Friday, December 31, 2010

Best/Most Memorable Reads of 2010

As I was looking over my list of 160 books read in 2010, I realized I had a pretty awesome reading year this year – I can remember a vast majority of these books with a smile.

So I decided instead of doing a just traditional best list, I’d mix in some memorable moments from my year in reading.

Memorable Dystopian Moments

Thanks to two whole dystopian theme months (February and August), this was my most read genre. I already pointed out my top 5 2010 faves at The Book Smugglers (MONSTERS OF MEN by Patrick Ness, THE UNIDENTIFIED by Rae Mariz, SHIP BREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi, SHADES OF GREY by Jasper Fforde, INSIDE OUT by Maria V Synder and 2011 release DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver), but really most of my dystopian reads were awesome.

The Rise of Contemporary YA

I never pegged myself as a big contemporary YA fan, but some of my very favorite 2010 books were contemporary.

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver (read in 2009)
THE CARDTURNER by Louis Sachar
AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson
LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden
ROSEBUSH by Michelle Jaffe
THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting (sort of paranormal, but whatevs!)
SOME GIRLS ARE Courtney Summers

Lots of debuts on that list too!

The year I finally read….

My first Sarah Dessen (JUST LISTEN), my first Ellen Hopkins (TRICKS) and my first Meg Cabot (AIRHEAD).

Most memorable first line

This award goes to Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE: “Before she became the Girl from Nowhere – The One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years – she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte.” Love it!

Most memorable first chapter

For me, this is a tie between 7 SOULS by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis. In the first, Mary wakes up naked in an NYC Crate & Barrel display bed and doesn’t know how she got there. In the second, Amy has to decide if she wants to be frozen so she can join her parents on a 300 year space journey to a new planet. Both are riveting and set the scene for some killer novels.

Most memorable laugh

This came from the chapter entitled "The precious Jewells" from Leila Sales’ MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS. Funniest thing I read all year!

Most memorable cry

Even though MOCKINGJAY was my least favorite of the series, it was still my most anticipated read of the year (DELIRIUM was a very close second) and it affected me the most emotionally too.

Most memorable couples

Katniss and Peeta from MOCKINGJAY, Lennie and Joe from THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, Trella and Riley from INSIDE OUT.

Most memorable WTF

Most of MOCKINGJAY really. WTF was up with cat lady in the fur shop?

Most memorable scene that gave me chills (in a good way)

Gloria and Charlie on the roof in the rain in Andrew Auseon’s FREAK MAGNET.

Most memorable scare

NEVERMORE by Kelly Creagh. I had to cover my eyes!

Most memorable villain

Major Prentiss in Patrick Ness’ THE ASK AND THE ANSWER and MONSTERS OF MEN. I know I talk about him all the time, but whoa. He’s evil with a capitol E and yet, Ness still had me hoping for his redemption. Amazing.

Runner up: Billycan from Hilary Wagner’s NIGHTSHADE CITY. A twisted albino former lab rat – yes!

Most memorable cover

I love my ARC of MATCHED by Ally Condie. It’s sparkly!

Most memorable unexpected reveal

The end of Chevy Stevens’ STILL MISSING. I did not see that one coming in a million years, and yet, in the context of the story, it totally makes sense.

Honorable mention: RUNAWAY by Meg Cabot. So twisted!

Most memorable backlist reads

THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA by Megan Whalen Turner (pubbed 2000)
THE BLONDE OF THE JOKE by Bennett Madison (pubbed 2009)
THE ASK AND THE ANSWER by Patrick Ness (pubbed 2009)
DREAM GIRL by Lauren Mechling (pubbed 2008)
PARABLE OF THE SOWER by Octavia Butler (pubbed 1993)

Favorite Reads of 2010 (regardless of pub date, alphabetical order)


THE CLEARING by Heather Davis

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE by Laura Lippman

LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater



THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA by Megan Whalen Turner


SHADES OF GREY by Jasper Fforde

What were your most memorable reading moments?


Amanda said...

heheh, I love the cat lady from Mockingjay. :D

I also love my Matched ARC. That definitely made my favorite cover of the year.

Lenore Appelhans said...

You are a seriously fast reader Amanda - I just posted this!

Trisha said...

I must include the Most Memorable WTF Moment in my yearly stats - awesome category.

I've been really pleased by Ness's books making people's 'best of' lists. I think the Chaos Walking trilogy is such a great read.

Zibilee said...

A lot of these books are on my list to read in the upcoming year, and I have to say that shades of Gray is the most highly anticipated, as Fforde can do no wrong for me. I also agree that Please Ignore Vera Dietz was such a good read, and I thank you for sending it my way. It really opened the door to YA for me, and I am hoping to read more in the genre in the upcoming year. A great list you've got here!

Leslie @ This is the Refrain said...

I just read Please Ignore Vera Dietz and wish I could have included it on my year-end list! Might have to pretend I read it in 2011...

Lenore Appelhans said...

Trisha - WTF moment is a great category, ha! I am very proud of it :)

Heather - So glad you loved Vera Dietz!

Lu - That's why I had to wait until the last day of the year to do mine!

Shweta said...

For me The Passage was one book which had the max impact in 2010.Awesome opening line.

I loved Before I Fall but haven't started Delirium yet but will get to it.

Angiegirl said...

Oh, yay for THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA! :)

Lenore Appelhans said...

Shweta - Definitely looking forward to the rest of the series!

Angie - I owe that one ALL to you. Thanks :) KING is coming up this year. So excited!

the story siren said...

i'm the same with with contemporary fiction. i wouldn't describe myself as a contemp fan, more of a fantasy fan, yet if i look at my favs it's always filled with contemps!

fantastic year of reading! i wish i could have read that many books.... i'm disappointed with my 117.

Aarti said...

Queen of Attolia didn't make my best of list this year, but I adore that series. I REALLY REALLY hope the next book has a female POV :-)

Unknown said...

Oh definitely agree, with Mayor Prentiss. He's one of the most rounded characters I've read, never mind villains!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I loved FREAK MAGNET and the tender way both Charlie and Gloria were portrayed.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

...and I'm so happy my critique partner/agent mate's LOSING FAITH made your list!

joanna said...

wow, so many great-sounding books on your list, my wishlist just doubled! :-) Happy New Year to you!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Kristi - It's crazy isn't it? I guess I will have to own up to my contemps love!

Darren - True that.

Caroline - :)

Emy Shin said...

Yay, I'm glad QUEEN OF ATTOLIA is one of your favorites. I have to admit that QUEEN was the hardest one to read, for me, in the series, but I love the ending.

And I adore that first line from THE PASSAGE!

Jessica said...

Terrific list!! I just finished The Sky is Everywhere and it was awesome! I agree with you on Mockingjay too.

I still need to read Delirium BAD! I've heard so many great things about it.

Amused said...

You have a lot of books in this list that I am hoping to read - I am so behind :)

SFP said...

You know what I find totally inspiring? That it's already 2011 where you are and that you've already completed a book!

Literary Feline said...

I love your categories, Lenore! I'm considering reading my first Patrick Ness book this year. I was glad to see his name come up in your post. Quite a few of your favorites this year, are in fact, books I've been wanting to read. Now I have even more of a reason!

Have a very happy New Year!

Sarah said...

Great list! I read my first Sarah Dessen book this year too. The Truth About Forever.

Blueicegal ♥ said...

Lol cat lady! I still need to bring myself to read Mockingjay the mixed reviews have put me of, I love that The Sky is Everywhere is a lot of peoples pick :)

Unknown said...

Mayor Prentiss. Yes, yes, yes! Most memorable/evil/amazing villain EVER.

Staci said...

Your firsts are some of my favorite authors ever!!!

Michelle said...

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read Rosebush before the end of the year. It totally made my list as well.

Hope 2011 is as awesome as 2010. :)

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

Looks like you've read some great books this year :)

Andi said...

I see lots of books I want to read!!! Woohoo!

Beth F said...

What an awesome post. You had a fabulous year -- and I loved your dystopian months.

Have a super new year.

JoLee said...

I'm so happy Shades of Grey made your "best of" list. It's on mine too. I love Jasper Fforde and his wild and weird worlds.

Anna said...

Really enjoyed this recap. I agree with the ending of Still Missing. That's what saved the whole book for me, the fact that I never saw it coming.