Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012 in 5: Nico's Best Ever Top 5

Some years it's just easier to pick your top 5. I've had a post it note next to my computer since the first of the year and have been jotting down my absolute favorite titles as I've read them. I looked over at it before I started this post and there were exactly five titles on it. Perfect! Because I'm a librarian and have easy access to books, the ones that I buy are ones that I really really love. This year I love the titles in my top 5 so much I want to own all five of them, it's a good year for YA, for sure!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (read our full review here)
Every once in a while I find myself thinking about Hazel Grace and Agustus Waters. Kind of the same way you think about friends who live far away from you. John Green has created these characters, but they are so real, warm and flawed that they seem much more like real people than collections of written words.
It's a trip to Amsterdam, a first romance, a look at what it means to do something heroic and it is my book of the year so far.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (read more, including an author interview here)
It's a book about a girl band and their best guy friend on tour. Colby, Bev, Meg and Alexa basically have the best and most music-filled summer and you get to go along with it. This one was a no-brainer for me from page one, it's full of all the things I love to read about.

Basically you've got is this: Road Trip + friendships+ mix tapes (Supremes x Sleater Kinney x Heart)= awesome.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (read more here)
The library had a couple ARCs of this one floating around at the end of last year and several librarians and teens tried to put this one on their best of 2011, but FINALLY, it's the right time to celebrate this book! It's out on the real shelves and you should make sure you find it ASAP!
It's graduation of high school and Ed and Lucy's paths collide for one last night of adventure and truth telling. It's another Australian export and this one is definitely going to go down with Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist as a classic-stay-out-all-night book. Basically I think you should read this book and blast this song at the same time. What could be better?

Black Heart by Holly Black (read our full review here)
This series is whip smart, fast moving and has the most intriguing world that I've read about. It's so intricately planned, that every step our faithful narrator Cassel Sharpe makes comes back to haunt him in some way. It's a trilogy where EVERY page matters- when was the last time you read that? Get on it.

It's urban fantasy meets the god father with curse workers who might completely change your memories or turn you into a carpet just by touching you with their bare hands. It's so good that I literally can't recommend it enough (and you guys know that because I've probably written ten blog posts mentioning Cassel Sharpe already).

My Life Next Door  by Huntley Fitzpatrick (read our full review here)
This year I only have one debut author on my best of list which is unusual for me, but it's one that really stuck with me. Samantha Reed is someone who seems to have a really structured and normal home life, and a privileged one at that. But what if the people in her life who are supposed to be her role models do not choose to make the right decisions?

I like how Ms. Fitzpatrick knows how smart and thoughtful teens are capable of being and allows her narrator to be all of that without seeming like a caricature of a person. Samantha makes plenty of mistakes, but she has a great heart. Because I liked Sam so much, when things got tense, my heart was racing as I waited to see how things would shake out for her. It got me and would not let me go. I even have to confess to you that I skipped to the end (something I NEVER do) to find out.

Honorable mentions (both of which I also loved enough to own, see what I mean, AWESOME year for YA):
Timepiece by Mara McEntire (see our full review here)
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (see our full review)

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