This blog is no longer used. If you would like to continue reading/seeing my blog, please visit:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Top 5 Books of 2011

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link - or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This is a tough question, but that's to be expected. I read plenty of books this year. I guess the ones that I find the most interesting, the ones that are the most poignant, are the ones with the trifecta: great writing, great characters, and great plot.

 Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I think that this will probably be on a lot of lists. Quite simply, I adored Jellicoe Road. I loved the characters: tough but fragile Taylor; sweet Jonah; caring Jessa; smart Ben; confused Chloe P; tough Hannah; tough Jude.........on and on I could go. There are plenty more characters, and the novel is made up of an ensemble cast. The plot is wonderfully amazing and confusing at the same time, keeping the reader's attention and making you turn the pages. And the writing! I know everyone blabs about Jellicoe Road, but you should honestly go and read it. The novel is completely worth it.

Red Glass by Laura Resau

This novel was published a few years ago, but it's not really that well known. Well people should sit down and read the freaking book, because it honestly deserves much better attention. Here's why, folks. There's fantastic characters -- Sophie, Dika, Pablo, Angel, Mr. Lorenzo -- a wonderful plot that tugs at your heartstrings, and fabulous writing that you read for the cadence. But here's the thing, there's a wonderful setting. Resau is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, primarily teaching Mexican immigrants like the ones spotlighted in this story. She makes you feel like you're there, smelling the roses and the scents. You really can tell that she's been to the places she mentions many times. Combine the writing, the plot, the characters, and the fantastic settings = wonderful book.

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

This one I love for the same reasons I loved Red Glass. There are fantastic characters, writing, plot, and setting. Also, this one is written by a YA highway contributor :) It's a fantastic read, and you'll adore Mandarin, Grace, Momma, Taffeta, Davey, Ms. Ingle, and everyone else in the entire novel by the end.

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

I loved the mystery of this book. Not everything makes sense in the end, some things are tragic and heartbreaking and this is magical realism at its finest. It's so confusing that the novel is fascinating. I felt like I was swimming in deep waters as I read it, wading out the truth from the fiction. It's a wonderful psychological mystery, and I'm excited for Ren Suma's next book.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

I know this is two books by the same author, but this one was just as amazing as her first. The setting, the characters, sexy diving instructors...this one has it all. Fantastic read and if you like travel books check it out in 2012 (or if you have a NetGalley account check it out on the Random House Children's Books section).

That's my Top Books of 2011. If you're interested, go to to enter yours. 


  1. I haven't read any of these books, though I have heard great things about all. I have Imaginary Girls on my bookshelf and will read it in the New Year. The others I will add to my TBR list. Thanks.

    New Follower :)

  2. I have Jellicoe Road waiting in my TBR pile. And I've been trying to get my hands on Like Mandarin! I read Imaginary Girls this year and enjoyed that one too.

  3. Wow, I haven't read any of those, though all of them are on my TBR list. They sound great!
    Thanks for sharing =)

  4. LIKE MANDARIN is a great book. Elegantly written.

  5. Wow, I actually haven't read any of these. Now I MUST add them to my to-read list!! Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Loved Jellicoe Road! And I really want to pick up both of Kristen Hubbard's books--they look like great reads :)

  7. I haven't read any of these yet =( They're all on my TBR, though!

  8. I read and loved Jellicoe Road this past year, but I think I like Saving Francesca by Marchetta even better! And I'm so envious you have read Wanderlove! I can't wait to read that when it releases!

    New Follower:)