Faves of 2011, Parts 2 & 3 Combined...
Shirley Marr's Fury has a completely compelling first chapter. The copy on the jacket alludes to the fact that Eliza, the protagonist, is in a police station confessing to a murder. If there was an award for "jacket copy that makes me want to immediately read a book," this one would probably win that as well. Since there isn't, I'll settle for "best first chapter." I couldn't wait to see how it would all unravel.
Nomes was polite enough to call one of her awards "can't believe I waited so long to read this book(!)" I'd probably call it the "kick myself for being so stupid" award. Jellicoe Road is masterful. Melina Marchetta weaves the past and present together in a bout of fantastic storytelling that had me engrossed the entire way through. Shame on me. I loved Saving Francesca, my first MM book...so what took me so long to pick up another one? (thank goodness I did or I would never have gotten to The Piper's Son!)
Uh oh, "embarrassing cover" time. Why are they always romances?! Oh, wait. Anyway, this is the most mortifying one I've read yet this year. However, I've read oodles that are more embarrassing than this. At least they are wearing clothes!
"Cutest couple"? Probably Anna and Etienne in Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss. I put this one off for ages because I thought it would be a cheesefest. While it might be lacking some of the deeper tones I like in my YA, it is definitely fun and Anna and Etienne have a lot to do with that. I love their travels all around Paris! Side note: I am so looking forward to Perkins' sophomore effort, Lola and the Boy Next Door. I want an ARC so badly that I thought about buying one on Ebay. I saw one on there go for over $55.00!! Holy hell!
My 5 Favorite Covers Thus Far in 2011:
Ahh, lovely covers. And for different reasons! I tend to love covers that are relevant to the story. The first one in the line above is The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. This cover is fantastic because the kid looks just as creepy as I pictured the protagonist and the glasses are part of the storyline. (It isn't worth it for me to rehash this plot as it is all over the place...and I only just liked it, nothing more) The cover for Cynthia Hand's Unearthly is a fave because it has a silverish tinge overall and it has a lovely feel to it. I like the whimsical script as well. (did I just use the word whimsical? Ugh.) Fury's cover was definitely designed by someone who either read the book or was told details down the the absolute T. It just kills it overall. OSC's War of Gifts is on this list because I can't help but love the pictorial representation of something that I imagine what it looks like all the time! Battle School in the Enderverse! And finally, my love, my precious, The Piper's Son. I was lucky enough to read a copy from Australia so it had this cover and not the COMPLETE RUBBISH that is the US cover. The book feels wonderful--it has a sort of leathery feel to it and it is a larger paperback. (as opposed to the US hardback) This edition ralphs all over the US release and I WILL, mark my words, get my own Aussie copy soon.