Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 Book Lists, Pt. 5: Genre #3

For when you want to curl up with a book that keeps you riveted until its satisfying conclusion!

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling
This companion novel to Dream Girl continues to follow Claire and her friends in their NYC lives, aided by Claire's inherited talent for revealing visions. (also on: Magical Realism)

The Agency series by Y. S. Lee
A Spy in the House and The Body at the Tower are both well-researched Victorian mysteries featuring Mary Quinn. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, Best Debuts of 2010, Winter Reads, Historical Fiction, POC, Different Reads, Escapism for Smart Teens)

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Commonly considered the first English detective novel, this Victorian classic provides a number of narratives that all help to figure out the mysterious theft of the Yellow Diamond. (also on: Notable Classics)

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Friends try to figure out what led to their friend's mysterious and sudden death. Very introspective. (also on: Messy Relationships)

Millennium Trilogy, Book 1: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Not for everyone, but the mystery-thriller aspect of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is in the financial realm, with twists of misogyny for a "good" punch. (And by "good" I meant that it really is like a sucker punch, and I'm intrigued to see where Stieg Larsson is going with that theme.) (also on: Night-In Reads, Suspense/Horror/Thriller, Girl Power)

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Eddie Reeves thinks her photographer father has finally left behind some clues after his suicide...or has he? As powerful and hard to put down as all of Courtney's other novels. (also on: Night-In Reads, Messy Relationships)

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Violet's ability to detect dead bodies gets her in over her head as she's hot on the dangerous trail of the local serial killer. Luckily, she's got her best friend Jay by her side. (also on: Paranormal, Eternal Romances, Nice Guys)

And Then I Found Out the Truth by Jennifer Sturman
Delia gets closer to unraveling the mystery of her mother's disappearance in the Antarctica, a mystery that seems to be linked to some ecoambitious cover-up. A cast of colorful and likeable characters rounds up this enjoyable series. (also on: Summer Reads)

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Double-crossers being double-crossed! A highly original Victorian-era LGBT mystery. (also on: Historical Fiction)

Historical Fiction
Be transported to a whole new world--our past--without the need to resort to magical elements. (Well, in most cases, anyway.)

The Agency series by Y. S. Lee
Truly one of the best YA Victorian-era series out there. The descriptions of Victorian London are intricate, and Mary is a resourceful protagonists with enough secrets to keep us intrigued. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, Best Debuts of 2010, Winter Reads, Mysteries, POC, Different Reads, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Okay, so this one is mostly set in our time, with the past contained in absorbing diary entries. But for anyone with an interest in the French Revolution, or who knows how incredible Jennifer Donnelly's stories are, this is a must-read. There's also a crazy twist at the end. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, On Grief, Books with Artists, Diverse Reads, YA for Adults, One for the Awards)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Set in 1960s Mississippi and tells the story of high-society white women and their black maids, who are much more complex and connected than their mistresses believe. Very evocative of the era. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Adult Reads for YA)

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
This should be a must-read if one is studying the Castro uprising in Cuba. The way the revolution uproots Lucia's life is well-written and heartwrenching to read. (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, POC)

Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards
This little-known historical event--the day the Johnstown Dam broke and destroyed dozens of towns in its path--and its aftermath is evocatively rendered through multiple POVs in a novel-in-verse format.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
When 12-year-old CeeCee is sent to live with an obscure relative in Georgia, little does she know how possibilities will open up for her. This is very good Southern fiction, with a great voice, even if it may not be all that original. (also on: Adult Reads for YA)

Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
A female who wants to be a soldier in Khublai Khan's army in ancient Mongolian China! (also on: POC, Girl Power)

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
A frightening look into the "psychiatric hospitals" of the nineteenth century that were little more than places to put wayward, disobedient, and independent women out of the way. (also on: Best Villains)

Leaving Gee’s Bend by Irene Latham
Ludelphia, blind in one eye, must leave the comfortable safety of Gee's Bend for the scary outside world in order to get help for her dying mother. (also on: Middle Grade, POC)

Everlasting by Angie Frazier
An ambitious blend of historical fiction and magical lore, mid-19th-century San Francisco and the Australian frontier.

Faithful by Janet Fox
All Maggie wants is to have a normal society life in New England, but then her father brings her out West, to Yellowstone Park, where the new environment, people, and priorities inevitably changes her.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
As mentioned above, this is a "highly original Victorian-era LGBT mystery." (also on: Mysteries)

Maybe you'd like to be...spooked? Kept on the edge of your seat? Then check these books out.

Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen
An unusual and poetic ghost story that will have you shivering and checking to see if anyone's sitting behind you. (also on: Paranormal, Beautiful Writing)

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Wow! I probably don't watch enough zombie/vampire horror movies to get tired of this genre yet, but this one kept me flying through its pages with its meticulous research and excellent, frightening pacing. (also on: Adult Reads for YA)

This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
A psychological horror tale, if one could call it that. Before we know it, we, too, have been ensared by Olivia's stalker, not knowing how to get out of it. (also on: Thought-Provoking Reads, Best Villains, Different Reads, Important Themes, One for the Awards)

Millennium Trilogy, Book 1: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Past the first 300 pages (which, yes, I know, is a bit ridiculous, but bear wth me), this book flew by for me. I read the second half in a solid 4-hour chunk, dying to know how things will turn out for Mikhael Blomkvist and the ever irrepressible Lizbeth Salander. (also on: Night-In Reads, Mysteries, Girl Power)

Numbers by Rachel Ward
What happens when a troubled girl with a "talent" to see the dates of everyone's death finds herself in the middle of an impending terrorist act? Well, you'll have to read this book to find out.

The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle
Gosh darnit, the Victorian era--and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights--is perfect fodder for a creepy ghost story. See Clare Dunkle's take on Heathcliff's story prior to Wuthering Heights. (also on: Paranormal, Retellings)

Love Triangles
On a much lighter note, who wouldn't enjoy a good ol' love triangle when it's well-written and chock full of teenage angst?

Summer, Book 2: It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
There is absolutely no way in the world you're going to be able to choose between Conrad, the intense and tortured soul, and Jeremiah, whose unflagging spirit sometimes gets lost in Conrad's moods. I want to split Belly into two people so that she can be with both brothers. Eurghhh. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Books Published in 2010, Quiet Gems, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Logan the dead-but-not-quite-gone Irish musician boyfriend, or Zach, the Scottish exchange student who  may be Aura's only link to the secrets of the Shift? I don't know, I can't decide! How can you not like them both?!? (also on: Paranormal, Best Debuts of 2010, Wonderful Worlds, Escapism for Smart Teens)

The Iron Fey, Book 1: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
In most bad boy/nice guy love triangles, there's always a very clear winner. (Usually the bad boy, alas.) But not in this series. Puck and Ash, while completely different, are both wonderful characters, and you just want them to be happy. (also on: Fantasy, Best Debuts of 2010, Summer Reads, Nice Guys, Wonderful Worlds)

Theatre Illuminata, Act 2: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
Swashbuckling, kind-hearted pirate Nate, or the intense and slightly dangerous wind spirit Ariel? (also on: Fantasy, Bad Boys, Beautiful Covers, Beautiful Writing)

The Infernal Devices, Book 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Will gives off the impression of being beyond all trouble while actually being very emotionally scarred, while Jem's calm exterior makes some dark secrets. (also on: Paranormal, Guilty Pleasures, Beautiful Covers, Diverse Reads)

Matched by Ally Condie
Cassia's life goes horribly awry when she falls in love... not with the person she was matched with, her best friend Xander, but by the enigmatic classmate who holds himself apart from the others, Ky. Will you, too, fall for Ky, or will Xander's boy-next-door goodness keep you faithful? (also on: Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Wonderful Worlds, Beautiful Covers)

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Lennie is drawn to one boy for sunlight smile and his impassioned way of living through his music, the other for his tragic connection to her sister's death. (also on: On Grief, Nice Guys, One for the Awards)

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, Book 1) by Patricia Briggs
Both Sam and Adam are alpha werewolves, but I wonder which one will eventually win Mercy's independent heart...

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
Half-tiger, half-human boy Tye claims that he and Lily are magical soul mates, but the gorgeous, devoted, and well-intentioned Jake makes a run for their money as well. (also on: Fantasy)

Guilty Pleasures
Sometimes, you know, you just have a craving for those yummy pieces of fictional candy. No one will judge you if you want to read these delights. Really.

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
As good as you can get if you want to see some well-deserved girl-on-girl revenge. (also on: Retellings, Feel-Good Reads, Escapism for Smart Teens)

She’s So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
Kieran Scott (a.k.a. Kate Brian) has a way of writing the best suburban teen dramas out there. Get sucked into Ally and Jake's dramatic, vindictive world. (also on: Bad Boys)

The Infernal Devices, Book 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Full of witty dialogue, torrid emotions, and paranormal danger, Cassandra Clare's books are one of the best ways to lose yourself in an enjoyable read. (also on: Paranormal, Night-In Reads, Love Triangles, Beautiful Covers, Diverse Reads)

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Urban fantasy with a whole lot of humor, sensibility, and girlishness! (also on: Paranormal, Best Debuts of 2010, Bad Boys, Beautiful Covers, Humor)

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
Readers of any age will be entertained by Violet's snarky prep school dramatics. (also on: Feel-Good Reads, Humor)

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Lily's antics with her mermaid ancestry, not to mention her boy troubles, will keep you entertained. (also on: Magical Realism, Humor)

Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Vampires and light-hearted high school drama... a fun combination! (also on: Paranormal, Humor)

The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz
This modern-day retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion is as sharp-witted as the original, but with a great contemporary twist on feminism. (also on: Retellings, Best Villains, Adult Reads for YA)

So what are your favorite love triangles that you've read this year? How about your best guilty pleasure reads?

Back to: Master List | Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Guest List #1 | Pt. 3 | Guest List #2 | Pt. 4 | Guest List #3 | Pt. 5 | Guest List #4 | Pt. 6 | Pt. 7 | Guest List #5 | Pt. 8 | Guest List #6 | Pt. 9 | Guest List #7 | Pt. 10

Link titles go to my book reviews; annotations as inspired.


  1. You've just spent my entire Christmas gift card in this one post. I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY.

    Seriously though, thank you :) Great list, Steph!

  2. Love your Horror Thriller selection, going to check those out now and add to the Wishlist. I have Body Finder and Forgive your Fins on my list, I don't really do YA but those look good.


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