Faves of TwentyEleven: The Random

Faves of TwentyEleven is a book awards event hosted by my friend Nomes of Inkcrush. Today’s topic includes random bookish moments.

Fave first sentence
Definitely the first sentence in Silent in Grave by Deanna Raybourn: “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.”

Fave book title
I have a couple of picks for this category: Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti, And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle, Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Fave reading experience (ie: created a great reading memory)
I loved reading all of my 2011 favorites but I think I would have to go with A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness for this category. I remember I read a bit of it in a Starbucks branch while I was on my own and I had to blink back tears because people might think it was weird if they saw me crying over my Kindle.

Book with the best food in it (made you so crazy-envious-hungry)
The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry because of all the recipes so make sure you have snacks on hand when you read this. Also The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater because I want to try those November cakes (and all the pastries too!)

Book with the most sensual weather (made you shiver/sweat)
I really liked the crazy weather in The Scorpio Races because like I mentioned in my review, it reminded me a bit of the weather here in the Philippines – Thisby is near the beach and it gets sudden typhoons/storms.

Most embarrassing book cover (feeling sheepish in public or just plain ugly)
I am not a fan of the cover of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher – they could definitely have chosen a better cover for this.

Can’t believe you waited this long to read the book (!)
I couldn’t believe I’ve had my copy of The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle since 2007 and I only read it this year. It’s a fantasy classic and I should have picked it up earlier!

Book you’d give your mum/sister to read
I think my mom would enjoy reading Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard. I’ve already told her about it but she doesn’t have that much free time to read. I don’t have a sister but I think my girlfriends would like Love Your Frenemies by Mina V. Esguerra or A Lot Like Love by Julie James.

Book you’d give your dad/brother to read
I’m not even sure if my brother reads fiction books, I think he mostly reads business books.

Book you’d like to give your past-self to read (ie, me, when I was 15)
Oh so many! I would have loved my teenage self to read Saving June by Hannah Harrington, Good Oil by Laura Buzo and Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar. I think my pre-teen self would have loved Knife by R.J. Anderson, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and the Dreamdark books – Blackbringer and Silksinger by Laini Taylor.

Book that lived up to (or superseded the hype)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – this one got a lot of buzz in the blogosphere before it was released and I ended up loving the lyrical writing so for me, it lived up to all the hype.

Book you stayed the latest to finish (confess!!!)
LOL too many to mention? I can’t even remember all of the books that I stayed up late to finish because this happened a lot this year.

Book you were *dying* to get your hands on the most
All of the books that I feature on my Want Books meme are books that I want to get but I have to say that I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on Saving June by Hannah Harrington.

Fattest brick of a book you read (by page count)
Unsticky by Sarra Manning is a doorstopper with 562 pages. Good thing I loved it so I didn’t mind going through such a thick book. Its companion novel You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a runner-up with 560 pages.

Killer cliffhanger award
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta, which really leaves readers hanging in the middle of a climactic event.
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I couldn’t resist making up my own categories like I did before so here they are:

Most embarrassing title
Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer and How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper – mostly because of the word “naked” in both

Misleading cover (cover had nothing to do with the contents of the book
Past Perfect by Leila Sales – it has a rainy scene (girl with a green raincoat with chalk raindrops) when the book has a summer setting

Cover is a perfect fit for the story (opposite of the category right before this)
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Unsticky by Sarra Manning, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Faves of TwentyEleven: The Characters

My friend Nomes of Inkcrush is hosting a book awards event called Faves of TwentyEleven and today, it’s all about the characters. I’m a reader who enjoys characters – the books that I end up loving are those than can make me feel for the fictional people in them. I love being able to relate to characters even if I’ve never experienced the kind of things that they go through. So I’m excited to highlight some of my favorite characters for this year.

Favourite female main character
Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – loved this blue-haired, artistic girl because she’s such a vibrant character.

Favourite male main character
Sean Kendrick from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – such a quiet, intense boy but when he speaks, you have to take note of what he says because he has the best lines in the book.

Best couple
Grace and Vaughn from Unsticky by Sarra Manning with all of their flaws and how their relationship shouldn’t make sense but it does and they’re perfect for each other. Also Kate and Curran from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews because I love how their relationship continues to evolve (loved them since Magic Strikes) – I still enjoy the banter between the two of them.

Who I fell completely in love with (new literary crush)
Jake Tolan from Saving June by Hannah Harrington! Such a swoon-worthy male lead, I want to meet someone like him who can educate me in old school rock music.

Best character twist (who you loved then hated or vice versa)
The murderer in Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (not mentioning the name to avoid spoilers) because even though I guessed who the murderer was correctly, I did not see all of plot twists coming!

Best kick-arse female
Kate Daniels from the fifth installment in the series, Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews. Kate is my favorite urban fantasy heroine and I love reading about her.

Best kick-arse male
Kaldar Mar from the third Edge book, Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews – a scoundrel, a conman, and a spy (my kind of character). Aside from his thieving skills, he kicks some major butt with how well he wields a sword.

Broke your heart the most
Tom Mackee from The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta – Ahh this boy and his relationships with his family and friends! He’ll break your heart with his actions but will put the pieces back together with all the love and compassion he eventually lets loose.

Favourite pet/animal character award
Hands down, Manchee in The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – quote from my review: “My favorite character in the entire book is Manchee, Todd’s dog. I feel like if dogs could communicate with their masters, they’d act exactly like Manchee.”

Best YA parents award
Andy and Nathan from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins because gay dads are awesome!

Favourite sibling relationship
I really liked Puck’s relationship with her brother Finn in The Scorpio Races. It felt like they knew and understood each other so well. Throw in their older brother Gabe and you have a more complicated family set-up.

Favourite best friends/friendship award
Harper and Laney from Saving June because they’re very supportive of each other in spite of the differences in their personalities. Julie and Matt from Flat-out Love because I liked how their friendship developed throughout the novel.

Best/worst character names
I really liked the names of the main characters in Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Karou and Akiva

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Like in my previous Faves of TwentyEleven post, I wasn’t able to fill in all of the categories that Nomes enumerated so I decided to add more of my own:

Most unusual lead character
R from Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – I think a zombie male lead is as interesting as it gets. I was surprised by how introspective a character R is considering that he mostly communicates through grunts.

Character I wanted to hug/comfort
I don’t know what it says about my reading choices this year but there are several characters that fall under this category: Tom Mackee from The Piper’s Son, Connor from A Monster Calls, Carly from Raw Blue, Celeste from Flat-out Love and Harper from Saving June.

Most artistic character
Ed from Graffiti Moon with all of his graffiti art, I really wish we could have seen samples of his work!

Favorite narrator
Probably Alice from What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty because she lost ten years’ worth of memories and it was like she time traveled and jumped to the future. It was interesting to see her thoughts about the changes in her life.

Most Gen-like character
One of my favorite characters of all time is Eugenides (nicknamed Gen) from the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner and I’m always on the lookout for more characters like him. This year, two characters from the same book fall under this category: Audrey and Kaldar from Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews.

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Those are some of my favorite characters from the books that I read this year even if they weren’t necessarily published in 2011. Who are some of your favorite characters? Feel free to leave a link in the comments if you participated in Nomes’ event. Will drop by and check out your post if you do. If you don’t have time to come up with a post (I have a feeling we’re all swamped now that Christmas is only a few days away), just leave a comment mentioning your favorite characters.