals after Dark by Kresley Cole. I might succumb to temptation, but for now, I really don't have any urge to pick up the new releases.

Best debut novels

Ames: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Nath: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and an honorable mention to Joanna Chambers for The Lady's Secret

Ames: I didn't get a chance to read The Lady's Secret in 2011 but I read it soon after the New Year and yeah, that was one excellent debut!

Nath: To keep in mind for next year's post, Ames :P

Best new-to-me authors

Ames: Julia Spencer-Fleming

Nath: Darynda Jones. Oh and I finally read a Carrie Lofty book. She lived up to the hype :)

Best come-back author

Ames: I don't have anyone to nominate for this category.

Nath: Jacquie D'Alessandro :) Her last few historicals were so-so to me and honestly, I didn't really have high expectations for Summer at Seaside Cove... but I was really pleasantly surprised!! Also, to a certain extent, Rick Riordan because his last releases - the 2 Kane Chronicles books and The Lost Hero - weren't up to the standard he set with Percy Jackson and the Olympians books.

Best Author of 2011

Ames: Richelle Mead.  Richelle had a million book releases this year - the final Succubus book (*sob*), the final Eugenie book and she also started another series with Bloodlines.  On top of that, she had a baby!  It was a very good year for Richelle and that makes her the best author of 2011 for me.  :P

Nath: Ilona Andrews. Ms Andrews was very prolific this year - several novellas, 1 Kate Daniels book and 1 Edge book - and while not everything was to my taste, what I enjoyed, I really enjoyed :) Like I said earlier, everything part of the Kate Daniels series was gold ;)


And that's our recap of 2011!  How did our choices compare to yours?  We're interested, so let us know.  And here's to hoping that 2012 is an even better year than 2011!


Samantha said...

Lots of great choices!!!

Ames, Sea Change sounds really interesting! I'll have to check that one out.

Loved Dragon Bound. The second book in the series left me feeling a little "meh" though. I haven't picked up Serpents Kiss yet. I heard that Harrison is writing another book with Pia and Dragos as the main characters. Not sure how I feel about that. What do you think?

I'm still not sure if I want to start the Mercy Thompson series or not. I love the Alpha Omega series and a few of Briggs' stand alones but I don't know. For some reason I'm really reluctant to start into the Mercy books. I think it has to do with the love triangle. I hates love triangles.

I agree with the Breeds series. I read a couple of those and gave up on them. They typically annoyed me. I really thought the concept behind the books was interesting though. And I'm getting pretty close to giving up on the Dark Hunter series. The last couple I read were blah. I feel like I can't officially give up on that one until I've read Acheron's book though.

I've heard a lot of good things about Anna and the French Kiss. Its been sitting on my wishlist for a while. I think I put it on there because John Green recommended it on one of his vlogs. lol

I've never read a Richelle Mead book! I'll have to check her out. Any suggestions for which book to start with?

Nath, I keep hearing wonderful things about Jim Butcher's series but I just haven't been motivated enough to pick it up. Mostly because I associate it with an ex-boyfriend who was a douche bag. :P

I loved When Beauty Tamed the Beast. I was fairly surprised at how much I enjoyed that one as well. Mostly because I can't get into historicals anymore.

I'll resist the urge to fangirl all over this post about Ilona Andrews. Have you read her Edge series though? What did you think? I'm thinking about starting those books.:P

The Darynda Jones series sounds awesome! I'll def. be checking that one out!

I still can't decide if I'm ready to give up on the Kresley Cole series yet. I own three books in the IAD series that I haven't read yet. I feel obligated to eventually pick them up.

I read Attachments back in Dec and loved it. It was pretty cute! I liked how it was the hero who was having to find his way in life instead of the heroine. It was a refreshing change.

Hilcia said...

Okay, this is an awesome post! I love it. :D

Let's see how did my choices compare to yours?
Most Anticipated: Kiss of Snow and Ilona Andrews' Magic Slays.

Surprises: Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro, and The Lady's Secret by Joanna Chambers.

Books that met my expectations: Blackout by Rob Thurman, Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh. (I agree about Dragon Bound. I enjoyed that one even with all the hoopla).

Best New Series (to me): Lucy Valentine by by Heather Webber, Harmony by Jodi Thomas, The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffin. :)

Series Still going Strong: Psy/Changeling Nalini Singh, Guardians by Meljean Brook.

Gave up on: Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. Maybe... and Ann Aguirre's Jax series (I'm done with that one).

Best Debut: Thea Harrison had a slam dunk debut! And I really agree with Nath, definitely The Lady's Secret by Joanna Chambers! But for me there were also... Slant by Timothy Wang, We the Animals by Justin Torres, a+e 4ever by I. Merey (graphic novel), Chulito by C. Rice-Gonzalez. (I know the rest of my choices are different, but I read Gay Fiction and this year they had lots of great new books!)

New-to-me authors: Ohhh... Carrie Lofty. Definitely! I know I squeed about her to you, Nath. LOL! Plus I really liked Susanna Fraser. But again here comes Gay Fiction... Alex Jeffers!!!!! Love, love him, and Lee Thomas. :)

Best Come Back Authors: Don't know? Have to think about that.

Best Author of 2011: I have two authors, both with two winners for the year: Elizabeth Hoyt and Alex Jeffers. :D

PS: Two of my favorite authors didn't make it to the top this year and I think that is because I didn't read some of their 2011 releases. I agree with Nath that Andrews' works are gold! I love, love them... but last year I didn't read the Edge book (still in my TBR), Magic Slays was a B read for me, and my favorite reads by them were their novellas. Meljean Brook... sigh... I still have the sequel to her steampunk series (a favorite) in my TBR and her PNR book was also a B for me. :(

nath said...

Samantha - Let see...

I don't mind Ms Harrison writing another book about Pia and Dragos; however, it has to have an awesome storyline. I mean, if it's just to see them cooed at each other or tearing each other's throat, not interested ^_^; Although at the moment, I don't even know if I'd pick it up ^_^; Seriously PNR'd out ^_^;

I much prefer the Alpha and Omega series :) My problem with both series is I find the heroines are a bit Mary Sue... but you see it more with Mercy in my opinion. At least, with Anna, you know why everyone is interested in her - she's an omega. Anyway, some of the books were awesome :) As for the love triangle, there is one, but it's not really one if you get what I mean. Plus, it gets resolved pretty quickly. Ms Briggs did not drag it on. By book #3, you know who she chose and in the last book, they got married :)

Hmmm, I bought Anna and the French Kiss because of the hype and thought it was good, but not as good as everyone raved. It was a B read for me. Basically, if I had reviewed it, it would go something as followed: Loved the setting - Paris and France, didn't care about the high school drama.

The Dresden Files series is pretty awesome in my opinion ;) It's one of the series I buy in HC if that's any indication :) The beginning is a bit slow, so I would advice to start at book #4 actually. I've had a few friends doing that and they didn't seem to miss anything. In any case, you can always ask me :) Plus, give Dresden a chance... It might be the only good thing that will come out of your relationship with the douchebag LOL.

I have read the Edge series and it's okay. I don't like it as much as Kate Daniels that's for sure. Basically, for me, it's the world building... Plus, you don't have the same amount of humor as in the Kate Daniels.

The Darynda Jones series is really enjoyable :) Let me know what you think of it :)

I'm glad you enjoyed Attachments! and I agree with you, it was nice to see it from the hero's POV!

nath said...

Hilcia - Oups, I forgot Magic Slays ^_^; There were just so many books I was looking forward to, it was hard to pick ^_^;

Summers at the Seaside Cove was a good choice for surprise.

Woohoo on Lucy Valentines series! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Each time one of you started picking up this story, I was a bit nervous... because it's different ^_^; Yay on Harmony :) I'm quick, so that series, I picked up in 2010 :)

So many series that I still love :) I did think The Guardians by Meljean Brook... but I decided to put the others because while Demon Marked was good, I think it didn't link to the rest of the series all that well.

I still haven't read Susanna Fraser ^_^; This year! And you've only discovered Carrie Lofty in 2011? Reeally?

LOL you know how i feel about Elizabeth Hoyt ^_^;

LOL, it's hard to pick right? I keep making my answers longer and longer, because I don't want to leave out anyone I liked... but at some point, you have to stop ^_^; Ames is better at this than me LOL.

Marg said...

So good to see Julia Spencer-Fleming feature on your list. I really enjoyed all the books I read from her last year.

Definitely agree re Anna and the French Kiss as well.