Books of 2010

Many people are already signing off for the holidays. I know, I'm ready to go on vacation, and this non-stop rain is not helping much. There are few things I hate more than driving in the rain.

In any case, I'll probably pop in again this week just to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS before my long weekend, but before then, I thought I'd share my favorite Books of 2010.

Firstly, at the beginning of this year, I made a resolution to READ MORE and I have SO kept that resolution. In 2009, I read a total of 10 books (at least, according to my Shelfari), and this year, I've read 35! Go me!

Secondly, this was totally my Year of YA (with a helping of MG), and while there were some not-so-great books, there were also REALLY AWESOME ones. I confess I've got quite a bit of the YA skeptic in me, especially since my brush with YA when I was in high school was brief and left me not very impressed, but I'm very happy I got back into the genre because it's really changed and grown. There are just SO MANY CHOICES now, and some of these books were just so good.

I'll probably finish a couple more before the year is up, but this is my list of faves as of today. In no particular order of favorite:

1. The Hunger Games Trilogy: Okay, so I sort of cheated. That's 3 books, but I read all of them this year, one after the other within days of each other. The first 2 in the same week, and then Mockingjay when it came out a week later. Catching Fire is my favorite. Cool concept. Kickass heroine. Captivating supporting characters. Adrenaline rush. What more could I ask for? Well, maybe more Finnick. I love him.

2. A Great and Terrible Beauty (the Gemma Doyle Trilogy): Libba Bray! Yeah, I'm late to the party, but wow, can she write! I loved the Victorian setting, the effortless detail, the believable (likable and sympathetic, yet frustrating and flawed) girls. I think the first book was my favorite, so I listed it. (See! Not cheating!)

3. Incarceron: It's a grab bag of awesome as far as I'm concerned. Intrigue, adventure, mythology, Victoriana, dystopia, Sci-Fi. You don't think it'll work, but it does. Plus, it's about a prison that has become sentient.

4. Behemoth (Leviathan trilogy): As with the Hunger Games trilogy, I think I liked Behemoth, the second book in the as-yet-unfinished trilogy, the most (so far) because I'm already invested in the characters and have a feel for the world. Alek's a little bratty in the beginning of the first one but grows into an admirable boy, and that's the Alek I get to start with in the second book! Then there's Deryn, a girl pretending to be a boy so she can serve in the Air Force, who is also all kinds of badass (and dead clever to boot).

5. The Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless): Okay, I'm cheating again, but these deserve to be on here. I can't pick between them. They're Victorian! Steampunk! Supernatural! Romance! and all around fun times! Oh, and they're a comedy of manners that mixes vampires, werewolves, and one plucky heroine with a penchant for wielding her parasol as a weapon.

6. The Adoration of Jenna Fox: One of the quieter books I read this year and shorter than the others, but so very good. It's a small book that explores big concepts: coming-of-age, what it means to be human, discovering your identity, and the power of love.

7. The Demon's Covenant (Demon's Lexicon Trilogy): I liked the first book, but I LOVED the second. There's more snark, more magic, and lots more Alan and Nick Reeves. The only brother pair I love as much as them are the Winchesters from Supernatural! But seriously, the snark. It's HILARIOUS.

8. The Replacement: Love, LOVE this book! Quite different from most of the paranormal YA that I've read this year, The Replacement doesn't focus on the romance (though there is some of that) and it's told from a teenage boy's point of view. I adored Mackie, who struggles to live a normal life in a world that is hostile to someone of his constitution. The folklore is interesting, the relationships poignant (the scenes with Mackie and his sister, LOVE!), and the setting creepy with just the right amount of unsettling.

9. The Lost Books of the Odyssey: Not YA and also more like a collection of shorts - some not even complete stories. I'm a huge Greek Myth nerd, so I adored this book. Written in spare yet vivid prose, the book re-imagines different scenes from the Odyssey (which is itself one of my favorite stories EVER).

10. The Lost Hero / If I Stay: So, I wanted 10 entries, but I couldn't pick between these two. I very muchly enjoyed The Lost Hero partly because I quite enjoyed its predecessor, the Percy Jackson series. While the way the book is written isn't much a departure from Riordan's style, I really liked what he did with the mythology, how he's expanding it to include more and to make things BIGGER. It's pretty exciting. If I Stay was just a beautiful, bittersweet coming-of-age story. I loved the themes about growing up and love and loss and family, and I love the motif of music.

SO those are my picks. I know I have many. I suck at choosing.

What books did you love that you read in 2010?

Have a wonderful, warm, relaxing holiday my friends! I'll be back next week before New Year's to do some resolutions and talk about things I'm looking forward to. Later!


Ariana Ferrone said...

Wooow, I haven't read a few of these... but now I definitely want to! I also loved the Replacement.

Now I may need to make my own Books of 2010 post. Hmmm.

Tere Kirkland said...

Well, I have you to thank for recommending The Lost Hero, so thanks! One of the best books I read this year was Shipbreaker, followed closely by Mockingjay. Hex Hall, Maze Runner, Soulless, and Fire were great, too.

I'll definitely have to pick up Incarceron, and The replacement, but now I'm willing to give The Demon's Lexicon a shot, too. Oh, and I still need to finish the Parasol Protectorate series!

Just need to finish Behemoth first. And The Scorch Trials. And Ash. And Feed. And those are just a few of the paper books on my pile. My nook has Just Listen and The Body Finder to be read, too. I've been working on my manuscript more than I've been reading, I guess.

Yay for vacation! Enjoy your holiday!

Emy Shin said...

Congratulations on reading more books this year. That's definitely on my New Year's Resolutions! A lot of these books are on my to-read list, especially INCARCERON (I bought a copy months ago, but somehow never got around to it) and JENNA FOX.