Really, really stating the obvious. But really, I love books - loving to read is the reason I started blogging about books in the first place and since blogging, I've discovered so many awesome books I probably wouldn't have read otherwise.
Julie and Lanna's
12 24 Best Books of 2010
So, I did this last year and it was fun so I figured I would do it again and make it an annual thing (and this year, Julie will be giving her top 12 books too, so there'll be 24 awesome book recs instead of just 12).
These are our favourite books that we've read this year (that were released in 2010 - books released before that or 2011 releases we've read for review weren't included and they're also not in order of preference):
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Probably one of my favourite supernatural books. The main character was awesome, she managed to be strong and totally bad ass even though physically she was the weakest. The relationships in the book were brilliant (all of them; the romance, the family stuff, the friendships, the creepy dynamics with the bad guy).
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson - Definitely one of my favourite books of all time. Jandy Nelson is on my instant read list thanks to this book - her writing style is fantastic, her characters are amazingly quirky and perfect in their imperfection and the plot? Loved it. (Don't write it off as being a book about a love triangle, it wasn't like that at all and you'll understand if you read it). I love this one so much that I forced it on Julie and my best friend (my best friend loved it).
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard - Original. Fun. Amazing characters. Hilarious. This book was pretty much the perfect book to read if you want something to make you smile or need a light read between more serious stuff. It is chick lit-y, but it's much more than that, the story is much more.
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma - Controversial issue handled brilliantly. It's one of the most heartbreaking books I've ever read and it really made me think about where I stand on certain issues... and I think it could probably make some people a bit more open minded too, if they gave it a chance. It still gets under my skin, even thinking about it now, months after reading it.
Stolen by Lucy Christopher - Fantastic, really well written and really original. The characters in this are so raw and real and the way Lucy Christopher wrote this story - it messed with my head in a way that made me really understand Stockholm Syndrome in a way that I hadn't really grasped before.
Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey - Third book in the Drake Chronicles series. I love the series so far - I didn't like the second book quite as much as I enjoyed the first one, but this book was the best so far. I love the world, the mythology, the characters (particularly the Drake boys) and the fact that the girls totally kick ass in this series, this book especially.
Inside My Head by Jim Carrington - This was an odd one. It's not the kind of book I would really choose to pick up on my own (and not just because I seem to have an aversion to books set in the UK - something which this book helped improve a little), but I'm really glad I read it. The characters and their lives were so realistic and it showed the effects of bullying from all angles and the book was just really raw, it didn't sugarcoat anything, especially the characters...
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - I can't say much about this one without spoiling it. It's the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy and some people weren't satisfied with the ending but I thought it was perfect and realistic and it made me feel -- it just made me feel. Happy. Sad. Angry. Hurt. And that's a sign of a great book, one that makes you care to the point where you feel for the characters and react to the story like that. It wasn't one of those books that didn't take any risks or one of the ones that wrap things up too neatly, it got it just right.
Shade by Jeri Smith Ready - I adore the world and the characters in this book. It was definitely one of the more original supernatural/fantasy books that I've read this year... actually, scratch the "this year" part of that statement, it was just really original in general. I can't wait for the sequel.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - I couldn't sum up what was amazing about this book in one paragraph if I tried... Jennifer's writing and characters leave me kind of speechless. I need to read more of her books.
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers - I read this one what seems like ages ago and I remember it hurting. Reading it was painful, Courtney Summers cuts you open in the first pages and spends the rest of the book rubbing salt in the wound... and it's awesome, in this masochistic kind of way. The story is raw and intense and fantastic and Courtney tells it so well that you can't help but feel for the character, even if she's not the most likeable narrator.
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting - I'm not sure if this was released earlier than 2010 in the US, but it just came out last month here in the UK. This book was just brilliant - loved the mystery, love the characters, loved the romance (which was that classic tale of best friends on the edge of being something more - refreshing change from the whole girl falling for the mysterious bad boy cliche) and I loved the originality of the story (that seems to be a recurring theme with my picks for this years list, doesn't it?).
Honorable mentions: The Duff by Kody Keplinger and Captivate by Carrie Jones.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - This book was just so flipping adorable. Maybe I didn't rave enough in my review about the awesome of St. Claire. And Anna and all of Anna's friends. And the fact that it's in PARIS. Love, love, love. This book was just very real and genuine and it seemed like something that could happen. And sometimes you pick up a contemporary and you like to think "This. This will happen to me someday. I'm going to find this."
Hex Hall by Lady/Rachel Hawkins - I won't lie, half the reason I adore this book is because of Rachel. And because her twitter name's LadyHawkins, that's what I ALWAYS want to call her. Rachel's voice shined through and was very strong in Sophie's voice, so obviously I loved Sophie. And Archer may be one of my favorite male characters of all time. And my Demonglass ARC? It STARES AT ME. It mocks me because I can't read it yet.
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers - Frannie was probably one of the strongest female characters I read this year (we're not counting Spirit Bound because including Rose would just be unfair). Luc was probably the most sweet demon I've ever read about. The whole story idea, while not entirely new (Heaven and Hell is a fairly old idea...), was new to me in this way. It was done in a unique way that made it really original. And it's not just romance, there's action involved too. The novel also made me think about my own feelings on Heaven and Hell and all that fun stuff...yay religion?
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - Forget the fact that the author and I share a first name. Meghan was probably the most relatable character I read this year. If somebody EVER messed with my little brother, there would be hell to pay. And this took it to a whole new level. Add in two totally amazing love interests, a cat of epic (Sorry Misha, Sorry K.C.!) and some fae? You have one kick ass story.
Sea by Heidi Kling - This was such a moving story and it really had an affect on me. I cried and I digested the book and it didn't even have the ending I wanted. But it was such a beautiful story with a unique plot and so many plot twists, it didn't matter. I loved Sienna as a person, I understood her. She's right up there with Meghan on relatability. And this is another example of two amazing love interests. But here there's no good guy and bad guy. They're both genuinely good guys and I kind of wish she could have both.
Vixen by Jillian Larkin - This book is hard to describe. While reading, I started thinking it was pretty much The Luxe but in the 1920s. Right after thinking that I realized it was more The Luxe mixed with A Great and Terrible Beauty mixed with the 1920s and there was some other part of this combination, but surely you can already see how amazing this mixture is? Need I say anything else? Don't think so.
Prisoners of the Palace by Michaela MacColl - This book probably made the list because of good timing. I had just watched The Young Victoria and was desperate for more about her. And lo and behold, there's a BOOK. Awesome right? I also loved the romance in this story and the way I got to see Victoria in a different way from how she was portrayed in the movie.
Jane by April Lindner - This was a last minute addition. I can't explain why I loved this. Maybe because it was an original story to me (I haven't read Jane Eyre yet) or maybe because I loved the whole rock star idea behind it. Why can't there be more books like that? I also loved that it was an older YA book with older, non-YA characters. That's not something you see a lot. And this book just totally swept me away. I stayed up until 2 am on a school night to read it. Don't regret it in the SLIGHTEST. My only regret about reading this book is that I don't have it anymore. I don't have more Jane Eyre retellings (or Jane Eyre...for now) and I don't have more April Lindner. MAJOR sad panda.
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn - This was another one that was simply adorable. I loved it more than Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and would love to see this as a movie. It was funny and pervy and the cover is gorgeous. I just wish it wasn't so short! But this is definitely a good book for the holidays, I may even re-read it!
The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel - I feel like this is a horribly underrated book. I felt an attachment to all of the characters and it was just...so beautifully written. And this is the only story on my list with no romance. Not one drop. You start to think there is, but there's not. It made me think about life and it's a pretty heavy read but it's SO worth it.
Salvaged by Stefne Miller - This one was from an "indie" publisher, so it doesn't have a whole lot of attention, either. Which is just plain WRONG. Attie was another very strong character and Riley is probably the cutest boy in YA fiction. Like, seriously adorable. And sometimes we don't need the hotness, we need the adorable. Jesus was my favorite character. How often can you say that? This was such an emotional roller coaster too, but it was SO worth it.
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller - Months later, I still can't figure out why I love this book. I just do. This was a love it or hate it book, it depended on if you could move past the douchey-ness of Iain, and I'm really glad I was able to.
(Honorary Mentions to Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White because I LOVE THEM but I could only have 12 and I feel like they've got PLENTY of buzz on their own.)