Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year with New To Me Awesomeness!

Smart Bitch Sarah recently posted a list of new-to-her authors who had rocked her socks this year. I loved the idea and wanted to play too - which turned out to be trickier than I thought because I had to think back over what I'd read when and which books were my first exposure to which authors and... well, suffice it to say, after that mental odyssey, I discovered I did in fact add a few squee-worthy auto-buy authors to my queue this year.

Here are the new Slices of Awesome I now find I can't live without:

Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games trilogy knocked my socks right across the room. I love dystopian books and I love YA. I love tough-girl heroines with biting self-awareness trapped in gritty, cynical future-scapes. I love complex stories with hard choices and densely packed emotional turmoils handled in a frank way. So yeah, I pretty much loved every word of the series.

Tera Lynn Childs - Another YA dynamo, but of a different flavor than Ms. Collins. Tera Lynn Childs penned Oh. My. Gods. (Rita winner) and Goddess Bootcamp - quick-witted, fun and flirty tales of a girl who attends a school for the descendants of the greek gods.

Kristan Higgins - Contemporary romance goddess. Not all my new obsessions are of the YA variety. I discovered Kristan Higgins this year, much to my delight. Honestly, I don't always love her heroines, but I love how honest and insightful her books are about human nature and the bumpy road to love - without ever getting too heavy. It's quite a skill to engage the emotions without going dark and man, is this lady skilled.

Joanna Bourne - Historical romance goddess. I was deeply impressed by Ms. Bourne's Spymaster's Lady. Her books are far more than fanciful fluff. Not that I don't love me some fluff, I'm a fluff lover from way back, but her writing is tightly layered and seems more realistically historical (and therefore darker) than many historical romance offerings. Engrossing work.

Patricia Briggs - Urban Fantasy rockstar. I binged on Patricia Briggs earlier this year only to draw up rather abruptly when something happened in her books which is one of my personal "drop-it" buttons. I still adore her and her writing, but I had to take a break. I love her world, I love her characters, and I positively adore the suck-me-in-and-shake-me way she writes... and I think I finally have the gumption up to forge on to the next book. Wish me luck.

Victoria Dahl - Contemporary romance rockstar. When I grow up, can I be Victoria Dahl? Her books are bright, funny, insightful, sexy and a lovely satisfying sigh-at-the-end reading experience. I suppose that's my barometer for great books. Did I read the last word, close it, hold it up to my chest and sigh happily? Yep. With Victoria Dahl, yes I did.

Who did you discover this year who has curled your toes? Anyone you're dying to check out in 2011?



Carly M. said...

Julie James, Liz Talley, Alissa Johnson, and Sara Lindsey top my list as new-to-me authors -- they all had multiple books that resulted in that end of book sigh you reference with Dahl. It's been a good year in romance reading for me. I've been meaning to try out Diana Peterfreund for over a year now so perhaps I'll get to Rampant and Ascendant in 2011.

Vivant said...

The new favorites who come immediately to mind are Jessica Andersen and Zoe Archer. And Meljean Brooks' The Iron Duke totally rocked my socks. There seems to be a saving the world theme here, but that's just coincidence. Really. I also loved Elisabeth Naughton and, like you Vivi, Victoria Dahl. It's fun to recall how many new (to me) authors I fell in love with in 2010 and wonder what 2011 will bring in that respect. Happy New Reading Year!

Vivi Andrews said...

Oooh, Carly, I love Julie James! But I knew of her awesomeness low these many years... or at least since 2009. :) I'll have to check out Alissa Johnson & Sara Lindsey. Isn't Liz just great?

Vivant - I keep hearing such good things about The Iron Duke! I almost picked it up last week at Borders and ended up veering into the YA section instead. I'm gonna have to give in to peer pressure and read it soon, I know.