Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Top 10 in 2012: Libby's List Schools Us

We love having Libby on the blog. She's finishing up her senior year, but we hope that she'll continue to keep us updated on her favorite books. She's a future policy wonk, so you'll see a few adult non fiction titles mixed in with her YA....

The Diviners by Libba Bray (see more posts)
This is a delightfully creepy adventure set in noir 1920’s New York City. Evie O’Neill has been sent to live with her Uncle Will, director of the The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, AKA the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. Everyone has odd little secrets, and they all have to work together to stop a series of ritualistic killings committed by an absolutely terrifying villain. Complete with flappers, glitter, and speakeasies.
Where Things Come Back by  John Corey Whaley (see more posts)
Cullen Witter lives in a small town in Arkansas, and he thinks he’s seen all it has to offer. Then everything goes kablooie when his cousin dies of an overdose, his younger brother disappears, and an extinct woodpecker seems to have suddenly reappeared. At the same time, Benton Sage is dealing with his own crises of faith and identity as a missionary in Ethiopia. The two mix (Collide? Blend? Smash?) in the best way.

Perry’s Killer Playlist by Joe Schreiber (see Libby's review)
Perry’s band is touring Europe, and he’s in for quite a trip. When he meets Gobi, the foreign-exchange-student-turned-assassin who kidnapped him for a killing spree through New York in “Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick,” in a bar, his stay in Venice gains a lot of chases, gunfire, explosions, and maybe just a bit of romance.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (see more posts)
I’m not usually one for teen romance, but TFiOS didn’t feel forced or cheesy or over dramatic like so many of the stories in this genre. Augustus is witty and “...a tenured professor in the Department of Slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointments in the Department of Having a Voice that Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin.” Hazel is miraculously still alive. Hazel and Augustus meet at a support group for kids who have cancer. Everything happens from there. (Can you tell I’m trying really hard to not give anything away?)
Ask The Passengers by A. S. King (see Libby's review)
Astrid Jones is an NYC transplant living in small-town Unity Valley. Her mom is an agoraphobe who dresses like a big city professional and uses words like “aubergine” when referring to dinner, but never leaves the house. Her dad can’t hold a job and smokes a lot of pot. Her best friend is one half of her school’s power couple. Astrid is not entirely sure where she fits in all of this, but she knows she really likes her girlfriend, Dee. It gets more complicated from there.
Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow
This is the most informative book I have read in a long time. It is a non-fiction (And non-YA) book about the evolution of American military power over the last fifty years or so.  As a complete policy wonk, I loved Maddow’s piece-by-piece analysis of the factors that make it so easy for the President to take us to war today. The book covers the Vietnam War through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a clear and easy to understand manner, without being biased or unfairly critical of one side or the other. Every chapter focuses on a certain aspect of the main issue, deconstructs it, explains it, and then puts it into the context of history. I would call it a must-read for anybody interested in history and/or politics.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story set in a dystopic future. Cinder is a cyborg living in New Beijing and working as a mechanic. She has a lot more self-efficacy than a disney princess and reminded me of Firefly’s Kaylee. The modernization of a fairy tale that I tend to associate with a weak female character having to be rescued by a big strong prince was satisfying.
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
I LOVED The Mysterious Benedict Society and its sequels, and TEEoNB is the prequel that explains how Nicholas Benedict got to be who he is. He starts off as a nine-year-old orphan, friendless, and alone in a new orphanage. The whole book is a character study of Nicholas as he grows up some, makes friends, and discovers the secrets of his new home.
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson (See more here)
This is a character book through and through. Quinn is caught kissing someone who is NOT her Marine boyfriend, Carey. Carey is the town’s golden boy, and he is serving in Afghanistan right now, so this is seen as a huge betrayal, not just of Carey, but of everyone. Except there is more to it than that. Quinn could clear her name, but she would have to reveal a secret she promised to keep. How much is she willing to sacrifice for someone else? Read and find out!
America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't by Stephen Colbert
The Goodreads summary of this book reads as follows:
“AMERICA AGAIN will singlebookedly pull this country back from the brink. It features everything from chapters, to page numbers, to fonts. Covering subjects ranging from healthcare ("I shudder to think where we'd be without the wide variety of prescription drugs to treat our maladies, such as think-shuddering") to the economy ("Life is giving us lemons, and we're shipping them to the Chinese to make our lemon-flavored leadonade") to food ("Feel free to deep fry this book-it's a rich source of fiber"), Stephen gives America the dose of truth it needs to get back on track.” I can’t put it any better than that.

No comments: