The Compulsive Reader: 2008 Faves

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Faves

I've been sitting here contemplating the past year's releases, and because I am a compulsive list maker I couldn't help but list my favorites among 2008's new books. It's a hard thing to narrow down with SO many good books that came out this year, but I'll give it a shot:

A Curse Dark as Gold

My fellow Cybils panelists in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi group are rather torn when it comes to this one, but I loved it. I loved the setting, and how Elizabeth Bunce creates a solid story in which she makes the fairy tale fit into rather the other way around. It's a beautiful, enthralling, and magical read, with a kick-butt cover to boot.

The Day I Killed James

My first novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde, I thought that this story was a very isightful one about death, grief, responsibility, and realizing the full impact of actions. The characters are real, they're tough, and, as we come to find out, resilient.


Lisa McMann's first novel (which she wrote in a week, that crazy/amazing lady!) is creepy and very magnetic. It's a quick read, but overflowing with mystery, fear, and suspense, and it promises more equally thrilling sequels.

Audrey, Wait!

Let's just get this out of the way first off--Robin Benway totally rocks. Audrey, Wait! is hilarious, laugh-outloud-until-you-spray-something-out-of-your-nose fun. Audrey is so real, it's amazing. Benway has catured the essense of teen life, among other amazing things in this novel.

Ten Cents a Dance

Always a fan of historical fiction, I loved Christine Fletcher's unique novel on a subject I'd never heard about before--taxi dance halls. Ruby and her struggles in her new life, determination to succeed, and love for her family are admirable. This is an entertaining read that is really educational without being boring at all.

The Explosionist

Another "historical" novel, but with a twist. Jenny Davidson shows us an imagined alternate world in which the battle at Waterloo had turned out differently. The year is 1938, and the world is in turmoil--although, not in the same ways in which we know. Terrorism is on the rise, and something horrible and mysterious is happening to young women. The Explosionist is a real thriller.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

E. Lockhart tells the tale of Frankie, an overlooked and underestimated girl who longs to be acknowledged for her intelligence. So, in order to achieve that recognition, she secretly takes over her boyfriend's all-male secret society in order to pull of the most spectacular pranks. Witty and exceedingly clever, The Disreputable History sticks in your mind for a long time.

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins' amazing futuristic novel is chilling and totally engrossing. Her depiction of the society in which the government has total and complete control over everything makes you think, and entertains at the same time. The Hunger Games is simply remarkable.

Paper Towns
This is another novel in which the author's (John Green) depiction of high school life is natural and funny and surprisingly right on the mark. The added twist of a mysterious disappearance and a trail of clues really make the book even more engaging.

Suite Scarlett
Maureen Johnson's trademark wit and crazy humor have reached their highest point yet in Suite Scarlett. Hilarious, adventurous, engaging, anf hilarious, Suite Scarlett is one read you especially don't want to miss. And the best part? There's more to come.

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn
The mix of adventure, magic, and secrecy are an engrossing combination, and make for one heck of a read. Alison Goodman leaves readers hanging though at the end with a stunning and maddening cliffhanger that will keep readers dreaming.


Creepy and truly frightening, Bliss is the story of a friendship gone very wrong. Lauren Myracle will stun readers as she slowly reveals the dark forces at work, and gives readers a surprise ending that will make you think twice about how far you'll go to be well liked.
What are some of your favorite books from 2008?
Have a safe and happy New Year, everyone!


Ink Mage said...

Wow, we share four 2008 favorites! Plus I also liked Wake and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks a lot.

I've looked at a lot of other people's lists and thought, "Hmm, we must have different tastes."

Staci said...

Quite a few of these titles are in my list for a YA Challenge I'm doing. Thanks for such great reviews!!

Wrighty said...

Great choices! I've added a few to my TBR pile that I wasn't familiar with.