Faves of 2011: The Covers

Greetings, bookish people! Today I am participating in inkcrush’s Faves of 2011 Book Awards. There were a bunch of available topics that are going to be going around all this month: The Books, The Characters, The Scenes, The Random, and The Covers. Why I didn’t pick the other topics–honestly? I didn’t remember most of them! I could have done the books, but almost every question there will be answered in my 2011 Book Survey coming later this month. As for characters, scenes, and random, well, I’ve only been blogging since May of this year, and I didn’t want to leave anything out. I suppose I could have done a random post, but urgh, I’d have to do research and revisit some books.

Which leaves… one of my favorite things about (physical) books–the covers.

(All that was unnecessary.) Covers are an art form, to me. When I see a brilliant, gorgeous, amazing cover, you know what I do? I prioritize. Honestly. I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover and all that. But you do it too. I know you do.

…sooo for my Top Ten Covers Of 2011 (in no particular order), here we go! (Note that these had to be for books I’d read in 2011. Had the list been for covers I’ve seen, weeeellll.)

Dark, intruiguing, and (dare I say it?) sexy. This cover may not have anything to do with the book, but you know what? I don’t care. 

Atypical, gothic, and interesting. I LOVE this cover. Anna’s hair, the accents of red…

Romantic, pretty, and indicative. While this is a GiPD cover, it’s so gorgeous we can just overlook that. These covers are part of the reason I’ll be getting a hardcover of Hallowed to match my Unearthly. 
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Plain, simple, and striking. I can’t get over the bold design of this cover, which is a classic, as well as the book.
Creepy, suspenseful and mysterious. (I’m trying so hard not to use the same word twice.) I love the typography of this cover and it fits the book perfectly.
Beautiful, haunting, and evocative. (See that? Advanced vocabulary.) This is just a gorgeous cover to begin with and it also fits the book amazingly well.
Unique, contrasting, and special. This cover is gorgeous and honestly just made me want to read the book even more.
Cute, well-designed. (We’ll count that as three.) Mainly what I love about this cover is the way it incorporates the hints of red–which I appreciated so much more when I’d read the book. The flourishes around the title and the circus itself are also lovely.
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Accurate, cute and sweet. Mainly I love this cover because of its many references to the book. I mean, it’s a pretty darn cute cover to begin with, but look at that. Is that a star on Cricket’s hand? Are those rubber bands on his other hand? Are those houses the exact same colors they are in the book?

  • Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Striking (I give up), pretty and beckoning. This one is kind of a vain choice on my part, because even though the idea of enigmatic-girl-in-pretty-dress-with-amazingly-gorgeous-hair isn’t very original–Fury pulls it of so well. The hair alone…

What are some of your favorite covers of 2011?

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Release Date: September 29, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Edition: Hardcover, 338 pages (read: ARC)
Genre: Contemporary
Interest: Author
Source: Won from Tahereh Mafi (Thanks sososo much, Tahereh!)

Anna and the French Kiss. If you read my review from June, I think–you’ll see that I was absolutely dazzled by Stephanie Perkins’ debut novel. And I loved Lola as well.

…just not as much.

I had such high expectations of Lola, and I got let down, which made me unbearably sad. The thing it, Lola to me was just another very good contemporary. Like Nafiza of Bibliophilic Monologues says, it lacked the magic of Anna. See her review here for more of my exact feelings, it’s actually uncanny how similar our thoughts are.

Some thoughts about small things I liked:

  • Lola’s gay dads. I really don’t think this is a spoiler. Yes, Lola has gay dads. And the discussion of Gay in YA is one that I could get into with you for hours and hours, but I don’t think anyone could argue with how well done it is here. Yup, Lola has two dads. That’s it.
  • Cricket. I don’t think I could really write the review without saying more about Cricket. Cricket is wonderful. Like Tonya said here in her review–Cricket is a real boy. Not saying St. Clair wasn’t real–just I picture Cricket living right next door, not overseas in Paris. Cricket is just a boy, who is memorable for being such a nice boy; kind, honest, generous, and forgiving.
  • And of course, Lola. I know some readers had difficulties sympathizing with Lola at the beginning of the book due to some of the choices she makes, especially regarding Max, her 22-year-old boyfriend, but I didn’t have that problem. I related to Lola because she actually knew what she was doing, she wasn’t just some silly empty-headed ditz. Lola was a great character. She was strong and original, clever and funny.

While I loved some of the elements that made up Lola–Lola herself, Cricket, the San Francisco vibe–when Anna and St. Clair were around, those were the parts I was glued to the book for. Those were what I wanted to reread. Anna and the French Kiss was ultimately too compelling for this to just be a companion novel.

Yes, I enjoyed Lola. I liked it a lot. And I know that it’s really not often that contemporary novels are made into series. But I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that I would much rather have seen a sequel to Anna.

Cover Thoughts: I didn’t like the cover at first glance–that model creeps me out with that stare–but when I had it in front of me, I saw the star on Cricket’s hand and it just completely won me over. I love it now. (I also like the houses in the background being just like they are in the book.)

Would I Buy This Book: I don’t think so. I liked it a lot, and I’m sure the finished copy will be gorgeous, but ultimately, I already own it and don’t need another copy just for looks.

Recommended For: People who liked Juno, or  my new favorite show, “Awkward.”. Also for fans of Jenny Han, Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, Simone Elkeles, Kieran Scott, and Morgan Matson.

September Round Up!

Hello, genteel blog readers! September has been an awesome month, and I really cannot believe I’ve been in school for a whole four weeks, oh-em-gosh. I read a lot of books this month, I’ve kind of been turned off long, long  fantasy/paranormal books–with the exception of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer–and have been picking up shorter, contemporary books. Nothing lasting, just a trend I’ve been noticing. Hope you had an awesome bookish month!

Books read: 17 (!!!) | Young-adult: 16 | Non-fiction: 1 | Books reviewed (so far): 4/9

Because I’m too lazy to post the covers of all the books I’ve read, here are the titles with links to my reviews, if I did one. In chronological order:

  • Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider, #9) by Anthony Horowitz
  • Clarity by Kim Harrington
  • Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
  • Real Live Boyfriends: Yes, Boyfriends. If My Life Wasn’t So Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #4) by E. Lockhart (I put the full title in there because it makes me laugh :D)
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
  • Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
  • A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
  • Faking 19 by Alyson Noel
  • Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (re-read) 
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  • Vengeance (Private, #14) by Kate Brian
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Broadway Lights (Secrets of My Hollywood Life, #5) by Jen Calonita

Yet to review–be on the lookout for these on the blog:

  • Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Best Books ReadBetween Here and Forever, A Need So Beautiful, Saving June, and Lola and the Boy Next Door
Most Disappointing: Falling Under, Faking 19, and Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Other posts I did that weren’t memes or reviews: 

Opinion: Banned Books

Opinion: NaNoWriMo

100 Most Popular YA Books

And about the Hunger Games teaser trailer. 

I posted 23 times this month!

Hope you had a great book month, I definitely did.

In My Mailbox #18

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created and hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. THIS HAS BEEN A SENSATIONAL WEEK IN BOOKS FROM REUTREADS!! I won books, got an awesome book for review, and got an awesome stash from the library. I’m so happy to share this with you.

Won: 

  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I won these two from a contest that Tahereh did on her blog, and when they arrived I literally did a happy dance while my family just stared. I’ve been looking forward to Lola for the longest time and I’m so glad that I got the chance to win it.

For Review:

  • Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz

Hannah herself is organizing this, and since I lovelovelove her writing, I’m sure this will be a kick-butt middle-grade. There are two ARCs going around now, and everyone on the tour is writing and completely uniquifying (I have just made this a thing) the book. It’s really cool and I’m glad it was organized.

Library:

  • Family by Micol Ostow
I’m so excited for this one. It deals with cults and is loosely based on the Manson family murders. It seems very dark but I’ve heard amazing things.
  • Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris

This one is a zombie novel… lots of those going around lately. I’ve heard Carrie is hilarious and this seems like such a fun read.

  • Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

While I’ve never read one of David’s books that wasn’t a collaboration, because he usually writes in verse and I tend to stay away from that–maybe subconsciously? I don’t know why, I just don’t usually read verse novels. Anyway, this one mixes photographs–kind of like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I’ve heard some mixed things but it looks interesting.

  • The Fox Inheritance (The Fox Chronicles, #2) by Mary E. Pearson

This is the sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox–an absolutely brilliant science fiction book. It takes place far, far in the future after the first book, but it’s still a sequel. Curious? Read the first book!

  • Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Susan’s series of “The Last Survivors” books is fantastic, and if you haven’t read it you need to go check it out now. I’m intensely looking forward to this one: it’s a thriller/mystery type. Very cool.

  • The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

I’m such a big fan of Lisa, and when I heard she was writing a dystopian fantasy aimed at middle-grade? I knew it was something I would love.

So that’s what I got this week. Have a great week and happy reading!

Leave links to your IMM below–I’ll be sure to check them out.

Reut

September Reading List

This month I’m trying something new with the addition of a reading list. I’m hoping to be more organized about the books I read and hopefully get through some great ones I’m looking forward to.

  1. Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
  2. Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
  3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  4. The Romance of Tristan and Iseult as retold by Joseph Bedier; translated by Hilaire Belloc
  5. The Stranger by Alfred Camus
  6. Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
  7. Clarity by Kim Harrington
  8. Die For Me by Amy Plum
  9. Passion by Lauren Kate
  10. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  11. Shatter Me by Tahareh Mafi
  12. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  13. Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst
  14. Eve by Anna Carey

Waiting on Wednesday: The Epic Edition

Because I saw a giveaway for some books I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT, I figured “Why not make this an epic WoW?” So I did just that. BAM BAM BAM Here are three books that I feel palpable wanting for.

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Septmeber 27)

z/48wuhfuweq8u398 I am so excited for this one. Laini Taylor made her YA debut with the short story collection Lips Touch: Three Times, which I have picked up at the library, and every single. fraking. one. of the reviews of read of both her books say something along the lines of:

Every now and then I would literally say to myself out loud: Good job, Laini, because the writing was so beautiful.

Does that not make you want to read this?

  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (September 29)

This one deserves a longer one: rwu82y 8yr3nuifouwe8fsekrbf328fijsda78328q89283q3ijfnj

!!!!!

It’s freaking Stephanie Perkins, you guys.

I don’t think I need to say more than that.

  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (September 29)

Wootwoot Jack the Ripper!! Maureen Johnson!! Awesome stuff!!

That’s right. These books all come out within two days of each other. Dare I say the universe will not be able to contain itself? 

Anyway…

If you’re like me, and you pass the time waiting for these books by making slightly erratic, nonsensical blog posts such as this one… well, guuuueeeesss what?

THERE. IS. A. GIVEAWAY. THAT. INCLUDES. ALL. FREAKING. THREE. OF. THESE. BOOKS.

Go here.

You’re welcome.

Announcement: Most Anticipated YA 2011 Releases (results)

So about a month ago, I posted a poll, asking YOU what YA 2011 releases you were most excited to read. Now, a month later, I give you… the results! There were 12 books to choose from (you could pick multiples) and a write in option.

1. (TIE) Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

1. (TIE) Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

1. (TIE) Silence (Hush, Hush, #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

2. (TIE) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

2. (TIE) Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

3. (TIE) Passion (Fallen, #3) by Lauren Kate

3. (TIE) Crossed (Matched, #2) by Ally Condie

3. (TIE) The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2) by Pittacus Lore

3. (TIE) Never Have I Ever (The Lying Game, #2) by Sara Shepard

With one write-in each; Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, and Legend of Witchtrot Road by E.J. Stevens.

And, sadly, with no votes– Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater, Love Story by Jennifer Echols, and The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.

I loved having this poll, and will probably do something similar at the start of August for August releases :)

Thanks for voting!