The Best of 2010: Young Adult Literature
Today I share with you my top seven young adult reads of 2010. The list is in no particular order, but I do list the reasons why I liked each book and include a link to my review. I realize seven is an odd number to choose but I just couldn’t narrow the list down to five, and plus, seven is a lucky number right? So without further ado, my top 7:
This was a book that I was hearing about over and over at BEA in May. I made sure to pick up a copy solely because of the buzz that I was hearing and was so pleased that I did.
I likened the story to a mix between The Hunger Games and The Giver, and enjoyed it much more than I did either of those. In Matched Condie has created a world where a Society governs everything down to the smallest detail based on percentages. Cassia starts questioning the Society and her whole world and must learn to trust herself in a place where you aren’t supposed to have any of your own ideas.
I loved the story and the characters, and cannot wait for the next installment. This is one of those that I liked so much I just had to go pick up a finished copy.
Another book that I picked up solely because of the buzz at BEA. This was a contemporary young adult novel which I normally shy away from. Or should I say I used to shy away from them, as this and a few others made me realize how silly that was.
In this book Whitney takes on an important and difficult subject – date rape – and does so in a fantastic way. Alex is never perfect, and she acts as many young women in her situation would. She doesn’t want to admit that it is rape, she doesn’t know what to believe, she doubts herself, she doubts whether she can follow through.
Hello realistic and well done portrayal of rape and the aftermath in a young adult book. Goodbye rape culture, hello Daisy Whitney. This is what made this book extra fantastic for me. (And yes, I bought a finished copy of this one too after giving away my ARC!)
Oh I was silly at BEA. The buzz was there for this book, I held a copy in my hands… and decided it probably wasn’t for me based on what I knew of it. WHY WAS I SO SILLY?! Thankfully a very very very kind blogger sent me an ARC of it and I instantly fell in love.
In this book Keplinger gives a realistic portrayal of high school and sex for many young girls in a way that many older authors shy away from. Bianca feels like the ugly ones in her friend group and while dealing with family issues she distracts herself by sleeping with someone she really shouldn’t. Keplinger does a great job highlighting the fact that we ALL think we’re the DUFF at some point or another and this is really a book for all of us.
Oh, and yes I passed on the ARC and bought a finished copy! (Are you sensing a trend?)
Thank you so much to Kinna for sending me this book. This is the story of a Ghanaian girl at a British boarding school. Both cultures are portrayed so well. This was one of my first tastes of Ghanaian literature and had me going back for seconds and thirds. Both cultures (British and Ghanaian) seemed to be portrayed realistically and really well.
This is one of those rare books that kept me feeling the suspense and the chill throughout the read. It also highlighted the danger of falling under the spell of another and not relying on yourself and trusting your instincts.
This was one of the young adult books that was nominated for the GLBTQ category in the Independent Literary Awards. I had been hearing a ton about it but for some reason had never picked it up until then… and was I ever glad that I did.
I felt the two authors did a fantastic job working together and creating a story that flowed and worked together wonderfully with two incredible main characters who were so different and yet both so fantastic.
The book is a bit fantastic and over the top, but in all the best ways!
When I first heard of this book I thought it sounded fantastic but then the more I heard the more unsure I was. I mean, an Icelandic Stork Society who match babies to mothers? Sounds odd. Plus I do not like babies. I’m awful glad I trusted my first instinct and gave this book a try because it was a definite keeper.
Or I wish it was a keeper, I had to give the ARC back to Colleen as she has only lent it to me and I haven’t managed to find a finished copy yet I’ll have to place an online order for this one.
The book has a super strong female main character who is not afraid to stick up for herself when the occasion arises, and a male lead who reacts correctly when she tells him what happened. How could I not love it?
A fabulous retelling of a fairy tale called Les Fées by Perrault and also drawing on a book called Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India by Morna Livingston. The story is set in ancient India.
Not one but TWO fantastically strong female main characters who learn to trust themselves and their gifts in the face of strong odds to win the day. I love fairy tales especially the feminist retellings. This definitely, in my opinion, counts as one of the best that I’ve read to date. It was rich and beautiful and I want to read more by the author.
So there you have it, my top 7 favorite books young adult books of 2010. I loved each for its own reason and on its own merit, and for vastly different reasons. Any here that you especially loved or loathed? – I know a few have elicited strong reactions both positive and negative.
Want to win one of these books to see if you agree or disagree with me? Fill out this form! I will give away one copy of a book of your choice to one winner. (Open internationally to anyone, contest closes at midnight AST on January 10th)