The Great Review Catch-Up of 2011

I’ve never reviewed every book I read in a year. For whatever reason, today, I got the idea that this should be the year! There’s a small hitch in my plan though. I think I reviewed half of the books I’ve read this year and there’s only one week left in the year! Whatever shall I do?

Why, I know! Review them all in one post at once.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan: Technically I sort of reviewed this at BookRiot, but I didn’t really feel like I had much to add to the conversation about this book back in January. It was great! You will like it.

The Dirty Girl’s Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez: This is so not what I usually read, so I didn’t really have a lot to say about it. It was cute; I enjoyed it!


The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood: I have read 3 Margaret Atwood books since I started this blog and I have reviewed none of them. I loved this book so much, but I didn’t have a lot to say about it at the time.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Ditto.


The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale: This book was pretty good. I had this whole post planned about how Kyle XY and The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore are basically the same story, but I never got around to writing it.

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea: Another one I totally loved! Read it, it’s good.

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry: I gushed about this one on Twitter. Loved the food, loved that the main character was Autistic, loved a lot about it, but it wasn’t perfect.

The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna: Meh. This was interesting, but I just really didn’t care about it.


Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan: Guys! I totally should have reviewed this one. I adored it.


The Immortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare: Sure, this was good. I won’t be recommending it on Crossover Appeal anytime soon, but I enjoyed reading it for the most part. It’s definitely problematic, but it was perfect for the beach.

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright: I thought this book was beautiful. You should read it.

My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopolous: This was just… okay. I liked it, but nothing about it screamed REVIEW ME!


The Magicians by Lev Grossman: I liked this one, but I haven’t really found the energy to pick up the sequel. I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, just liked it.

The Illumination by Kevin Brokmeier: I adored the beginning and felt so-so on the end. I was disappointed, because this was almost a favorite of the year.


Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind: Good lord, this book was long. It was good, though. Epic fantasy at its epickiest.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan: This was good, but didn’t hold a candle to Maine. Seemed like it was trying too hard most of the time. The ending also left me angry. Really angry.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides: YAWN. I really was not a fan of this book. Most everyone loved it and I couldn’t articulately express why I disliked this so, so I just left it. Maybe I’ll revisit it.


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: I continue to not get Neil Gaiman.

Divergent by Veronica Roth: Loved the plot! Hated the stupid writing mistakes that easily could have been fixed with some editing.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe: I like to call this PhD fan fiction. Mary Sues all over the dang place. However – I did not stop reading it.

Habibi by Craig Thompson: Yes! Beautiful!

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: No, we don’t. This was the worst-written book I read in 2011.

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brogsol: This was cute! I liked it.


America Pacifica by Anna North: Meh.

And those, my friends, are the books I read and never reviewed. There are still more books read in November and December that I plan on reviewing soon. I promise I’ll do a better job of reviewing than I did in October. That’s just sad! Though I do kind of like the two sentence (or one word) reviews. That was fun! Coming up next week: my favorite reads of 2011!



Bart at Bart’s Bookshelf had this mega-clever meme on his blog!  I had to try it.

Using only books you have read this year (2009), answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title.

  • Describe yourself: Skim (Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki)
  • How do you feel: Specials (Scott Westerfeld)
  • Describe where you currently live: A Home At the End of the World (Michael Cunningham)
  • If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Clearing (Philip White)
  • Your favourite form of transportation: Fear of Flying (Erica Jong)
  • Your best friend is: The Implacable Order of Things (José Luís Peixoto)
  • You and your friends are: Kindred (Octavia Butler)
  • What’s the weather like: Yarrow: An Autumn Tale (Charles de Lint)
  • You fear: The House Next Door (Anne Rivers Siddons)
  • What is the best advice you have to give: Let the Right One In (John Ajvide Lindqvist)
  • Thought for the day: The Mystery of Grace (Charles de Lint)
  • How I would like to die: If You Come Softly (Jaqueline Woodson)
  • My soul’s present condition: The Turnaround (George Pelecanos)