My high school didn’t bestow superlatives. But before you feel too sorry for me, I did win the “Special Senior” award which took the form of a stamped pendant on a cheapo faux-gold chain that unceremoniously flew off into the stratosphere on the first drop of the internal-organ damaging Timberwolf rollercoaster during Worlds of Fun’s Senior Night.
But enough about me! I’m here to pay tribute to all of the amazing young adult novels that I voraciously consumed this year. I’m looking forward to gushing about my loves and discovering yours. Thanks to Tracy Neithercott, Katy Upperman, Jessica Love, and Alison Miller for this awesome blogfest. Now onto the Head of the Class!
I don’t read a lot of dystopian but this one hooked me from the start with lyrical prose, epic romance, and gut-wrenching choices in the midst of war.
FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION
Dear fantasy writers: set more stories in space. I WILL READ THEM ALL! Star-crossed lovers are usually nothing new but this had enough twists and turns and kissyface to keep me interested.
This category was the hardest of them all because I am totally Team Contemporary, but I have to give it up for this one. It deserves every bit of praise heaped upon it.
Finally, a ballgown on a YA cover that actually has something to do with the story! This novel picks up where SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY ends, hitting the ground running with wall-to-wall action unfolding in the City of Light.
FAVORITE HISTORICAL FICTION
Magic, séances, and secret superpowered societies in Jazz-era New York City? YES, PLEASE.
I can’t even tell you how many times I triple-checked the locks while reading this one. I was sure every creak or moan was the Grim Reaper coming to harvest. Chills, I tell you!
This is what happens when everybody tells you the boy you like is bad for you and you choose him anyway and it is totally worth it.
This one is inevitably compared to WARM BODIES, but besides the zombie angle, it’s nothing like that book (which I really enjoyed too.) It has amazing voice and twisted humor that had me inappropriately giggling all the way through.
FAVORITE FAMILY DRAMA
This one is not–I repeat NOT–for the faint of heart. It’s dark and gritty and uncomfortable and squicky and will have you slapping your forehead and saying, “That did not just happen!” as you careen toward the ending with all of your emotions laid bare.
FAVORITE GENRE BENDER
Definitely one for the LOVE IT OR HATE IT library shelf (critics adore it, Goodreads dragged it), I appreciated the topsy-turvy ride this book took me on with a dashes of magical realism, contemporary romance, and mystery. It upended “traditional” ideas of masculinity while giving us damaged characters who make unlikable choices and tons of mistakes–like REAL PEOPLE.