Monday, December 19, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway- 2011 Favorites by Maja from The Nocturnal Library

The-Happy-Booker-large-1_thumb1


One of the things that I have truly enjoyed about this feature is the amazing guest posts by some of my favorite book bloggers, Goodreads reviewers, and authors. Today’s guest post is by Maja from The Nocturnal Library, another of my favorite reviewers! This blogger/reviewer’s incredibly insightful reviews are responsible for a very large percentage of my 2011 book purchases and my 2012 wishlist! I was ecstatic that she agreed to share with The Happy Booker readers a list of her favorite reads from this year! Welcome to The Happy Booker Maja!


Make sure you check out Maja and Lisa’s awesome reviews at The Nocturnal Library!!








Maja's 2011 Favorites


When Donna approached me about writing this post, I was really flattered, of course, but also a little frightened. 2011 was a really good year for me, full of amazing new releases, and some old ones I just discovered. To choose my favorites among them seemed like a really big responsibility at the time, but I ended up enjoying the process more than I ever thought I would. I did my best to make them as different as possible. I included one romance, only one dystopia (Phew! That was a tough choice.), one YA fantasy, one adult zombie novel, one YA contemporary, and some other books I simply couldn’t leave out. So without further ado, here are the choices I’ve made:



THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater: Maggie Stiefvater just never fails to amaze me. I am a huge fan of The Wolves of Mercy Falls, but I feel like she did an even better job with her latest novel. This story about the capaill uisce, bloodthirsty water horses on a small, fictional island Tisby, offers everything that Stiefvater does best: it is highly descriptive, heavily atmospheric and emotionally challenging. I admit that this story requires a certain amount of patience, which is why I’ve read many complaints about the pacing, but I truly enjoyed reading about the small island issues and mentality. If I were forced to choose my favorite 2011 release (and, thankfully, I’m not), The Scorpio Races would probably be it.


BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys educated me about the horrors Lithuanian people endured during Stalin’s reign of terror. Masterfully told, the story gives voice to those who had none for the longest time, and probably still don’t. Of the 300 books I’ve read this year, Between Shades of Gray is the one I’m most grateful for, and the one I’m least likely to ever forget. Please read this book, and please have your children read it. I promise you won’t regret it.


FLAT-OUT LOVE by Jessica Park: The most important shelf on my Goodreads page is my ‘books that changed me’ shelf. I think very hard about the books I put there because I feel that they represent who I am and what I stand for. I never expected to add a self-published romance novel, but Flat-Out Love deserved its spot. Park’s novel is sweet and funny at times, heartbreaking at others, but altogether amazing and entirely unforgettable. As a dedicated reader, I don't think I've ever connected to a story quite that much, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.


DEADLINE by Mira Grant:
I could probably write my own novel about all the things I love in The Newsflesh trilogy. To be perfectly honest, I was terrified of reading Deadline. In my eyes, Seanan McGuire achieved perfection with the heartwrenching Feed and I never thought she could do it twice in a row. As it happens, I was wrong. Never before have I been so genuinely afraid of what an author might do. Grant made me care for her characters, and then she planted the fear for them deep in my bones. At this point, I have no idea what to expect. To dismiss these books because they are labeled as zombie fiction would be a horrible mistake. They are, in fact, so much more.


BROOKLYN, BURNING by Steve Brezenoff: What is it about books that deal with gender identity and sexual orientation issues that makes people run the other way? That’s exactly the kind of thing young adult literature should be about! After the amazing Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford, Steve Brezenoff approached the subject many authors wouldn’t dare touch, and he did it in an honest but subtle way. I’m sorry this book didn’t get more attention, but that can still change. It’s a story for anyone who’s ever struggled with the feeling of not belonging.


ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre: Aguirre is definitely one of my favorite urban fantasy authors, but I must say that I’m thrilled with how she writes young adult dystopian fiction. The story is strong, the characters are very much alive, and the writing is close to perfect. Aguirre did extensive research and built a world I can easily believe. Enclave is the first book in her Razorland series – hurry up and read it before the release of Outpost. Of all the 2011 dystopias, it is by far my favorite.


Other than the books I’ve already mentioned, here are a few more I just had to recommend to you guys:

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson is a richly-but-unpretentiously written story about a girl with synesthesia, accused of murder and placed in a mental institution. Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris is a completely ridiculous, yet incredibly entertaining story about a school full of zombies. In As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott, Ava suffers from a complete memory loss. The novel is beautifully written and highly unusual. Jessica Martinez’s debut novel, Virtuosity, tells a story about a very talented and severely damaged Grammy Award winning violin soloist.



Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson is, as I called it in my review, deliciously shallow and extremely fun. I just adore stories about people with superpowers. A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan is a science fiction novel about a girl suddenly awoken after spending more than 60 years in a stasis tube. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey offers a new take on zombies and I thoroughly enjoyed Garvey’s beautiful writing.


I hope each of you will find at least something that sounds interesting here. It’s been such a great year. I can’t wait to start all over again. Happy reading, lovelies, and happy holidays!






Thanks so much Maja for stopping by The Happy Booker and sharing your list of 2011 favorites!!


Do you have any of her favorite books on your wishlist? Two lucky readers will have a chance to win one of Maja’s 2011 favorites!!


GIVEAWAY


This giveaway is INT. Book choices must be available at the Book Depository (INT) or Amazon.com (US)
Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment about which of Maja’s favorites you’d like to read!
Giveaway ends at Midnight on January 1, winners will be announced on January 2.
I will email the winners at the end of the giveaway to find out which book they will choose. Winners will have 48 hours to respond.
Extra entries for being a GFC follower of The Nocturnal Library and tweeting the giveaway! 


Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

114 comments:

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

Oh great list from yours I'd love to read The Scorpio Races, Enclave, Bad Taste In Boys, As I Wake and Vituosity. Clearly many lol

Yiota said...

I have not read any of those books actually! Haha!
Enclave, Scorpio Races, Bad Taste in Boys, Ultraviolet, Cold Kiss are all in my wishlist waiting...

Maidenveil said...

I love Enclave too! I've been wanting to read The Scorpio Races. Hopefully soon! :D

Aleksandra said...

I still haven't read any of those, although they're all on my reading list :D I'd love to win Enclave :) Thanks for the giveaway & the post!!! Happy Holidays!

ebaker said...

WOW! I'd love to read Enclave, Cold Kiss, or A Long Long Sleep!

A.J. said...

I would love to read Flat-out Love. I've read Virtuosity and loved it!
Thanks for the giveaway!

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

I'd like to read Hunting Lila or As I Wake.:D Thanks for the giveaway!

Jenn C said...

I've wanted to read Scorpio Races forever! Thanks for the giveaway and a great list of books to read!

FairyWhispers said...

I want to read the Scorpia Races

it seems pretty cool
=)

Lilly said...

I'd like to read Enclave, Between Shades of Gray.
Thanks a lot for the giveaway!

Lorrra18 said...

I would love to read Scorpio Races forever. Thank you so much for the giveaway. All these books look amazing.

Stephanie H. said...

Would love to read The Scorpio Races, Hunting Lila and Ultraviolet! Already read and really liked Enclave and A Long Long Sleep too.

Sana said...

I would love to read Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park, the self-published bit have me intrigued!

miki said...

I'ven't read any of these books but the one i want to read the most is the Scorpio Race.

thanks you so much for this opportunity to win it

all the best

Books Glorious Books said...

I really want to read Scorpio Races

sprite said...

Flat-Out Love. I mean, who turns down a life-changing book?

Thalia Anderson said...

I'd definitely like to read "Flat-Out Love" by Jessica Park; I think that sounds the best for me, hahaha. <3

I'd also like to read "Deadline", but I think it's the second book in the series, and the first book is on my list--I just need to get a copy of it! Also "Ultraviolet", "As I Wake", "Virtuosity", "A Long Long Sleep" and "Cold Kiss" sound fabulous...oh man, I want to read everything!

I'm sticking with 'Flat-Out Love" as my number one though. <3

Tiffany Drew said...

Awesome list! I haven't read any of these yet, but just about all of them are on my must-read list! I would love to read As I Wake, it looks amazing. Thank you for the fantastic giveaway!

Suz said...

I haven't read any on your list but Enclave and Between Shades of Grey are on my TBR list!

Jasprit said...

Awesome choices Maja, I loved virtuosity too! I would love to win a copy of Elizabeth Scott's As I wake. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

buddyt said...

Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

I think I would like to read every book on your selection but if I have to choose one I would go for ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre.

Thanks.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Michelle @ Book Briefs said...

Great group of books! Thanks so much for the giveaway

Yto said...

the scorpio races and enclave are on my wishlist. they sound pretty good.

Ann Aguirre said...

I'm not entering; I just wanted to thank you for listing me among such august company.

Teressa Oliver said...

Deadline looks awesome
teressaoliver at gmail dot com

Juana said...

Thanks for the chance!

I haven't read any of the books, but I would love to read A Long Long Sleep.

jmesparza821(at)gmail(dot)com

Jude Henderson said...

I would Looove to read Cold Kiss and Bad Taste In Boys [I have a thing for zombies] :D

Janiera said...

The Scorpio Races is what I really want to read. I've heard such great things about it.

Alexis Ladig said...

I really want to read the Scorpio Races!

Small Review said...

Hunting Lila sounds like a lot of fun! I agree, I love reading books about people with superpowers. Never gets old :P My favorite on your list that I have read is Enclave. I loved the fast pacing and zombie slaying. Deuce and Fade were pretty awesome!

infernal_wings said...

Thank you for hosting this international giveaway! Its very generous of you! :)

I'd love to Win The Scorpio Races, it looks fantastic!

Happy Holidays! :)

Gwen Ee said...

I would love to read FLAT-OUT LOVE by Jessica Park . I don't know why but the book cover and name attract me ! I would really love to read this book !

rebelaessedai said...

Would love to read Ultraviolet and Enclave. Haven't read any of these books... so fun to add to the wishlist!

April
rebelaessedai at gmail dot com

Anna said...

I'd like to read the Scorpio Races badly :) Thanks for the giveaway :)

marybelle said...

I have not read any of the books yet & they are ALL on my wish list.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Julie W said...

I totally suck! I haven't read ANY of the books on your list yet! I've been dying to read Enclave and The Scorpio Races, though!
jwitt33 at live dot com

Jennifer said...

Between Shades of Gray was brilliantly written...sad and intense but amazing. It sounds weird to say I loved it because of the content but I did. I so want to read Cold Kiss.

Vivien said...

I absolutely loved Deadline. Mira Grant is a god. I really want to read Hunting Lila.

Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea said...

I've read a couple on the list, but my favorite was Virtuosity! I definitely want to read Cold Kiss, As I Wake, and The Scorpio Races, though!

Angela said...

This is so cool! Thanks!!

I would like Enclave. I'm currently reading a borrowed one from the library at the moment :)

Sharmaine Chan said...

Ok, so I haven't really read any of the books on your Book Stars of 2011, but I do believe that the Scorpio Races by Meggie Stiefvater is nicely written since I've seen great reviews about the book. A Long Long Sleep also seems nice, and I also love the cover.

shainec724 (at) gmail (dot) com

Maria Barrios said...

I would love to read "Cold Kiss" the cover is breath taking! Wow, and thanks for the giveaway, happy holidays.
cavraara(At)aol(dot)com

amandawk said...

I would love A long, long sleep or Between shades of gray. Thanks for the chance!
amandarwest atgmaildotcom

mimz said...

I'd love to read most of them. lol But primarily Enclave, The Scorpio Races and Deadline. :)

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anna said...

Virtuosity sounds like a really good read
Thanks for the chance to win it :)

anniech85(at)gmail(dot)com

Kristi said...

I've read Enclave and really liked it! Most of the others I either haven't heard of/don't have on my to-read list, except Scorpio Races which I should be getting a copy of in the mail.

I'd love to read Cold Kiss though. I've heard some great things. Thank you for the chance to enter!

melannie (: said...

I haven't read any of them although I've seen ALL of them around and really want to try them!

Expecially Between the shades of gray and The Scorpio Races

Debbie W. said...

Read Between Shades of Gray and I loved it! Wanting to read Scorpio Races.

nidhi said...

I would love to read scorpio races. Thanks for the giveaway!!

Randi said...

Thank you for the giveaway! I would LOVE to read Between Shades of Gray. :)

Roxy Kade said...

Thank you for this giveaway!!
I haven't read any of the books above, but I have been dying to read Bad Taste in Boys and Cold Kiss :)

Good Luck everyone!!

Christina Kit. said...

I'd love to read Cold Kiss

Nedraw said...

I would love to read all of these but I am really intrigued by Deadline. Probably because I just finished Rot & Ruin and loved it.

kristina shields said...

Hunting Lila

Missie said...

From all your best of posts, you have pretty much convinced me that I need to read Flat Out Love, especially if it on that special shelf of yours. :)

Thanks for the giveaway!

oriana said...

I havent read any of this books yet!!
i love them!
Thank you for the fantastic giveaway!

melora said...

I have read A Long, Long Sleep, and found it much better and more interesting than I had assume going into the book. It's more darker and I think it is more realistic almost. I rather liked that it ended in a kind of murky way, not much resolution.

SusieBookworm (Susanna) said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I think Between Shades of Gray and Deadline look really interesting.

Sophia Rose said...

I have 'Between Shades of Gray' and 'The Scorpio Races' on my wish list.

The others don't look bad either. (-;

A Canadian Girl said...

My favourite from Maja's list was Virtuosity and the book I'd love to read is Between Shades of Gray. It seems to be on a lot of people's favourites of 2011. Thanks for the giveaway!

bookdout said...

Thanks for the giveaway, I'd like to win Unearthly

Shelleyrae @ Book'd oUt

sarah said...

Great list!

beofgoodcheer85 at yahoo dot com

Leannz0r said...

I like to read 'flat out love' because of the great review you gave it

Pam said...

I'd love to read Between Shades of Grey and Flat Out Love.

melacan at hotmaild ot com

Helen said...

I want to read As I Wake and Hunting Lila

Megan said...

So many good books on your list!! I really want to read Bad Taste in Boys.

Chey said...

I really loved Virtuosity and Bad Taste in Boys! I'd also really like to read The Scorpio Races, Between Shades of Gray, and Cold Kiss the most. :) These are some great choices!

Noely Jeleen said...

I wanna read The Scorpio Races.
And, of course, thank you for doing this giveaway! :)

Jeanne said...

I didn´t read any of these books but I would love to read THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater because I loved Shiver :)
thanks

janhvi said...

I have wanted to read Cold Kiss and The Scorpio Races.

Janhvi
justjanhvi at gmail dot com

Sonia said...

I loved Virtuosity and the book I want to read is DEADLINE.

Tasnim said...

I've read Hunting Lila (absolutely loved it) and The Scorpio Races (don't kill me but i wasn't too keen on it) - http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/174302286

I would love to get my hands on a copy of either Cold Kiss, or a copy of Hunting Lila (I borrowed it from my friend.)

Thanks for the giveaway! And for making it international!

Tasnim x

Dovile said...

I'd like to read The Scorpio Races and Ultraviolet the most.

Nakoya said...

I'd love to read Scorpio Races, Bad Taste in Boys, Cold Kiss, and Between Shades of Gray. Thanks for the giveaway!

Karen Senoo said...

I'd like to read Cold Kiss ^^

@Tibiux

The Story Queen said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway! I would love to read Enclave and Hunting Lila! :)

Sonia

Avon Bernabe said...

I'd like to read Enclave by Ann Aguirre. Thanks for this giveaway by the way :)

Rica said...

i'd like to read enclave, bad taste in boys and cold kiss:)

Nicole@The More the Merrier said...

Wow! I haven't read any of Maja's Favorites of 2011. I would really like to read Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson. Thanks for the chance to win!

Reading mind said...

I really liked Virtuosity and am interestend in many of the titles you mentioned!

Rebecca said...

Great blog post! I never thought of having a list of "Books that Changed Me" - I'll have to look at Flat-out Love.

Rabid Fox said...

Wow. A great list. From the ones you show, I would say Deadline and Scorpio Races are two on my wish list.

kimscarecrow said...

I would love to win The Scorpio Races! Thanks!

lyan said...

i'd like to read BAD TASTE IN BOYS nad SCORPIO RACES

Tabitha said...

I've read Flat-Out love and totally agree with you!

I'd like to read Hunting Lila or Between Shades of Grey.

nrlymrtl said...

I appreciate the variety - from the serious to the deliciously shallow. Sometimes I want a life-changing book and sometimes I want brain candy.

Marrria said...

I'd love to read "Flat-out Love" by Jessica Park
Thanks for the give-away

Clarissa (Bookadicea) said...

Amazing list. I haven't read yet any of the books she listed. BUT I would LOVE to read Scorpio Races, Flat-out Love, Between the shades of gray, Enclave or Hunting Lila.

Thanks for the FAB Giveaway!

-Riz B.

DreamyWeirdoo said...

I would like to win "Between Shades of Gray", "As I Wake", "A Long Long Sleep" and "Hunting Lila".

Thanks for the giveaway and happy holidays!

Sarahbotbonkers said...

Wow, those are really amazing books! :) I'd love to win Flat-Out Love, Enclave, or Virtuosity. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy Holidays!

Sarah @ Smitten over Books

Kah Cherub said...

I've read A Long Long Sleep and Bad Taste in Boys and I'm really looking forward to reading Hunting Lila and Cold Kiss, but they all sound really good. :)

thanks for the chance!

kah_cherub at hotmail dot com

ItszLo said...

Deadline!
Has to be one of the books I want to read, it just looks/sounds like itd be a great scary read!

Avon Bernabe said...

Ohh. All of those books mentioned were new to me. This is good! :)

Farah Majdoub said...

All the books are great, but id probably want to win Virtuosity! i have been wanting to read this book FOREVER!

Thanks alot!
Farah @MajiBookshelf

Fara said...

Oh My God! I haven't read any of the books that's in your fav shelf up there. I wish to win The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

annejude said...

Actually, I haven't read any of these books, but I love to read Ultraviolet and Hunting Lila soon.

Emilie said...

Great list ! I loved Between the Shades of Gray, it was so moving...

Carol M said...

I want to read THE SCORPIO RACES!

TheGirlOnFire said...

Deadline was amazing! I really want to read The Scorpio Races.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

DEADLINE by Mira Grant: as I loved Feed.

Mare/TommyGirl said...

Both Bad Taste in Boys and Cold Kiss are currently on my wish list. They sound fun.

Julianna Helms said...

Awesome giveaway!

I absolutely ADORED The Scorpio Races. Love Maggie! :D

Kaylyn's Book Blog said...

Well I can't just choose one because I've wanted to get my hands on all of theses but heres the ones I want:

Ultraviolet
Bad Taste in Boys
As I wake
Virtuosity
Hunting Lila
A long long Sleep
cold kiss


I have a very large list of over 400 books I want to buy and read these are just the ones you had up!

magluvsya03 said...

I love loved Enclave!!! I cannot wait until book 2 comes out!!! :)

Jessy B said...

I'm a big Mira Grant fan - yay for Deadline!

Stepping Out of the Page said...

Great giveaway! I'd love to read Taste In Boys and As I Wake, what a great selection. Thanks!

Sam said...

Great giveaway!!!!!!!! :D I'd like to read Hunting Lila or As I wake...or maybe Cold kiss! They look really good, thanks for the chance :D

Julie S said...

I'd love to read Scorpio Races and Enclave. I haven't read any of those on the list.

juliecookies(at)gmail.com

nodizzies said...

The only book I read from the list is THE SCORPIO RACES, and I loved it! The books I want to read on the list, but I haven't bought them yet are ENCLAVE, BAD TASTE IN BOYS, A LONG LONG SLEEP, and COLD KISS!

Chen Chang

Szappanbubi said...

I'd like to read As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott,Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson and A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan as I haven't read any of it*_*

Brenda Demko said...

I haven't read any from your list. I think Hunting Lila is the one that I would most want to read!

Oathsworn said...

Hi there,

"The Scipio Races" seems to be really good, and is on my "to buy list" since it is published.

Nic

Oathsworn said...

Hi there,

"The Scipio Races" seems to be really good, and is on my "to buy list" since it is published.

Nic

Aydrea said...

So many good ones to pick from!

FTC Disclaimer - I do receive some books directly from the authors or publishers for review purposes. Each review posted is my own personal opinion and any books I accept are not guaranteed a positive review. I do not receive monetary gain from reviewing those books I accept.
I include affiliate links to Amazon in my reviews and other posts. Those links will take the reader to Amazon.com and I do receive a small percentage of each purchase.