Top Ten Books of 2010

31 Dec

In my time spent random searching the Internet I found out that over at The Broke and the Bookish this week’s Tuesday Top Ten was your “Top Ten Books of 2010”. I figured this was a perfect way to get myself into the world of blogging about books and get me ready to move into 2011!

The following is my list  of the top ten books I read in 2010. Most of these will be YA books as I recently completed by Children’s and Young Adult lit class for my masters program (I suppose an introductory post should have come first, but I’ll get to that next post).

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I started reading this book on a Friday night at my boyfriends and I did not put it down until it was over. Then I woke up Saturday morning and went straight to B&N for the next two books and read them until I finished the entire trilogy. I’m not even sure if I stopped to eat.

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This book was both tragic and incredibly hopeful at the same time. There were tears streaming  down my face from almost the beginning of the book, which is saying something as I rarely cry when reading (non Holocaust stories at least).  This book offers a rare insight into what those close to a person go through as they watch their loved ones life hang in the balance between life and death.

3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I was apparently on a “Gods” streak this year as I seemed to be drawn to books with various Gods as a main them; Rick Riordian’s Percy Jackson series and his new book The Red Pyramid were others that captured my attention. Gaiman’s ability to entwine multiple plot lines with clever cultural critiques all the while maintaining fantastic character descriptions and an engaging narrative solidifies the fantasy/horror author’s place as one of the world’s best storytellers.

4. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. I first read this book when I was in middle or high school and somewhere along the way I’d lost my copy. So when I came across it while perusing Amazon I had to buy it again. This is retelling of the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale, yet McKinley’s story gives so much more depth to the characters. It’s worth a read even if you think you didn’t like the original story.

5. Rules by Cynthia Lord. It’s been a while since a book hit home the way that this one did. Lord’s portrayal of a family struggling to cope and a pre-teen pretending that everything is normal is dead on. It’s fascinating to watch Catherine want so badly for David to be a  normal brother yet she is still so aware, so protective and so careful of him. When this book was over I was left with a sense of longing, to know more and to watch Catherine and David grow up.

6. The Red Headed Princess by Ann Rinaldi. Told in first person perspective ( which I sometimes dislike, but it worked in this case) we see an Elizabeth who is far less calculating than history tends to remember her, yet ever mindful of her place in the line of succession. She is sometimes certain and sometimes unsure of herself, both torn between love for her family and the wish to be on the throne. Rinaldi portrays an Elizabeth who the reader’s find sympathetic and they cheer her on as she moves closer to becoming the great Queen history remembers her as.

7. Annexed by Sharon Dogar. The story of life in the Secret Annexe form the perspective of Peter van Pels. This telling enables the readers to see a different side to the people who inhabited the Annexe for so long. Though both story’s are told through the eyes on teenagers, there’s a longing in Peter’s voice that goes above an beyond Anne’s, as he’s lost his first love and he struggles with this fact every day.

8. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. I picked up this book simply cause I thought the cover looked cool and I had no expectations for it at all. And wow, am I glad I picked it up! This book was an exciting sci-fi/fantasy mashup that follows a unique group of aliens who have made Earth their home. It’s the start of a series and I’m anxious for the next book to be released. It’s also been made into a movie that releases in February, and from the look of the trailer it’s pretty close to the story.

9. Otto: The Autobiography of a Teddy Bear by Tomi Ungerer. A beautiful story that follows the life of a teddy bear starting from his home in Germany with a boy named David. Otto experiences World War 2. This book provides a good opening for parents and teachers to discuss the Holocaust in age appropriate terms with their younger classes.

10. Hood by Stephen Lawhead. In this retellign of the Robin Hood Mythology Lawhead drops us deep into the Welsh Forest in 1093. When his father the King is murdered Bran’s kingdom turns over to the English and is he forced to become an outlaw in his own Kingdom. After a time of faith and healing in the woods Bran eventually finds himself leading a band of dauntless archers against the kingdom’s usurpers to take his kingdom back. In this story Robin Hood is born, along with Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, and Little John and the merry men!

Honorable Mentions:

Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1) by Heather Brewer
Last Sacrifice
by Richelle Mead
by Diana Peterfreund
The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
The Time Traveler’s Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

And now on to 2011! I’ve got an entire stack of books that are simply waiting for me to read them as I move into this new year. I’m really looking forward to reading them and can’t wait to share my reviews on the different books. If there’s anything in particular you think I should read please drop me a line and let me know, I’m always up for suggestions!


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