1. The Best Book of 2011?
I'm going to pick two. A UK one and a US one.
The Best UK YA book of 2011 is Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis.
The Best US YA book of 2011 is Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard.
Surprisingly they are both realism which is not my favourite genre. Both books are incredible!
2. Worst Book of 2011?
I'm picking a book that was actually published in hardback last year. But I got the paperback this year (thank goodness I didn't invest in the hardback). The award for one of the worst books ever penned goes to... I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (or a bunch of anonymous people). I didn't get beyond 30 pages. It was just awful. Present tense perhaps? Who knows... I genuinely believe it to be unreadable.
3. Most Disappointing Book of 2011?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Eek! A controversial choice I think. But it had so much hype and I found it really challenging to read. So many perspectives to follow and then the recounting of the circus, switching forward and back in time. Five people in the staff book group loved it. Three thought it was so-so. I'm in the latter category and seeming as it was my choice, I was left disappointed.
4. Most Surprising in a Good Way Book of 2011?
I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison. I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. It really charmed me.
5. Book You Recommended Most to People in 2011?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A complete surprise to me when I read it. I was on the edge of my seat. It was nice to read a book for the staff book group and find that not only did I enjoy it but I loved it. So now I recommend it to everyone. I lent it to my sister and now it's her favourite book.
6. Best Series You Discovered in 2011?
The Curse Workers by Holly Black. A series which I know everyone was raving about but frankly the US cover of White Cat was hideous. I didn't think I'd ever pick it up. But I had dinner at a conference with the lovely Nina Douglas of Orion and she promised me it was excellent. She also hooked me in when she explained about the gloves. I can't wait for Book 3 now.
7. Favourite New Authors Discovered in 2011?
Robin Wasserman - Hacking Harvard was brilliant. Stephen Deas - in my phase of reading as much Gollanzc YA as possible I stumbled upon The Thief Taker's Apprentice and thoroughly enjoyed it.
8. Most Hilarious Read of 2011?
Swim the Fly by Don Calame. Totally had me laughing out loud so much that my husband kept moaning at me! And I was in the garden. He was inside the house.
9. Most Thrilling Unputdownable Book read in 2011?
Divergent by Veronica Roth. A total page-turner - lots of action but also great characterisation.
10. Book you most Anticipated in 2011?
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles. It was a fun read. It didn't have the passion of Perfect Chemistry but it was still highly enjoyable.
11. Favourite Cover of a Book you Read in 2011?
Chain Reaction. So steamy!
12. Most Memorable Character in 2011?Katsa of Graceling! I can still picture her in my mind crossing those mountains.
13. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2011?
Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard. Such poignant observations about life.
14. Book that had the greatest impact upon you in 2011?
So this is perhaps a strange choice but my pick is Hacking Harvard. Since September my health has not been good and I hardly felt like reading or really doing anything at all. So when I read Hacking Harvard and it was such a joy, I felt like I'd been reminded about why I love reading and why I love life and a book couldn't have given me a greater gift at that time.
15. Book that you can't believe you waited until 2011 to read?
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. When I first started blogging everyone said it was amazing but I didn't believe them. More fool me. It was absolutely outstanding. I cannot wait for Bitterblue!
Part Two coming soon...