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Thursday, December 18, 2014

YA Superlatives 2014 - Best in Show


Favorite Cover
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

If you think this cover looks gorgeous on your computer screen, you should see it in person.

Cutest Couple  
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Actually, everything in this book is the cutest. It just makes me all happy & giddy. 

Most Likely to Succeed
 (Pick a Printz Winner)
I''ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

So, I'll be honest... Nelson's debut is still my favorite, but I really, really loved this one too. And I think it's dual narrative and the themes it tackles makes it a really great Printz contender.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime  

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I was a bit late in reading this one (what was I thinking!?), but, once I started, I couldn't put it down!

Best Repeat Performance
 (Favorite Sequel or Follow-Up)

 
Vitro by Jessica Khoury

All of Khoury's novels standalone, but they also continue a larger overall story. Pick up Vitro, her debut, Origin, or her upcoming novel Kalahari - either way, I bet you'll end up wanting to read all 3!

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath  

Minders by Michele Jaffe

There's one scene in particular that fits this category, but let me assure you, Jaffe knows her way around a steamy scene.

Best Breakout Novel
 (Favorite Book by a Debut Author)

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

There's so much to love about Dellaira's debut, but my favorite part is that it's written entirely in letters. I love epistolary novels!

Best Old-Timer
 (Favorite Book Published BEFORE 2014)
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

READ THIS BOOK. WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ IT YET? GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER!
(Oh, you've read it? Didn't you love it! We should form a fan club.)

Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry  

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Now, I can't 100% guarantee that this book will make a grown man cry, but I'm willing to find out.

Most Pleasant Surprise
 (Didn’t Think I’d Like It But Totally Did)
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

It's weird because I loved Fitzpatrick's debut back when I read it years ago, but I didn't like the second book and never ended up finishing the series. I disliked one of the characters so much that I kind of wrote off Fitzpatrick, which totally wasn't fair in hindsight. So color me surprised when I picked up Black Ice and couldn't put it down!

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle

 
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

 I found this love triangle creative because it actually serves a purpose. It isn't just happening to provide more eye candy and drama - there's a real reason why the MC is torn between two guys... each represents a very different future. 

Sleeper Hit
 (Novel So Awesome I Wish It’d Been Hyped More)





17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

I almost missed this book, which would have been such a shame because it's so good and has way more depth than one would assume given the title and cover. If you love contemporary YA, you need to read this book.  
 Favorite Outlier
 (Best 2014 Picture Book, MG, NA, or Adult Novel)
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

I seriously can't shut up about this book. It's quintessentially Midwestern. It has 5 POVs that you'll never get mixed up because each character is so well-developed. I actually find myself missing these characters like they're people I know in real life. Just read this book. I promise you won't regret it.
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Head here add your name and your Best in Show post link to the sign up so we can hop around and check out everyone's selections. Don’t forget — there will be a new link sign-up each day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

YA Superlatives 2014 - Elements of Fiction


Most Envy-Inducing Plot
Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I have this weird thing for good-at-heart criminals, like the characters in Leverage, White Collar, and this book! Plus the characters in this book have sweet powers too. What's not to love... and envy?
 
Most Formidable World
 The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Women hold the majority of the power in Ewing's debut - which is both really interesting and really terrifying. Not that there are women in power - I'm all for that - it's that the women in this book do some really despicable things to one another. It's mind boggling. 
 
Most Wanderlust-Inducing
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

Rae's novel about a girl playing hooky in Italy will make you swoon and long for an Italian adventure. 
  Loveliest Prose
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

It's been months and months since I read this book, but I can't stop thinking about it. One of the biggest reasons? The writing. Gorgeous. So, so gorgeous.
 
Most Dynamic Main Character
Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda

I loved how much this MC grew throughout the course of the novel. She's dealing with some really intense demons and, by the end, she has a much better handle on who she is and where she wants to go in life. She stands up to her super destructive family and puts herself first. She is so worth rooting for!

Most Jaw-Dropping Conclusion
 
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Oh.em.gee. I can't even talk about this one for fear of spoilers. Just read it!

Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

I love sassy friends, like this MCs partner-in-crime.
 
 Best Use of Theme 
 I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Nelson is such a talent. Definitely read this book, but also go back and read The Sky is Everywhere - which is one of my personal favorites!


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Head here add your name and your Elements of Fiction post link to the sign up so we can hop around and check out everyone's selections. Don’t forget — there will be a new link sign-up each day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

YA Superlatives 2014 - Popularity Contest


Villain I Love to Hate
Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

There are few villains in this one, but there's one in particular that I loved. He's one that you wish the main character could trust, but that she seriously shouldn't. He's the kind of guy that proves good looks don't guarantee you're a good person.

  Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

You might have to redefine your idea of rock star to understand why I chose Strange Sweet Song for this category, but the main character in this one has a serious set of pipes.

  Favorite Parental Figure
Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

The parents in Haydu's latest are relatively young and hip, but what I loved most about them was that they were present in the main character's life and weren't portrayed as either horrible or perfect. They just were. They made mistakes, but they also did some really great things. Yay for being well-rounded and realistic!
 
  Most Likely to Start a Riot

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

The main character in this book has the 'kill gene' - a gene that is thought to guarantee that one day the carrier will become a homicidal maniac. So, in a group of non-carriers, this MC could totally start a riot. And, as you find out if you read this one, she might just start a riot even if she's locked away.
 
Biggest Flirt
No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

The main character Brown's debut can be a bit of a flirt - though she's just as often being hit on by guys she's 100% not flirting with too. Things are bit complicated in this MC's life.
 
Coolest Nerd
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

The MC in McCahan's most recent novel is a bit of a smarty pants - she's even skipped a few grades. Plus she's nerdy and cool. Triple threat!
  Fashion King and/or Queen

Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

This MC takes Fashion Queen by a landslide. She's a grifter and having the right look is a big part of nailing the con!
   

Character I’d Most Want For a BFF
Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

I love this MC's snarky, tough exterior!

  Character I Wish I’d Dated in High School
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

The guy in Lord's debut is a sweet, good-looking musician with a heart of gold. Forget high school - I wish I were dating him right now.  

 Most Likely to Become President

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

The MC in this one is Most Likely to Become President for two reasons:
1. He's a self-appointed historian, so he's less likely to repeat past mistakes and
2. It's the end of the world as we know it and he's got access to a secret bunker.

Quirkiest Character
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King

This MC is pretty quirky all on her own, but, after she drinks a petrified bat and start having visions, she takes quirky to a whole new level.

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Head here add your name and your Popularity Contest post link to the sign up so we can hop around and check out everyone's selections. Don’t forget — there will be a new link sign-up each day!

Monday, December 15, 2014

YA Superlatives 2014 - Head of the Class


Favorite Dystopian
Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

  Favorite Science Fiction
  Minders by Michele Jaffe

 Favorite Fantasy
Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

  Favorite Contemporary
  Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho

Favorite Action/Adventure
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

  Favorite Historical Fiction
  A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
 
Favorite Comedy
  Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Favorite Mystery
The Art of Secrets by James Klise

 Favorite Romance
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

  Favorite Paranormal
   The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

Favorite Genre Bender
Conversion by Katherine Howe

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Head here add your name and your Head of the Class post link to the sign up so we can hop around and check out everyone's selections. Don’t forget — there will be a new link sign-up each day!