Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Ten YA in 2012


Happy New Year! I've been planning ahead with this blog for 2013 and I want to let you know that there is some seriously awesome stuff coming up. Right now though I'm still playing catch-up from my unplanned hiatus back in October and so the first few weeks of the new year will be dedicated to looking back at 2012 and the best it had to offer.

 Without further ado, here is a round-up of my ten favorite YA books from 2012.

10. Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen
I haven't read this entire book, but it's not really a page by page read. Instead it's a book full of things to do. I had one kinda like it that I loved when I was younger, but this has been updated for the information age while maintaining the retro illustrations that were half the fun of my old book. In addition to awesome sounding activities like making a remote controlled water blaster, illusion knitting and brewing solar ice tea it has loads of book and movie lists, by categories (like everyone, I love super specific lists) and book excerpts from classic literature.

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I had more problems with this book than anyone I know, but the scene where we find out how Hazel used her wish basically guaranteed it a spot on my list. That John Green, he's a funny guy.

8. UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
This is the first of four sequels on my list this year, which is unusual since I really like a good stand alone and rarely bother to follow up for fear of disappointment. But this? This was totally worth it. My favorite part of the Unwind trilogy (and it's going to be a trilogy!) is the world. It's creepy and dystopian and honestly, it's not that far removed from where we are now.

7. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Lemony Snicket and Maira Kalman's illustrations? I would have followed this book off a cliff even before I read it. It's been months and I still can't get the last three pages, a breathless rant about self worth and loosing your identity in a significant other, out of my head. I want to know who let Daniel Handler read my high school diaries. And again, can't let this one go without a plug for the book's tumblr where you can submit your own break up story.... And I just got side tracked for half an hour.

6. Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
Fierce garden gnomes, strange things afoot at the Circle K and Sexy Gary. The sequel to Hold Me Closer Necromancer (seriously, these are great titles) doubles down on the action and humor of the first book and adds that emotional gut punch I was not expecting, because seriously? James? Slayed me every single time.

5. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
If you'd told me that I'd end up picking a re-telling of a classic tale for my top 10 list, I'd have called you crazy. I do not like this trend of re imagining stories to give depth to side characters or make villains more sympathetic. Nope, ick, yuck, come up with your own idea, thank you very much. But this story of Tiger Lily, the boy she loves and the girl he loves is, in a word, lush. It also deserves a place alongside The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks  as a book every budding feminist should read.

4. Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon
The Rock and the River was by far my favorite non-2012 book that I read this year (subtle plug!) and when I found out there was a companion/sequel, I was nervous. Could anything live up to the sweep and importance that I felt while reading The Rock and the River? In a word, no. But Fire in the Streets took the grandness of the first book and brought it down to a much more personal level and gave me a different side of the story, one I didn't even realize I'd been missing until I read it.

3. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
You know that part in Perks of Being a Wallflower  where Charlie says "I feel infinite"? Well, this entire book is the feeling of being infinite without anyone ever having to say it.

2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This was a decent book that I was going to like just fine but nothing special until part two when, with just one sentence, it became the BEST. THING. EVER. I was on an airplane when that happened and said out loud "Oh holy moley, I cannot handle this right now" and started hyperventilating a little bit. The 7th grader sitting next to me got very concerned for my well-being. And probably hers as well since I was trapping her in on the window seat.

Another year, another Melina Marchetta book at the top of my list.
Oh my beloved. I just want to hug this book, and everyone in it, and never stop. This book is responsible for the fact that I only read about 18 unique books this year, I was too busy finding something new in Froi to look at anything else.

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