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December 30, 2011

Best of 2011: Most Anticipated Books of 2012

Kate Hart

We'll be back to regular Field Trip Fridays next week, but in the meantime, check out the year-end round up at YA Highway, or keep reading for my final entry in Sarah Enni's Best of 2011 Blog Carnival: books we're looking forward to in the coming year!

Books By Friends and Acquaintances


organized by a highly scientific order in which I arranged covers in a manner pleasing to my eye, and then alphabetized the others. just in case you're wondering.

Timepiece - Myra McEntire
If I Lie - Cory Jackson 
Kiss the Morning Star - Elissa Janine Hoole
The Other Life - Susanne Winnacker
Insurgent - Veronica Roth
Incarnate - Jodi Meadows
This Is Not a Test - Courtney Summers
Butter - Erin Lange
Fall To Pieces - Vahini Naidoo
A Midsummer's Nightmare - Kody Keplinger
Mila 2.0 - Debra Driza

Books By Friends That I've Already Read and Can't Wait To Share


Wanderlove - Kirsten Hubbard
Hemlock - Kathleen Peacock
Touched - Cory Jackson

Books By People I'm Sure Would Make Lovely Friends and Acquaintances


The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo
The Drowned Cities - Paolo Bacigalupi
Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins
Crewel - Gennifer Albin

eta: Books I Forgot To Mention Because I Have a Cold and My Brain Isn't Working

I knew this would happen! I forgot important people. Like Tahereh Mafi, whose sequel is as-of-yet title-less. And Jessi Kirby, whose In Honor is sporting some rockin' red cowboy boots. (I also happen to own a pair of red cowboy boots. True story.)

I'll probably add more titles as more "duh" moments attack me.


Have a safe and happy New Year!

December 29, 2011

Best of 2011: Most Recommended Books

Kate Hart

For day four of Sarah Enni's Best of 2011 Blog Carnival
we're sharing the titles we recommended most in 2011.

Here are mine:

most recommended books

Divergent - Veronica Roth
For people in Hunger Games withdrawals... or anyone else. I can't think of many books I'd give to both my dad and my 13 year old niece (who spent Christmas afternoon reading it, with periodic stops to announce, "I have to take a break after every chapter! It's too intense!")

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
For romance fans. Like Divergent, it's good for a wide age range-- my mom gave it to her best friend; I gave it to the aforementioned niece.

Ship Breaker - Paolo Bacigalupi
For readers who want something gritty and unique, you can't beat last year's Printz winner. Good choice for reluctant guys.

Feed - M.T. Anderson
For people who like sci fi and world building, and don't have a problem with unsympathetic protagonists. I made a lot of people read this so we could discuss Anderson's not-so-out there vision of the future. It also made me scared of my iPhone.

When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
For anyone. Ever. It's like Zilpha Keatley Snyder had a book baby with Madeleine L'Engle. A perfect storm of awesome.


Want more book recs? Head over to Sarah Enni's blog and check out the list of participants, or leave a link of your own!

December 28, 2011

Best of 2011/RTW: Favorite Books of the Year

Kate Hart

Today we're combining YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday with Sarah Enni's Best of 2011 Blog Carnival, and listing the top five books we read in 2011.

Here are mine:

How To Save a Life - Sara Zarr
Where She Went - Gayle Forman
Revolution - Jennifer Donnelly
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater
Before I Die - Jenny Downham

What were your favorites? Leave a link to your post in the comments at YA Highway!

December 27, 2011

Best of 2011: YA Characters

Kate Hart

For day two of Sarah Enni's Best of 2011 Blog Carnival
we're sharing our favorite YA girls and guys.


Ladies First

favorite YA girls

I totally narrowed this down to the requested five. And by five I mean seven.

Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Lola is great because she's not perfect, and she owns up to her mistakes.

Jill and Mandy from How To Save a Life - Sara Zarr
I've said before that this book is a study in how to write two totally distinct voices, and it's a credit to Sara Zarr that by the end of the book, I cared equally for both characters.

Karou and Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Karou is fabulous in her own way, but it was Zuzana I wanted to drag from the pages to hang out with.

Darla from Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Wait, what? A love interest who is taller and tougher than the boy main character, yet somehow isn't cliche? I'm speechless.

Ruby from Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Nova never reveals Ruby's secret, but I already guessed. She's a veela. (I would probably not want to be her best friend, but I did enjoy reading about her. From a safe distance.)

As For The Boys...

favorite YA boys

Adam from Where She Went (and If I Stay) by Gayle Forman
Even at his most whiny, rock star moments, I wanted to hug this guy.

Virgil from Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Hello Mr. Helping To Support Your Family While Playing Music on the Side and also Rocking Some Killer Dreadlocks. 
Sean from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 
I think you should get a YA merit badge when you realize you can spell "Stiefvater" without looking it up. And Maggie should get a merit badge for characters whose aloofness is explained and justified and not solved with a little kissing. 
Eldric from Chime by Frannie Billingsley 
I love a guy who's sarcastic, but not maliciously or at the expense of other people. 
Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins 
I feel confident in saying Cricket made 90% of today's lists, even though I'm writing this on Monday.


Don't see your favorites? Head over to Sarah Enni's blog and check out the list of participants, or leave a link of your own!

December 26, 2011

Best of 2011: Music

Kate Hart
Wow. I can't believe an entire year has passed since I participated in Sarah Enni's last end-of-the-year best of series. (I also can't believe it's been almost two months since I wrote a non-Field Trip Friday post, but shhhh. We'll just pretend we didn't notice.)

Anyway, we're kicking off the week with our favorite music, and as always, I find myself unable to abide by the rules, so I had to break my favorites down a little.

Favorite Albums Released in 2011
2011 faves

Feist - Metals:
I've almost burned myself out on the Beck remix of "How Come You Never Go There."

Bon Iver - Bon Iver:
Um, I may or may not have waxed philosophical at length about this album. The short version is GO SEE THIS BAND LIVE FOR THE LOVE. They're up for three or four Grammys. Even Pitchfork picked it as #1 this year.

Radiohead - King of Limbs:
"Not my favorite Radiohead album" is still pretty damn good. (See also: Amnesiac; Hail To The Thief.)

Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi - Rome:
I liked this album immediately upon first listen, yet I never remember to play it. I partly added it to this list as a reminder to myself.

Other Lives - Tamer Animals
I just got into this one, so I offer it with the disclaimer that I don't know it very well, but they opened for Bon Iver this fall and we'll be seeing them open for Radiohead in March, so at least they're in good company.

Favorite "New To Me" Albums of 2011


Four Tet - There Is Love In You 
 The best thing about year-end lists is discovering all the things you missed, and last year's round ups added this one to my list of favorites.

 Gayngs - Relayted
In my Bon Iver mania, I started looking into Justin Vernon's other projects, and found out he is part of Gayngs, an enormous 23-person conglomeration of musicians that recorded an entire album at 69 beats per minute. The last prom on earth cinched it for me.

The National - High Violet
I got obsessed with The National's Boxer last year, so I don't know why it took me so long to come around on this one, but it was #1 on a ton of lists last year and deservedly so.

Doomtree - Doomtree
Several members of Gayngs are from this band. Their 2011 album was not my speed, but I dig this one. 

The XX - XX
I dare you to stay uptight with this album on, much less upright.


Want more music recs? Head over to Sarah Enni's blog and check out the list of participants!

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