After reading Jim’s post on lists, I started to do a bit of reading online, and for whatever reason, I was not prepared for the inundation of end-of-the-year lists that I found. After some perusing, I found that I particularly enjoyed Gayle Forman’s piece from NPR with her picks for some of the best young adult novels of 2010. Her list is brief but varied, and includes titles that tackle a range of universal issues: trauma, war, first love, and so on. But what I loved about this list was what I didn’t find—paranormal, otherworldly, fairy-goblin-undead-vampires. Lord knows, many books have done exceedingly well this year being based in the paranormal. But it’s admittedly comforting to know that 2010 also saw its share of quality young adult fiction that involves real people tackling real issues. I wish I saw more things like this in my inbox. There’s just something about reading a young adult novel that takes on tough issues and presents me with characters that I feel I can relate to—I feel myself drawn into their lives, as though I could just as easily run in to the same obstacles and emotions.
Am I talking crazy here? Maybe I’m hurling myself off the paranormal/fantasy train too soon? Who knows. Do you have any young adult favorites from this year?