Over the next few days (the last of 2011) I'll be posting my top ten favorite reads of the year, in no particular order. They're not necessarily books released in 2011 -- just books that I've read in the past year. I'll be giving the synopsis and linking to my review (if it's been posted) and telling why I love these books so much. Feel free to share your own favorites -- I'm always looking for a good recommendation!
Release Date: March 17, 2011
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.
Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.
I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now, if you please.
Why It Was The Best: This book blew my mind. Billingsley's use of language was unlike anything I'd ever seen. It had a rhythm all its own, and gave the story a distinct flair and flavor. It made the magic of the fairy tale come alive. This is a suspenseful folk tale with a timeless feel, an original world and a beautiful style. I've never read anything like it, and I doubt I'll ever find an equal to Billingsley's genius.