(And just because the other 5-star reviewed books--or those on my favorites shelf--idn't make it onto this list doesn't mean they weren't just as good. I'm serious when I say there were some AWESOME books published this year! The ones below just left a wee bit bigger impression on me then others. :-)
If any of y'all want to join, feel free to list your top ten favorites in the comment section. Or if you posted it on your blog, leave me the link so I can check it out!
Okay, lets get started! Starting from the top, as the number one...
Top 10 in 2011
River of Time series - Lisa Bergren
Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent all came out this year, and they were the most-looked-for-release. As soon as I read Waterfall, I knew I was going to LOVE the rest. And I did. Totally and completely! Why did it leave such a HUGE impression on me? Because it mixed so many of the things I love -- suspense, action, medieval, romance, sword-fighting, timetravel, and close sisters -- into one awesome series! This series will forever and always remain an all-time favorite!
The Bishop - Steven James
The Bishop is a 500+ page book, I read it all in one day. I could NOT put it down! Impossible!! This book is not for the faint of heart, to be sure, and even I got grossed or creeped out in places. But what made the biggest impression on me was how real James kept it. He doesn't hid the gritty details of hunting down deranged, twisted serial killers. And even the more down-to-earth things like a father and step-daughters relationship, questions about God, and what happens after death. It all just had such a strong, gritty ring of reality...that it felt like I could flip on the news channel and hear about Patrick Bowers adventures to stop the sadistic killers.
Wolfsbane - Ronie Kendig
The Doctor's Lady - Jody Hedlund
Deliver Me from Evil - Kathi Macias
Deliver Me from Evil told such a sad, but all too true, story--young girls forced to be prostitutes. The use of sex slaves is very real here in America, and this book really brings it to the forefront of your mind. I almost labeled this book as a "favorite" of mine...but after much thought, I didn't. This book was just so...different. I felt it would almost be a sin to call this book a favorite when it tells the story of so many young girls that are, right now, enduring a living hell. For those who have read this book by Macias, I'm sure you will agree with me that this book made a big impression on you. I dare you to read this and not be filled with a desire to help these girls. But be warned -- Deliver Me from Evil is not for the faint of heart.
Don't Look Back - Lynette Eason
Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland - Roseanna White
Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, White's character's have amazing depth and each of them go through hard trails, learn some gritty lessons, and come out changed. If you haven't been able to read any of White's books...you are really missing out! And I highly recommend you start with this one. The writing is bold and vivid, and there's even a threat of humor woven in, making me chuckle several times. But, even with all these great things about the book, my all-time favorite aspect of the book was Wiley. I LOVE seeing a strong brother-character in books. Watching how Wiley looked after Lark so protectively and loved her so devotedly....*sigh*...it's what ever girl wishes for in a brother! (And something I got in my two protective brothers!)
A Tailor-Made Bride - Karen Witemeyer
I read this on my kindle, but after finishing it had to get the book. It's just that good! As I read this debut book, I was really blown away by Witemeyer's talent. The writing was splendid! The plot and everything that takes place well thought out and seamlessly woven together. And not only that, but what left the biggest impression on me was the lesson the characters learn. Especially J.T. when he read Proverbs 31. That was one of my favorite parts! I loved the way that Witemeyer showed how a woman can be beautifully adorned without being immodest or vain. Great lessons!
Warring Spirits - April Gardner
Warring Spirits. The history is rich, the descriptions vivid, and the trails the characters endure heart wrenching at moments. Almost instantly, you are sympathetic toward Milly, a slave who has such light skin, she can be mistaken as a white...except for her kinky hair that gives her away. And for those who read the first book in this series, you will love seeing Phillip again and reading his story of redemption after all he's been through. And we even see Adela and Totka again! Loved that! What left the biggest impact on me was that Gardner kept things so...realistic. For example, there is one time when the hero, sadly, doesn't make it to the heroine on time. And, while my heart ached for Milly, I loved that she did it this way because, in real life, we can't always make it "just in the nick of time". But even if this is the case, God is always there and helps sustain us through everything we have to endure. :-) Great job, April!!
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games (which I totally enjoyed), here it is, bringing in the tail end of my top-ten books for this year. :-) What left such a big impression on me was the unique plot that had plenty of action and suspense. What's the plot? It has a gladiator-type of setting and the main character, is teenager Katniss who must go into an arena with 23 other teens and fight to the death. Only one person, the victor, leaves the arena alive. Talk about a neat story plot, eh?! I didn't like how the book ended -- with her at odds with Peeta -- but I am holding out for a happy ending for these two. We shall see, I suppose! :-)
There you have it! My top ten books that left the biggest impression on me in 2011. This year brought out a lot of awesome books, and (trust me!) picking out just 10 of my favorites was HARD! And something tells me that next year it will only be harder. ;-)
What are yours? List them below, or if you posted them in a blogpost, leave the link!