Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things (Version 2010, Part One: Science Fiction)

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)MatchedDelirium
As 2010 comes to a close I can't help but look back on the books I've read this year and think about which ones were my favorite.  With just 10 days left, my GoodReads account tells me I've read 74 books this year.  My goal was 100.  There's still time, but I don't think I'll make it through 26 books, even though I'm in the middle of at least 10.  Alas.  But I did read 74 books, and some were quite good!  Here is the first installment of my favorites.  I'll begin with my favorite science fiction read this year.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - It's the third book in the dystopic science fiction Hunger Games trilogy, and if I have to say anything more than that, you need to get yourself a copy of The Hunger Games and come back to me when you're finished.

Matched by Allie Condie - I can't remember who said it, but back in September(ish) some blog noted the recent rise of dystopian YA, citing Matched as an example.  I hadn't realized dystopias had EVER gone out of style, but perhaps?  Anyhoot, this is definitely a good one.  I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC at BEA last May and was immediately hooked by the story: It's the future (duh), and society has taken statistical analysis to the ultimate level.  All decisions - what you eat, what job you have, who you marry, and even when and how you will die - are made for you, based on data.  Coming from a background working with Teach For America, where ALL of our decisions are based on data, I found the premise enticing.  The story's twist - what happens if you play with the data in controlled experiments that involve real people - plus the romantic element, had me hooked.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Okay, so this one doesn't even come out until February of 2011, but this was another book that I read the ARC of over the summer and just absolutely devoured.  Another dystopia (surprise!), but in this society, love (aka delirium nervosa) is seen as a disease, and on one's 18th birthday he or she gets the procedure that prevents the illness.  It's just a few months before the main character's 18th birthday and she can't wait to get surgically altered and then matched up with her future husband.  She meets a guy, starts getting feelings for him, starts questioning her society, a page-turner ensues.

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