This post is part of Persnickety Snark’s FIVE Challenge for 2010. More information can be found here.
Today’s challenge asks for the five (or ten) best YA books of 2010. For the purposes of this assignment, the books must have been published in 2010.
5. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Regina Afton’s fall from grace was particularly hard because she had so far to fall. Once one of the most popular girls at her high school, she’s now the at the bottom of the social hierarchy after some vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start spreading like wildfire. The problem is that Regina’s innocent, and as the bullying gets worse, she wonders if she’ll get out of high school alive. Her only confidant is Michael Hayden, a social outcast that she used to bully. The two of them form an unlikely alliance, but their relationship won’t survive if the rest of her peers have anything to say about it.
The second novel by Summers is as compulsively readable as her first. Although there were elements of the plot that I found problematic, there’s no denying that Summers has a gift in creating a story that is absolutely haunting. It’s my belief that this book will go down as one of the most iconic stories about high school bullying. (Read my review here.)
4. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
The third and final book in the Chaos Walking trilogy finds Todd and Viola at the center of a war between The Ask, The Answer, and the Spackle. There’s also the complication of the settlers’ ships finally landing. As each group races to win over the settlers, Todd and Viola fight to reunite before it’s too late.
Ness’s trilogy about a futuristic world in which everyone can hear the thoughts of men is absolutely gripping. The pace is whip-fast and doesn’t let the reader go until the last page has been turned. Recommended to fans of dystopian YA, Ness’s books have crossover appeal as well. Their unique format and alternating perspectives make the books great for reluctant readers. (Read my review here.)
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The third and final book in Collins’s excellent Hunger Games trilogy places Katniss Everdeen in a battle against the Capital. She becomes the symbol of the Mockingjay, the resistance movement that takes on the dominating forces of the government. The war comes with a cost, and there is pain, suffering, and a great deal of loss. No one will be the same when the battle is over, and no one realizes this more than Katniss herself.
The second dystopian title to make this list is arguably one of the best conclusions to a series that I have ever read. Although the ending to the book has been divisive for fans of Collins’s richly imagined post-apocalyptic world, it worked for this reader. It was the ultimate pay-off to a trilogy that continued to build tension and suspense while also creating vivid characters and an absolutely compelling story around the flawed heroine of Katniss. Seriously, guys, go read these books.
2. Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Natalie Sterling has worked really hard to be perfect. Her senior year is supposed to be completely under control: she’s the student council president, has a great best friend, and is focused on her goals. But things start to go awry, and as things spin further and further out of her grasp, she’s alarmed by her own behavior as well as of those around her. Her increasing attraction to slacker pretty-boy Connor doesn’t help matters. Her last year of high school isn’t going the way she planned it, and Natalie has to decide if letting go is worth it.
I could not stop reading Vivian’s contemporary YA novel featuring a protagonist that will divide readers. Natalie is often self-righteous, blind, and completely bossy, but the fact that she’s a flawed heroine makes her all the more interesting. This book was hands-down one of the best I read all year. I’ll be reading more from Vivian’s oeuvre in the future. (Read my review here.)
1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
When Anna’s popular-fiction-writer father decides to send her to an American school in Paris for her senior year, she’s beyond devastated. Her life back home is just starting to get good: she’s got a great job, great best friend, and a great almost-boyfriend. She knows nothing about Paris, or France, or French people–and she doesn’t want to learn. But when she arrives at SOAP, she meets a cool bunch of people, including the gorgeous Etienne St. Clair, and her life takes a turn for the complicated.
To say that I devoured this book is putting it lightly. I absolutely loved this book. There’s a lot of hype out there about Perkins’s novel, but it’s one where I feel that it’s well-deserved. Anna is a fun, quirky herione, and St. Clair is totally hot. The supporting cast of characters are interesting, and readers can’t help but fall in love with Paris right along with Anna. Go read this. (Review to come.)