For the week, I've been posting a Top 10 List of books for 2010 and 2011. Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and I thought it might be fun to do a sort of recap, sharing all the books we've loved - for various reasons and then some. I hope you enjoy my list. Be sure to head over and check out Jessica's too. Also, don't forget to check back tomorrow for the last list of the week and maybe something special too!
Author: Kelly Creagh
Publisher: Atheneum, 543 Pages (August 31st 2010)
About the Characters - Varen and Isobel are so different, yet they fit together perfect. Varen is dark and mysterious, while Isobel is bright, pink and shiny - on the outside. On the inside they are so much more. It's the writing that draws you in and makes it easy to love the characters.
Synopsis: And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial, 272 Pages (March 9th 2010)
About the Characters - I've said this before about Joe and I'll say it again - He's one of those characters that makes you wish you had someone in your life just like him. For me, he adds a whole new dimension to the story. I can't wait to re-read and if you haven't picked this one up yet, do it quick, you won't be disappointed!
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 309 Pages (May 4th 2010)
About the characters - The love triangle that is Aura, Logan and Zachary. Not to mention the story and writing are amazing, but that's what makes the characters come to life - great writing - easily making these three a favorite of mine.
Synopsis: Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.
Author: Kristie Cook
Publisher: Ang'dora Productions, 368 Pages (July 30th 2010)
About the characters - Alexis and Tristan. The power couple that not enough people are reading about. Alexis is another strong female lead that is independent and wants to always have a chance to fight for what she loves and knows it right. Tristan is a warrior and many will find drool worthy at that. He has issues but they make him who he is. You get the feeling that together, they can do just about anything.
Synopsis: Alexis Ames decides to learn who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their secrets closely. After meeting Tristan Knight and discovering that he s not normal either, the secrets begin to unravel. Their union brings promise to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy. Because they are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.
Title: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 398 Pages (August 24th 2010)
About the characters - Katniss... kick butt, strong, takes the world on her shoulders three times and is still fighting for what's right. Peeta, oh Peeta. For me, Katniss and Peeta filled in the gaps for each other. They kind of molded together and picked up where the other left off, making two more whole people. At least, for me they did. Peeta was a strength for Katniss and she for him. These two will always have a special place in my heart.
Synopsis: Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 360 Pages (July 13th 2010)
About the characters - It's Sam and Grace. It's Maggie's wonderful characters - Sam and Grace. Need I say more?
Synopsis: In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen, 335 Pages (August 31st 2010)
About the characters - Eve and Lend. I mean... Eve has a pink, rhinestone covered taser named Tasey and she's a strong female lead who doesn't just sit back and let the guy take care of her. She's strong, smart and questions things when she thinks something just isn't right. As for Lend... well, I mean, he's Lend. He's sweet, kind and wants to help and what's wrong. He's a different kind of Paranormal, which is always welcome. The two together are a power house couple and book two can't come soon enough.
Synopsis: Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.
Author: Rebecca Maizel
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin, 310 Pages (August 3rd 2010)
About the characters - Lenah and Rhodes... Lenah goes through so many changes and you can see her struggle with just about everything throughout the book. It was amazing to see her deal with each issue as it comes up. And Rhodes... with the little bit he's in this book I was swooning. The way he goes above and beyond to make the impossible happen for Lenah and the sacrifice's he makes for her... it's pretty amazing.
Synopsis: Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.
Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?
Author: Anastasia Hopcus
Publisher: Egmont, 400 Pages (July 13th 2010)
About the characters - Both Phe and Zach are one of those couples that just stick with you. As are many that you'll find on this list. They help balance each other out. I really enjoyed reading Phe and Zach's story and I hope we haven't seen the last of them yet.
Synopsis: After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA — a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.
Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach — the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after — seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.
Author: Lisa Klein
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 336 Pages (October 12th 2010)
About the characters - Cate is such a strong character. I loved her from the first page. She was smart, understanding and tough and in that time in history wasn't scared to find the words to stand up for herself - often shocking the men and women around her. It's things like this that make a character like Cate easy to love.
Synopsis: Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite court maidens—until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh's colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists—and Cate—increasingly turn to. Yet just as Cate's longings for England and Ralegh fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World.
Seamlessly weaving together fact with fiction, Lisa Klein's newest historical drama is an engrossing tale of adventure and forbidden love—kindled by one of the most famous mysteries in American history: the fate of the settlers at Roanoke, who disappeared without a trace forty years before the Pilgrims would set foot in Plymouth.
*Note: this list is in no particular order. Each of these books are a few of my favorites from 2010.