Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of the Decade - Jocelyn's Young Adult Picks

Graceling (2008) by Kristin Cashore
I've written about this one before: it has a fantastic plot, a wonderfully strong and independent female lead, and lots of action/adventure mixed with a nice amount of romance. Just a great read.

Jellicoe Road (2006) by Melina Marchetta
One of my all-time favourite books: it defies description but it's beautiful and heartbreaking.

The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins
A popular title, this one's being talked up by lots of people right now, but deservedly so. It's a vicious, darker version of Survivor with much higher stakes. It has shades of the short story, "The Most Dangerous Game"

Harry Potter (end of series) by J.K. Rowling
Do I seriously need to tell anyone about these books? In a recent Literary Smackdown at the Keshen Goodman branch, HP beat out Twilight as the better and more enduring series. I believe the winning debaters were right.

Would You? (2008)
by Marthe Jocelyn
This was one of my first introductions to YA lit and I went in expecting very little. This book kept me up way past my bedtime, because I couldn't possibly go to sleep without knowing what would happen to the sisters. It's a heartbreaker and as much as I *swore* that it was not gonna make me cry, once I turned the last page I sat and bawled my eyes out.

Artemis Fowl series (2001-08) by Eoin Colfer
Artemis is a great character and these books are just pure fun and entertainment. As much as I admire Artie, and as fond as I am of the Elf Captain, Holly, my favourite character would be Mulch, the super stealthy dwarf robber who tunnels through rock and dirt by gulping it in and, well, expelling it in great bursts of air!

Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (2008) by E. Lockhart
Another strong female lead, Frankie is smarter, funnier, and way more clever than the boys she attends school with. The fun is in proving it.

Uglies series (2005-07) by Scott Westerfeld
A great dystopic series that comments on consumerism, our fascination with celebrity and beauty, and our growing dependence on technology and gadgets. It's also a rollicking adventure.

by Louise Rennison
Georgia consistently makes me laugh out loud in a way no book has ever managed. Her relationship with her insufferably embarrassing parents, the way she devolves into complete teenager self-focus and drama queen-ishness, and that she visits a guy who has selflessly offered his services as a practice snogger (for a small fee for his time): it's all awesome.

The Crazy Man (2005) by Pamela Paige Porter
Written in free verse, Porter's book won a slew of awards for its story of a young Saskatchewan girl, badly hurt in the accident that scared her father off, and the giant of a man her mother hires from the local psychiatric hospital to help them work the farm. It's a beautiful story of fear, anger, heartbreak, discrimination, and acceptance.

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