Not everything I read is contemporary or dystopia (or even YA). Here were some of my "out of my genre" favorites of 2011:
6. The Wings series by Aprilynne Pike (fantasy-ish?)
I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much I like these because they are so, so out of my normal genre. But they're fun, fast reads.
5. The Body Finder books by Kimberly Derting (paranormal-ish?)
It's The Sixth Sense meets Twilight. And really good. And really creepy. And cute boys.
4. The Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld (steampunk, historical fictiony)
Who knew steampunk was so awesome? Also, kick-butt, girl disguised as a boy main character.
3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (fiction set in the 1960's)
I know racism is incredibly complex and this isn't a perfect discussion of the issue, but it was a great story with unique characters.
2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (paranormal)
If you're so over the paranormal/vampires/werewolves trend in YA, this is the book for you. It's almost paranormal satire, and completely hilarious.
1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor (urban fantasy?)
I thought this book was going to go all Mortal Instruments on me, but it definitely did not. I love a book that I think I have figured out and then am completely wrong about. (for older teens)
And now, for the Read This Razzies, or The Best of the Worst of 2011
5. Graceling by Kristen Cashore
Didn't like the violence, or the message. Also, high fantasy is just not my thing.
4. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Creepster love interest; everyone lies to the main character and she's ok with it.
3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Weird science; illogical use of polygamy
2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Privileged lady spends a lot of time whining. Also traveling. I couldn't finish this one, so maybe it's not fair to include it with books I did finish.
1. Fire by Kristen Cashore
I should have quit after Graceling, as the setting and her style are not for me. I thought every character in this story (except for maybe the daughter) was unlikeable. Also, nobody wants to hear about drama with girly bodily function issues. Also violent. And sex everywhere.