January 3, 2012

Wicked Reading Awards 2011

I read over 100 books, graphic novels, and short stories this year. It was been a lot of fun and has made me eager to see what new book wonders await me in 2012. In this first week of 2012, I want to share with you all the very best and worst of my 2011 reading adventure. I do want to clarify these are books that I  read last year and may not necessarily have been published in 2011.

Best Read 2011
Someone Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead
By Christiana Miller
Obviously there were a lot of great books to choose from and some pretty epic series releases that could have made Best Read 2011. However, this indie gem stole my heart with it's fun humor, endearing characters, and thrilling moments. The transition from funny to chilling was at times immediate combining these two elements very enjoyably. I'm looking forward to a sequel but for now I will savor Miller's short story in the anthology Every Witch Way But Wicked .

Best Romance
By Diana Gabaldon
I think there needs to be an epic romance genre just for this series. The Outlander books certainly are epic and like no other romance I have read before. The usual cliches and plots are not present here, leaving Outlander in a class all it's own. Romance readers will excite and history buffs will find themselves enthralled. I cannot recommend this series enough, and with the 2011 release of the 20th anniversary edition, now is the perfect time to get acquainted.

Best Urban Fantasy
The Demon Lover
By Juliet Dark
A late 2011 release, The Demon Lover had varying effects on the reviewing community. Book bloggers everywhere either liked it or they didn't. Obviously this blogger loved it. Reminiscent of classic Gothic literature, The Demon Lover starts out slowly, drawing the reader into it's word subtly. However, once things get going, you won't be able to put this one down. I recommend this to fans of Urban Fantasy as it may disappoint those who are looking for a hardcore paranormal romance experience.

Best Young Adult
Dreaming of Beauty
By Kristen White
The shockingly good indie retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty. This was by far the best young adult book I read this year. The majority of the mainstream titles were extremely disappointing, lacking in quality and substance. Dreaming of Beauty is smart, funny, and offers a realistic portrayal of teens and their families. You know how in many YA books the parents seem to never be around, allowing their teens to have adventures with vampires, faeries, angels, and the like? Well the parents here are actually very involved and extremely likable. Overall, a fun read to cure your YA blues.

Best Series 
Fever Series
By Karen Marie Moning
From beginning to end, this series will surprise you with its ever evolving characters and mythology. Arguably the best paranormal series out there. The last book in the series Shadowfever was released in 2011 and is pictured above. This book offered an epic end to an absolutely epic series. Moning has already set the title for her spin off series about our favorite dirty mouthed, quick footed teen Dani. Can't wait!

Best Short
Kidnapped for Christmas
By Evangeline Anderson
The well written and surprisingly wonderful indie erotic short story. These are usually just ok, but I was very impressed with this one. The fun concept of paying for your own kidnapping experience is genius. Even more so is that the wrong girl gets 'napped leading to a potentially criminal, but altogether scintillating read. Oh, and it's festive! :-)

Favorite New to Me Author:
Christopher Moore
A Dirty Job
 Ah yes, the evil genius that is Christopher Moore. This was a group read in my Urban Fantasy book group. I was interested in giving this author a try and was lucky enough to find this book at the thrift store cheap! Not only is it a beautiful book, but it is a truly beautiful read. Moore manages to combine dark, morbid wit with underlying heartfelt messages. I have added quite a few of Mr. Moore's books to my library and intend to read many more of this delightful books this year. 
Best Irreverent Death Scene
Henry VIII: Wolfman
By A.E. Moorat 
My not so favorite read staring one of my favorite historical characters turned werewolf. While I didn't like it overall, the death by fat ass scene is absolute dark witty genius. This death scene has stuck with me and continues to make me giggle manically to myself creeping out innocent bystanders frequently. If you have a pretty dark, messed up sense of humor I suggest you give this book a try. Plus, the author is a pretty cool guy who takes the criticisms of a nerdy girl reviewer in stride. :-)

Worst Read, Worst Heroine, Worst Hero
Demons Like it Hot
By Sidney Ayers
Yes Wicked Readers, this book was so bad it won three bad awards. While being both both juvenile and amateurish this novel also manages to be aggressively cliche and pedantic. This is the book that made me decide to read less romance this year and branch out to other genres. I won't even get into the brattyness of the heroine and the non-existent personality of the hero. My recommendation is just please read anything else.

1 comment:

Under the Covers said...

Loved this list! I am looking forward to reading the Diana books :)

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