My 2010 Reads and Recommendations

Well I didn’t quite meet my 30 book goal for 2010.  It’s not my fault though.  I ordered the books.  I expected them to arrive in time but alas, three of them were late.  But 27 out of 30 ain’t bad, right?  That’s like (hold on while I go do the only algebra problem I ever use as an adult…27/30 x X/100= 90%) 

90%!  I made an A!  I’m happy. 

I read a blog from an editor the other day who read like 278 books in 2010. What?!?  Is she serious? I have to wonder if A) they have a life, B) if they have children and C) a job ?!?  (Baffles mind.)  But I’m sure she is not the only marathon reader out there (you bunch of speed readers :o)) I’m happy with my 30, ahem, almost 30 books for this past year. 

So here, in no particular order (but slightly categorized by theme...) my Top Ten Reads of 2010:

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard and The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Two books about death and love.  Both books use death from two different angles.  One will break your heart and the other will leave you spinning.  PS.  Here is the beautiful book review by Tahereh Mafi that made me want to read The Sky is Everywhere.  

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Eikeles

Okay, so I'm like the last one to get on this boat, I know.  But this is the hottest, sexiest book I've read this last year.  When a latino gang banger and a blond rich snob fall in love, will the colliding of their two worlds make or break their relationship?  Whatever the reason you haven't picked this up yet, let it go, it's worth your time.


Paranormalcy by Kiersten White and The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Two really fresh paranormal debuts, with classic girl meets boy teen chemistry.  Paranormalcy will appeal to those who love all the usual suspects as far as creatures are concerned.  The Body Finder is more of, I have a secret gift,  I find dead people, but go to normal high school, prom, and fall in love.  (not in that order)  Both I found to be unique for the YA paranormal genre.

The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman

This is the part of the program where we interupt our regularly scheduled show, classic YA, and venture to the Fantasy side.  Besides the main character being a teen, there isn't much else about this book that feels YA.  But I didn't care.  This book is also classified as a Fantasy novel, which is more accurate, sort of.  I know, confusing huh.  A young boy raised by brutal monks escapes into a new like within the kingdom.  The places and locations are a grab bag mix of real and fake nipped from different era's in time but all with a medieval feel.  Here's my book review for it, to give you a better idea.  I truly enjoyed it.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The story is heart wrenching: a man and his son try to survive a dystopian future where America is burning to the ground, literally.  The writing in this book is SUPERIOR (hence the Pulitzer prize.)  Here's the brilliance: not a single quotation mark but there's dialog, there are no traditional dialog tags (he said or she said) but there's dialog, not a single proper noun in the whole book but you know pretty accurately what state they are in.  Yes, you read all that right.  Pure genius.

Madapple by Christina Meldrum

As you'll read in my book review, Christina Meldrum's education in law, passion for herbalism, and deep examination of religion and science are the bones of Madapple.  Meldrum unravels the twisted secret life of isolation, of a girl and her warped mother.  It's deep theories are not for the faint of heart or easily offended religious person.  It's kind of like Flowers in the Attic meets Nell.

The Summer I Turned Pretty & It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

I can't gush about these books enough.  I cringe when people use the words "simple read" to describe a book, so instead I'll say "smooth read."  The story is as soft and warm as the cover.  It talks of tans, summer crushes and yes, heart break.  You grow with the characters over a lifetime of summers in Han's perfectly placed flashbacks, all relating to the summer she turned pretty.  The perfect title for the time in our life when MG turns YA.  My book reviews here and here.

You'll notice I read a lot more "normal" books than "paranormal" this year.  That was no mistake on my part. In efforts to not be a genre snob, I selected books with normal stories as well to give myself a well rounded view.  Most of the "normal" books dragged for me more than the paranormal (excluding the above) but that is probably due to my preference.  I also notice I veered away from the "Happy Ever After" cliche books, again, to round my reading tastes.
To see all the books I’ve read for 2010 go here.
What was your 2010 "must read"?