So, NPR has been doing this thing to get a list of the best YA books. You could submit a title and then they narrowed it down to 235 books total. Right now, you can vote for your ten top favorites and, in a couple of weeks, they’ll release the 100 winners.
My friend Melanie emailed me and asked if I had any thoughts about the list and. . .well, of course I do. Out of the 235 books, I’ve read (or tried to read) 120 of them.
I won’t bore you with the entire list of the ones I’ve read, but I did do four categories. First, my favorite books from the list that I’ve written about on my blog (so no commentary because dude, an entire review!). Second, books I loved but never reviewed. Third, my LEAST favorite books on the list. And finally, the books I started and just could not get through.
I Love You Like My Own Child and Talked Way Too Much About It On My Blog:
- Bloody Jack Adventures (series), by L.A. Meyer
- The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
- Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (series), by Louise Rennison
- Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
- Delirium (series), by Lauren Oliver
- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
- Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, by Jordan Sonnenblick
- The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
- Graceling (series), by Kristin Cashore
- The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages
- Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
- Hate List, by Jennifer Brown
The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
- If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
- Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
- Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
- The Lumatere Chronicles (series), by Melina Marchetta
- The Mortal Instruments (series), by Cassandra Clare
- The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
- Split, by Swati Avasthi
- Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli
- Sweethearts, by Sara Zarr
- The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
I Love You But I Didn’t Say A Word About It:
- The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier I can see why this book is banned like crazy, but whew, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This book is MASTERFULLY written.
- Dairy Queen, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock This series? One of my favorite things I read in Boston. So fun.
- The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry I didn’t read this until I was 19 and then I felt like I’d missed out for years. The beginning of my dystopian love.
- Ruby Oliver Quartet (series), by E. Lockhart No Frankie Landau Banks, but so delightful.
- The Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin This book? Mind-bogglingly well-done.
- Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta I love Melina Marchetta so much. Great realistic fiction.
- This Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen One o
- Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler I’m a little hesitant about recommending it because of some swearing and sex, but I personally LOVED it.
- Uglies (series), by Scott Westerfeld I cannot believe I’ve never written about these books. I recommend them a lot.
Blah, I Do Not Like You, Sam-I-Am:
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie I didn’t hate this book, but it was just a little too much for me. I just couldn’t embrace it.
- Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. This book went on for ages with nothing happening. So if that’s your kind of book, you’ll love this one.
- The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing (series), by M.T. Anderson Must you seriously be so long and convoluted? I barely survived the first one and didn’t even try the second one.
- Chime, by Franny Billingsley This book was ridiculously weird.
- Crown Duel, by Sherwood Smith Shannon Hale recommended this one, and despite my love for her books, I have found many of her recommendations to not be very good for me.
- Divergent (series), by Veronica Roth I know everyone loves these. They did exactly nothing for me.
- How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff Whoa, so weird.
- The Maze Runner Trilogy (series), by James Dashner Another series that people adore and I cannot understand the hype about at all
- North of Beautiful, by Justina Chen Headley This one was WILDLY buzzed and it was so very very average.
- Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi It is sad how many books on this list are Printz winners.
- Stolen, by Lucy Christopher Stockholm Syndrome book that has been widely loved and left me cold.
- Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley And another Printz. Longest 200 pages of my life.
You Killed My Will to Live, So I Sent You Back to the Library:
- Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray. I knew it was bad when a character had an airline seat tray embedded in her forehead. It was downhill from there.
- Before I Die, by Jenny Downham. Too mature for me.
- Blood Red Road, by Moira Young. So much hype, didn’t grab me, I gave up.
- Chaos Walking (series), by Patrick Ness. I tried so hard (200 pages of trying!) but I never got hooked.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. I lasted all of half a CD before the swearing turned me off.
- Feed, by M.T. Anderson. Another audiobook where the language was more than I could take.
- Gallagher Girls (series), by Ally Carter I love fluffy, but this was just toooo fluffy for me.
- Jessica Darling (series), by Megan McCafferty. Everyone I know and trust LOVES these books. I have tried multiple times and still can’t get more than 10 pages in.
- Leverage, by Joshua Cohen. The violence in this was just more than I could stomach.
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. Even Kayla’s love for this book couldn’t convince me to keep going.
You read this all? You really deserve some sort of medal or honorary title.