|The Great 2010 Booklist: July thru August
||[Sep. 15th, 2010|01:08 pm]
My trend of reading more books in the summertime continued this year. I read quite a mixture of genres the past two months, although I think YA dominates, as per usual. I've been reading a bit more contemporary YA this past year to get to know the market, since my current WIP is, in fact, contemporary YA.
41. Naamah's Curse, by Jacqueline Carey. Fantasy
42. The Finishing Touches, by Hester Browne. Contemporary
43. The World Inside, by Robert Silverberg. SF
44. Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan. Contemporary
45. Dying Inside, by Robert Silverberg. SF
46. Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin. YA speculative
47. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson. YA Contemporary
48. Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella. Contemporary w/ supernatural element
49. The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart. MG speculative
50. Duke of Shadows, Meredith Duran. Romance
51. Pretty Little Liars: Perfect, by Sara Shepard. YA Contemporary
52. Pretty Little Liars: Unbelievable, by Sara Shepard. YA Contemporary
53. Gorgeous, by Rachel Vail. YA Contemporary
54. Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Fantasy
55. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 4, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Anthology
56. Imager, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. Fantasy
57. Vegan Virgin Valentine, by Carolyn Mackler. YA Contemporary
58. Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine. MG Fantasy
59. The Great Call of China, by Cynthea Liu. YA Contemporary
60. Feed, by M.T. Anderson. YA SF
61. Toads and Diamonds, by Heather Tomlinson. YA Fantasy
62. In the Forest of Forgetting, by Theodora Goss. Fantasy
63. Pretty Little Liars: Wicked, by Sara Shepard. YA Contemporary
64. Pretty Little Liars: Killer, by Sara Shepard. YA Contemporary
65. Pretty Little Liars: Heartless, by Sara Shepard. YA Contemporary
66. Pretty Little Liars: Wanted, by Sara Shepard. YA Contemporary
67. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins. YA SF
68. The Book of Skulls, by Robert Silverberg. SF
69. The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories, by Joan Aiken. MG Fantasy
70. Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin. Contemporary
Out of this list of thirty titles, I of course had my favorites. Most noteworthy, I felt, was M.T. Anderson's YA dystopia Feed. The use of language was superb and fascinating, and this novel was a hard-hitting critique of our current society. The characterization of our protag was also very finely drawn. Highly recommended, even if you're not usually the biggest YA fan.
This also marked the first three Silverberg novels I've ever read, and while I'm not certain I can recommend one above the other two, I enjoyed reading his work and will be picking up others in the future.
Two collections of short stories completely enchanted me this summer: Theodora Goss's In the Forest of Forgetting was one of those rare collections in which I enjoyed every single story, and The Serial Garden, a new collection from Small Beer Press of previously published Joan Aiken stories, was enchanting and perfect bedtime reading.
My favorite contemporary YA of the list is a tie between Carolyn Mackler's Virgin Vegan Valentine, in which I fully identified with the protagonist, and Cynthea Liu's The Great Call of China, which was very moving.
Lastly, I can't finish without mentioning the highly anticipated finale to the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins, a book that I read in one sitting while nursing a sprained ankle. I felt that this book didn't take any of the easy choices that would have, in my mind, have cheapened the protaganist Katniss. There was a lot of hoop-la over the love triangle in this series, but to be honest, I never found the love triangle overly interesting and found the result of it fairly predictable. What I thought was noteworthy was the portrayal of Katniss and her PTSD, showing a broken person being forced to cope in brutal and terrible circumstances, and also showing the realities of war and this ruthless and broken society, in which there was no black and white and both sides were harsh and corrupt in different ways. Collins didn't pull her punches here, and I was pleased she didn't.