As y'all know, I share roundups of my favorite (YA) books of the year each December. Today, in a challenge inspired by Top Ten Tuesday, I'm going to try to narrow these down and pick a single favorite for each year from 2010-2019. It's a good way to close out the decade, but certainly an extremely hard task! We'll see how it turns out.
1) 2010: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Like, dude. The only way you could beat this is if you were a Harry Potter book. For anyone living under a rock, Mockingjay is the final book in a YA sci-fi dystopian trilogy about a girl who takes her sister's place fighting to the death in an arena full of teens. (Taken from Best YA Books of 2010.)
2) 2011: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. This is another book/series that I commonly cite as being one of my most favorites, so it makes sense that it'd be on this list! It's a YA fantasy, the first in a trilogy, about an awkward, self-conscious girl with a great, unknown destiny who gets kidnapped after entering an arranged marriage with a king. (Taken from Best YA Books of 2011.)
3) 2012: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Oof! This is a hard year to narrow down, but it seems fitting that I choose the book that I've mentioned on this blog the most often. Cinder is the first book in a YA sci-fi fairytale retelling series, featuring an Asian Cinderella with a prosthetic foot. (Taken from Top Ten Tuesday: Best YA Books of 2012.)
4) 2013: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. This YA/adult crossover sci-fi/fantasy, the beginning of a continuing series, is a true hard-hitter. It follows an illegal dreamwalker in the future who gets kidnapped as a prisoner to an otherworldly race. Good stuff! (Taken from Best YA Books of 2013.)
5) 2014: UnDivided by Neal Shusterman. This one was another really hard choice, but I'm going with this finale to a YA sci-fi dystopian series that I've adored. It takes place in an America where the "solution" to the abortion debate is the "unwinding" of the bodies of unwanted teens to serve as organ donations. It is wild, and Shusterman does his usual fantastic job with the world-building. (Taken from Best YA Books of 2014.)
6) 2015: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Y'all, these choices are starting to kill me--there were a lot of 5-stars this year--but The Walls Around Us is the book that stunned me the most. It's an otherworldly YA thriller that follows a gifted ballerina, a girl stuck in juvie, and the girl who connects them both. (Taken from Best YA Books of 2015.)
7) 2016: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. Rick Riordan's books dance on the line between MG and YA fantasy, and as you probably know, they all retell different mythologies in the modern age. This book jumps off of his original Percy Jackson series to tell the story of Apollo, who has been cast down to Earth in mortal form as punishment for not taking better care of his oracles. The brilliance of this ongoing series is in the POV, which is hilarious and heartfelt. (Taken from Best YA Books of 2016.)
8) 2017: Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey. For this year, I have to choose the first book in a YA sci-fi trilogy featuring a romance between an android with a soul and a religious human soldier who are on opposite sides of a galactic war. I mean, obviously. (Taken from Best YA Books of 2017.)
9) 2018: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is the final book in a YA sci-fi trilogy that uses a nontraditional format in order to tell an epic and terrifying tale about an illegal planet of miners who have to take on a big bad corporation in the midst of space. Dude, it is awesome. (Taken from Best YA Books of 2018.)
10) 2019: The Hive by Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden. In a sneak preview of this year's Best YA Books of the Year post, I'm sharing my favorite so far: a brilliantly written YA sci-fi dystopian about a near-future America where social media mobs are used to determine real-life justice. It has a nontraditional format and a hilarious Trump-like depiction of a U.S. president. Definitely recommended!
As expected, this was kind of torturous--this list barely brushes the surface of the books I'd recommend to YA fans, but it does give a good starting point. When you're ready to go deeper, you can go into the linked best-of-the-year posts and then further into my Goodreads shelves! I have enough recommendations to keep most readers going for years.
What would your favorite picks be for each year? Please comment with them below, and I will be back next week with a "taking stock" update.
Images via Goodreads.
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