My favorite YA fiction reads of 2010

During 2009 and 2010, I read a lot of YA fiction, and I don’t think that trend will change anytime soon. Not as long as authors are writing terrific books like the ones below. (These are YA books that I read in 2010, but were not necessarily released in 2010.)

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

From my review: “Dashner has created a truly terrifying world (the Cranks made my skin crawl), and put a character in the middle of this world that you can’t help but root for. Thomas has these flashes of memory that tell him that he is part of WICKED, but how much of a part? Can he trust them? Are they good or evil? And if they’re evil – what is he?”

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

From my review: “When the authors decided to combine Stohl’s love of the paranormal with Garcia’s passion for the South, they came up with the perfect premise. This is a moody, atmospheric book that is dripping with the attitudes of the Deep South, a place where the Civil War is still called the War of Northern Aggression and the South’s defeat is viewed as a “polite concession.” I loved the way the town of Gatlin is in itself a character of the book. The pages simply drip with the humid, magnolia-scented air and a type of Southern charm that hides deep suspicion of outsiders behind a surface of steely politeness.”

The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart

From my review: “Beth Kephart has a way of seeing right down to the roots of a person, of putting the very essence of a character down on paper. I love the fact that the teenage protagonists in her novels are normal girls – they’re not the smartest, or the prettiest, or the most talented – but they are girls who have as much beauty and worth in them as the ones who would be named in those categories.”

Undercover by Beth Kephart

From my review: “Elisa’s voice is poetic and lyrical – there were so many sentences I underlined to remember. She is a refreshing character – different than what we see in a lot of YA novels. She’s not being pursued by a paranormal paramour. She hasn’t discovered that she’s destined to be a faerie queen or a member of the undead. She is simply trying to get by, to live her life, in spite of the fact that she isn’t completely beautiful or popular and that she’s worried that her parents’ marriage is falling apart. She keeps her worries inside, letting them come out in her writing. Elisa is a character that, as a teen, I would have related to in so many ways.”

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

From my review: “I loved this book – everything about it. First of all, it’s a physically beautiful book, with a gorgeous cover, and artwork that gave life to the wondrous creatures that Westerfeld’s mind created. It has humor, action and adventure, interesting characters, and the most unusual creatures.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

From my review: “The best things about Green’s writing are his characters and the dialogue they speak. There were so many scenes that had me grinning, or laughing, or wishing there was someone around to read a particular turn of phrase or piece of dialogue aloud to. He now holds a place on my list of favorite authors – and I wish he would write faster, because I can’t wait to read whatever he publishes next.”

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

From my review: “To be honest, I thought it was just another “smart girl falls for bad boy but knows there’s something weird going on” kind of story, but Shiver is so much more than that. First of all, it is beautifully written, full of melancholy, a bittersweet tragic romance. It is also dotted with bits of poetry and a love of art and literature.”

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

From my review: “What can I say? Everything you’ve been reading about Before I Fall is true. It really is a stunning, remarkable book – one that will stay with me for a long time.”

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19 Responses to My favorite YA fiction reads of 2010

  1. The only one of those I’ve read is The Heart is Not a Size and I agree that it belongs on a best of list.

  2. Stephanie says:

    The only one off your list that I have read is Before I Fall, and I definitely can understand why it made your list.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Stephanie – it was astonishingly good – can’t wait to read her next book.

  3. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    Before I Fall is on my best YA list this year too! It just blew me away.

  4. Pam says:

    I have read them all except for Undercover, Katherines (which I bought), and Leviathan which I bought and have half way read.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Pam – Did you not like Leviathan as much as I did? Or just run out of time?

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  6. Tina says:

    Great picks!! I loved Shiver so much! And Before I Fall had me spinny with emotions…..

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Tina – “spinny with emotions” is such a great way to put it! And Shiver was awesome – I can’t wait to read book three next year.

  7. Florinda
    Twitter: florinda_3rs
    says:

    This is the first year I’ve read enough YA to have a “best” category for it, and The Heart is Not a Size is one of the books that made my cut too. And I think I’ll have to give Before I Fall a try, since it’s gotten a lot of book-blogger love!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Florinda – I’m really enjoying YA – especially because I can trade books with my 14-year-old daughter!

  8. Michelle says:

    Some really awesome books on this list! Many of which I loved this year as well. I hope 2011 brings just as many increadible reads.

  9. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly
    says:

    Everything on here looks great! I read Shiver earlier this year (or last) and really enjoyed it. I guess I’m in luck since I just bought An Abundance of Katherines from a bookstore! Thanks for sharing your list with us!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      V – you’re welcome! I’ve loved everything by John Green that I’ve read – he’s amazing.

  10. Kathleen says:

    I still haven’t read my Kephart book that I acquired a few months ago. This is a great list of books for me to consider for 2011. The only one I’ve read is Before I Fall and I LOVED it.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathleen – Kephart is absolutely amazing – the kind of writer that I love – terrific plot, characters you care about, and a brilliant wordsmith.