Friday, January 13, 2012

Best of 2011: Runner Ups

I highlighted several of my favorite reads during the YA Superlatives Blogfest a few weeks ago. The blogfest was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed placing the books I read into the categories. However, the number of books I read far outnumbered the categories, and there were several titles I wish I could have included. Instead of letting them be forgotten, I've chosen to feature a few of them in this post in case you missed them.

I am a very restless person, so if I read an entire book in one sitting: it must have been damn good. Everneath was one of those books. Mythology seems to be popping up more and more in YA, and I couldn't be happier.

As a child of the nineties, I grew up with boy bands much like the one in Reunited. I definitely felt a bit nostalgic while reading, and as you'll see below in another similar instance, I enjoyed the "older YA" characters.

I have pledged to read the book before seeing the movie, so I had to read The Invention of Hugo Cabret this fall. The drawings were absolutely breathtaking, and the story was very dramatic. I am so amazed by Brian Selznick's process, which I learned about firsthand when I heard him speak in New York.

In what could have easily been an overly morbid situation, Harper's honesty really saves (heh heh) Saving June from being a downer. Her two car mates are wonderful supporting characters, and the story is beautifully written.

I'm not much for adult fiction these days, but when I was contacted for a blog tour of The Radleys I was intrigued. The story was much funnier than I'd imagined, and I really enjoyed the different points of view. The ominous narration reminded me a little of Pushing Daisies. This novel had great crossover appeal for both adults and teens.

Dear Bully wasn't a particularly enjoyable book based on the subject matter, but it is a very important book. Bullying is unfortunately a common truth for most youth, and hearing popular authors' takes on the matter was incredibly interesting. This book should be kept in all school and public libraries for the kids who need to find it.

Brooklyn, Burning took me a bit to get into, but it was well worth the difficulty. You see, we never really know if Kid is a guy or a girl, but in the end it really doesn't matter. It's a beautiful love story and still has me craving a New York pizza even months later.

For those craving "older YA," Wanderlove may be for you. For those craving gorgeous writing, Wanderlove is definitely for you. Kirsten Hubbard has me scoping out flights to Central America when Lord knows I don't speak Spanish, can't go more than a day without a shower, and would never carry something as heavy as a backpack by choice.

Dual narrative? Check. Plausible love interest? Check. Original idea? Double check. The Future of Us is a cute story about two kids who find their future selves on Facebook and don't necessarily like what they see. For anyone ever wondering where you'll be in ten years will be amused by this novel.

I shamefully began 2011 without ever reading an Ellen Hopkins book. After receiving an ARC of Perfect, I knew I had to read Impulse first. It may have partially been because I listened to it on audio so he did have an actual voice, but Tony's was one of the most authentic I've ever heard.

I love love love Greek mythology, and Starcrossed is deeply rooted in it. Helen is a great main character, and  Lucas isn't so bad of a love interest. I love the mystery and suspense found in this novel, and I can't wait for the sequel, Dreamless.

There is just something about David Levithan's writing that speaks to my soul. The Lover's Dictionary is exactly what it implies: a dictionary of sorts that tells a story about love. Neither gender specific nor chronological, the dictionary entries tell of vastly different aspects of a relationship - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best is a great story about friendship. I wish I had more friends like Henry and Eva. I also appreciated the research the author must have done to create a tennis player and a ballet dancer so realistically.

If you leave out the time travel, Timeless is really just a historical fiction novel - a fantastic historical fiction novel. This book made me want to be in 1910 New York in a big poofy dress with lace gloves and a dainty umbrella.

Ari from Other Words for Love was one of the most relatable characters I've ever read. This was an incredible debut, and one of my most favorite contemporaries.


  1. Great picks! I absolutely love Brian Selznick. He's one of my favorite authors now, hands down. I LOVED Hugo Cabret as well as his newest one, Wonderstruck. You should definitely check it out if you haven't already.

    1. I actually have a copy of Wonderstruck. I really must get to it soon!


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