Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top 10 for 2013: Teen Reviewer Neeka Takes a Spin at the Wheel

One of the things we love most about our teen reviewer Neeka is her big feelings about books, for her top ten she's let us know which novels pushed her to the brink of needing a new box of tissues to deal with all the tears!

NEEKA’S TOP TEN: SERIES AND DYSTOPIAS RULE--PLUS, MY CRYING TALLY

1. The Crank trilogy by Ellen Hopkins is a collection of lyrical free verse poetry that depicts the tale of Kristina Snow’s tragic downfall into addiction--and how it affected everyone else in the final volume, Fallout. Though the first book, Crank, was published in 2004, the story remains relatable and real and it will stay with you as a beautiful narrative of caution. I cried a few times throughout the series.

2. I know there’s certainly been more than enough buzz about the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, but there’s a good reason for all of it. Clary Fray and her mythical world are smart, mystical, thrilling, and just the right amount of not-really-sort-of-awkwardly-romantic, beginning with  City of Bones. I almost cried at the end.

3.  Jennifer Brown’s Hate List speaks to its readers through the accessible mind of Valerie Leftman, who is stunned after her dark, unreadable boyfriend goes on a shooting rampage at their high school. The stakes are life-and-death in this book for the characters contemplating belonging and acceptance. I almost cried at the end.

4. Suzanne Young’s The Program (which has a sequel entitled The Treatment that will come out in the spring of 2014) is a refreshingly original take on the typical dystopian oppressive government rebellion tale slash love story. Sloane has managed to avoid the program--until the depression may be too much to hide from the government. I cried a few times throughout.

5.The Birthright Series (see our full review) beginning with All These Things I’ve Done) takes place against the ingenious backdrop of a dystopian New York City. Perfectly sarcastic, self-sufficient crime boss daughter, Anya Balanchine, attempts normality, but that doesn’t last for long with an untrustworthy family, an angry regime, and an annoyingly persistent boy named Win. I cried at the end of the first book.

6. The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren Destefano (see our posts) is an unsettling, detailed dystopia featuring the helpless Rhine, who is kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriage in the first book, Wither. The scenes in the trilogy are incredibly poetic, lyrical, and romantic. I cried at the end of the series.

7.  Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth series(beginning with The Forest of Hands and Teeth) is similar to The Chemical Garden Trilogy in that it is a poetic dystopia featuring a tangled romance featuring a defiant teenage girl. Mary is intrigued by the world that may not exist outside of her secluded town, on the other side of the fence. I cried toward the end.

8. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (see Neeka's full review) is an emotional, perspective-changing book about two siblings who love each other more than they should. I cried at the end.


9.Geektastic, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci, (see our full review) grabs nerdy short stories written by your favorite teen authors and mashes them into a pot of Rocky Horror, mysterious writers, and superheroes, among other things.

10. The Ashbury/Brookfield series by Jacyln Moriarty (see Neeka's full review) is funny, with intertwining central plots. The first book, Feeling Sorry for Celia, is a light and quick read.

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