Tuesday, November 30, 2010

As I embrace my younger days

by Stephanie

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 findparanormal, 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 toI 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?


  1. my favorite book of 2010 is preemptively LAST SACRIFICE by richelle mead. it's about vampires...

  2. I have to agree that it's nice to see that people are still publishing best sellers that are entertaining, but still manage to help young adults work through some things/issues that they may encounter.

    I, on the other hand, am someone who inhales books to escape the everyday stresses of life. Diving off into a fantasy world or supernatural whirlpool is a great way to experience a sense of freedom. I think a good mix of the two will keep us from feeling inundated with vampires and trolls (are there troll books? hahaha - God, I hope not - that would SUCK to fall in love with a troll - even in a book)or bored by the stark reality of the other.

    My favorite book of 2010 was Becca Fitzpatrick's "Crescendo." She knocked it out of the park.

  3. I think fantasy will always have a chunk of the MG/YA market--for all those kids who grew up with Harry P. But I sure am sick of paranormal for adults. Especially in romance.

  4. I write YA fantasy, and yet, some of my favorite YA books this year have not been fantasy at all. (Go figure.) The thing about fantasy (and I'm not speaking about paranormal, though I do read those as well) is that if a reader is looking to escape to another world -- you know, get away from whatever they're dealing with in their own lives -- that's the way to go. Being able to believe in something that wouldn't normally happen is so exciting! It's a nice pick-me-upper!

    Maybe the fact that agents are being inundated with fantasy is the reason so many are hungry for more contemporary novels. I have to read both, though. I don't mind being in the real world for a while, but then I have to have some element of make-believe again. The Sky is Everywhere will be one of my favorites forever. I absolutely LOVED it. =)

  5. Gosh, I've always loved realistic YA! I still remember books like Harriet the Spy and It's Like This, Cat and Smoky the Cowhorse and so many others. I also loved Lloyd Alexander, but his work doesn't hold up very well to adult reading. But that was a loooong time ago, and YA fantasy has come a long way.

    I say, whatever turns your crank! :-)

  6. I love contemporary, realistic YA, and I'm so happy there seems to be a resurgence in its popularity. My favorite paranormal novels tend to have exceptional character development in addition to a great plot.

    2010 contemporary novels:
    Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins; Where She Went (Gayle Forman) - technically 2011; Will Grayson, Will Grayson (Green and Levithan); A Blue So Dark (Holly Schindler); I Now Pronounce You Someone Else (Erin McCahan)

    (I haven't read The DUFF or Before I Fall yet, but they're at the top of my 2010 contemp TBR list and have come highly recommended. I'm currently reading Mostly Good Girls, which is hilarious thus far.)

    Many of my favorite contemporary books read in 2010 were actually pubbed in 2008 or 2009:
    Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler; Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway; Peace Love & Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle; Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott; Going Bovine by Libba Bray; Fat Cat by Robin Brande; ... and I can always count on loving anything by Laurie Halse Anderson.

    Recent paranormal or dystopian:
    Paranormalcy (Kiersten White); The Maze Runner (James Dashner); The Dark Divine (Bree Despain).
    For middle-grade, I love Janice Hardy's Healing Wars series.

  7. I love realistic YA! Three big standouts for me this year:

    Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

    Party by Tom Leveen

    Fat Cat by Robin Brande


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