Thursday, June 30, 2011

fave reads of 2011 ~ the scenes and the random

the third (and final) day for the sharing-the-awesome awards

(as usual, ignore any wonky (blogger!) formatting ~ spaces appearing EVERYWHERE o.O)
can't wait to see what you guys pick :)

the scenes

1. best first chapter

I read the first chapter of SPLIT online and was completely sold.
shout out's to:
  • The first chapter of PAST PERFECT made me grin (on each page) and my heart was already swelling with the knowledge that I was so going to love this book.
  • I flicked through the first chapter of SAVING JUNE in the shops and loved it enough (the voice and the meet-cute) to realise I needed to buy the book <3
2. best climax

i'm going with THE CHOSEN ONE. not so much the climax itself, but just how tightly plotted the book is, the way the stakes are continually raised and the tension builds so masterfully that by the time the climax arrives, i was breathless.

3. best ending

THE MIDNIGHT ZOO by Sonya Hartnett: life-affirming and gasp-worthy and full of hope.

And ... shout-outs to:
  • BOG CHILD (quietly haunting)
  • GOD IS IN THE PANCAKES (i had no idea, not even an inkling, how this would end)
  • SAVING JUNE (that song, LOL)
4. best plot twist/revelation (no spoilers!)

NEVER LET ME GO ~ even when you see it coming/know what it is, doesn't take away from the breath-taking, ache factor and the emotional whoosh thing (you know what i'm saying). quietly brilliant.

shout outs to: 
  • UNEARTHLY by cynthia hand (nicely done, not melodramatic and makes me pumped for the sequel), 
  • BEAUTIFUL MONSTER by kate mccaffrey (i saw it but i still like that she did it, and think it was effective)
5. scariest/most disturbing scene
i have nothing on Flannery, but here's a few:

the garage scene in SPLIT hit me in the guts, while maybe not the most disturbing i read, it was the biggest emotional impact of a disturbing scene

the haunting story of the the three kids from IN THE WOODS (disturbing in the intriguing way)

shout-outs to:
  • also disturbing/intriguing, Hamish and some of his recollections in VIOLENCE 101 O.o
  • and there's a scene in THE COMET BOX with a dog and a backyard and a kitchen table. i still have a strong visual on it.
6. steamiest scene (or sweetest/sexiest kiss award)

the steamiest scenes are definitely found in my adult fiction ~ but for this award i am choosing some fave YA swoony/best-written make-out moments

PAST PERFECT ~ the scene on the trampoline <3
FIXING DELILAH ~ there's a few on there ;)
SAVING JUNE ~ lots of slow burning URST but, trust me, it pays off :D

7. best swoon-worthy moment

no spoilers BUT jake (!!!) and harper on page 219 (Aussie edition) of SAVING JUNE. i do not recommend peeking ahead as part of the magic in it is watching it get to that point.

8. biggest nail-biting moment

not so much nail biting as tummy swirling, gayle forman really had me aching and wondering if the HEA was going to arrive or not ~ and at some point (most likely to relieve the tension in myself) i came to peace with whichever way the story would go.

here i am choosing SPLIT (again), heading into the climax was really challenging and extremely tense

9. most hilarious scene

oh ~ nothing overly killing-yourself-on-the-floor-laughing BUT here's scenes that always get me grinning whenever i think back to them:

PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME: Nathan on the road trip and hollaback girl <3 Nathan x

WHAT ALICE FORGOT the grandma's blog (!) LOL
ANGUS, THONGS (etc) too many, every single thing is hilarious from Georgia <3
SLICE: the shaving scenes, the father/son sex talks (!) and the school kayaking camping trip, haha

bonus: GUYS ~ i didn't put fave meet-cute (!) and i am SUCH a huge fan of the brilliant, grin-worthy and impressionable meet-cutes. most my crushes have me rooting for them from their first appearance. anyways, my fave meet-cute (for genius set-up, cute dialogue and general hotness and grin-worthy vibe) was dan and chelsea in PAST PERFECT.

the random 

1. fave first sentence
LOVE the opening to SLICE (steven herrick) and huge props for taking a "taboo" opening and making it cool)
My name is Darcy Franz Pele Walker.
Ignore the middle names.  
I do.
tell me you smiled. c'mon :)

2. fave book title
here's four titles that i'm liking:

  • how to say goodbye in robot
  • i now pronounce you someone else
  • the dark and hollow places
  • every little thing in the world
(the bottom two are also lines in the book ~ i seriously LOVE that)

3. fave reading experience (ie: created a great reading memory)

i read SLICE (steven herrick) while on hols in katoomba, and the book is set in katoomba and it just made it feel more awesome. very relaxing, smiley times.

LOVED reading and swooning along with Jess and Nic to SAVING JUNE (hannah harrington). it was very cool freaking out over how awesome it was and going a bit crazy over peanut better together ;)

4. book with the best food in it (made me so crazy-envious-hungry)

THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON (sarah addison allen) I was dying for those cakes/pastries/pretty much anything they ate/smelt/mentioned.

5. book with the most sensual weather (made you shiver/sweat)
  • seriously felt like i froze to death while reading BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY (was even shivering while reading it in summer) 
  • and also FAR FROM YOU (lisa desrochers) the snow (!) the ice (!) so cold (!)
  • and oh my gosh, that scene in THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES where the girls are walking the wall through the night ~ painfully, bitterly cold.
6. most embarrassing book cover (feeling sheepish in public)

i must say, i procrastinated reading julie james based on her covers. glad i got over myself and checked her out (and read her safely at home, LOL)

and THE DARK DIVINE. argh. i know most people love it but i don't get it. those lily while legs tangled in sheer purple and positioned as if she's half needing to go the toliet. it made no more sense ot me after reading the book (i am out of the loop on this one)

7. can’t believe you waited this long to read the book (!)

obviously, ANGUS, THONGS AND PERFECT SNOGGING. my sister told me years ago how awesome it is and i have no idea why i waited so long to check it out. it's made of win :)

and... that's it (!)

i know there's still a little bundle of REALLY GOOD BOOKS i read that didn't get a nominations, which makes my head hurt a little. but choosing was hard enough without angsting over all the other goodness out there, LOL. (I have read 102 books so far this year ~ so I guess it's my absolute faves so far that keep popping up and made the biggest impression on me)

guys, it's been brilliant and all your linked-up posts are absolutely charming and mt TBR is, well, starting to politely bulge, haha.

x Nomes

Monday, June 27, 2011

fave reads of 2011 ~ the characters

[please forgive (or righteously shake your fist at) bloggers wonky formatting. argh.]

1. best female POV
i can't really choose here (what was i thinking, inventing this category !!?!). anyways, i am going with one girl who was just so authentic to the teen voice, utterly flawed but still heart-breakingly lovable and completely got under my skin:

Sydney from EVERY LITTLE THING IN THE WORLD. i found her utterly engaging and all her little sentiments about the world just gorgeous and quietly sigh-worthy.
(although i love my hilarious narrators too)

2. best male POV

this was hard (understatement). but i completely LOVE Mason from C K Kelly Martin's book. every thing about him is just gorgeous ~ i also found him refreshing, just so effortlessly likeable, and quite distinct in his personality and vibe. my (very very close) runners-up were Jace from SPLIT (in 2nd place) and Adam from WHERE SHE WENT.

3. Best couple <3 
  • for soul mates and history (regardless of their ending ~ no spoilers): Adam and Mia in WHERE SHE WENT
  • for loving watching these two together: Clara and Tucker in UNEARTHLY
  • for antagonistic slow-burning attraction & chemistry ;) Jake and Harper in SAVING JUNE
(these aren't necessarily my fave couples, just undeniably done well couples ;)

4. who i so want to be best friends with
Chelsea from PAST PERFECT love her like mad. 
(three shout-outs):  
  • Leigh from PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME (although she is perhaps a little too similar to me, LOL). 
  • I would definitely LOVE to hang out with Kyra from THE CHOSEN ONE. she needs a friend 
  • and Georgia from ANGUS THONGS, (etc) I heart you xx Nomes
5. who i fell completely in love with (new literary crush)
okay ~ so there's been plenty of fine boys between the pages this year. so sticking to my absolute absolute faves and i have it down to my top two (oh, i know, impressive!)


one good boy and one (maybe not so) bad boy. both particularly swoon-worthy
(weirdly, they both sing, play guitar and run around shirtless... i'm sensing a theme here ... *cough* nic *cough*)

i was going to list my runners-up but things were getting COMPLETELY (sheepishly, foolishly) out of hand. so i'll just leave it there for now ;)
6. worst (best) villian

Brand from BURN BRIGHT (eeeevil and smart)
the elders from THE CHOSEN ONE ~ completely foreboding and genuinely fear-inducing. also, layered. 

AND the villains (?) in NEVER LET ME GO. it's hard to work out who they are the whole way through. and even harder to see them all black and white. so many shades of grey ~ which is perfect for villains. in the end, they are a blend of the villainous and also, weirdly, saviour-like beings (from the other perspective) expertly done, IMO.
7. best character twist (who you loved then hated or vice versa)

Christian in SPLIT (Jace's older bro). i mean, i never hated him, but he swung ambiguously on that pendulum of like/dislike, get over yourself/man-up/you're breaking my heart/aww, man ... etc (not so much a character twist ~ more just flawed and ambiguous and realistic)
8. best kick-arse female
Elsha from WINTER OF FIRE and Gabi from WATERFALL ~ they are both feisty and determined and courageous.
9 best kick-arse male
i'll be honest ~ i don't have a STRONG obvious pick for this BUT i really do like Carrie Ryan's flawed boys ~ and they certainly have their knight in shining armour moments.

so i pick both Eli and Catcher from THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES.

10. broke your heart the most

Jace from SPLIT. aww :'(

 11. best/worst character names
(this is the part where i hope i don't offend anyone who has these names in real life. or, awkwardly, someone who chooses these names as 'best' haha

worst: those kids in FORBIDDEN. lochan, maya, willa, kit and tiffin. argh. it's just too "daytime drama". not for me (especially lochan, it's like the awkward version of lochlan)

also, not overly fond of Mclean (WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE). it just gets me thinking of my Macleans toothpaste, you know, haha

and Milo from FALL FOR ANYTHING. i did get past it, but there's no denying that Milo really is a dog kind of name ;)

best: i am not fazed about best names, i guess i get more attached to the character and then the name becomes synonymous with the awesome. when i was thinking about my fave character names, they all just ended up (sheepishly) being the names that belong to my fave characters.

I like Leigh (who has a secret real first name that you find out later in the book, which made me like her even more. her real first name is kind of awesome) from PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME. 

and Sydney from EVERY LITTLE THING IN THE WORLD ~ i already liked Sydney from ALIAS though ;)

OH! and Harper from SAVING JUNE <3 (v v cool)

and it should be mentioned that the name Patrick (FIXING DELILAH) has never let me down ;)

and randomly, i really ended up liking the name No (from the gorgeous, sublime French YA: NO AND ME) even though at first it seemed like an odd name, No? LOL

* I wish I had also had a few categories for best siblings, best parents, best friends ~ i didn't think of it until later (and to be honest i was getting carried away with categories anyways. i think i could endlessly think up awards, LOL. i'll add in these when i do it again at the end of the year ;)

BONUS: 5 fave covers (from books i have read)

SLICE: so summery and blue and smiley and vibrant. with lovely title font

EVERY LITTLE THING IN THE WORLD: i unabashedly LOVE this cover. it's full of life, and just screams out at me to be picked up. i also LOVE the cover model for Sydney <3

PAST PERFECT: so this cover has NOTHING to do with the actual book (!?) but it's still undeniably awesome <3

THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES: LOVE our Aussie edition. it's dark and textured and kind of haunting. matches the tone and atmosphere of the whole series

ALASKA: much more gorgeous in person, it's bronzey and shimmery and has a wrap-around dust jacket picture.

BURN BRIGHT: it's only after reading the book that i love the cover so. it's dynamic and vibrant and dark and a little bit unusual = perfect.

here's a linky to link-up (and WOW thanks to everyone who has joined in so far O.o ~ it's been unreal reading all your nominations.) am a bit flat out today but will pop over in the next couple of days to check out any posts i haven't seen yet :D)

I'm posting part three on Thursday, the last day of June (click on sidebar icon for categories for #3)