YA Highway and Sarah Enni have been posting their 2011 "Best Of" lists, and I thought I'd join in with my top 5 books of 2011. I've reviewed all five of these on this blog, so if you're interested, flip back and skim my reviews. Not all of these were published in 2011, but I read them all this year.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
After the death of his parents, Jacob Jankowski finds himself the new vet for the Benzini Brothers circus and inconveniently falls for the wife of the abusive animal trainer.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Mclean creates a new identity every time she moves to a new city, becoming the cheerleader, drama diva, and all-around joiner. But when she moves to Lakeview, she doesn't have a chance to establish a persona; instead she is forced to discover the real Mclean, no matter how complicated it may be.
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
Fourteen-year-old Grace wants to be like Mandarin, the town's wild child. When they are assigned to work together on a school project, Grace thinks their new friendship is magical, but Mandarin has an alternate agenda.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Pudge finds more than he bargained for when his new boarding school roommate introduces him to Alaska Young, the wild, impulsive, self-destructive girl down the hall. Pudge falls for Alaska instantly, and she introduces him to a new life of breaking rules and escaping the "labyrinth" of life.
Shine* by Lauren Myracle
In an effort to avenge her friend Patrick, the victim of a hate crime, Cat begins interrogating the people in her don't ask-don't tell town. She ends up discovering more than she bargained for, from meth cookers to dark secrets about her older brother and his friends.
*For more information of the Shine National Book Award incident, click here. (Obviously, I believe it should have been a finalist.)