Michelle's Top 5 Most Wanted Books of 2011 and an FYI

With the end of 2010 steadfastly approaching, I am looking forward to what the year 2011 has to offer book-wised. Here are my top 5 most wanted books of 2011 (excluding those Leslie and I already featured in our "Books We Covet" posts:


promprejudiceProm and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg (out January 1, 2011)
From the much-buzzed-about author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB (already blurbed by Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, and Jen Calonita), a prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single guy in his spring semester at Pemberly Academy must be in want of a prom date.

After winter break, the girls at very prestigious, very wealthy, girls-only Longbourn Academy are suddenly obsessed with the prom, which they share with the nearby, equally elitist, all-boys Pemberly school. Lizzie Bennett, who attends Longbourn on scholarship, isn't exactly interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be - especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend's burgeoning romance, but less than impressed by Will Darcy, Charles's friend, who's as snobby and pretentious as his friend is nice. He doesn't seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it's because her family doesn't have money. It doesn't help that Charles doesn't seem to be asking Jane to be his prom date, or that Lizzie meets George Wickham, who tells her that Will Darcy sabotaged his scholarship at Pemberly. Clearly Will Darcy is a pompous jerk who looks down on the middle class--so imagine Lizzie's surprise when he asks her to the prom!

Will Lizzie's prejudice and Will's pride keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? From Elizabeth Eulberg comes a very funny, completely stylish prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions.

Reason: I usually avoid Jane Austen sequels, prequels and retellings like the plague (I'm a bit of a purist) but there's something really cute about this novel. I've been wanting to read this author as well since her debut novel The Lonely Hearts Club came out.



tenmilespastTen Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell
(out March 22, 2011)
Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation--and hovering embarrassments of all kinds. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much.

It would be nice to go back to that old suburban life…or some grown up, high school version of it, complete with nice, normal boyfriends who wear crew neck sweaters and like social studies. So, what’s wrong with normal? Well, kind of everything. She knows that, of course, why else would she learn bass and join Jam Band, how else would she know to idolize infamous wild-child and high school senior Emma (her best friend Sarah’s older sister), why else would she get arrested while doing a school project on a local freedom school (jail was not part of the assignment). And, why else would she kind of be falling in "like" with a boy named Monster—yes, that is his real name. Janie was going for normal, but she missed her mark by about ten miles…and we mean that as a compliment.

Frances O’Roark Dowell’s fierce humor and keen eye make her YA debut literary and wise. In the spirit of John Green and E. Lockhart, Dowell’s relatable, quirky characters and clever, fluid writing prove that growing up gets complicated…and normal is WAY overrated.

Reason: I smell a snarky heroine in that blurb! I love reading contemporary novels with snarky heroines that have great sense of humor, a quick wit and funny one-liners.


entwinedEntwined by Heather Dixon (out March 29, 2011)
Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.

Reason: I have to admit, it's the cover that drew me in first. I haven't read a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" before and this book sounds fantastic. The author is also being compared to Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley and Edith Pattou--so I think I'll enjoy this one a lot!


playinghurtPlaying Hurt by Holly Schindler (out March 1, 2011)
Playing Hurt centers on two former athletes: Chelsea Keyes, a basketball star whose promising career has been catastrophically snipped short by a horrific accident on the court, and Clint Morgan, an ex-hockey player who gave up his much-loved sport following his own game-related tragedy.

Chelsea meets Clint (who's working as a resort fishing guide) soon after arriving with her family for a summer vacation in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. Sparks fly, igniting the pages, even though Chelsea has a boyfriend back home in Missouri...and even though Clint has sworn never to put himself in the position to be hurt emotionally again.

Their unlikely romance has the potential to heal their heartache and force Chelsea and Clint to realize just how timidly they've been living - but are they really ready to give themselves completely to one another? How will the weeks spent in another man's arms play into Chelsea's feelings for her boyfriend when she returns home? Will Clint allow himself to fall for a woman who's bound to leave him at the end of her summer vacation? By playing hurt - entering into a romance with already-broken hearts - are they just setting themselves up for the kind of injury from with they could never recover? Will Chelsea and Clint pull away from each other before they have a chance to find out just how beautiful their story could be?

Reason: I am really into contemporary young adult novels nowadays and I can't get enough of them. This book sounds lovely and filled with emotion--sadness, happiness, love, hurt, fear... I WANT!!


acrosstheuniverseAcross the Universe by Beth Revis (out January 11, 2011)
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


Reason: There are already a lot of buzz about this upcoming novel. I'm not usually a fan of sci-fi but this sounds really interesting. I hope it delivers because I am actively looking for my next series-to-love-and-obsess-over.


Just a quick FYI:
achingforalways

To celebrate the release of Gwyn Cready's Aching For Always (which you may have seen on our "In My Mailbox" vlog), the author is giving away a Kate Spade Leopard Print Purse.

Cute, right? I entered and you should too! Click on the purse to go to the giveaway page.

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