Tuesday, October 16, 2012

YALSA 2012 Teens Top Ten

You read it here first (or maybe not first, but you did read it here): The winners of YALSA's 2012 Teens Top Ten have been announced!

Here's my take on the list...

#10: Abandon by Meg Cabot
Haven't ever read a Meg Cabot book.  Maybe I should?

#9: Where She Went by Gayle Forman
My love of Forman's first novel, If I Stay, is already well-established.  I wasn't sure where she was going to go with the sequel, and wasn't sure I thought one should exist.  Then I read it.  And cried. And loved it.

#8: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
This book was pitched to me as "in the vein of the Hunger Games, featuring deadly competition, but this time, it's killer horses!"  I was intrigued, but still haven't read it.  Clearly, I should fix that.

#7: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinderella has to be the MOST retold story ever. Cyborg Cinderella, though? I don't think that's been done before.  Not one I've read, but it's on my list.

#6: Across the Universe by Beth Revis
I definitely started reading this book about a year ago.  I read about 25-50 pages and though I was enjoying it, put it down in favor of whatever else was on my TBR pile.  It's still sitting on my bedside table, waiting for my return. Alright, alright, I'll get to it!

#5: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Am I allowed to continue being a YA librarian (let alone the LibrariYAn) once I admit I haven't read any of Sarah Dessen's books? Oops.  I know I need to read them.  Maybe I'll start with this one.

#4: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Hooray! I read (and LOVED!) this one.  My gushing about how cool this book is (and repeated showings of the trailer) have made this one of the top circulated books in my school library.  If you haven't read this one, GET ON IT! NOW! Plus, it's October, so it's the perfect time for a creepy read!

#3: Legend by Marie Lu
Woo hoo!  Another of my favorites! I know I'll probably get killed for saying this, but I liked Legend better than Divergent.  It just doesn't seem to be getting as much play though, and I'm not sure why.  I'm extremely excited for it's sequel, Prodigy, which comes out in January.  I had an advance copy of it and I was all set to dig into it at the end of August.  Then my dog ate it.

#2: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
It's a book about cancer that isn't just another "feel bad for the patient" book.  Sure, multiple characters in the book are dying.  But they are more than their cancer.  And they certainly aren't victims.  They are full, whole, real people.  Who make jokes! And hate their parents! And still have crushes. And hopes. And dreams. And find other people annoying.  If something else wins this year's Printz, I will have serious doubts about the competency of that committee.

Okay, that last sentence was a bit too strong, but I really found the dialog in this book to be so wonderfully witty and spot-on.  Some people say that "real teens" don't talk that way. To that I say harumph!  Green raises the bar on "literary" fiction for teens.  His characters are sensitive, intelligent, angry, naive, conceited, snarky and all things that teens are.  And teens relate to his characters!  They want to be his characters, date his characters, hate is characters, and everything in between. I think my feelings about this book are clear.

#1: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Even though I liked Legend more, I still really liked Divergent.  Sure, it's another post-apocalyptic novel, set in a world where society has been divided into different groups.  But this one has a cool spin, because if you're designated Dauntless, you get to jump off moving trains, play Capture the Flag in the ruins of Chicago and do lots of cool fight training.  And that's really cool. Divergent is definitely big at my school.  And I liked Divergent's sequel, Insurgent, more than the first installment, which is rare in a trilogy, so hopefully there's only more awesomeness to come!

Having read 50% of the books I feel fairly good about how in-touch I am with what teens are reading (and loving).  That being said, it also indicates to me that I really need to start getting on reading some of the more reliable teen "favorite" authors like Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen (to name just two).  I am a little surprised that awesome titles like  Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and Variant aren't on the list.

How many have you read? What would be in YOUR Teens Top Ten?

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  1. I'm gonna call you on this: can you name a book that *is* "just another 'feel bad for the patient' book"? Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes? (a tearejerker; an anti-war book as much as a cancer book; a call for social action; a book that uses a narrative device I've only seen maybe once elsewhere; and also, currently, thankfully, a scenario that's completely out of date.)

    Yes, you should read The Princess Diaries (Meg Cabot) and anything by Sarah Dessen. :)

    I cannot seem to read Divergent. I keep taking it out and then having to return it before I actually get to open it!

  2. Answering my own question: Lurlene McDaniel books (here: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/lurlene/books_other if you've never had the, ah, privilege to read one). But those have a completely different purpose: they're *supposed* to be over the top (er, at least I assume so). The question still stands only if you meant other *literary* fiction. :)

    I don't plan to read The Fault in Our Stars, for the reasons we discussed. But I vacillate back and forth between being glad such a book is out there, and wondering why it's such a revolutionary idea that you can have cancer and a crush at the same time?

  3. Maybe it's not a fair comparison (as it's technically not YA), but Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember feels like it tried to be a "spunky while sick" book, but was really just sappy.

  4. You should definitely read some Meg Cabot, but I probably wouldn't start with ABANDON... PRINCESS DIARIES is AWESOME on audiobook (the first few are narrated by Anne Hathaway). And I also really like ALL AMERICAN GIRL and TEEN IDOL.

    And yes, you should read some Sarah Dessen, too, but I also wouldn't start with this one... My favorites are THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and JUST LISTEN.

    (And CINDER is also awesome! I'm so happy it's getting teen attention!!)

    1. Thanks for your suggestions. I will get on it. I'm going to try the first Princess Diaries book (and maybe American Girl), Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and of course Cinder! My TBR list is never at risk of being blank.