Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Favorite Reads of 2010

In the interest of full disclosure I have to admit I am shamelessly copying this post idea from Jolene Perry. I'm not going to give you plot summaries or long reviews. You can find those all over the internet. I'm just sharing some my favorite reads from 2010. (Not all, or else it would be the never-ending blog post.)

Matched, by Ally Condie

This book has romance (without Harlequin-style gushing), drama, and characters that worm their way into your heart. In a YA book world where characters are often in your face and their dilemmas are larger than life, Matched is much more subtle, but perhaps more effective for that subtlety. And Ally Condie does a *fantastic* job of worldbuilding through a character's mind and eyes.

The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley

After embarrassing myself by gushing on Twitter that I was now following Robin McKinley and how much I loved The Blue Sword trilogy only to have her reply that there were only two books, not three (yeah, I make a great first impression *facepalm*), I decided to reread these favorites from too-many-years-than-I'll-admit-ago. I still loved them, although I do like The Blue Sword better. It's good to revisit old favorites from time to time.

The Lost Hero
by Rick Riordan

This was a definite favorite of 2010. It builds on the Percy Jackson series, but better, with constant doses of mythology and the "coolness factor." This is a book for those who love a plot that keeps moving. My boys each read it in a day or two.

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

With nary a supernatural creature or magic battle, this book still haunts me. I read it based on the recommendation from the author's agent. She gushed about this book and I had to see for myself why. And now I'm gushing. The concept: two weeks after a girl commits suicide, the boy who had a crush on her receives a box of tapes from her in the mail. In the tapes she reveals the 13 people who drove her to kill herself and why. And the fact that the main character got the tapes means that he's one of the 13. Great concept, right? It didn't hurt that the book was also masterfully written.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Another excellent YA SciFi, I would recommend this book to anyone. It's through books like this one that I am learning how to really tell a story through a character, not inserting a character into a story I want to tell.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

One of these books is not like the other,
One of these books just isn't the same...

Forgive the flashback to Sesame Street, but this book isn't like the rest on my list because: 1) it isn't YA/MG, and 2) it's women's fiction, which is not my normal reading fare. However, my sister-in-law handed me a copy and insisted I had to read it. So I did. And I really enjoyed it.

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

I'd seen this book at the library and around the web, but hesitated to pick it up because of the bird on the cover. (Stupid and shallow, I know, but I didn't want to read about talking birds.) Then I picked it up for my oldest son, who reads like he breathes oxygen, and he inhaled it in one day and begged me to get the next in the series. I was curious, so I started reading it and was totally hooked. This book does a great job of introducing language that transports you to a different world. I'm not talking Tolkein with a whole new language, but the way the characters talk and the slang they use is perfect for the setting, and was different than anything I'd read before.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

This book is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. It's also haunting. The inside look into a polygamous cult is tastefully done without whitewashing some of the horrible things that tend to happen in these cults.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

I think this cover takes the cake for the most uncomfortable character pose. (I mean, can a woman actually stand with her back like that? ) I read this book because somewhere I saw that the author talked about how she got the idea for the series. She said it was almost crazy that a tiny little island country (Great Britain) could become a superpower, and what if the reason it happened was because GB was using supernatural beings to help them stay in power. And voila, this concept was born. It is very, very fun.

I'm going to stop now because I could keep going. What were some of your favorite books of last year? I might as well add more to my leaning tower of Piza to-be-read stack.

1 comment:

Jolene Perry said...

COOL!! You can copy me ANYIME YOU WANT!! He HE!! Also really want to read the Thirteen Reasons Why, but I know it'll haunt me too. A good friend committed suicide just after I graduated which is THE only reason why I haven't read it. I'm going to add your others to goodreads - without which I'd never know what book I'm supposed to read next ;)