Recently, I've been listing my top ten choices for best YA books in the years before I started this blog. Today, I figured I'd round off these flashback posts with one final list, completing the decade at 2010! So here are my ten most favorite YA books published in 2010.
1) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. This, the final book in the blockbuster YA dystopian trilogy The Hunger Games, is a stunner in so many ways. Brilliant writing, plenty of plot twists, fantastic characterization--just a beautiful conclusion to a phenomenal series. For those who don't know (who art thou?), The Hunger Games tells the story of a girl in a future dystopia who volunteers in her sister's place to compete in a broadcasted competition where the only way you win is by being the last one alive.
2) Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien. This is the first in a YA dystopian trilogy about a young midwife living outside of the privileged Enclave who faithfully hands over a quota of new babies to the government each year. When her parents are arrested, she enters the Enclave to try and rescue them and, in the process, learns a lot more about the world she lives in.
3) Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. My surprise favorite of the year, this YA contemporary novel tells the story of a deaf girl who winds up the manager of a band. It's thought-provoking, full of heart, and just really well-done all around.
4) The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow. This haunting YA historical fiction is about a biracial girl in the 1980s struggling with her identity and her future after being the only one to survive when her mother decided to attempt a murder/suicide of the whole family. It's a beautifully written novel.
5) Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. This is the final book in the YA dystopian Chaos Walking trilogy, about a town full of men, and only men, who can hear each other's thoughts. When he stumbles across an area where thoughts are silent, the main character is sent on a desperate journey both to survive and to uncover the terrible secrets of his hometown. It's a brilliant and brutal series.
6) The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. This is the first in a YA fantasy/mystery series about a girl who can sense the bodies of those who have been murdered, as well as their killers. It's a fantastically creepy story.
7) The Glass Swallow by Julia Golding. This is a lovely YA fantasy romance about a gifted glassmaker who is forced to run away because girls aren't allowed in the glassmaker guild. She encounters a young falconer who has also been rejected by society, and as she learns more about her world and the injustices that it holds, she also falls in love.
8) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. This is the first in a YA historical fantasy trilogy, my favorite of Cassandra Clare's work, I think in part because of the beautiful old-timey vibe. It's about an American girl in 1878 who, while in search of her brother, comes across the Shadowhunters of London and learns that she herself is not human. Soon she's caught up in a battle against a secret organization bent on taking over Britain with their magical clockwork creatures.
9) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This may be the most beloved YA romance of all time, and it's truly adorable. It tells the story of a girl who is sent to a Paris boarding school and there meets a cultured and beautiful boy--who already has a girlfriend.
10) The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. This is the first in a popular YA fantasy series about a girl who discovers that her father is a faery king and is then pulled into a conflict between the ancient and traditional fae kingdoms and the new iron fae. It's a very tropey series, like most of Kagawa's work, but really enjoyable and interesting.
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