Saturday, 31 December 2011

Whistle for a hottie

So, everybody likes a bit of eye candy. Don't deny it, we all do. Whether you're single, in a relationship, married, whatever, it's nice to have something good to look at, isn't it? Well, I think so anyway.

I thought I was the world's shallowest book blogger. I thought I was alone. Then I caught up with a few of my best blogging pals a couple of weekends ago at the Walker event and we got onto the topic of boys. Well, to be more precise, hot YA authors. Hooray, I thought to myself, I'm not the only one who's prone to perving over hot Goodreads profile pictures, Lynsey from Narratively Speaking is as bad as me. Sarah from Feeling Fictional is as bad as me. Don't even get me started on Andy from The Pewter Wolf but, boy, he is definitely as bad as me. It must be an Essex thing.

And thus, we've spent a fair bit of time discussing those YA authors who are, shall we say, aesthetically pleasing. Do you know what? There are a lot of them. Enough, perhaps, for a Mr YA 2012 pageant. Definitely. But then I realised people would almost certainly look down on me for objectifying these fine figures of men.

Surely they should be judged on their wonderful use of language rather than their banging abs, you might say. Well, yes, certainly having a way with words is the most important box to tick. I'm just saying, it's nice to have a pretty face to gawp over every now and then. Does this make me shallow? And superficial? Probably. But then most of you are just as bad as me, I know it. Deep down you all have that one writer who makes you come over all peculiar (bet you wondered where I was going with that last sentence).

So, hottie YA authors, I salute you. Thank you for your cheekbones and wolfish good looks. Thank you for your gorgeous books but thank you for your lovely faces, too.

(NB. This isn't one of the YA hottie authors. This is actually Rob Lowe. I have a need to post pictures of him at regular intervals or I get sad)

Friday, 30 December 2011

Vlog: Christmas Bookish Gifts

Good day, chaps! I've recorded my last vlog of 2011, which you can have a gander at below if you feel so inclined. Please forgive my poor editing, bad sound quality and general failure at making videos. I will get better next year, I promise.

It's a short one, just showing you a couple of the YA books I got for Christmas this year.

(If the video isn't working can someone let me know on Twitter so I can bitch slap Blogger? Ta)

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Books I'm Most Looking Forward to in 2012 (Non-Debut)

Good morning chaps! Yesterday I posted up a list of the 2012 debut novels I'm most excited to read and today I'm back with a list of the non-debut novels I can't wait for in 2012.

There are a ridiculous amount of amazing books coming out next year; I genuinely think 2012 is going to be the best year for books since I started blogging many moons ago. Well, only two years ago but still.

Adorkable - Sarra Manning

I freaking love Sarra Manning and Adorkable sounds absolutely up my street; it's probably the non-debut I'm most excited about in 2012!

A Midsummer's Nightmare - Kody Keplinger

Miss Keplinger is quickly becoming one of the brightest stars in YA contemporary so I'm counting down the days until her next book is released.

Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson

I love the sound of Second Chance Summer, it sounds like a really sweet coming of age story with (obviously) a nice little love story at the centre. I haven't read any of Matson's work yet but I have Amy and Roger's Epic Detour on my shelves ready to read in 2012.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare - Melissa Jensen

Another contemporary that sounds like it's going to put a huge smile on my face. The cover is sweet and I love the premise. Sure, it's one that's been done a few (okay, a load) of times but it's a tried and tested formula that I can't resist.

This Is Not a Test - Courtney Summers

Good lord, I'm excited about this book! I'm a massive Courtney Summers fans as it is and I really do think This Is Not a Test sounds like it could be my new favourite of hers. I have such high hopes for it and I have no doubt it's going to absolutely deliver.

This Is So Not Happening - Kieran Scott

I'm a big fan of this series so I can't wait for the third book to come out next year. I don't often commit to series but I just can't resist Scott's hilarious writing. Can we please have a TV adaptation soon? That would be swell.

The List - Siobhan Vivian

Yesss, I need this book in my life! It reminds me a little of The Market, which was one of my favourite reads of 2010.

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

*Whispers* I've never read any John Green. I know I need to rectify this.

Two Truths and a Lie - Sara Shepard

I adore The Lying Game; I love the series, I love the TV show - I actually prefer The Lying Game to Pretty Little Liars. Does anyone else agree with me on this one? Either way, I already have book three in the series pre-ordered, woop!


So that's a few of the books I'm really excited about in 2012. Of course, there are so many more books I can't wait for - back in my Twelve Days of Christmas feature I also listed the sequels I can't wait for in 2012 (Fever, Insurgent, Pandemonium etc - SO many). Which books are you guys most excited about?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Books I'm Most Looking Forward to in 2012 (Debut)

So here we are, it's that time for year again where everybody brings out the lists. I do love a good list so I'm more than happy to join the party; over the next few days I'll be posting up some of the books I'm most excited about in 2012, as well as an end of year survey and some more details about what you can expect from Writing from the Tub in 2012.

Today I'm going to be listing the debut novels due out in 2012 that I can't wait for; I already have most of these pre-ordered and, as you'd expect from me, most of them are contemporary, though there are a few in there that might surprise you.

This one sounds great - almost like a paranormal If I Stay. I've got a proof copy on my shelves so I'm really hoping to get time to ready it before I go back to work next week.

I heard about this one earlier in the year at a Random House blogger event and I've been waiting for it ever since. The concept of this one sounds so interesting and it actually sounds like it might be a dystopian that's *gasp* a little bit original. Dare we dream it, folks?

Gah, I NEED this book. Another one that Random House had us salivating over at the last blogger event, I know this series is going to be absolutely huge. The concept reminds me a little of the film Surrogate and I think it's going to be a great book.

Ah, contemporary, my old chum. In Ditched we're promised high schools, proms, boys and big poofy dresses. Obviously I will adore it. Hopefully there'll be a bitchy blonde girl and it will check all the boxes to make my perfect read.

Retellings are all the rage these days, aren't they? However, I can't recall too many contemporary novels that are retellings (aside from the endless Jane Austen reimaginings, of course), especially not of the story of Robin Hood. Enter Pretty Crooked. This one looks like Robin Hood set in an American high school, with added skinny jeans and big sunglasses.

Yes, yes, yes - this one sounds awesome! Three friends from high school reuniting for a road trip to see their favourite band as kids, what's not to love? I know this one is going to make me laugh and I know it's probably going to make me weep big sentimental tears. Win.

I do very much enjoy a good YA set in a psych ward; Girl, Interrupted, Impulse, Mouthing the Words, The Bell Jar (obviously), so I was really excited to discover Cracked, which sounds like a brilliant novel. I think this one will have a lightness to it in parts, which is always important in novels that deal with heavy issues and I can't wait to see what K.M. Walton does with this story.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to enjoy Trafficked, per se but it sounds like an important book that I'm sure I'll be recommending to everybody throughout 2012. Human trafficking isn't an issue that I've seen written about very much in YA so I think it's great that Purcell has chosen to tackle scuh a difficult subject.

My main goal in 2012 is to have run, read fun books, write fun books and generally have a swell old time. Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe sounds like one of the most fun books due out in 2012 so I can't wait to get my hands on it. I'm already predicting the film rights to be snapped up for this one.

This is one that I pre-ordered months ago, as soon as I read the summary on Goodreads. It sounds wonderfully dark and a little bit twisted and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it.

Freshman Year & Other Natural Disasters sounds like the perfect book to dive into to pass a few hours. It sounds funny and sweet and I love both the title and the cover (which reminds me a little of the cover for Past Perfect). Of course, what's going on inside the book sounds pretty fab as well.

And last but by absolutely no means least, we have Hollow Pike by the lovely James Dawson. This book sounds bloody awesome, it's going to be amazing and everybody's already utterly obsessed with it - and it's not even coming out until February, God damn it!


So there you have it folks, the twelve debut novels I'm most excited for in 2012. Do you have any of these on your wishlist? What books are you most excited about?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Sales Book Bargains!

Hello my dears! Did you all have a lovely Christmas? I hope you ate lots of food, opened lots of fab presents and had a wonderful day with all your favourite people.

I've had a brilliant couple of days and been thoroughly spoiled by my family and lovely boyfriend. I seem to have bought pretty much the entire Internet in the sales, oops. I'm definitely going to do a post when all my bargains arrive!

In the mean time, I thought I'd let you know a few of the book bargains I've found during my travels in case you need some inspiration for how to spend your Christmas cash

First up is Amazon (with free delivery):

Dark Matter - Michelle Paver (down from £7.99 to £2.80)

Silence - Becca Fitzpatrick (down from £9.99 to £4.70)

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece - Annabel Pitcher (down from £6.99 to £2.94)

Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson (down from £6.99 to £2.87)

The Double Shadow - Sally Gardner (down from £9.99 to £5.29)

The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson (down from £6.99 to £4.61)

Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick
(down from £9.99 to £5.29)

Dark Inside - Jeyn Roberts (down from £9.99 to £5.29)

Fury - Elizabeth Miles
(down from £9.99 to £4.70)

Marcelo in the Real World - Francisco X. Stork
(down from £8.99 to £2.70)

Next is (with free delivery):

Diary of a Wimpy Kid boxset (books one to four) - Jeff Kinney (down from £25 to £10.99)

Beautiful Chaos - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (down from £7.99 to £4.69)

The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater (down from £7.99 to £4.19)

Low Red Moon - Ivy Devlin (down from £6.99 to £2.79)

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare (down from £7.99 to £3.89)

Bloodlines - Richelle Mead (down from £6.99 to £4.49)

Brother/Sister - Sean Olin (down from £9.99 to £5.19)

Forgotten - Cat Patrick (down from £6.99 to £3.59)

Never Have I Ever - Sara Shepard (down from £6.99 to £4.39)

0.4 - Mike Lancaster (down from £6.99 to £3.39)

And finally, The Book Depository (with free delivery):

Naked - Kevin Brooks (down from £7.99 to £4.38)

Abandon - Meg Cabot (down from £9.99 to £5.48)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs (down from £9.99 to £6.58)

Forever - Maggie Stiefvater (down from £7.99 to £3.98)

Everlasting - Alyson Noel
(down from £6.99 to £3.77)

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Mini Review Madness (Cristmas Style): The Kingdom Under the Sea, Magic Beans and Jesus' Christmas Party

Today marks the final day of my Mini Review Madness feature, with a (slight) Christmas theme no less! I've had a wonderful time reviewing so many great books this year and I'm pleased to say I'll be starting 2012 with a greatly reduced TBR pile, phew!

In today's installment I'll be looking at the following:

The Kingdom Under the Sea - Joan Aiken and Jan Pienkowski
Magic Beans - Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Pullman, Michael Morpurgo and many more...
Jesus' Christmas Party - Nicholas Allan


The Kingdom Under the Sea - Joan Aiken and Jan Pienkowski

Summary (from inside cover of book): From the creators of the much-loved A Necklace of Raindrops comes a collection of stories filled with magic.

Travel deep to the kingdom under the sea, where lies the sea-king's palace filled with mermaids and dragons, the fearsome and the monstrous... Wicked fairies rub shoulders with sun-gods, goblins make mischief and noble knights go into battle within these pages. Meet Baba Yaya, who eats men up as if they were chickens, and meet the most beautiful creature on the whole round of the earth!

There are brave deeds, granted wishes and mythical creatures in these traditional European folk tales, retold with the inimitable touch of master storyteller Joan Aiken, and illustrated with the iconic silhouettes of Jan Pienkowski.

Mini review: Wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated, The Kingdom Under the Sea is a gorgeous book that deserves a place on any reader's shelves. The look of this book is just fantastic and the illustrations absolutely highlight the stories, without being too overpowering.

The mythology in the stories is excellent, simply explained so the book is suitable for children without being patronising. It was great to learn more about the Eastern European fairy stories and I'd definitely be interested to read A Necklace of Raindrops.

Magic Beans - Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Pullman, Michael Morpurgo and many more...

Summary (from Goodreads): Magic beans. Sow them. Plant them. Watch children grow. 'If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!' (Shel Silverstein, Poet). Each and every one of the stories in this anthology is a magic bean: a wondrous tale that will capture your imagination.

Prepare to be dazzled by "Rapunzel's" golden tresses. Prepare to be moved by the suffering of the "Little Mermaid". Prepare to laugh yourself silly as 'Mr Sultana' struggles to get the better of a little red rooster! Lovingly crafted by the finest authors and illustrators, these 'magic beans' will delight, thrill and thoroughly entertain.

Mini review: Any anthology that features stories by Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson is definitely up my street and I'm pleased to say Magic Beans absolutely delivers.

Various traditional fairy stories are retold by some of the best writers in the market today and this is the perfect book to give as a gift at Christmas. Aesop's Fables retold by Malorie Blackman was my favourite story but Michael Morpurgo's Cockadoodle-doo, Mr Sultana! was another wonderful chapter.

Jesus' Christmas Party - Nicholas Allan

Summary (from Goodreads): Join the celebration! Start a new Christmas tradition by sharing Nicholas Allan's delightful holiday tale with your family. Whimsical illustrations combined with cheerful text guarantee that everyone will get into the Christmas spirit this holiday season.

There's nothing the innkeeper likes more than a good night's sleep. But that's the last thing he'll be getting on a night of angels, shepherds, bright stars...and a very special baby.

Nicholas Allan's charming retelling of the Nativity story will delight and amuse readers everywhere. The perfect gift to spread Christmas cheer!

Mini review: I've been a fan of this book for as long as I can remember, I read it as a child so I jumped at the chance to read it again for review here at Writing from the Tub. It's the perfect Christmas story to share with your children and this new design is just great.

This book used to make me laugh out loud and I always loved the touching ending. It's a timeless story that I'm sure you'll all enjoy reading just as much as the youngsters will.


So, that's it from me for reviews in 2011! I'll be back every day between now and New Year with some end of year surveys and round-ups, then normal service will resume from January 1st 2012. I have another post coming later today about Christmas but, until then, I hope you all have a wonderful day x

Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Book of the Year

Good morning lovely people. Happy Christmas Eve! Are you all excited for Christmas today? Silly question. Of course you are.

Today is the last installment in my Twelve Days of Christmas feature, which I've had an absolute blast writing. It's been a great way to spotlight some of my favourite books and authors of 2011 and I'll definitely be bringing it back next year.

As this is the last post of the series I wanted to dedicate to my book of the year, the book I have enjoyed most of all and the book I've definitely talked about and recommend most during 2011.

This shouldn't come as much as a surprise to anybody who's spoken to me this year but my book of the year is...

Long Lankin by the incomparable Lindsey Barraclough!

Of course, it couldn't be anything else, could it? Midwinterblood came a very close second but Long Lankin just beat it.

I obsessed over Long Lankin for a good six months before I finally got given a copy at a Random House event. I loved it even more than I thought I would and it's easily one of my favourite YA books of all time (ALL TIME). If you want to read my review then just click here and to hear more about the time I was lucky enough to meet Lindsey click here.

There aren't enough superlatives in the world to describe how much I adore this book. I know it's one I'll reread and recommend for years and years to come and I'm so glad it was so well reviewed when it was released. It's completely unique and so refreshing to stumble across something so very different to anything out that's out there in the YA market at the moment. Plus, Lindsey is one of the sweetest authors I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and it was so lovely to get the opportunity to chat ot her about the book - massive thank you to the wonderful ladies at Random House for that, it absolutely made my year!

So there you have it, Long Lankin is Writing from the Tub's Book of the Year 2011. What did you think about Long Lankin? Which book would you give this award to?

Thank you everybody who's followed along with the Twelve Days of Christmas, I've loved reading all your comments and chatting to you about the posts on Twitter. You are all brilliant and if I don't speak to you before or if you're too busy to read tomorrow's posts I hope you all have the best Christmas ever!

(Fun fact: I just google Lindsey Barraclough to pull up an author picture and the second, third, seventh and eighth results on Google Images all come from Writing from the Tub - hot damn, that's some fine SEO)

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: 2 Novels I Wrote in 2011

Good morning all my lovely pals. Today marks the penultimate day of my Twelve Days of Christmas feature and also my last working day before Christmas - YES!

Today's post is centred around the two novels I wrote during 2011 so I want to talk a little bit about each of them and the time I spent writing them, as both stories were a huge part of my life this year.

Two Novels I Wrote in 2011:

1. Reckless

This is the summer camp themed YA novel that's been brewing in my head for years and years. I wrote it originally as part of one of my university dissertations but realised after graduating that the setting wasn't quite right; I tried a few different things and eventually settled on a summer camp. After that things slotted nicely into place and I got the first draft down in about six weeks over the summer. The first 50,000 words I wrote as part of Camp NaNo and the last 30k I wrote shortly after that.

A couple of chapters in things didn't feel as though they were flowing as well as they could so I switched from third person to first person. It was like a light went on and I don't think I'd ever choose to go back to third person. Hooray!

In short, Reckless is about the summer two British best friends spend working as camp counsellors at a summer camp in the US. I'm so proud of Reckless and I still adore it; I'm planning on editing it further and rewriting pretty much everything over the next couple of months, ready to (hopefully) start looking for an agent in the first half of 2012. There's still a long way to go with this one but it's looking good.

1. Under the Influence

This was a complete last minute idea, which came to me randomly at work. The day before I'd been persuaded to take part in NaNoWriMo '11 by the lovely Viv over at Seredipity Reviews and I had no idea what I was going to write about until this idea, almost fully formed, hit me square in the face. Isn't it wonderful when that happens?

Under the Influence was so much fun to write and although I think it's completely unpublishable, I absolutely love it. I'm going to continue working on it until it's polished the way I'd like it to be so hopefully it'll be done by the end of 2012. It's not my main priority as I'm not planning on taking it any further (at the moment, at least) but I'd still love to get it finished properly.

Under the Influence is the story of a university graduate who realises that a terrible mistake she made with a certain fellow during her time as a student has had a much greater impact on her life than she ever could have realised. Things happen. There are boys and hangovers involved. Etc etc. Basically, it's about spooning, drunk texting and cocktails. It's shallow, it's completely inappropriate and it was a blast to write. Love it.


So, yes, those are my two little books from 2011. I love them both like they're my literary children and I'm going to spend 2012 polishing them until they shiiiiine as brightly as possible. I'm currently planning book number four but I'm not letting myself delve too deeply until Reckless is done and dusted and I've finally started looking for representation. Eek.

Anyway, I digress.

Book four is very, very rough at the moment but seems to be about winter, a reunion and SECRETS.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Twelve Day of Christmas: 3 biggest blogging achievements of 2011

Good morning everybody! I'm here today with a list of my three biggest blogging achievements of 2011, as day ten of my Twelve Days of Christmas feature. As always, feel free to join in - just let me know so I can give you a shout out!

1. Being invited to so many amazing events - the fact that publishers I've looked up to for years actually know about my blog is completely inspiring in itself but the fact they actually take the time to put on events for us bloggers (and invite little ole' me!) still completely blows my mind. I've been to so many brilliant events this year and caught up with my very best blogging buds pretty much every month throughout 2011, which I'm so, so grateful for

2. Breaking 700 followers and seeing my stats improve month on month - Now, I know that followers aren't important etc etc but I still get a massive thrill every time I see that somebody new has started following me. I do so appreciate every single person who reads my blog or comments or follows me on Twitter. I've experimented this year with different types of content to try and deliver what people want so I'm really chuffed to see my stats improving every month.

3. Meeting Meg Rosoff and her telling me she's actually heard of Writing from the Tub! Um, AMAZING!


So tell me, what were you biggest blogging achievements of the year?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: 5 books I can't believe I still haven't read and 4 trends I'm predicting for 2012

Hello all - sorry I missed posting yesterday, everything's a little hectic in the run up to Christmas, as I'm sure it is for all of you!

First of all I have my list of five books I can't believe I STILL haven't read and then four of the trends in YA I'm predicting for 2012.

Five books I can't believe I still haven't read

5. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
4. Forever - Maggie Stiefvater
3. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
2. Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer
1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

Four trends I'm predicting in YA for 2012

4. Road trips/travelling (Wanderlove, Thou Shall Not Road Trip, Kiss the Morning Star, Reunited, The Disenchantments)
3. Post Iraq/Afghanistan war (Something Like Normal, Personal Effects, If I Lie, In Honor)
2. Anything set in Japan (Tokyo Heist, Katana)
1. Time travel/jumping (The Future of Us, Tempest, Time Between Us, Mortal Chaos)

Of course, dystopia is probably going to dominate 2012 releases, partly because of how popular it was this year and also because of the Hunger Games movie. I did enjoy dystopia this year but I'm already getting a bit fed up with the same couple of stories being regurgitated over and over again, sadly dystopia is becoming a bit of a snooze fest at the moment but there are a few great looking books due out in 2012 so hopefully that might freshen up the genre a little!

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Twelve Day of Christmas: 6 favourite characters of 2011

Good morning everybody! I'm here today with a list of my six favourite characters from books released in 2011, as day seven of my Twelve Days of Christmas feature. As always, feel free to join in - just let me know so I can give you a shout out!

1. Auntie Ida (Long Lankin - Lindsey Barraclough)

For being one of the most beautifully crafted and humanly flawed characters I've come across this year

2. The Eck (There is No Dog - Meg Rosoff)

For being comedy gold without speaking a word

3. Four (Divergent - Veronica Roth)

For being a genuine hottie, rather than an 'I've known you for five minutes and I'm passive aggressively abusive' love interest

4. Natalie Hargrove (The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove - Lauren Kate)

For being a bitch and absolutely rocking it

5. Ronnie (Being Billy - Phil Earle)

For unexpectedly making me cry a whole damn lot

6. Zoe (Choker - Elizabeth Woods)

For being wonderfully evil and seriously creeping me out


Tell me, who are your favourite characters of 2011?

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Twelve Day of Christmas: 7 writers I read for the first time in 2011

Good morning everybody! I'm here today with a list of seven writers I read for the first time in 2011, as day six of my Twelve Days of Christmas feature. As always, feel free to join in - just let me know so I can give you a shout out!

I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading the following writers, the book(s) in brackets is/are the titles of theirs that I read this year.

1. Marcus Sedgwick (Midwinterblood)

2. Elizabeth Scott (Love You, Hate You, Miss You)

3. Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls)

4. Megan McCafferty (Bumped)

5. David Levithan (Love is the Higher Law)

6. Susan Hill (The Woman in Black)

7. Morris Gleitzman (Grace)


Which writers did you read for the first time in 2011? Did you enjoy their books or not?

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Twelve Day of Christmas: 8 books that surprised me in 2011

Good morning everybody! I'm here today with a list of the eight books that surprised me the most in 2011, as day five of my Twelve Days of Christmas feature. As always, feel free to join in - just let me know so I can give you a shout out!

1. Unearthly - Cynthia Hand

This one was so much better than I expected! It was one of the first books I read on my Kindle and I'd convinced myself it was going to be nothing more than a run of the mill paranormal romance that I wouldn't enjoy. Well, I was seriously wrong about that. I loved everything about Unearthly and already have Hallowed pre-ordered!

2. Divergent - Veronica Roth

I was so sure that I wasn't going to enjoy Divergent so I avoided it for the best part of 2011. From what I'd heard about it I'd decided it was a Hunger Games rip off that I definitely wasn't going to like. I know, how wrong was I? After the lovely Jesse at Books4Teens sent me a spare copy I dove in and realised the error of my ways!

3. The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

Confession: the first time I tried to read The Knife of Never Letting Go I ended up putting it down after about 100 pages. Why? I have absolutely no frigging idea. I just didn't quite get into the story. Madness, I know. I tried it again a few months later and was addicted - I flew through the series and am now and converted Patrick Ness fan girl. How did it take me so long to see the light?!

4. Beautiful Malice - Rebecca James

For reasons completely unknown I was so sure this one was about vampires and, as such, had avoided it for a while. I picked up a copy a long time ago but left it sitting on my shelf until the lovely Vicki from Heaven, Hell and Purgatory told me I'd love it if I liked Choker (which I did, big time). Thankfully, I took Vicki's advice and gave it a go. I'm so pleased I did and I seriously loved this book. It's contemporary, it's a little edgy and it's ever so screwed up - perfect!

5. The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter

I had massively high hopes for The Goddess Test and was sure I would love it. Unfortunately I didn't, at all. The story really let me down and I just couldn't connect with any of the characters.

6. Very LeFreak - Rachel Cohn

Oh, Very LeFreak... I'd been desperate to read this one since it first came out and I finally cracked and ordered it in from the US. However, I was completely disappointed and really, really didn't enjoy it, which is such a shame as I think it has so much potential. Boo.

7. The Long Weekend - Savita Kalhan

Wow - this one came completely out of nowhere and instantly became one of my most memorable books of the year, for all the right reasons. It's shocking, it'll twist your heart with every page and it's absolutely unmissable.

8. Vicious Little Darlings - Katherine Easer

I was so sure this one was about werewolves and that made me reluctant to try it. I'm still not sure why, I guess because there's a moon on the front cover. However, it's actually a wicked little contemporary novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.


So which books surprised you (for good or bad reasons) in 2011? Let me know!