For this weeks Road Trip Wednesday, the good people over at YA Highway are asking, “What are the best 5 books you read in 2010?”
Back in mid December, I put together a top 16 list. Since I read about 160 books in 2010 it was my top 10%. It was really hard to narrow my list down to only 16 titles. And now you want me to cut it down to 5. Yikes, this is hard. Okay here it goes in preference order from five to one.
5. Heart of a Sheppard by Rosanne Parry – This is a great middle grade book. It’s about an eleven-year-old boy living on a ranch in Eastern Oregon. Both of his parents are fighting in Iraq, and all three of his older brothers are away at school (in Eastern Oregon the high schools are all boarding schools because the ranches are so far apart). So the stories hero is forced to become a man as he helps his grandparents keep the ranch afloat. This is the best story about the effects of war on families I’ve ever seen. Rosanne Parry is a great local writer and I would recommend her debut novel to readers of all ages.
4. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore – I love Christopher Moore and read a half a dozen of his books last year. A Dirty Job is my favorite, because it’s just so off the wall hilarious. The farcical manner in which he makes the grim reaper a merchant of death, selling souls in a pawn-shop is just too great to pass up. Anyone who enjoys paranormal will love all of Christopher Moore’s books. He pokes fun at the genre in a way that rings true and entertains without falling into weak parodies.
3. Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner – This is the probably the funniest book I’ve ever read. It’s a “boy book” which can be hard to find. But there is no reason why teen girls wouldn’t love it too. Heck, I’m an adult female and I was laughing hysterically the entire time. Shakespeare (that is the narrator’s name) is a smart, funny, honest, teen with the most charming wit I’ve ever seen in a YA novel.
2. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my all time favorite YA writers. She’s never written a book I didn’t absolutely love. Wintergirls is my favorite of all her books, because the voice is so amazing. The narrator is kind of crazy. She has a very serious eating disorder and is so malnourished she could die at any time in the book. The loopy only half functioning mind of a starving girl comes out in an oddly beautiful and poetic manner. I believe that this book can and will save lives and I would recommend it to every teenage girl on the planet.
1. Little Bee by Chris Cleave – This book shows the worst of humanity and the best of humanity at the same time. It’s not YA, but that doesn’t mean teens can’t read it. It’s a really intense read that changes the way the reader sees the world. Or at least it changed the way I see the world.