Winding down 2011: Class of 2011 Superlatives, part 1

This post is part of the Class of 2011 Superlatives Blogfest, hosted by Katy Upperman, Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, and Alison Miller. Up today: the head of the class (or: books that came out on top in their genre).

I had way too much fun making the graphics that went with these. They appear a little small within the blog post, but you can click through to see them in their large, full-size glory.

Favorite Dystopian — DIVERGENT
I loved how this started as a utopia — five distinct factions, each poses virtues that allow for peace and unity — only to be turned on its head once Tris starts to question what it means to be selfless and brave.

Favorite Science-Fiction — ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
Sci-fi, but also dystopic, in some respects. Godspeed is such a fantastic setting it becomes a person. There is an unyielding sense of claustrophobia to this story, and through seamless world-building, the sci-fi elements are woven in perfectly.

Favorite Fantasy — THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING
I realize this is technically MG, but it was hands-down my favorite fantasy novel of 2011, so I had to include it. A fantastic cast of characters, gorgeous prose, and a world so magical I wanted to crawl into the pages and live in the margins. This is Alice in Wonderlands meets the Wizard of Oz and it is lovely beyond words.

Favorite Contemporary — LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR
I love Stephanie Perkins almost as much as I love Lola and Cricket. This book is just fantastic; full of swoon and butterflies and the pain of first love. And the supporting cast is just as amazing as the leads. I adore this book.

Favorite Action/Adventure — BLOOD RED ROAD
Adventure novels may be my weakness, and this one is full of twists and turns and a pace that kept me reading late into the night. Add the broken dialect and loose prose to the mix, and I was a goner.

Favorite Comedy — SUPERNATURALLY
I realize this book is not actually a comedy; it’s a paranormal romance. Butbutbut…this book is just so funny. There are definitely serious stakes, but it’s Evie, the way she looks at things, reflects on events, narrates this tale. I always giggle while reading this series.

Favorite Romance — THE SCORPIO RACES
Again, this isn’t a true “romance,” per-say, but there is so much love in this book it is impossible for me to give this superlative to anyone else. New love, between a boy and a girl; family love, between siblings; trusting love, between humans and their pets. So. Much. Love.

Favorite Paranormal Romance — COLD KISS
This book was nothing like I suspected it would be, but I adored it. And it is such a heart-wrenching tale of first love, and loss, and letting go. Also: I want to hug Danny Greer.

Favorite Family Drama — INVINCIBLE SUMMER
It’s as if this superlative was create solely for this book. This book is about a messed-up family and it is gut-wrenchingly honest, packed with emotions, and heart-breakingly awesome.

Favorite Genre Bender — DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE
Is it paranormal? Romance? Fantasy? I’m not really sure, and I don’t care. Everything Laini weaves into this book is so exquisitely written that I went willingly went a long for the ride without a moment’s hesitation.

Favorite Horror/Thriller — ASHES
I added this superlative because I thought it was worth mentioning how downright creepy and terrifying ASHES was. This is a post-apocalyptic world I am terrified of.

But those are just my thoughts. Are there any books that you read, published in 2011, that you think could steal one of these superlative spots?

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