Saturday, December 29, 2012

Books I've Read 2011

So yeah, I know most people are doing a recap of 2012, and I'll do one of those too. But at the end of 2011, I recapped 2010, and so I still haven't done a recap of 2011. So here goes.

I'll be removing my widget on the left side of my blog with my list of books I read in 2011. So that anyone who might want to access a complete list of the books I read in 2011 can find it in this post.

A lot happened to me in 2011. The most obvious one being that I started this blog. I graduated college with my BS in Business Administration. And I started a new job--my current job. Busy year. That being said, I didn't read as much in 2011 as I have in 2012--especially the first half of the year since I was still in school.

When I started this blog, I wasn't even sure what I was going to do with it. But my first reviews were of books that I read in 2010. Obviously, my earlier reviews weren't the most descriptive or informative. I gave little information about the books themselves, focusing mostly on how each book made me feel. And while I still try to include that in my current reviews, I do try to give more information about the books themselves. My very early reviews didn't even have pictures of the covers.

In 2011, I read the following books before I started blogging and therefore have not written reviews of them (links are to Goodreads): Awakened (HON, #8) by PC & Kristin Cast (2 Stars); Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, # 1) by Maggie Stiefvater (4 Stars); Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, # 5) by Melissa de la Cruz (3 Stars); Need (Need, # 1) by Carrie Jones (3 Stars); and Captivate (Need, # 2) by Carrie Jones (4 Stars).

I did a post for Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, # 3) by Melissa Marr here--if you can even call it a post. I wasn't impressed with Fragile Eternity so I didn't have much to say at all. I gave it 3 Stars, but looking back on it, I might rate it as 2.

Next is Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. (Goodreads) Gave Hush, Hush 4 Stars. This was my fallen angel series (I count Blue Bloods as vampire), and I enjoyed the start of it. The first book in a series is often my favorite.

Had to read Good to Great by Jim Collins for school, but I enjoyed it much more than any other text book. Great information in this book about business and what makes them go from average/good to outstanding and great companies. And stay that way. (My review). 4 Stars. *My post titles were much more imaginative back then.

The Dark & Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands & Teeth, # 3) by Carrie Ryan. I found The Forest of Hands and Teeth to be completely original. I fell in love with Carrie Ryan's writing style in it. Plus that was my first ever zombie book. Then Carrie Ryan blew me away even more with The Dead Tossed Waves which still holds a place as one of my favorite books of all time. However, The Dark and Hollow Places fell alittle flat for me. I wasn't as invested with Annah as I was with Gabry. At the time I gave The Dark and Hollow Places 4.9 Stars, I'd probably give it a low 4 or high 3 now.

Next, I fell into the world of Harry Potter. I'd shared The Vampire Academy series with my friend Lacy. During our talks about VA, I raved about how much thought Richelle Mead had put into this series before she even wrote book 1. I didn't really know that for sure, you could just tell how everything fit together perfectly and how she brought things back from book 1 to the very end of the series. Well Lacy informed me that JK Rowling was the master of this and that I MUST read the Harry Potter series. I'd already seen all of the movies except The Deathly Hallows Pt 2 which hadn't even been made yet. So I was like "okay." Lacy loaned me the first two books in the series, but I found that I struggled through them since I'd already seen the movies and books 1 and 2 were very similar to the movies (or should I say the movies were very similar to the books). Lacy came to the rescue again and loaned me her iPod for like MONTHS so I could listen to all 7 books on audio--which worked out great because I could listen to them during the day at work and went through them much faster that way.

My reivew of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (3 Stars).

I can't even call this one a review, but I was still new and wasn't sure how this whole thing was going to work and what I wanted it to be. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I gave this one 3 Stars too. And while I think overall I rated some of the books 3 stars and 4 stars. I think I only rated The Deathly Hallows as 5 Stars. This is definitely a 5-Star series overall.

Another barely anything post, but really what more can be said about these books? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban gets 4 stars.

Ok, not such an embarrassing review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (4 Stars). This is where it really started turning into a series for me. And more pieces of the puzzle started falling into place.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix gets 3 Stars from me. As the longest book in the series, it definitely held a lot of information, but some of the others like books 4, 6, and 7 were just more entertaining to me.

Book 6 probably would have had more to say about it if I hadn't seen the movie first. And I wish I hadn't seen the movie first. Oh well. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince gets 4.9 Stars from me. This is where I really came to love Snape as a character. He's easily one of my favorite fictional characters EVER!

And finally a review worthy of this series (maybe? anyway) for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 5 stars ladies and gentlemen. My first 5 star book read since starting the blog.

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, # 2) by Becca Fitzpatrick 4 Stars. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as Hush, Hush because Nora was getting on my nerves acting like the teenager that she is. (Goodreads)

Read at the same time as Good to Great by Jim Collins, How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins was also a great book about business. This time a what not to do. (Goodreads) 4 Stars.

Next comes a review I've had to apologize for twice of City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, # 4) by Cassandra Clare. I was extremely disappointed with this book. I was content with my happy ending for City of Glass, and I let my completely unreliable ability to predict the future get my panties in a bunch on this one. In case you're wondering, my predictions were wrong--which is what led to my two apologies. Gave this one 3 stars.

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman was my first mermaid experience in books. I was alittle disappointed. 3 Stars. Had a hard time connecting to the main character--she was a science nerd, which is not my thing.

Struggled through, but ended up liking The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. 4 Stars. Reminded me that there are some severely twisted people in this world.

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, # 2) by Maggie Stiefvater is still one of my favorite reviews. Gave this one 5 Stars. Love Sam and Grace. And wanted to pick up Cole and Isabel and give them both a big bear hug.

Finishing up the series is Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, # 3) by Maggie Stiefvater. Really love Maggie Stiefvater's writing style. Was slightly disappointed with the ending, but accepted it. 4 Stars.

Began another brilliant series,4 Stars for A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice, # 1) by George R R Martin. Had some slow parts you have to push through, but totally worth it. Twists to be expected in this series.

The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian single handedly changed my prayer life. LOVED IT! 5 Stars. MUST READ!!!!

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, # 1 ) by Richelle Mead is a spinoff series from The Vampire Academy which I loved. I actually did a good job on my prediction that this is just the beginning and setup for something great. 4 Stars, but looking for more in the remaining books in the series.

Who can really decently review a classic such as Persuasion by Jane Austen? Not me! I will say, I didn't put a ton of effort into this review, and that's completely evident. But Persuasion still gets a well deserved 5 Stars from me.

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice, # 2) by George R R Martin gets 4 Stars from me. Still twisting and turning to this plot.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins should be no surprise that it gets the coveted (by who? or is it by whom?) 5-Star rating from me. Very fast paced and driven by fear that leaks out from Katniss and the rest of the country to the reader.

I read Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, # 2) and Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, # 3) by Suzanne Collins back to back. I didn't make much of a mental note of where one ended and the other began. So...I reviewed them together. 4 Stars for both.

I do believe this was my first really negative review. Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, # 2) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Eh...wasn't impressed. Took me forever to finish this one. It was really long and not a whole lot happened.

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater. I needed more Maggie! And she didn't disappoint. 4 Stars. Half the length yet seemed like twice as much happened as in Beautiful Darkness.

Hollowland (The Hollows, # 1) by Amanda Hocking was my first Amanda Hocking experience. I didn't think it was too shabby. 4 Stars. Sure there were grammar mistakes and typos, but I think she did much better than most people with having no traditional editor and publishing company to have her back. Kudos man.

The Glass Wall (Return of the Ancients, # 1) by Madison Adler gets a 4-star rating as well. One of the few to make me laugh out loud.

Another failed attempt at reviewing a classic, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Not my favorite Jane Austen book ever. Still good though.

And finally, the last book of the year 2011, Fallen (Fallen, # 1) by Lauren Kate kept me intriqued. I put off reading this one because of a review I read on Amazon, but it was much better than I expected.

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