Saturday, January 01, 2011

Top 10 Reads of 2010 & 2011 Challenges

I started this blog around February. I never imagined that Fragments of Life would be like this. Blogging for several months has been a wonderful learning experience for me, from writing reviews, to appreciating books, to interviewing authors and to hosting a blog event. 2010 brought lots of blessings (and awesome reads.) Thank you so much to everyone who helped me and had enough faith in Fragments of Life to be one of my lovely followers!

I know this is a little late. But I want to start 2011 by blogging about the top 10 reads of 2010.

Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien. This is the first book that I received for review! It was just March then, I was only a one-month old blogger and Roaring Brook Press offered me a copy of this amazing dystopian read. Of course, I agreed! And I wasn’t disappointed. This was the first dystopian I’ve ever read – the book that brought my heart close to dystopia, the book that made me rave about dystopia. I loved the story world that Caragh created no matter how sad and harsh it was at times.
Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison. Breathtaking, romantic and heart-felt. I borrowed Sing Me to Sleep from the first Filipina blogger that I became friends with, Reggie of the Undercover Booklover. I experienced several firsts with Sing Me to Sleep. It was an ARC. It was the first time I touched an ARC. Plus, it was the first romance story without paranormal elements that I read. Beth and Derek touched my hear, made me cry and made me want a second book with both of them in it.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. This was my first steampunk read. I loved it the same way I loved all of Cassie’s other books – City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass. Shadowhunters never fail to be badass, sexy and humorous. I have to admit that the villain’s spawns in this book made my skin crawl. It was just creepy for me but I liked how this book made me feel that. It just proves how good a writer Cassie is.

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is the sequel of Beautiful Creatures, my favorite 2009 book. I loved Beautiful Darkness for its world, characters and magic. This was a powerful and sad read. Better than Beautiful Creatures in every way possible.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. I really, really wanted to understand why people were raving about this book. After working part-time and finding enough money on my hands, I bought this and devoured it! 5 stars on characters and plot. Lend was a very unique character, unforgettable too.

Jane by April Lindner. A rock star and a serious nanny. Dark secrets of the past. Wow. The collision of these two characters turned out to be an enjoyable story with just the right combination of forbidden romance, drama and mystery. The writing was amazing. If the retelling of Jane Eyre was this good, I must read the novel itself soon.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I read this for Christmas Countdown. I was hesitant to read it a few months ago because I thought maybe it would be too Chick Lit, too girly for me. I thought it would be repetitive. I was so wrong. Oliver did an awesome job in telling the story. Nothing was ever the same! What seemed like a very simple day turned out to be a complicated one with several folds of possibilities underneath the events. Thought-provoking and powerful, for me it was the best debut of the year.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish Mcbride. Creepy and humorous, this was one of the most unique and most enjoyable YA novels I’ve read this year. Mcbride knew how to make me laugh and how to scare me. This was my introduction to the world of necromancy.

Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton. This was the scary version of Alice and Wonderland. Featuring the wondrous world of Mag Mell and the creatures of darker mythologies of Ireland, this caught my attention. There weren’t much goblins in YA and I never expected the mythology to be twisted in such a way that it was connected to one that I really loved.

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Funny, entertaining, unpredictable and romantic, this novel captured my heart. It reminded me of Blood & Chocolate (the movie – which I loved.) With a great cast for characters, human and wolf, this opened my eyes to the intricate connection within the pack.

This year, I will be joining the Debut Author Challenge for the second time and 100 Books a Year Challenge for the first time – which is perfect for me since my new year’s resolution for the blog is to read and review 100 books in 2011. 

Watch out for reviews of Anxious Hearts, Raised by Wolves, Tyger, Tyger, Trickster’s Girl, Slice of Cherry, Choker and The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter.


  1. I'm doing a top-ten reads for 2010 tomorrow. Paranormalcy will be on my list too. Before I Fall sounds like a good one. Thanks for the reviews!

  2. I have to read Jane...It's showing up on almost everyone's list of the top 10 for 2010. I guess I'll play catch-up in 2011!

  3. Those look like some great reads! I loved Before I Fall, too. It's amazing how the author wrote about the same day over and over without seeming repetitive. I can't wait to read her next book.

    Birthmarked and Tyger Tyger are both on my wishlist. They look really good!

  4. @Theresa :) That's great! I'll look at your list tomorrow! And those aren't reviews, they're just explanations. :)

    @Mrs. DeRaps Jane is so good! I recommend it to you! Your students might like it. :)

    @La Coccinelle Birthmarked and Tyger Tyger are both enjoyable, just from different genres! I heard Delirium is great too - I can't wait.