Today is the second day of Top 10 of 2011.
If you haven’t yet signed up, there’s still time to participate. Just click on the banner above to read the details in the original post and sign up with the Linky.
I was so excited to be invited by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books to co-host this event along with my very best blogger friends Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books.
As fun as this event is, it’s a lot of hard work coming up with so many top tens. I’m all about Top 100, but Top 10 is tough! Though I am much happier with today’s post topic than I was with yesterday’s.
Today’s topic is “Top 10 Book Covers of 2011.” I wish they didn’t only have to be books released in 2011 as I would totally have loved to include Everneath on this list among quite a few others like Pretty When She Kills, Until I Die, Rapture, A Touch Morbid and Endlessly.
While there were plenty of covers I loved this year, I think I was able to narrow the list down to my most favorite ones, though I did have a few honorable mentions including Witches of East End, Fateful, Unearthly, Imaginary Girls, Blood Magic and Swear.
Unlike with the Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2011 list, I will not be going into detailed explanations of why these book covers are my favorite. I think the pictures tell the story as to why I love them all. Each one of them is beautiful in their own way, either graceful and elegantly beautiful or with a strong and powerful beauty.
But what is consistent with each one of these ten covers is that I can’t take my eyes off any of them. So, here they are in order…
Top 10 Book Covers of 2011
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Die for Me by Amy Plum
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Soul Screamers Volume One by Rachel Vincent
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
I know this isn’t the final cover, but it’s the one I have on my ARC and one of my most favorite covers of the year.
Existence by Abbi Glines
Well, there you have it. As you can see, most of my covers are of the ladies, but I couldn’t resist this cover for Existence as those eyes just keep drawing me back to them. Mesmerizing, really.
Although I haven’t read all ten books, I own them all and they were all released in 2011 so they qualify according to the rules of the event.
Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I didn’t include Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I love that cover. It’s amazing. One of my favorites.
Well, I can’t possibly knock one of my ten picks off the list above to add Wither. I love them all so much and it took me forever to narrow them down to just ten. But Wither is definitely a cover that should be on my Top 10 List for 2011 and definitely close to the top of that list.
And while I also love the 2011 covers for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick series and Gena Showalter’s Intertwined series, I was only able to pick just the ten.
This event runs through Friday, and each day I will be posting a different list of top ten favorites. Tomorrow’s topic will be Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011, which I don’t even want to think about. I don’t know how I will narrow it down to ten. I’m just glad I didn’t read any TMI books this year or I’d be in even more trouble.
NOTE: this is the SAME Linky on each of the Co-hosts Blogs, so please only enter your Name, Blog Name and the URL for YOUR Top 10 post of the day on one blog. Thanks!
Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past month.
I have five favorite passages in this book. One which is a total spoiler and is tied for my favorite. It is so hard not to reveal it right here and now because there is nothing I want to talk about more.
The other one in the tie is slightly less revealing, but could potentially be seen as a spoiler. I may reveal parts of that in my defense of Tod when he goes up in the tournament against Archer Cross, but we’ll see.
My third favorite passage I might just add to the teasers next month. That’s still TBD. So here is my fourth favorite. And no, I will not tell you who said it or who is being talked about.
Anonymous – sorry, but this is a teaser after all:
“He feels…addictive.” She hugged her own stomach, and her backpack swung to one side, but she didn’t seem to notice. “When he looks at you, you feel really, really good. Like an afterglow that’s not…after. You want things, and you know he can give them to you, and when he looks away, it feels like the spotlight left you to shine on someone else, and you’ll do anything to bring it back. To feel that heat.”
(As this quote is from an ARC, when the finished book is released I will check it against that source for accuracy.)
There are actually quite a few hot and steamy passages in this book. Some that would easily rate above a PG-13. But while they were some of my favorites, they didn’t tease me nearly as much as this one did.
And although I read this book twice, and have thought about what exactly this passage might mean, I still have no idea. So, this is as much a teaser for me as it might be to those who haven’t yet read this book.
King Lucifer to Luc:
“I know what she is, and I’m going to have her, Lucifer. She was mine in the Beginning and she’ll be mine again. There’s nothing you can do to stop me.”
I wanted to include the entire interaction to give a complete picture – cutting it off short would have been too cruel. But in order not to give too much away, I decided to leave the name of the boy who kissed Violet a mystery.
Violet and…(well now, to find out you’ll just have to read it) :
He just stepped closer to me, right on my shadow, which had been the only thing between us. His eyes were angry and conflicted but his hands were gentle on my face, wrapping around the back of my neck. He pulled slightly and I stumbled forward. His mouth closed over mine, the kiss sending warmth shooting all the way from my belly down to my knees. His tongue was bold, sliding over mine as if I were strawberry ice cream. I felt devoured, delicious, decadent.
He stopped abruptly, pulling back, his breath ragged.
“I’m not good enough for you either.”
I really thought about teasing some of the funnier lines in the story, and there are so many humorous and twisted passages. Those passages, and they were many, were my favorites.
But as they really need to be discovered in context with the rest of the story, and would also spoil some of the enjoyment in reading this book if I revealed them here, I decided on one that gives just a little insight into Jana’s thoughts about Michael.
In her eyes, he really was her one true love, her soul mate, her Romeo.
Jana’s thoughts about Michael:
She thought of the times she’d danced with Michael. When they danced, they became one person. They gave themselves to each other. Just like when they kissed. His lips were hers. Her lips were his. When she and Michael kissed, they owned each other, but not themselves. Two people becoming one person was the way Jana had always imagined true love.
It’s still not my favorite quote, as that one is filled with much innuendo and is definitely above the PG-13 rating I’m trying to keep here on the blog, so sadly (or not so sadly) that one can only be discovered by reading the book for yourself.
Wolfe to Rogan:
He cocked his eyebrow. “At first I thought imposed isolation would make you miss me-“
“Why you arro-“
“-But then I realised that it’s being near me you can’t resist. And there are only so many kisses you’ll take before you give in to me completely, Rogan.”
I already included one of my favorite passages in my review, but there were a few more gems in this book. Sin was such a sarcastic main character and couldn’t help some of the hilarious things she said, so I almost included one of her best lines as the teaser.
But, as is to be expected, I decided instead to include something much more swoon-worthy.
Cynthia and…if you can even believe it…Alan:
He was gorgeous by moonlight, hair and skin turned a hazy golden color, his eyes starlit-night blue and so sweet, so deep, pools you could drop your heart into and lose it forever.
“Cynthia,” he murmured, fingers still brushing her cheek, making her shiver. “I’m not lying.”
I included my very favorite passage in my review, but this one is also so completely awesome. It is from the same scene as the one I chose before, which goes on for a few pages and has so many amazing passages.
This scene alone, which is just about mid-way through the book, makes this story worth a read.
Amelia and Joshua:
…We leaned into each other and pressed our lips together.
The kiss crashed over me, wave upon wave of fire. The ache exploded across my chest like an atom bomb, incinerating everything in its path. I let it burn me; I let it consume me.
Almost every single passage in this story had such a beautiful flow. I included the one I thought was the most powerful – and didn’t contain any spoilers – in my review.
This was another passage that I thought was absolutely amazing, but I’ve only included a portion – enough to tease but not reveal too much.
They forgot who she was:
Something fantastic we could never explain. Someone better and bolder than every one of us. Someone to paint murals and build bridges for. Someone worth every ounce of our love.
Someone powerful, but in the end not powerful enough.
Last month I decided not to post a teaser from If I Die by Rachel Vincent. But as Tod just won his first match (but hopefully not his last) in the YA Crush Tourney, I thought I’d post a small teaser here. I’ll save the slightly bigger one until either my next match in the tourney or next month’s teasers post.
And although I read and reviewed Supernaturally, I completely forgot to write down my favorite passages and have since given away both copies of the book. So any teasers I have for it will have to be included in the post next month. Sorry!
Hereafter by Tara Hudson was released in the U.S. on June 7, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats. It is currently available online in all formats at Amazon and in hardcover and eBook formats at Barnes & Noble.
Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 416 pages.
Hereafter is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.
Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won’t want to miss.
Amelia wasn’t sure just how long she wandered beside the riverbank shouting at passersby to try and capture their attention.
It could have been months or even years. But the numbness she felt toward her surroundings and the fog she waded through made distinguishing the days difficult.
All she knew was that she was alone, a ghost among the living, and that the nightmares she had about her death were the only things that reminded her that at one time she had been alive.
She did not know how long she had been in this state, this in between, and she didn’t know how long it would continue. But if it weren’t for the boy, she thought it might have continued forever.
This boy who plunged into her river, whose life she could see ebbing from him in front of her very eyes. Who would die if she couldn’t do anything to save him.
But she was never visible to the living, her cries could not be heard and her touch could not be felt. She had no way to prevent his demise, no matter how badly all of a sudden she wanted to. How desperately she needed to.
And when he opened his eyes and saw her. Really saw her. She knew that somehow she had to save him. Because for the first time, in who knows how long, that feeling of aimlessness left her. She felt a connection to him, a connection to the world of the living.
But ghosts weren’t supposed to be seen and spirits weren’t supposed to remain unclaimed for as long as she was.
And now that she was no longer drifting she would have to make a choice. Try to find the path toward somewhere else, somewhere away from the darkness beneath the bridge or choose to join with the Eli and fulfill whatever dark purpose he had in store for her.
But whatever choice she made would be away from the boy she saved. Away from the boy she loved. Because no matter what choice she made it was not here with Joshua in the land of the living but somewhere in the hereafter.
Hereafter is a timeless and beautiful and very unconventional love story that is sad and sweet and so completely romantic.
It is the story of a beautiful girl, a wayward spirit, who is lost until she saves a boy from meeting the same fate she had.
Her rescue of him helped to save her, too. But it also captured the attention of a power hungry spirit, Eli, who was determined for her to join him and together they would exist in this world beneath the one she now occupied, luring other spirits in to build up this netherworld.
While she knew that she did not want to join him, or serve the masters he served, she was looking for answers that only he could provide. But with limited choices and a time clock that was counting down, she would have to make a deal with him in order to get the answers she needed before time ran out for her and for Joshua.
Author Tara Hudson has a written a captivating first book in this new series. Each piece of the puzzle about who Amelia is gets filled in over the course of the story, but questions still remain about what she is capable of, how will she fight the powers of darkness, how long can she remain as she has been, and what is to become of her and Joshua.
Will their love truly be able to survive death? With two more books planned in the series we may not get an answer to that question for awhile, but this is definitely an alluring new series to follow.
Reviewer gives this book
On a personal note:
There is something very “bygone era” about Hereafter. I’m not sure if it was the setting or the character names, but even though it took place in the present, I felt like I was taken back to the 1800s and Amelia and Joshua were from a different time. And it was this timeless quality that made their romance even more enchanting.
I loved how the story was set up. Right from the start I was taken into Amelia’s world – lost and confused and terrified and alone.
Her only connection, the only thing that grounds her, comes in the form of the boy, Joshua, who she saves from a death similar to her own. And it is Joshua who helps her find out who she was and just what happened to her.
I love the fact that he is so quick to accept her existence. And even though it may seem fast, it is explained in the story in a way that is very believable.
The love story was heartwarming, but wasn’t even my favorite part of this story. I can hardly believe it myself – as that’s almost always the thing that reels me in. But it was the mystery about the darkness under the bridge, the netherworld, Amelia’s uniqueness, and Eli that kept me riveted to the story.
And all the challenges she and Joshua face, as well as the possibilities the two of them may have for a future, kept my curiosity piqued about what else I might expect in the next book in the series.
Hereafter starts off at a slower pace that continues to build throughout the story, until the last third of the book, which is fast-paced and action-packed. Even though it started off slower, the entire story was a very quick read. The writing had a nice flow and kept me engaged with the characters and the plot from beginning to end.
I definitely have a little crush on Joshua, even though he’s almost too good to be true. But I hope there is no dark side to his character that will make an appearance later in the series.
I could feel it all: the pressure of his arms around me, the grip of his fingers at my waist, the warmth of his breath on my skin. Everything I knew about myself and my relationship to the living world told me this was impossible. But that didn’t matter right now. What mattered was that I felt alive. I felt everything.
Book trailer for Hereafter:
This review is based on an eARC I received courtesy of HarperTeen and NetGalley.
Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.
These are books for the week of June 7th-June 13th that I have pre-ordered.
Blood Red Road by Moira Young will be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Published by Margaret K. McElderry, a division of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 464 pages.
Blood Red Road is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.
I actually have an ARC and an eARC of Blood Red Road, but I had this on my list of pre-orders before I ever received a copy for review. This book promises to be an “epic quest,” and the dry, desolate and wind-blown cover definitely piqued my interest, so I decided to add this to my collection.
From the description, this book sounds like it would make a really awesome movie. Living in a wasteland like Silverlake sounds pretty miserable. But even worse is that it seems like a better option to the lawless society beyond, where Saba has to venture in order to find her brother.
I can’t wait to find out what happens on her quest and to see how she changes the course of civilization and whether she is able to save her brother in the process.
To read an excerpt from Chapter One from the publisher’s website, CLICK HERE.
Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 416 pages.
Hereafter is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.
I added this book to my pre-orders months ago, long before I got an eARC for review. I fell in love with this cover the moment it was revealed and knew I just had to have it.
As I just mentioned this book in My Reading Pile post and I just started reading it and plan to review it this week, I won’t ramble. But, I’m very excited to be getting the finished copy for my collection and seeing if the cover is even more beautiful in real life.
The story of a ghost who saves someone and then falls in love sounds so romantic. And the fact that there’s a mystery and an evil spirit set on destroying what Amelia and Joshua have together just adds to this book’s appeal.
Book trailer for Hereafter:
Everlasting by Alyson Noel is the final book in The Immortals series. It will be released in the U.S. on June 7, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, the print edition is 336 pages.
As I already highlighted Everlasting for my Book Watch post a couple weeks ago, I’ll try not to be too repetitive. But I am looking forward to reading this last book in the series. I want to see whether or not Ever and Damen get their “happily ever after” ending.
I have read no excerpts or reviews or tried to find out anything about the final installment in this series, so it will be a complete surprise when I read it in the next few weeks. I’m sad to see yet another series end, but I am glad to finally find out what happens.
Book trailer for Everlasting:
Published by Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 416 pages.
Possession is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.
I have an ARC of Possession, which I plan on reading this week, but I had added this to my pre-order list a few months ago when I discovered just how much I enjoyed dystopian novels.
The story sounds eerie – I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where someone has been brainwashed, let alone most people. And I heard that there are a few twists and turns, and a love triangle, so this sounds like a very interesting read.
And according to the author’s blog, Possession will have a companion novel that will be out in the summer of 2012.
Forgotten by Cat Patrick will be released in the U.S. on June 7, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats. It is currently available for pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 304 pages.
Forgotten is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.
I first heard about this book from another blogger. After reading the description I just knew this would be a book I’d want to read, so I added it to my ever-growing list of pre-orders.
Just the idea of waking up every single morning not remembering your past is frightening. And then having “disturbing visions” and not knowing what they mean turns frightening into terrifying.
I can’t wait to read this book to see what the mystery reveals about the main character, London Lane.
Hexed, the second book in The Iron Druid Chronicles, by Kevin Hearne will be released in the U.S. on June 7, 2011 in paperback, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in all formats.
Published by Del Rey, the print edition is 320 pages.
I haven’t yet had a chance to read Hounded, the first book in The Iron Druid Chronicles, but when I pre-ordered that book I also pre-ordered all three books in the series.
This urban fantasy series sounds seriously cool and I plan on starting to read the first two books in this series just before the third book’s release on July 5th.
This installment has a cast of characters that includes one Druid, several witches, a fallen angel, a vampire, Celtic goddesses and a whole mess of Bacchants. Because, of course, just one paranormal is never enough.
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski will be released in the U.S. on June 7, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online to pre-order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 368 pages.
I haven’t yet read anything by this author, but I’ve heard a lot of great things. This book sounded like a lot of fun and so added it to my pre-orders a few weeks ago.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that is light and fun, even if this one may also be “bittersweet.” So, I’m looking forward to having this in my collection and reading it soon.
I’m curious to find out how things turn out for April, who is living on her own for the first time at age sixteen. And judging from the title, there are a few mistakes she makes with her newfound independence.
To browse inside, courtesy of the publisher, CLICK HERE.
So, I have seven books on pre-order this week. Seven. And I haven’t even read half the books I received last week. I already mentioned that June would be a killer month for book releases and this is just the beginning. I just hope I get a chance to read them soon, but it isn’t looking promising.
Next week is even worse. There are at least three favorite series books coming out on June 14th, plus a few debuts I’ve been wanting to read, so I am not sure when or if I’ll get caught up. But I’m thinking September…
As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!
And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, let me know!
Of course the mailman came right after I posted last week’s reading pile. And I have a feeling that I’ll be getting a few more books on Saturday that I’ve been begging my mailman to deliver. Maybe I should move these posts to Sunday’s instead…
This week I have two piles because one group of books includes a couple spiral bound books, and those just don’t photograph well in a pile. The top pile includes a couple signed books and a signed ARC and the bottom pile consists of just a few ARCs I received from a trade.
And yes, that is another copy of Half-Blood but that is unsigned and one I will be reading for review and then giving away here on the blog. And that copy of All These Things I’ve Done will also be up for giveaway, as I have apparently wanted this book quite a bit and have traded for two copies of it, plus I chose it as a book pick from ABEA – three copies of one book is just too many for one girl.
I’m so glad I got my book tower so I don’t have to lie down to take these book pile photos. But as my bookshelf is now so full that I can’t even fit all my books on it, I’ll have to give some of the already read ARCs away… So much for a giveaway-free month!
Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.
(June 5-June 11, 2011)
Hereafter by Tara Hudson is up first. I received an eARC of Hereafter courtesy of HarperTeen and NetGalley. I wanted to read this book since the second I saw the cover, long before the ARC was available. Instant cover love. But, what really got me mildly obsessed with this book was the description I read on Goodreads.
Talk about captivating. The blurb totally reeled me in. I am hoping that there is such a thing as love after death and that Joshua will be able to figure out why Amelia is trapped and save her from Eli.
I haven’t even read it and already I want Amelia and Joshua to find happiness together. I am really excited about starting this first book in the series, I only wish I had a chance to read it sooner.
Slumber sounds like an amazing fairytale with a damsel in serious distress, a treacherous journey and a love story.
And the fact that it is also a book for older readers is a plus, especially since I haven’t read any adventure/fairytale/fantasy/romance books for adults and I’m so curious to see what the differences are.
Yes, this cover is also what grabbed me. So, I can’t wait to start reading it this week.
I received an ARC of Possession by Elana Johnson through a trade. I thought I had an eARC too, but I may be delusional as I can’t seem to find it on my eReaders. So, I’ll be reading the printed version for review.
This book sounds slightly creepy, in a good way. This does not sound like a world I’d ever want to exist, but one I’m curious to visit in the book. As much as the concept of having decisions made for you can be somewhat appealing at times, I don’t think having a group that calls themselves The Thinkers are ones I’d want making those decisions.
There also just might be a love triangle in this one, between Vi and Zenn and Jag, so I’m interested to see how that plays itself out.
I love the title and cover and this book with its creepy appeal sounds like one I’ll enjoy reading.
I did not include the books I hope to be reading for the read-a-thon this weekend – which straddles both last week and this week’s reading pile. I decided that for read-a-thon day I want to read ARCs of books that aren’t on my immediate read or review piles.
So, I will definitely be choosing Half-Blood as my first read, and then I’m undecided between If I Die, Possess, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer or Hourglass. So many difficult choices. I may just grab whatever strikes me at the moment. Ah, wouldn’t that be wonderful. I remember those days pre-blogging when I’d pick any random book to read.
Wishful thinking reads:
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey. Of course I don’t have this book, so that’s just a dream. I wish I was reading it, but also wish I owned it!
Aside from that, since I am going off review books for the read-a-thon I will be reading my wishful thinking reads, so have none for this week.
Those left behind:
Reading pile-wise, I have got to catch up with The Ghost and the Goth and Queen of the Dead. But as I already started the first book I know I’ll just be able to cruise through them.
I’m still behind on reviews and now I’m getting paranoid that I’ve read too far beyond what I’m supposed to review and I won’t have that connection to the story any longer. But the ABEA week posts got me a bit side-tracked. I hope I’ll get caught up this week.
Do you create a reading pile?
If so, what’s in your pile this week?