I posted my Best of the Best--Young Adult Titles 2011 here
Many people wondered how I chose the books I did. Here are the reasons why:
Main reason: When I'm reading the book, I know exactly what teen I'm going to recommend it to. For those boys who love to read and have a sense of humor, I knew Notes From the Blender would be a hit. For the zombie fans, Ashes and Dark Inside are solid reads. For girls who like high school angst, Choker and Spoiled come to mind. For girls who like a sweet story, Moonglass fills the bill. For dystopian fans, Wither, Eve, and All These Things I've Done come to mind. For the careful and serious reader, Shine "shines."
Here are 10 more reasons for my picks:
1. If a book is soooooo unique, so different, unlike anything I've read--and it's good storytelling with solid characters, it's in! Notes From the Blender, Choker,Spoiled, and Beauty Queens were all so different and unlike anything else I read all year.
2. If a book is paranormal, it must be a new "take" on the genre or have such amazing characters and be a solid page-turner, it's in! If it makes me forget all about Edward and Jacob, it's in! The Pledge and Wolf Mark make it in!
3. If a book can make me fall in love with something new or something I didn't like before I read the book--like zombies--and I fall in love with the book, it's in! Ashes and Dark Inside made it! Plus, both books had solid storytelling and great female protagonists.
4. If I dream about the book, not once but numerous times, it's clearly got me thinking about it well after reading it! Shine, Ashes, Dark Inside, and Wolf Mark had me dreaming some serious dreams.
5. If I think...hmmmm....what will happen next...if I worry about the characters...if I dream about what happens in the sequel, it's in! Wither, Dark Inside, Ashes, and Eve all had me wanting to get my hands on the sequel.
6. If I am LOST in that dystopian world and forget about 2011 and what is around me, it's in...Wither and Eve were great dystopias.
7. If a book bothers me, tortures me, grosses me out, worries me, takes me out of my comfort zone, makes me want to take action---it's in--Shine fits this category.
8. If a chick lit book is soooooooo sweet with a feisty girl protagonist with a unique teen voice, it's in! Moonglass and My Life Undecided fit here. Spoiled wasn't sweet but the snarky teen voices grabbed me.
9. If the writing is poetic and sings off the page...it's in! Shine "shines" here. Beauty Queens is the most well-written novel I've read in a long time, and Libba Bray is wicked funny and is teens' answer to David Sedaris.
10. If a book has a number of these characteristics, it's in!