My Beautiful Struggle + [top 10]

Top 10 Books I've Read in 2011

This year we wanted to add to the excitement of Top 10 lists by making it an event! Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Rachel from Fiktshun & Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books and I are hosting a top 10 week where everyone can join the fun! You can check out this post for more information. Each day you add your top 10 list to the linky (below), you get an extra entry into the giveaway for a $50 amazon gift card! Just remember, each day will have a linky for THAT Top 10 topic and your list has to be for that top 10.

Today is Top 10 Books of 2011!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
HarperCollins (November 15th, 2011)

Why: The writing in this book is beyond incredible! The setting, plot, characters, all stood out to me and I still think about this book! It's a must-read for all YA fans.
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Summary: Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally Sourcebooks Fire (December 1st, 2011)
Why: I looked forward to this book for a while and it did not disappoint me. The characters were so realistic and easy to relate to. It had a real"friendship" vibe among the characters. Read My Review Add it to Goodreads Summary: What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though — she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

Half-Blood by Janenifer L. Armentrout
Spencer Hill Press (October 18th, 2011)

Why: Well, you will see Janenifer's titles mentioned a lot this week because she rocks hard-core! But this book is my favorite of hers. Maybe it's the kick-butt heroine Alex, or the 2 hot guys? Who knows, but this book grabbed me and refused to let go!
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Summary: The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini HarperCollins (May 31st, 2011)
Why: I mainly avoided mythology books till this one. The story Josephine creates is so unique and gripping. The entire family structure Helen jumps in to made me really connect with this story and plot. Read My Review Add it to Goodreads Summary: How do you defy destiny? Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood.. and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Katherine Tegen Books (May 3rd, 2011)

Why: This is the book that even surpassed The Hunger Games for me. That is saying a lot people! I can't even comprehend the creativity Veronica Roth possesses. If you haven't read this book yet, pick it up! I couldn't recommend it enough.
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Summary: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle Patrice Michelle (June 27th, 2011)
Why: There was just something about this book. It's so different and the characters were fantastic but I think it makes my list because it creeped me out! Although this book isn't blood and gore, it frightened me on a deeper level and I still can't stop thinking about it. A fabulous book! Read My Review Add it to Goodreads Summary: Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate… until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

Cross My Heart by Katie Klein
Kindle Edition (March 14th, 2011)

Why: This was a huge surprise for me. I bought it on my kindle just as a"fun" read but it was so much more. Not only was this book fabulous all the way around, but it had a twist that I wouldn't have guessed in a million years. If you have a kindle and want a new, cheap book to read, you gotta get this one. It's well worth the time and I think it just may surprise you.
Review Coming Soon
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Summary: True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice..

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the"bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own"good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie.

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins Hyperion Books (March 22nd, 2011)
Why: I admit it, I didn't read Hex Hall and Demonglass till this year and I kept thinking"why did I wait so long?!" I read both books in a day and couldn't count how many times I cracked up at Sophie. Rachel sure knows how to create a hilarious character with a captivating plot (and a few hot guys as well). Read My Review Add it to Goodreads Summary: Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Obsidian by Janenifer L. Armentrout
Entangled Publishing (December 6th, 2011)

Why: Yep, here she is again. Janenifer has a formula not many people can match. I think I like her books because her characters don't fit a particular mold. They have a love/hate relationship and usually say whatever the heck they want. I love that!
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Summary: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver HarperTeen (February 1st, 2011) Why: This was another terrific dystopian from this year. It was such a simple idea (love is a disease) but the way Lauren weaves that idea into the story blew me away. Read My Review Add it to Goodreads Summary: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
Tomorrow's Topic — Top 10 Book Covers of 2011
Don't forget to link each day! Signing up & then linking your Top 10 posts early you EXTRA entries into the $50.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. The last day to share your posts is January 8th, 2012. The winner will be picked using Random.org and announced during the week of the 9th, 2012. Good Luck!

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