Best Book Of The Year/Book I Can’t Get Out Of My Mind:
This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers-
I just had a quick scan through my Goodreads ‘read’ bookshelf and found that I have been quite stingy with my stars this year. Only three books have five stars and they are not YA. Therefore, the best YA book of the year for me goes to the most memorable- most haunting, in fact. This book was a disturbing rollercoaster ride. It wasn’t terribly scary in terms of the story- the zombies were just background scenery- it was just extrememly raw and unsettling. I remember feeling cold whilst reading it because the writing was so atmospheric. This book made me feel similar to one of my only five star novels of the year- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Both had destructive but misunderstood female protagonists- although Amy was a different kind of destructive to Sloan. Courtney Summers is definitely one of my favourite contemporary YA writers. All of her books have stayed with me and I have even re-read them, which is not something I do very often. I look forward to her next offering.
Most Unexpectedly Delightful Book Of The Year
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg- It reminded me a little of Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin but I preferred the main character in this book. I liked the tone too- very...zingy, for want of a better word.
In Honor by Jessi Kirby- I can't even remember how I found this book but I'm glad that I did.
Flat-Out Love- Jessica Park- This is a good one for those who enjoy older YA/ New Adult fiction. I liked that it was set in college and the characters were well thought out. Plus, one character was named Celeste, which is one of my favourite names.
Best “New To Me” YA Author
This year, I got my hands on Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. I love the world she has created. The characters are very real in terms of the way they talk and what they think. I like that faith plays a part in her work but she doesn’t preach at the reader- it is part of, rather than extra to, the framework. Finally, I do enjoy most kinds of sports so I appreciate that her characters are competitive and don’t mind getting their hands dirty- it’s not all about make-up and ‘will they, won’t they’.
The Rivals by Daisy Whitney- I love a good old 'justice prevails' novel. Throw in a private school and some snooty posh kids and I'm in YA heaven. This sequel didn't disappoint.
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder- If we're comparing novels with cancer fighting young protaganists then...*whispers* I preferred this to The Fault In Our Stars. I just liked the tone of this novel. Oh, and it was set partly in my favourite place in the world- Disney World.
Girls In White Dresses- Jennifer Close- Technically, this isn't a YA but it could be classed as a New Adult novel. Like the show 'Girls', I wasn't completely sold to begin with but this book has stayed with me throughout the year.
Best Guilty Pleasure Book
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares- I had seen the films but never read the book, so this year I read the first and last in the series. Quite fun with a good message.