You might be sick of these looking-back posts already, but I couldn't resist throwing in my own two-cents. Here are my top twelve books of 2010, one for every month of the year!
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
I have been a fan of Bunce's work since A Curse Dark as Gold released in 2008, and I was overjoyed when StarCrossed hit shelves this year. More of a classic fantasy story than fairy-tale retelling, StarCrossed is action-packed, witty, and sharp, and it will keep you completely enthralled until the very end. If you're a fan of Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Fire, definitely check this one out! I adored it.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This book has all of the fixings for the ideal YA romance novel without being dumbed down or too cliché. It's charming, funny, and just so, so perfect. Plus, the Parisian setting is not only totally romantic and magical, but it also manages to be a little educational--despite my French language classes, I even learned a couple of things about Paris. Stephanie Perkins is definitely an author to watch--her next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door will be out September 2011! Oh happy day!
Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
Every so often a book comes along that is so different and quirky and just plain lovable that you can't help but gush about it, and this is it. The Sullivan family is so wacky and entertaining, and these sisters are so honest and endearing, you can't help but fall in love with them. The unique confession-letter format and Standiford's style will make it impossible for you to put this one down.
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
This is probably one of my favorite dystopian novels to release in 2010. The world and the flawed society is very well-drawn, the mystery is so absorbing, the action is tense and suspenseful, and there is one heck of a code to break. I love the surprises O'Brien throws in at the end, and I am eager to see what's up next for her--hopefully something soon in 2011!
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Oh, what can I say about this book? It's a novel about the French Revolution, and what is so remarkable about it is how flawlessly Donnelly connects the past with the present. There are so many little details and plots with subplots and subplots with subplots, but yet it is never confusing, and everything comes together seamlessly in the end. Donnelly is an extraordinary writer, and this is a beautiful book.
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
When it comes to trilogies, I am usually a tiny bit wary of second books. Too often they end up only being stepping stones from a strong beginning to a dramatic ending, but this is definitely not the case with Linger, sequel to Shiver. Stiefvater throws in two more narrators, and the issues and threats that every character faces gets even more complicated. It's a beautiful sequel, and I enjoyed it even more than Shiver!
After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy
I really loved McVoy's first book, Pure, so I was delighted when this one came out, and even more so when I discovered that it is a novel in verse. McVoy uses two very distinct and very different styles of poetry, and the result is a powerful book about growing up and facing some of the harder issues life throws your way.
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway
We found out in Audrey, Wait! that Robin Benway knows how to write humor and write it extremely well. Her latest book has just as many laughs, but also a great trio of sisters with superpowers. This book is pure smart fun, and you won't want to leave April, May, and June at the last page.
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Originally published in Australia and the UK, this book made its debut here in the US in May, and it blew me away. Everything about this book is just so fascinating and gripping, from the format (a girl's letter to her kidnapper) to the amazing descriptions of the setting. This book demands to be read in one sitting.
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
This is my favorite book written by Cohn and Levithan so far, for many reasons. First, Lily is such a lovable character. She's smart but not brilliant, confident, but not really outgoing, and she really doesn't have many friends, but she is so real and honest. Second, it takes place during Christmas, the best time of the year. Third, the opening scene takes place in The Strand, one of the coolest bookstores ever. And then of course there's they fact that this book manages to be light-hearted and funny and meaningful and serious at the same time. I love it.
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
I love a good mystery, but either I've become a more jaded reader or the quality of YA mysteries has been declining, because I usually am able to figure everything out by page 120. Not so with Rosebush. This is one mystery where I had so many different theories and ideas, yet I never could nail one down because Jaffe kept throwing in another tiny little detail that would make me second-guess everything. Plus, the attempted murder, car accident, and temporary amnesia just make this one even more intriguing--I loved it!
White Cat by Holly Black
You simply cannot top this imaginative plot: an alternate world identical to ours with one exception--some people possess the ability to work curses, and they usually are a part of the mob. Cassel's voice is unique, sharp, and completely entertaining as he maneuvers his way through life as the only non-worker in a family of workers with mob ties. And the major twist? You'll never see it coming.
What were some of your favorite books of 2010? Let me know in the comments, and....Happy New Year!