Sunday, December 19, 2010

2010 Book Lists, Pt. 2: Genre #2

Best Books Published in 2010
The best books I read this year, limited only to books that came out this year.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
An ambitious fantasy set within a scary, "live" prison. Definitely worth a look. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Fantasy, YA for Adults, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien
Similar to Incarceron in scope and feel. This is the story of an America ravaged by a loss of resources, where births are carefully regulated in order to avoid genetic inbreeding. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Debuts of 2010, Night-In Reads)

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Tells in sparse, powerful prose the story of Daelyn's attempts at suicide. For such a shocking and depressing topic, this book is utterly engrossing. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Thought-Provoking Reads, Nice Guys, Important Themes, Canonicity)

Summer, Book 2: It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
The second book in this wonderful contemporary romance does not disappoint! (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Quiet Gems, Love Triangles, Escapism for Smart Teens)

The Hunger Games, Book 3: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
As much as Mockingjay seemed to disappoint some readers (and I have a post about that some other time), I thought it was the best way that Suzanne Collins' could've ended this legendary series. War does not have happy endings, whatever its outcome, and that's what Mockingjay shows us. (And yes, I did just paraphrase from my Hunger Games paper.) (also on: Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Memorable Protagonists, Canonicity)

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
This Australian import features small-town life, musicians, song lyrics, and writing so beautiful it will make you feel unaccomplished. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Quiet Gems, Messy Relationships, Beautiful Writing)

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
It's much more than the typical grief/time-travel story. Donnelly does her research on classical guitar and the French Revolution so well it's easy to believe that Andi's story actually happened. This book is one to be savored over a weekend vacation. (also on: Historical Fiction, YA for Adults, One for the Awards)

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
This is top-notch high-tech dystopian lit. You can appreciate it for Kid's narration, the well-developed characters, and the interesting premise, or you can read it for its commentary on social networking and consumerism. Fascinating! (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Debuts of 2010, Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Important Themes, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The hype and universal appreciation for this book is not unfounded. This could be the best work of contemporary fiction published since... I dunno, a long time? Truly one of the best realistic YA fiction ever! (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Night-In Reads, Winter Reads, Feel-Good Reads, Nice Guys, Boarding School Settings, Books with Athletes, Diverse Reads, Escapism for Smart Teens)

The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley
About what might happen if a pandemic similar to the avian flu wrecked our world and killed 50 percent of the population. Oh, and it also has the family drama a la a typical adult thriller novel. (also on: Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Adult Reads for YA)

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
A popular girl relives the last day of her life seven times. This debut novel's concept may not be exactly new--or, rather, it stops being "new" after the first three or so relivings--but it is actually good and very well-written. (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Thought-Provoking Reads)

Nothing by Janne Teller
Sometimes the scariest books to read aren't horrors or suspense novels, but rather the quiet escalation of one class's desperation to prove that life means something, anything...even at the cost of human life. Appallingly, shiver-inducingly good. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Different Reads, YA for Adults, One for the Awards)

The Agency series by Y. S. Lee
Female spies in Victorian London! A heritage to be reckoned with! Sizzling romantic banter! This series has it all. LOVED it. (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Winter Reads, Mysteries, Historical Fiction, POC, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner
Kate Messner is my favorite middle grade author, and for good reason. Her second book is about the kind of mind games that occur in the cutthroat world of competitive ice skating, mixed with the feel-good joys of a family-run sap business in Vermont. (also on: Books with Athletes, Middle Grade, Diverse Reads, Supporting Characters, YA for Adults)

Vampires, Werewolves, and Ghosts, Oh My! Paranormal
I may try to avoid the Twilight-esque paranormal romances, but there is still an abundance of great paranormal books out there, featuring all sorts of supernatural creatures, powers, and more.

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Jeri's first YA novel is a smashing success. It seems to have the typical paranormal romance elements--a love triangle, deaths, danger--but the two boys are equally likeable, and the paranormal world is so well built up that you could totally see it happening. (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Love Triangles, Wonderful Worlds, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Humor and the supernatural in the world that's more urban fantasy than paranormal. Evie is girly, the guys are cute, and the action is fun! (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Guilty Pleasures, Bad Boys, Wonderful Worlds, Beautiful Covers, Humor)

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Hanna's experience in the secret-filled world of Portero, Texas is weird, weird, weird, but also makes for different paranormal fare. (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Families, POC, Different Reads)

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Brenna's writing is just absolutely stunning. There aren't that many books about changelings out there, and Mackie's is especially emotionally riveting. (also on: Winter Reads, Beautiful Writing)

The Infernal Devices, Book 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
A new Cassandra Clare, yay! Hers are books I read purely for the guilty-pleasure enjoyment component, and Clockwork Angel delivers that, because in many ways it's so much like The Mortal Instruments. (also on: Night-In ReadsLove Triangles, Guilty Pleasures, Beautiful Covers, Diverse Reads)

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Who doesn't love a twist on a fairy tale? Here, Little Red Riding Hood is reimagined as a sister-team that kills werewolves. (also on: Retellings, Beautiful Covers)

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
You would think that I'd be over stories about immortals. After all, aren't they just a slight variation on vampires? But I actually enjoyed Nastasya's story very much. Her history told in flashbacks, coupled with the trials and tribulations of her new life, make for great escapism. (also on: Eternal Romances, Memorable Protagonists)

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Same goes for this one. A story about love that transcends multiple lives? Hrmm. However, I was also inexplicably sucked into Haven's struggles, one that runs the gamut from small Southern town prejudice to the thrills and dangers of the Big Apple. (also on: Eternal Romances, Winter Reads)

Deception by Lee Nichols
Not your typical ghosts-at-a-boarding-school story. Emma is an engagingly snarky character, and the ghost dilemma is well thought out. I'd be interested in reading the subsequent books in this series. (also on: Memorable Protagonists, Wonderful Worlds)

Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
A totally different, yet thoroughly entertaining take on the typical vampire tale. What if vampirism were a choice, and you had to take classes in order to be better informed on your eventual decision? Read this book and its sequel to see how Mina deals with it! (also on: Guilty Pleasures, Humor)

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
It doesn't so much involve Poe as it depicts the wondrously complex relationship between a head cheerleader and the school's freak artsy boy...only said artsy boy is actually very attractive in his moodiness, as Isobel (and we) discover. Yummm. (also on: Messy Relationships)

The Morganville Vampires, Book 1: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
For those who like their vampire novels about scary vampires and the maidens who must be protected from their nefarious clutches. Er, I mean, this is like those well-received vampire TV shows, except in novel format.

For more paranormal reads, be sure to check out the following:
Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Caster Chronicles, Book 2: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Wicked Lovely, Book 4: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
Prophecy of the Sisters, Book 2: Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
13 to Life by Shannon Delany
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Eternal Romances
Their love is here to stay…or so it will seem.

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Probably the most dramatically eternal paranormal couple since Bella and Edward! (also on: Paranormal, Winter Reads)

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
I dare you to read this and not be in love with Jay's utter devotion to his best friend and soul mate, Violet. (also on: Paranormal, MysteriesNice Guys)

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
A tale of love that transcends generations and finds itself in spite of geographical and socioeconomic distance. My favorite thing about this book is not necessarily the romance, but the mystery that surrounds it: is this love of her life really who he says he is? What's a girl to do when she can't be certain that he's who he says he is? Delicious! (also on: Paranormal, Winter Reads)

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
Jessamine's sheltered life in her father's run-down cottage changes when Weed comes to stay. Weed is not your typical boy, so he's gawky, unused to human nature...and yet utterly sweet to Jessamine, willing to do anything for her. (also on: Magical Realism, Best Villains, Different Reads)

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
Jill Jekel and Tristen Hyde come together in more chemical ways than lab and a mysterious connection to the old Robert Louis Stevenson tale. (also on: Paranormal, Retellings)

Sleepless by Cyn Balog
Dude, Eron cares for Julia despite the fact that he is a Sandman and thus has to deal with lots of other people, and she is still torn over the sudden death of her boyfriend. Very sweet. (also on: Magical Realism)

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Maya and Lochan's love may be unusual--it may even be illegal--but after reading their story and their hardships with their family, there is no way you can't cheer for them. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Angst-Filled Reads, Families, Messy Relationships, Different Reads, 2011 Books to Anticipate)

Tutored by Allison Whittenberg
A Philadelphian love story featuring black characters of different socioeconomic means. How much personal and familial bias must they overcome in order to finally be together?

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Enough with the insta-bond already! Amy and Roger's budding romance develops in the way I think relationships should: gradually, while overcoming individual problems in the past, and while on an epic road trip across America (okay, okay, the last one is a little less likely, but I love the idea of cross-country road trips). (also on: Summer Reads, Feel-Good Reads)

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
A vampire queen-turned-newly reborn human falls in love with a human boy... but is also chased by lovers from her past life. (also on: Paranormal)

Retellings/Modernizations/Companion Tales
If done right, a retelling or modernization can be absolutely incredible. Here's a few that fit the bill:

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
As I said above: "Who doesn't love a twist on a fairy tale? Here, Little Red Riding Hood is reimagined as a sister-team that kills werewolves." (also on: Paranormal, Beautiful Covers)

Jane by April Lindner
A modernization of Jane Eyre that stays true to the original. If you loved Bronte's story, then you'll be head-over-heels for this one. (also on: Winter Reads)

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
A reimagining of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, combined with modern issues--in this case, anorexia. (also on: Magical Realism, Bad Boys, Different Reads)

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Wood
The Count of Monte Cristo set in the "killer" environment of high school. (also on: Feel-Good Reads, Guilty Pleasures, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
Jekyll & Hyde updated into a love story and family feud. (also on: Paranormal, Eternal Romances)

The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz
This is a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, and it is adorable! The spinster of a self-absorbed rich-family-gone-to-shambles learns how to make it on her own... as well as give in to her heart's desires. (also on: Guilty Pleasures, Adult Reads for YA)

The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle
This is an interesting supernatural prequel to Wuthering Heights, one of those classics that I can totally see having a supernatural prequel. (also on: Horror/Suspense/Thriller)

What were some of your favorite paranormal reads of 2010? Favorite love stories? Retellings? Let me know so I can check them out!

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

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


  1. I can definitely see a lot on here that I've loved myself, and some I'm aiming to read soon. I'm now extra glad I have The Unidentified in my TBR, and definitely wanting to hear more about Sugar and Ice.

    One of my favourite retellings of 2010 was Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse, based on the story of Hansel and Gretel. It's just brilliant.

  2. Your best published list could be part mine/part my TBR list - great compilation. Did you know Incarceration is being turned into a movie?

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  3. Yay Anna!

    And obviously I need to add Birthmarked to my "things to read before school starts" list.

  4. Yay Anna!

    And obviously I need to add Birthmarked to my "things to read before school starts" list.

  5. You've got some awesome books here. I loved Birthmarked but haven't heard anyone else really mention it. By the Time You Read This and Before I Fall were incredible, as well. Although, I'm *almost* done with Beautiful Darkness, and i gotta say, it's moving kind of slow for me.

  6. These lists are awesome! I'm a little surprised that you have Sucks to be Me on there, though, because I didn't really like it. But regardless, I'm really interested in reading Jane because I loved the original Jane Eyre

  7. I'm super excited for all of your lists!

    I'm glad to see ANNA made your list. I haven't read it yet, but all of the hype has me seriously curious. I'm probably going to buy it after Christmas :)


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