Armchair BEA 2011: Best Reads (So Far)

Armchair BEAHappy second day of Armchair BEA! :) It was fun blog hopping through the intro posts yesterday, and I’m not yet done checking them out. Talk about busy!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to prepare a giveaway today, so instead, I’ll be writing about some of my best reads in 2011. Not all of them were published in 2011, though — some of these books here have been in TBR pile since God-knows-when. It feels nice when you pick a book there and you come out loving it in the end, right? :)

Here are five of my best reads in 2011:

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo IshiguroAh this is one of those books that I never thought I’d enjoy reading, but was totally, absolutely blown away when I was done. I loved how simple and haunting it was, and how it leaves you with lingering thoughts on the characters life and how it all ended. The movie was also just as good (and depressing!), but go for the book first. If you haven’t read this one, I suggest you put it in one of your books.

Never Let Me Go is one book that truly did not let me go (no pun intended). It reeled me in with its simplicity and refused to let me move on long after I finished with the last page.

Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee

Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca LeeI’ve had this book since forever, but it kind of slipped under my TBR pile until I unearthed it late last year. Since Tosca Lee is coming up with a new book this year (with Ted Dekker!) and another one next year, I figured it’s about time to read this. Oh, and it was such a beautiful adventure. Havah is definitely one book that spoke to my heart.

I can say that reading Havah became more than just leisurely reading but almost a personal journey. Eve, christened as Havah by the adam because she “…will live, and all who live will come from [her], and [she] will give birth to hope.” (p. 102), spoke to my heart as she told her story.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia HandI rarely read YA paranormal romance because honestly, I’ve gotten tired of the genre. If it wasn’t for the good reviews of blogger friends who also don’t read much paranormal romance, I would never have picked this up. Unearthly had a good set of characters, solid mythology and a healthy romance, and the story’s very engaging, too. :)

If you’re planning to pick up a paranormal romance novel soon, or if you want something to surprise you, then definitely get this book. Take it from someone who’s given up on paranormal romance — this is one of the good ones. ;)

The Last DragonSlayer by Jasper Fforde
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper FfordeJasper Fforde has been one of my favorite, favorite writers of all time. When news came out that he was coming out with a YA book, I was thrilled. I was lucky enough to snag a copy of this as soon as Fully Booked had it, and this book seriously saved me from a slump. If you love Fforde, you’ll enjoy this one. If you’re new to Fforde, The Last Dragonslayer is the best book to get your feet wet. :) Quark! :3

This book had everything I loved about Jasper Fforde. The best thing about his novels is how real they are even in their impossibility. Fforde writes in such a deadpan manner that you just can’t help but believe what he writes no matter how outrageous they all seem to be.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaI love contemporary YA, but I’ve surprisingly never read any Marchetta. My first Marchetta was actually Saving Francesca, and I loved it. But when I read Jellicoe Road, I was blown away. This is one book that you’d want to reread immediately after finishing it. This book made me love the contemporary YA genre more, and it made Melina Marchetta my auto-buy authors.

While I was going through the first part of the book, I wasn’t really sure if I would like it as much as my other bookish friends did. When I closed the last page, I was sure that I had just as much love for this book as they do…reading this book was like breaking my heart and then putting it back together again.

I’ve learned that I’ve become a bit more critical with my book reviewing this time around. Back when I first started my blog, I used to give five-star ratings for many books and I was hesitant to give lower ratings even if I didn’t really like the book. But after some time, I’ve become…I don’t know how you call it, braver? Have you experienced that, too?

These are just five of the best books I’ve read in 2011. I have a separate shelf in my Goodreads account so I can keep track of them and list-making is easier by the end of the year. :) And even if I can’t be physically present in BEA this year, I know I’ll still be able to get copies of the books they’ll be featuring there some day, and I look forward to reading more good books this year. :)

18 Thoughts on “Armchair BEA 2011: Best Reads (So Far)

  1. Great choices! I actually did re-read Jellicoe Road as soon as I finished it. It was even better the second time b/c I understood all the little clues spread throughout.

    • If only I didn’t have other books to read, I would have reread Jellicoe Road immediately after. But I decided to reserve it for another day so I can savor the goodness again. :D

  2. I’ve got Jellicoe road and never let me go, so I’m more excited for them now I know they’re your fave picks!!! I’m a new follower via A.BEA =]

    The Cait Files

  3. Unearthly made my list too ;)
    My Best of 2011 List

  4. Love love love Jellicoe Road. :) You’ll probably add The Piper’s Son in your list of favorites too when you’re done reading it.

    • I can’t wait to read that! I have so many good books lined up, I need to pace them properly. :D

  5. Never let me go is such an amazing book, I love it!

    • It is amazing. I hear Ishiguro’s other books are good, too – I can’t wait to get my hands on one of them. :)

  6. I’m just reading Never Let Me Go at the moment – it’s certainly different! I’m up to the part where they’ve just moved into the Cottages, and slowly beginning to understand it!

    • Oh, that part is kind of heartbreaking. :( Don’t you love the way Kathy narrates everything, how detached she seemed, yet you feel what she seems to not feel? Ah, such a great book. :)

  7. Never Let Me Go seems like a great book, I’ve seen it on few other list today. So, I’ll definitely have to add it to my Goodreads to read list. Hope you are also having a great second day of BEA. Nice to have found your blog and I look forward to staying connected. I have already added you to the list of blogs I follow. Happy BEA Week.

    My Best Books List & Bestseller Giveaways

  8. I just discovered Jellicoe Road this year, too, and it’s probably my most favorite thing I’ve read in 2011.
    I’m a new follower. :)
    kathy from Read This Instead

  9. I definitely want to read Never Let Me Go sometime soon!

  10. Those are great books. I’ve been meaning to read NEVER LET ME GO for ages.

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