I'm taking my cue from Kimber An and not creating a 'top ten' list. I look at books as belonging to levels, rather than lists. There are numerous levels, and the following books are only a handful that I believe everyone should read this year (or next year...two of the books aren't out until Jan/Feb). I've included links to my reviews for further
First up on the list I am quite happy to put first (only because she put it last on her list). I genuinely adore SUGAR RUSH by Kimber An. This Young Adult book has everything that's cool for me. Go and read it to find out about the sewing machine incident. This is Kimber An's awesome year!
Next up is THE MOCKINGBIRDS. I read this as part of blog tour, and will definitely be getting my own copy. It's a powerful Young Adult book, and hands down is at the top level of books. It's a tough read, and quite emotional, but explores a sensitive subject in a way that can hopefully help other victims cope.
Now I have a joint entry, WHEN I WAS JOE and ALMOST TRUE by Keren David. These children's books deal with inner city knife crime well, as well as self-harm. Like Kimber An, this was Keren's debut year as a published author. A third book will be out in 2011 - but not the third in the series, it's a standalone book.
I'm majorly cheating on this book - it isn't actually out until 20th January 2011, but I have already read it. It is an awesome Young Adult Paranormal book. THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney, is about a girl who has magic infused in her body. This affects how she lives, for she tries to hide it from the world. A faerie world where she has to face the monsters that killed her father and gave her her gift. It is Kaz's debut novel, and she is also an awesome person.
I stumbled across this next Young Adult book, IT HAPPENED TO NANCY by Anon when a friend asked if I wanted to review something for World AIDS day. I said yes, and this book has really touched my heart. Nancy gets AIDS after being raped (she was seduced first). This is her diary, transformed so other teens can learn from her mistakes. It deals with every single symptom and feeling she endures as the disease progresses.
Although this next one can be classed as Young Adult (although I'm not sure how since the protagonist is 26 years old...) it is predominantly a Dark Urban Fantasy. It is super awesome, and the first in a trilogy. BLACK SWAN RISING by Lee Carroll ticks every box for me. If you love books with a strong female lead, secondary characters whose loyalty is often debatable, great plot twists and scenes of magic that take your breath away, then go read this book.
Time for a Paranormal Romance novel, BOADICEA'S LEGACY by Traci E Hall. I loved Traci's WILD MAGIC, (part of a series), but her latest book rocks! Imagine being given a gift/curse from an ancient warrior queen, which affects who you can marry. Ela spends most of the novel running away from a creep who has serious possession issues. It has the right mix of action, a strong willed protagonist, laughter, danger, a hero with faults to work on and a sleazy villain.
Coming up next is a Graphic Novel (aimed primarily at girls, but it appeals to all ages). MO-BOT HIGH, book 1 (yes, there is another coming!!) by Neill Cameron. Asha starts a new school, where students battle each other using robots conjured up from mobile phones. Asha has to learn how to use the Mo-Bots because a bully is eager to put her through her paces. I want every girl in the world to own this book, it's that good. It's even got a character with my real name - and her Mo-Bot is really cool!
I love all of Maria V Snyder's work, but her latest one is her first Young Adult, dystopian book. Get ready to be surprised by INSIDE OUT. This unputdownable book ticks many boxes on my What Makes A Great Book List, and adds boxes that I never knew existed. It comes out in January 2011, with the sequel coming out in February so you won't have to wait long to find out what happens next. (I read the ARC really early - the day it arrived.)
Eeek, I really need to wrap things up now. I wish I could list every book I've read, but I can't. I'd like to thank Kimber An for inviting me for a regular review slot this year, it's been so much fun, especially with her own novel coming out. I look forward to an equally awesome 2011, and I hope you've all read great books this year.