Friday, December 23, 2016

Faves of 2016: Lisa's Selections

From now until the end of the year we're counting down some of our favorite books of the year. Today we're presenting Lisa's selections:

The Inquisitor's Tale, or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
In medieval France three misfit children on the run befriend the king whose army is chasing them, overcome a farting dragon, and convert an inquisitor. One of my very favorite books of the year, really for all ages, is full of wisdom couched in comedic adventure.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
Hermione Winters is drugged, raped, and left in a lake at cheer-leading camp the summer before her senior year. Sounds grim, right? But her indomitable spirit and determination to not be seen as a victim help her reshape her world. An amazingly memorable character.

The Raven King: Raven Cycle, Book 4 by Maggie Stiefvater
Who can resist Blue Sargent with her family of psychics and the sexy, other-worldly Raven Boys? If you haven’t started this addicting series, pick up The Raven Boys and prepare to be enchanted.

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry (see our full review here) Dolssa hears the voice of her divine beloved. Does this make her a mystic or a heretic? Immerse yourself in 13th century France as Dolssa escapes the inquisitor’s flames and is later taken in by three strong minded sisters living in a small village. 

Six of Crows by Leah Bargudo
Six very diverse criminals, each with their own unique talent, join forces for a heist job that will make them rich and could save the world from a new form of supernatural power. Lots of action and well developed characters make this an edge of your seat read.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (see our full review here)
Interesting (but not always likeable) characters and snappy dialogue make this a fun read about an agoraphobic gay teen, the girl who tries to save him (for selfish reasons), and her sweet boyfriend.

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Step back in time to an Alaskan fishing village and meet teens struggling with pregnancy, alcoholism, and abuse. Alternating voices of four teens in the 1970’s don’t just offer a window into a different world, they take your right into the houses where you smell the odors, feel the danger, and yearn for a better life. 

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
When an evil bully moves to her Pennsylvania town, Annabelle faces weighty moral decisions which end in tragedy. This haunting tale has a chilling tone and the sensibility of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina (See our full review here)
What was it like to live in New York in 1977 as the city was plagued by arson, Son of Sam the serial killer, and a blackout that led to looting and mayhem? Meg Medina burns that experience into your brain as you read this compelling story of a family scorched by abuse.

Free Verse by Sarah Dooley Thirteen-year-old Sasha’s mom ran off when Sasha was little. Her father died in a coal mining accident when she was eight. Her older brother has just died in a fire. How can anyone deal with such grief? Sasha discovers poetry, and it helps to heal her rages and her sorrow. Although saturated with sadness and loss, this book is so beautifully written that it’s one of my very favorites of the year.

Lisa also shares some runners up for her list:
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten
Ghost by Jason Reynolds (see our full review here)
 It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas
Booked by Kwame Alexander
The Best Man by Richard Peck
Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

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