Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

My Five Favorite Reads of 2011


Do you know how hard it was to narrow down my list to five?  But I did it because…well, I have no reason for choosing FIVE as my target number, other than it seemed good.

Also, I still have a pile of books to read before the year is over, so there could be more awesomeness in my future reads.

In no particular order:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King 

It was different.  Quirky.  But it still tackled heavy issues.  Death, grief, secrets.  The alternating voices are some of the best (and most unique) I’ve ever read.


When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 

I can’t get this book out of my head.  Even months later, parts of it still pop up in my mind.  The subject matter, the setting, that haunting feeling it left me with…this book is the total package.


The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks

(the cover isn’t the one on Goodreads, but wanted to show the same one my library had)

This is one of those rare cases where I liked the book and the movie equally.  I bought the movie (VHS so that shows how old it is) on a whim at a video store sale years ago and it’s stuck with me for years.  The book is just as heartbreaking, about a small, economically depressed town torn apart by tragedy.


I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

There were some parts of this I found dry and confusing, but it’s the whole concept that won me over.  Vampirism caused by a virus.  The last man on earth.  And the ending – brilliant and frightening.


Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Two stories that are really one, the past catching up to the present, the concept of family and love…beautiful, gut-wrenching book.


Honorable mentions:

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

The reason I wanted to read this was the reason I liked it.  Friendship, finding yourself, adulation, being trapped in a dead-end town…all these great themes and no hot, mysterious, solves-all-problems-like-magic boy in sight!

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

This is one of those quiet books that sneaks up on you.  The writing is beautiful, the descriptions of the ocean made me feel like I was there, and the story made me cry.


And there it is, my bloggy friends, my last post for 2011 – I’ll see y’all* in 2012!

*I so want to use y’all since I’m from Virginia, but it just doesn’t roll off my tongue.  I’m more of a “you guys” type of girl.  But regardless, have a great Holiday and here’s to lots of writing and reading in the new year!

Clinks glass, discards for a piece of cake, stuffs face, happy carb coma….


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

9 thoughts on “My Five Favorite Reads of 2011

  1. My to-be-read list just grew! Thanks for the suggestions and well wishes. Wishing you the best of the season and many blessings in 2012! See you then.

  2. Oooh… I loved numbers 2 and 5! I’ve been wanting to read Please Ignore Vera Dietz, but I keep forgetting about it… I’ll have to write it down somewhere 🙂

    And happy holidays, fellow Virginian! If it makes you feel any better, I say “you guys,” not “y’all,” and I’ve lived in VA most of my life. It just rolls off the tongue easier!

  3. Those are some awesome suggestions. Looks like I have smore titles to add to my TBR list.

    Very happy holidays to you!

  4. WHEN YOU REACH ME and JELLICOE ROAD were two of my favorite reads of the year too, and both for the very same reason: I love books with endings that make my jaw drop, yet tie EVERYTHING together in a perfect bow. Plus, Jonah Griggs. *sigh*

  5. I loved WHEN YOU REACH ME. I have (HAVE) to read JELLICOE ROAD and PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ asap in 2012.
    Happy New Year!

  6. Great list! I loved Jellico Road.

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