Best Books of 2011

In no particular order,

These books were not necessarily printed in 2011, but I read them in this year. It was a tough call because there were so many awesome books that grabbed my attention for so many different reasons. These particular books will stay with me for a long time. The impact they had on my thoughts, feelings and actions.

Review - The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Title: The Probability of Miracles
Author: Wendy Wunder
Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: Dec 89, 2011
Hardcover, 366 pages

Barnes and Noble

I love the vibrancy of the cover and knowing this book has sadness injected in it, it definitely helps soften the book.

Cam has cancer. Her recent diagnosis is that she is in the final stages and cannot be saved. Her mother refuses to believe she will die and takes them to Promise, Maine a place known for it's healing properties. Cam on the other hand would rather wallow in her sadness and die at home, but seeing her mother's need to believe she goes along with the move. Along the way, she encounters her friend, who is also ailing from the same cancer and her grandmother who is a bit crazy.

Cam's life is filled with chaos, inside termoil and staving off her families need to believe in something more than just life and death. Her mother constantly pulls her in to her life saving schemes and her sister is a bit selfish and acts out accordingly. Stuck in a car with these two and her bird, Tweety keeps things interesting.

When they finally reach Promise, Maine could it be that Cam really is starting to show signs of curing. She is feeling more energy, her bruises are fading and she is finding a life. She meets new people and falls in love with a boy.

My favorite part was even though Cam is no longer willing to fight this disease she doesn't let it drain her of her life. She is still sarcastic, funny and able to prank. It gives this book what makes it stand out among those other sad books.

Summary -
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page.

Tuesday - Tune In & Teaser

When The Lights Go Down In the City by Journey
If you work in retail, my heart goes out to you. Holiday is not the worst time of the year for customer service people . . . it is the time right after. When we get these stray people who seem to think if they yell and scream and throw a fit, we will miraculously change the corporation's store policies to suit their needs. Instead of trying to be civil and/or being aware of the return policies, they choose to be hateful and ruin everyone else's day. Sorry, tough day.
This song was in my head when I got home.

"Here we had this incredible tool at our disposal with the Internet. We had search. We had wikis. We had all the social networking tools. We had micro-lending and personalized charity. But poverty wasn't going away. If anything, the internet was widening the gap between rich and poor."

Lauren McLaughlin

Barnes and Noble

Review - Cinder by

Title: Cinder
Lunar Chronicles #1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Jan 3, 2012
Publish Date: Feiwel & Friends
Hardcover, 387 pages

Barnes and Noble

Cinder is the story of Cinderella told in the form of cyborgs, princes and Lunars (ie: witches). I really love the layout of this book. It is sweet, interesting with just the right amount of futuristic play. Marissa Meyer did such a wonderful job keeping the feel of Cinderella, but making it her own.

Cinder is a half human, half cyborg. An accident in her life at an early age allowed for her to be remade in to a cyborg. Her stepmother, Adri is mean (of course). She has two step sisters, Pearl and Peony. Feeling a bit like the movie, Ever After with Drew Barrymore, Pearl is the hateful sister and Peony is the nicer, friendly even sister though she must keep up appearances in front of her stepmother. They live in a world plagued by letumosis which is killing humans every day and the prince's father has recently been infected. Finding the cure will not only save the King, but maybe all of humanity. Among one of the methods of finding a cure cyborgs are being drafted to aid in finding a cure (ie: science monkeys). When Cinder's awful stepmother gets it in her head to subject Cinder to the "not so optional" draft for science, she is sent away to be poked and prodded with the disease until she dies.

There is of course a handsome prince, Kai, who meets Cinder at the market where she works to earn money for her stepmother by fixing mechanical parts. Kai is in need of her services when his cyborg nanny has gone on the fritz. Naturally there is a connection, but with him being undercover in the market and her being a cyborg/human, how will love ever come about?

This was so much fun! What a great way to incorporate a child's tale with technology and witchcraft.

Cinder's story continues with Scarlet, Cress and Winter consecutively being released one each year.

Summary -
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.