Top Ten Young Adult Books of 2012:
**There's a tie for #1. The False Prince wins for the book I most enjoyed. The Fault In Our Stars wins for best writing.
Sage is plucked from an orphanage and becomes a candidate to impersonate a prince. An entertaining, hilarious, seat of your pants read for all ages. In a world crowded with fantasy adventure series, The False Prince stands out for its fabulous dialogue, enchanting protagonist, and well developed plot.
Hazel is 16 years old and in a waiting pattern to die from terminal cancer. She meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, and her world turns around. An exceptional book. It's a book you read to fall in love, to learn, and to grow. Every line is quotable. The kind of book that only gets better once you've finished it.
A WWII book like you've never read. "Queenie" is a young British spy who's been captured by the Germans. She chooses to collaborate and reveal her secrets to stop the torture. Or does she? We learn the story from "Queenie" and her best friend Maddie's point of view. Heartbreaking. My love for the book has only grown in the six months since I've read it.
Blue sees a premonition involving a boy she's never met - "Either you're his true love...or you killed him." Meanwhile, four private school boys are on a journey to discover Glendower, an ancient Welsh king supposed to be buried near their Virginia school. This is a slow-burning epic fantasy. It takes a while to get into, but once things click, you're hooked. The writing and depth of the plot are stunning.
5. Divergent by Veronica Roth
It took me a long time to read the book that everyone has been raving about for the last few years. Why did I wait so long? I can't remember now. An incredible adventure story. Better, I think, than Hunger Games. Well drawn characters, great romance, an enticingly dark plot, page turning thrills. A clear exception to my distaste for dystopia.
Assassin nuns! Ismae is a new sister at the convent of St. Mortain where the nuns assist the god of death. Ismae is tasked with possibly assassinating a high political official in the Brittany court, but she'll have to get past handsome, smart Duval first. This book has something for everyone: romance, humor, girl power, action, politics, history and more.
Hadley and Oliver meet on a flight from New York to London and have an immediate connection. A magical story. It may only be 250 pages and take place over 24 hours, but by the end of the story, it feels like Hadley and Oliver have known each other forever and you've been following their lives for years. A book that will put a smile on your face.
Another fabulous epic fantasy. A must read for any dragon lover as well as for people who simply love a good story. Seraphina is half dragon/half human. She must hide her identity from both dragons and humans who would never accept a half-breed. Hiding becomes more difficult when she goes to work for the royal family and gets drawn into a murder investigation. Not to mention catching the eye of Prince Kiggs. Both an adventure and a coming of age story. Rich characters and fabulous world building.
Cinder is a cyborg: a second class citizen in public and within her own family. Until she catches the attention of Prince Kai... A fast moving sci-fi/fantasy/dystopia for the non-sci-fi fan. Cinder features a strong main character who may like having a handsome prince but definitely doesn't need one. Plus it goes far beyond the traditional Cinderalla story. A great debut.
10. From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Probably the funniest book I read all year. I stayed up until 1 AM to finish this book with tears of laughter rolling down my eyes. Good girl Kylie ends up leading handsome, snobby pretty-boy Max on an insane trip to Mexico to go after a stolen laptop. Soon enough, Max's girlfriend Lily and Kylie's best friend Will try to pick up the pieces (or kill Max and Kylie, depending on the emotion of the moment). Told from multiple perspectives, this is a full story so impossibly crazy that it could just happen...well, probably not, but you'll think it could!
*Honorable mentions go to:
Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Every Day by David Levithan