Friday, April 30, 2010

Top 10 YA Books!

So. Persnickety Snark is busy compiling a list of the Top 100 YA Titles. Anyone can take part--submit your top ten list to the poll and watch as she compiles the results in May. But today's the last day, and I've been procrastinating as usual.
Picking just ten was hard enough, but ranking them was almost impossible. For some reason I wanted to put more than half of them in the number 3 spot—good, really good, but not the best ever. I think if I had done this yesterday or did it tomorrow my answers would be different, but there's no time to dwell on that! These are ten awesome books for various reasons and I'm standing by them:
10. Witch Baby, Francesca Lia BlockI don't feel quite the same about this one when I re-read it now as I did in high school, but I remember exactly how I felt the first time I read it, and it was like I wasn't alone, and I cried and cried.
9. Rats Saw God, Rob Thomas
One of the best, honest stories about relationships from a guy's perspective I've ever read.
8. Celine, Brock Cole
Celine is a weird artist chick with a funny, unapologetic voice, even though she's often wrong.
7. The Canning Season, Polly Horvath
I've read this so many times. I've always been a fan of the misunderstood-kid-goes-to-live-with-the-eccentric-relatives kind of books, and this one does it up right. Am I allowed to say it's better than Roald Dahl?
6. True Believer, Virginia Euwer Wolff
This one just makes me want to be a better person.
5. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, M.T. Anderson
I mean, duh.
4. Skin Hunger, Kathleen Duey
Wow. Gorgeous and meditative and dark. It's about magic on the surface, but not really.
3. Fade, Robert Cormier
Bleak look at what would happen if an ordinary person could be invisible, could see things they weren't supposed to see and do things without consequences.
2. Bloodtide, Melvin Burgess
Best ever futuristic re-imagining of legendary creatures
1. How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff
I'm not totally sure about putting this as number one, but one of them had to go here, and this is about as perfect a coming-of-age/war/survival/anorexia/bad parents/forbidden relationship story there is. It throws every single possible YA theme into one book and somehow ends up being much more than the sum of its parts.

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