Top 11 of '11

Welcome to the last day of 2011! You know what that means. It’s time for best of lists! Here are the best 11 books I read in 2011. (Though they weren’t necessarily released in 2011) Want to see the best 10 of ’10? Click here!

But first, some honorable mentions. These guys didn’t make the list, but they were still awesome reads. No links for these, just pictures. Below is the full list of my top 11 books with pictures, links, and why they made the list!

#11 Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
GoodReads | Amazon*
This one just managed to sneak onto the list. I only read it a couple weeks ago. I haven’t posted my review yet, but I’ll give you a little taste of what it says: “in this book you get to watch two people FALL in love. Really fall in love. And in the meantime we get to see a wonderfully rich and detailed world, experience heart racing adventures, and go through heartbreaking tragedies.”

#10 Incarnate, by Jodi Meadows
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
This book manages to brilliantly juggle about twelve different plot devices: reincarnation, dragons, gods, murder, and more. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! This is the kind of book that kept me thinking LONG after I closed it.

#9 A Million Suns, by Beth Revis
GoodReads | Amazon*
Nope, Across the Universe isn’t going to make this list, but that’s because the sequel is EVEN BETTER. I don’t know if I’ve ever said that about a second book. But seriously. This book is SOOOOO good. Haven’t reviewed it yet because most of the awesome-ness involves a whole heck-a spoilers and I haven’t figured out how to avoid them. Just know that it ROCKS.

#8 The Monstrumologist, by Rick Yancey
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
Many of you know that I’m a horror-junkie, but even more of you know that I can’t stand profanity. That’s an odd mixture. Therefore, when I find a book like The Monstrumologist I get really excited. This book made me scream, cry, and feel a little sick. In a nutshell, it was AWESOME.

#7 Divergent, by Veronica Roth
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
Do I really need to explain why this is on this list? Really? Y’all voted it your favorite book of 2011, and so did ALL OF GOODREADS. It’s #7 for me because I thought there were books that were better FOR ME, but this is a great book for anyone. Really.

#6 The Swan Kingdom, by Zoe Marriott
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
This book saved me. Literally. I was in such a dark place when I read it and it brought me back to the surface. It’s beautiful, simple, and rich. But really, you should pretend that I listed ALL of Zoe’s books here. I had a hard time deciding which of hers to put on the list. I wish I could have put all 3. Check out my reviews of Shadows on the Moon and Daughter of the Flames both of which are BRILLIANT.

#5 Plain Kate, by Erin Bow
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
This book is… indescribable. It touched my heart in so many ways. I cried at the end. (psst. Chances are that if a book makes me cry, it’ll end up on this list) Plain Kate is such a loveable character that you can’t help but want to follow her adventure. And the cat. OH! The cat. I just love this book so much.

#4 Crossed, by Ally Condie
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
Ally has a wonderful way of weaving poetry into her books so it’s almost like you are reading 300+ pages of poetry without even knowing it. It doesn’t beat you over the head with prose, or smother you with rhyme, but it’s there nonetheless. A beautiful piece of art contained in a novel.

#3 Nevermore, by Kelly Creagh
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
It’s been nearly a year since I read this, so the specifics of why I loved it have faded from my mind. What hasn’t faded is the feeling I had while reading it. If you’re like me, then the cover of this book probably scares you off. DON’T LET IT! Behind the creepy goth-boy is an amazing story of mystery, magic, and love. Oh! And that ENDING! I’m SO MAD that the release date for the sequel was moved back to August 2012.

#2 Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor
GoodReads | Amazon*
Have I made it clear how much I love this book? I keep kicking myself for not reviewing it yet! I think I might wait until I re-read it before the sequel to review it since it’s been so long. Like Laini’s other YA book, Lips Touch, it does have some mature content, but it isn’t crass in any way. I’d call it a age 16+ book. But still, if you’re 16+ you must read this book. It’s EPIC. Mostly because of the awesomeness that is the main character. I really want Karou to be my best friend.

#1 Blood Red Road, by Moira Young
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
All right, how many of you saw this coming? Guys, chances are that if I burst into tears when I meet the author, I REALLY liked the book. I REALLY liked this book. I BEYOND LOVED this book. I… I want to die reading this book! (okay, that’s going a little far, but you get the point) Maybe it’s because it completely came out of the blue. I had never even heard of this book until it showed up for review and I remember thinking “Ugh. 500+ pages of phonetic spelling and no quotation marks? How will I live through this?” and when I finished I thought, “Ah!!! How could I live without this?!” Saba’s story and growth throughout the book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I love how human she is, even when she has to de-humanize herself to survive. And Epona- oh… I’m gonna cry again. Please, I beg you, if this book sounds AT ALL interesting to you, please read it. Don’t let the strange prose throw you off. After the first few chapters I promise you won’t even notice it anymore.

What about you? Were any of these on your best of 2011 list? Are there any you've never heard of? Are there any missing that you loved? If you're looking for a laugh, check out this article about end-of-year lists.

Happy new year!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011


  1. I like your idea of the top 11 of 11. I may have to borrow it and do that myself for a post next week. I just finished reading Prized this week and am giving away three copies on my blog although the contest ends tonight. Let your readers know. Caragh was my featured author this month. I have the smoke and bone book and can't wait to read it. Happy New Year!

  2. I really want to read Divergent! It sounds awesome, and from what I've heard, it is. My sister better read it soon so I can borrow her copy.

    I've had Nevermore sitting on my shelf for a while. I really need to get around to reading it, though maybe I'll wait till closer to the sequel's release date.

    I really liked Sweet Venom. It's on my Best of 2011 list.

  3. I had a bunch of books bring me back from dark places this year. I burst into tears when I vlogged about A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young in my top ten video. Then I tweeted Suzanne, and she cried! Oh, viciously beautiful circle.

  4. This is a great list. There were so many wonderful books this year, and you included a bunch of my favorites. I'm also excited to read the ones you mentioned that I haven't yet gotten to.

    P.S. Your Smoke and Bone recommendation - wow. Let me say, I have not let that book out of my sight all day. Thank you, thank you.

  5. DOSAB topped our list too -- just posted it today! -- and we're glad to see a few titles (like Incarnate) that we're interested in. :)

  6. I loved Crossed and Nevermore, too. I'm in the middle of reading Blood Red Road and so far, it's pretty much every bit as amazing as you said it was! So thank you for all the recommendations and reviews. I know exactly what you mean about books pulling you out of dark places. Without book blogs, it would be harder to find those books when you need them. So..thank you for blogging! And Happy 2012!

  7. I loved Crossed and Nevermore, too. I'm in the middle of reading Blood Red Road and so far, it's every bit as amazing as you said it was! So thank you for recommending it. I know exactly what you mean about books pulling you out of dark places. Without book blogs, it would be harder to find those books when you need them. So..thank you for blogging! And Happy 2012!


Thank you so much for commenting! I read each and every one.

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