I read 106 books. I'll spare you the list, but you can see it on my Reads page. Not nearly enough of those were read in the tub, and too many were read in airports waiting for business trips, but hey.
One of those - Alexandra Bullen's Wish - was even read on my new Christmas kindle. :)
I've been thinking about what books I remember best, that I read earlier this year.
- Best romance: It's hard to pick one, but I will. Emily Horner's A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend. Emily Horner's debut novel covers heavy topics like bullying, homosexuality, death and grief, but without pulling any punches she manages to weave in some real humor and a beautiful story of friendship and romance.
- Runner up: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols. This is one of the first books I read this year and not only do I remember it well, but I'm dying to re-read it. Snarky, strong MC, hot bad-boy cop love interest, handcuffs. It's everything I need in a romance.
- Best fairy tale: Nancy Werlin's Impossible. Beautifully written take-off on the song Scarborough Fair in a contemporary setting, with a strong MC, involved parents (such a rarity to see in YA!) and a compelling love story. It really stood out as unique this year.
- Best male love interest: Jace in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. I love these books, but I'll probably re-read just for Jace. How does Cassandra Clare make someone on the written page so HOT?
- Best female love interest: John Green's Looking For Alaska. John Green writes bigger-than-life, funny, awesome, deeply troubled female love interests, and I adore him for it.
- Best humor: Debut novelist Chelsea M. Campbell in The Rise of Renegade X. I often sit next to my husband on the couch and laugh out loud in a distracting, sometimes alarming, fashion while I'm reading, but this book was the most distracting, alarming thing all year. I even sent Chelsea Campbell a fan-girl email, that's how much I loved it (and she was nice enough to send me an email back, which I thought was pretty awesome).
- Most disturbing: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. OMG. This story - of a girl kidnapped and held by a pedophile for years - was the most heartbreaking, emotionally devastating novel I've read. But Elizabeth Scott finds a believable way to end it, while tragically, on a note of hope and courage.
- Most thought-provoking: I'm going to go with Suzzane Collins' Mockingjay,. This is the book that launched a hundred discussions, about everything from how Collins portrayed war to whether Mockingjay's conclusion was really satisfying - from philosophy to craft.
And in terms of my books ever seeing print themselves - well. I finished the rough draft of The Goddess of Vengeance Wore Pink Galoshes and started work on revisions. I learned to think of revisions in a whole new way - as an important part of the creative process instead of just being clean-up. I took a fantastic writing class, sponsored by the National Endowment For the Arts. I sent out 20 submissions for short stories and poetry to lit journals (no love yet).
In some ways, I feel like I didn't make any forward progress this year. No agent. No new publication credits. I don't even have anything done that I'm ready to query yet, although I hope to be there soon.
But I learned a lot. And I read a lot. I think I'm growing as a writer every day, and I'm excited about the craft. So maybe that's enough forward motion for me, for this year.
We'll see what 2011 holds.