Winding down 2011: Class of 2011 Superlatives, part 3

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 elements of fiction (or: the kings of the craft).

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.

Most Envy-Inducing PlotBLOOD RED ROAD
I am a sucker for action/adventure stories. Especially when there are twists and turns at every page, when the characters cover tons of ground (literally — journeys make me happy), when the cast is large and vibrant. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough in this book. It is the kind of adventure I am jealous I didn’t write first.

Most Wonderful World BuildingTHE SCORPIO RACES
The island, the beach, the cliffs. The sea, the salt, the foam. The town, the November cakes, the pub. The horses, the hay, the barns. This book is like a lesson in world-building. Reading this book is like being in Thisby.

Most Formidable WorldASHES
I don’t want to set foot in this world. Not ever. Talk about grim and deadly.

Wanderlust-InducingTHE SCORPIO RACES
I think this goes hand-in-hand with fabulous world-building. Because even though I know Thisby is a fictional place, I want to hop on a plane and go there right now. Maybe I’ll have to settle for a trip to Ireland.

Loveliest ProseTHE DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE and THE SCORPIO RACES
Yup, a tie. The writing in these two is absolutely stunning. DAUGHTER’s word-smithing was unique and fresh and flawless, while the tone that accompanied SCORPIO’s words was so powerful it constantly tugged at my heart.

Best First Line — THE SCORPIO RACES
“It is the first day of November, and so, today, someone will die.” Need I say more?

Most Dynamic Character SUPERNATURALLY
Evie. Oh, Evie. She is so vibrant and bubbly and sarcastic and funny. It’s amazing she somehow manages to be contained within the pages. 

Most Jaw-Dropping Finale VARIANT
I can’t really talk about this without spoiling everything, but Holy Crap. I did not see that coming. Nor did I know how to interpret it. So many possibilities!! MARA DYER was a close second for this superlative.

Best Performances by Supporting Roles INVINCIBLE SUMMER
Every secondary character in this book is developed and layers and integral to the story. From Claudia to Gideon to Noah to Melinda. It is masterful, really.

Best Use of Theme THE SCORPIO RACES
Love. Sacrifice. Family. They overlap a million times over in this book, and in a subtle way that sneaks up on you until suddenly, you are on the last page of the novel and bawling your eyes out.

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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