Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. November 2006. I've reviewed this one SO many times since the initial review because this book has become one of my favorite-and-best books of all time.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban. October 2007. I think my reading experience of this one is almost as good as the book itself. This is one that I read for Dewey's read-a-thon. I remember starting it in the wee hours of the morning--definitely past 1AM--and I just fell completely in love with it. I mean this book was my new best friend. I was so in love with it that I reread it within a few days. It's just one of those practically perfect middle grade novels!!!
Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker. December 2007. If A Crooked Kind of Perfect reminds me of Dewey and read-a-thons, Billie Standish Was Here reminds me of Cybils! My very first year of working on a Cybils panel actually. This book truly was one of the best books I read that year, and it was all thanks to the Cybils that I discovered it!!!
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. June 2008. I'll be honest with you. For some reason 2008 was the best, best, best reading year for me. Just looking at the end of the year best-of lists, I could have picked at least ten or twelve books that were worthy of attention here. Books that I just love and adore even after three years. Books that I feel more of a connection to than any I've read this year. It was the year I read Jane Eyre. It was the year I discovered Georgette Heyer. It was the year I read Hunger Games. And that's just getting started. So why did I choose The Underneath? Well, this one wowed me. And it wowed me upon rereading just as much. It's a beautiful, beautiful novel. And if nothing else, it proved to me that a dog can be on the cover of a book without me hating it.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. November 2008. I know not everyone loves this one. Or loves, loves, loves this one as much as I do. It's a book that if you love, you love with all your heart. It's also a difficult read. I won't lie.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork. March 2009. While it was slightly easier to choose from 2009, there were still easily six or seven that came to mind as being the best of the best of the best. I chose this book because I loved it. True, there were other books that I loved--that I still love. But this one deserves all the attention it can get.
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. September 2009. With as much passion as I loved this one, a second in the series, I hated the first book The Knife of Never Letting Go. You might think that it would just be weird--crazy--for me to pick up the sequel to a book I hated. So it's a good thing I have my own sense of logic, because I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this one. As in it restored my faith in reading. So, of course, it has to be on this list!
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. May 2010. This is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite books. So even though this list hasn't been about sharing my favorite-and-best classics, if ever an exception was to be made, it should be made for North and South.
Venetia by Georgette Heyer. July 2010. Just as this hasn't been a list focusing on my love for classics, it hasn't been a list for me to gush about Georgette Heyer. Knowing that it would really only be fair to include one--at the most--of her books, I've saved it for now. This is the most giddy-making of her romances, in my opinion.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. February 2011. Surprised to see Charles Dickens on the list? He's certainly not anyone I would have dreamed of reading back when I started in 2006. In fact, I thought I would NEVER willingly pick up any of his novels. But. I've changed SO MUCH as a reader through the five years I've been blogging. I just loved this one. It was just a perfect, perfect read for me.
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews