Monday, March 22, 2010

Top Ten Books of 2009

Top Ten Books of 2009

So I know it's been a looooooooong time since I updated, and I'm trying desperately to get caught up on my reviews. As it is, I'm way behind on my reading for 2010. In the meantime, I thought I'd post a list of my top ten reads of 2009. Not all of these were published last year, but I did read them all last year. I also haven't written reviews for many of them (most of them, actually), but I do intend to. So for now, here's the list. With any luck, I'll get an actual review up with the next week or so. Spring break is next week, so I should have plenty of time for both reading and writing.

All of the top ten are young adult fiction.

10. General Winston's Daughter, by Sharon Shinn. Rating: PG; 3 ½ stars
This book was an excellent social commentary dressed as a fantasy novel. Not what I expected, but quite enjoyable.

9. The Explosionist, by Jenny Davidson. Rating: PG; 3 ½ stars
I didn't realize when I picked up this book that it was an alternate history book. It was a very interesting premise that kept me hooked through to the end. Well-written.

8. Prophecy of the Sisters, by Michelle Zink. Rating: PG-13; 4 stars
As I said in my review, I didn't realize this was historical fiction until I started reading it. This was a very enjoyable, chilling book that cured my fix for more Victorian paranormal fiction (I swear, it'll become a genre some day!)

7. Wondrous Strange, by Lesley Livingston. Rating: PG-13; 4 stars
This book reminded me a lot of Tithe, by Holly Black, and I liked it just as much! The characters and story were lively and intriguing, while still following the traditional legends of fairies.

6. In the Name of God, by Paula Jolin. Rating: PG; 4 ½ stars
This book was really intriguing and thought-provoking, and I loved every page of it! It isn't a light-hearted read, but it gives a balanced view on the other side of religious extremism.

5. A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly. Rating: PG; 4 ½ stars
I loved the characters in this book, and I thought is was really cool that it was written as a sort of companion to An American Tragedy. It made me really want to read Tragedy.

4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan. Rating: PG-13; 4 ½ stars
This book was so gripping! I read it all in one sitting and spent half of that sitting in tears! It was just an excellent book.

3. The Fattening Hut, but Pat Lowry Collins. Rating: PG-13; 5 stars
The Fattening Hut is one of my favorite books. I generally make a point of reading it once a year. I think the premise is fascinating, and the book draws attention to a terrible practice often considered taboo to talk about.

2. Psyche in a Dress, by Francesca Lia Block. Rating: PG-13; 5 stars
This is another book I read pretty much in one sitting, not that that took much; the book is pretty short. I absolutely loved the sheer poetry of this book. I think Francesca Lia Block is an amazing writer, and this is the book that turned me on to her writing.

1. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore. Rating: PG-13; 5 stars
I'll admit it: part of the reason I picked up this book was because it had my name in the title. That and the sword on the cover really drew me in. Still, I am so glad I picked it up. True, this book isn't as literary as some of my other top ten picks, but it is definitely my favorite book of the past year. I love the characters, love the story, just love everything about it! If you haven't read this, you really need to!

(in no particular order)

The Nature of Monsters, by Clare Clark (MATURE CONTENT)
Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley (graphic novel)
God Went to Beauty School, by Cynthia Rylant (poetry)
Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block (young adult fiction)
Two Girls of Gettysburg, by Lisa Klein (young adult fiction)
The Amaranth Enchantment, by Julie Berry (young adult fiction)
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov (MATURE CONTENT)
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss (adult fiction)
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri (adult fiction/short stories)

And yes, I really could only limit my top books of the year to nineteen. Sorry.