Faves of TwentyEleven: the Covers

How’s the 24th of December treating you guys? I’ve been busy doing two of my favorite activities: eating and sleeping, and will catch up on reading as soon as I’m done with this post. I hope the rest of you are experiencing something similar. This is another Faves of TwentyEleven post, hosted by Nomes, featuring some of my favorite covers from the books that I read this year.


Unsticky by Sarra Manning – I love that the cover looks like a classy fashion magazine cover because the main character, Grace, works in a fashion magazine


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – I thought this edition has a pretty cover with the dress and all the swirly lines


Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – this is perfect for a book with a zombie for its main character. I like the swirl of red (is that blood?) coming out of his head and how the bright color stands out


Flat-out Love by Jessica Park – I mentioned in my review that I liked the painted effect of the cover and how bright and happy the design is.


And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle – even if the cover looks modern and doesn’t fit the contents of the book, I still like the wintery feel of the picture as well as the muted pink (coral? salmon?) of the title


Knife by R.J. Anderson – Love the UK editions of R.J. Anderson’s faery novels (have copies of the first three books) and they look even better in person. Knife looks fierce in this cover and I like how the metallic blue goes well with the black background


Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley – Such a simple cover: bright yellow paint can on a black cover but so perfect for Ed (male protagonist) and his artistic tendencies


The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen – Pretty flowers scattered all throughout the cover and I like the colors as well – very soothing


The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta – Sadly, I have the US hardcover instead of this lovely Aussie edition but I’m thinking of getting it because I loved the book and I love this cover. I’m waiting for the US paperback though because I heard that it’s going to get a different cover and Melina Marchetta mentioned that it has a similar feel to the Aussie cover.


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – this UK edition looks better than the US edition, in my opinion. The bright red cover is a better fit for the killer horses than the quieter maroon of the US cover. Maybe I should order a copy of this?

There you have it, folks. My favorite covers from my 2011 reads. I cheated a bit with my last two choices because those are foreign editions that I don’t have but I read the books this year so I think they’re still counted. What are some of the covers that stood out for you? Happy Christmas Eve! ๐Ÿ˜€

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.

Canโ€™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.

Faves of TwentyEleven: The Books

The lovely Nomes of Inkcrush is hosting an end of year book awards event with a series of posts for the whole week. Today’s topic focuses on favorite books for this year. While I usually post a list of my favorite reads before the year ends, I thought I’d participate in this event to highlight some of the books that I really enjoyed reading but might not my make it to my best of 2011 list.

Favourite book read in 2011
Ahhh so hard to answer this one! I don’t think I can pick just ONE book so I’m going to mention several because I loved all of these: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, Saving June by Hannah Harrington and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Most powerful book
Definitely A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – it’s a heart-wrenching, emotional read and it makes me sad that so many of us could relate to Connor and his pain

Best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read
It’s a tie between A Monster Calls and The Piper’s Son – both books make you ache for the characters inside them, they made me want to go inside the books to give them a hug

Delicious rainy day comfort read
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell – the first novel in verse that I ever read and I loved it. I love that it’s a historical fiction novel and has a fairy tale feel to it.

Adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award
Silksinger by Laini Taylor – the action begins right from the start and you won’t be able to stop reading the book until you reach the end. It made me sad when I found out that it’s already out of print because it’s a beautiful book.

The beautiful prose award
Definitely Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor for the lovely, lyrical writing. And also Lips Touch by the same author.

Most atmospheric and vivid setting
I would have to go with The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater for this one – the island of Thisby is a big part of the story and both Sean and Puck love their homeland.

I-so-want-to-go-there award
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood, Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar, Good Oil by Laura Buzo – all of these Aussie YA novels have made me want to go to Australia! I don’t even know what are the tourist attractions over there, I’m just curious because of the well-written novels that I’ve read. And probably because I’d end up buying more books if I ever get to go there.

Best under-appreciated, hidden gem book
Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti, a steampunk-ish novel that I enjoyed reading and I don’t understand why it’s out of print because it’s a really good book.

I-had-no-idea-I-would-love this-so award
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park – I was really surprised by how much I ended up liking this one because I normally don’t read self-published novels. Flat-Out Love was a lot of fun to read and I could relate to the nerdy, quirky characters.

Series that Iโ€™m loving
The Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn – I just finished reading the first book in the series and I really liked it, I hope I can find the time to put up a review soon. I’m diving right into the second novel because it has a Christmas setting, yay. Also, I want more of Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane.

Always recommending this book award
Saving June by Hannah Harrington because I loved it and a lot of readers are looking for YA recommendations.

Would make the best movie
I would love to see both The Scorpio Races and Daughter of Smoke and Bone on the screen and I have a feeling I’m not the only one who feels that way. I think the film rights have been sold for both?

Want to re-read already
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta but my copy is with a friend right now and I don’t think the TBR pile will let me reread anything lately. Would love to reread Jellicoe Road as well then Saving Francesca followed by The Piper’s Son.

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I wasn’t able to fill in all of the categories that Nomes enumerated but she did say in the rules that she was fine with whatever we wanted with our posts so I thought I’d add some categories of my own to include other favorite reads for this year. ๐Ÿ˜›

Want more of this type of book
Unsticky by Sarra Manning, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer, Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe by Hazel Osmond – this is the year I discovered chick lit that has more depth than usual and I fell in love with these titles. I’ve been on the lookout for similar titles ever since.

Read it in one sitting and still want more
Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews – Gobbled up Silent Blade when I first discovered it and was delighted that Ilona and Gordon decided to go back to the same world. I read Silver Shark in one sitting and was hungry for more. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll write more romantic sci-fi novellas (or even full-length novels).

Will read anything written by this author
I keep saying this but I’d read anything written by Ilona and Gordon. I read three of their novels this year – Silver Shark, Magic Slays and Fate’s Edge – and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I love that each of these books are from a different series and I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2012.

Favorite book by a Filipino author
Love Your Frenemies by Mina V. Esguerra – love Mina’s work and I’d read anything that she writes (she has a couple of titles lined up for next year). Note to self: need more local titles next year.

Best illustrated novel that I’ve read
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – I feel like I get something extra whenever I find illustrations inside novels and with Hugo Cabret, the artwork go hand in hand with the narrative in telling the story.

Light and fun and could get you out of a reading slump
A Lot Like Love by Julie James, another author who’s on my auto-buy list because she writes romantic comedies that are like book crack.

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Aaaaand that concludes my long list of favorites. I didn’t include links to my reviews of these titles but you can search for them using the blog’s search bar if you’re interested. Hope you guys enjoyed going through everything that I posted. What are some of your own favorites this year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.