This will be my next to last post for 2010, so I decided to make it about the best books I read this year. I read over 90 books, so this was mega hard. I tried to make it five, but I went a little over (though I attempted to cover…don’t think it worked). Without further ado…
1. Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney – beautifully written, with some unexpected twists. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Desiree and Jeremy’s relationship…that love…it still gets to me, even almost a year later. I love (LOVE!) YA contemporary that tugs at my heart. And I love that “what if” scenario. What if “X” hadn’t happened, what if she’d just stayed home that night, what if…
How would things have been different?
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – it made me think, it made me cringe, it made me cheer! I know, that’s a cheesy way to describe it, but it’s true. This book was different. It was about survival (literally), not about a regular teen crisis (boys, zits, homework). I like books that give me a reason to turn the page – will Peeta live, will he die? Great concept, even though I’ve heard several people mention its similarities to Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (it’s on my TBR-list, haven’t gotten to it yet, so couldn’t tell you one way or the other).
3. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling – if I had to pick one, I liked Prisoner of Azkaban a lot and of course Deathly Hallows since all the other books led up to that one. Rowling is great about creating a setting and I really wanted to go to Hogwarts (and hang out with the Weasley twins).
4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – this book is not for the faint of heart, it gets right into the psyche of a teenage girl struggling with an eating disorder and guilt and those nagging little voices. Anderson has a great knack for capturing voice like that and for creating characters that stick with (haunt) you.
4.25. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – This (like #1) is a book I finished and immediately handed to my mom to read. It’s a beautifully written account of grief – not only external (like the constant redecorating Frankie’s mom does in-between her freak-outs), but also Anna’s silent grief that’s compounded by her secret connection to Frankie’s dead brother. I loved the relationship between Anna and Frankie – that true, almost sister-like quality that is tested and pushed to the edge.
4.75. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen – Another book about dealing with grief. I loved the cast of characters (from Wish) so much – they were this rag-tag group of misfits that were so amazing and kick-butt. Most people’s friends are like that – slightly flawed and with their weird little quirks, but wonderful and loving. The interactions and conversations came across as so genuine – like these people actually existed. I loved how “ordinary” this book was – there wasn’t some huge explosion or major POW scene because there didn’t need to be. Macy changed like most people changed – a little at a time.
5. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger – this book made me think. Really think. There were several places where I read out loud to the people around me because my jaw had dropped. I live in an area where high school football games are something you either go to or not. If not, no big deal. So it was hard for me to imagine an entire town’s hopes and dreams basically resting on the shoulders of a bunch of teenagers. The book was heartbreaking and shocking in some places and it’s not surprising that Bissinger got flak for his portrayal of the area/people – he didn’t sugarcoat anything.
Dramarama by E. Lockhart – about friends at a drama camp. Hilarious at times, heartbreaking at others. It’s basically about any creative person’s biggest fear – what if I’m not good enough?
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian – I liked that stereotypes were essentially turned on their heads in this book. Usually it’s boy using girl for a quick hook-up and we all hate him because he’s a playa. But what about Natalie, Miss Perfect? Definitely a different book, definitely one that makes you go, “Hmm…”
I love when books make me think.