2014’s Top 10 Books to Look for: Karen’s Favorite
Victoria Scott’s book Fire and Flood
Victoria Scott is great. True to its word. With her 180-degree pivot in The Collector, which I initially thought I would despise since it initially seemed shallow and superficial, and awful for female messaging, she completely floored me and showed that she had considerable skills. A juvenile girl and her animal companion are forced to compete in a breath-taking race to save her brother’s life—and her own—in Fire and Flood, an epic quest for a cure to save a cherished brother.
By Elizabeth Fama, “Plus One”
All I need to say for those who know me is “PLAGE” to explain why this is on my list. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I genuinely enjoy reading books about epidemics. The fact that this is set during the 1918 flu pandemic allows me to learn about the outbreak while also attempting to complete my personal goal of reading more historical fiction. Boom. Although it is technically alternate history with a dystopian-sounding twist, I will stick with it. Reading and comparing A Death Struck Year, also about the 1918 flu outbreak, could make for an intriguing companion study.
Ava Delaria’s Love Letters to the Dead
As she analyses what happened to her and her sister May in a journal of telling the truth and seeking solace, Laurel sends letters to the deceased, including Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin. Interesting title and cover. Check—novel in epistles. Check. It looks like something that would appeal to teenagers. Check. It has been added to my TBR list.
By Lindsey Cummings, “The Murder Complex”
All I feel I need to say is this: “A futuristic first thriller that is action-packed, bloody, and set in a society where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. I’m not a huge lover of this cover, which feels like a little “muddy,” but the concept is killer (see what I just said there?), and I have been waiting for this one for a while.
John Corey Whaley’s Noggin
I’ve technically already finished reading this book. BUT IT WAS SO GREAT, SO VERY GREAT. The emotional portrayal of a fish out of the water was so rich. Travis Coates’ head was taken since he was about to pass away and kept until now when it was joined to a new body. He remained frozen for five years while he awaited scientific advancement, during which time the world continued without him. It poses a challenge for him because it appears he just went to sleep and awoke the following day. Therefore, he is still an adolescent, but his best buddy and girlfriend (wait, is she still his girlfriend?) are now adults. A lovely tone and writing style and an intriguing approach to conventional YA literary subjects like self-discovery. He was highly suggested.
by Lauren Oliver Panic
So, sure, I’ve already read this one as well. It was undoubtedly one of the books I enjoyed reading the most in 2013. In tiny communities, you must think outside the box to find ways to spend time. Thus, the game Panic was initiated years ago. Only seniors are eligible to compete for the cash award, and they do so by participating in various risky tasks. It is a page-turning thrill rush, but it also beautifully captures kids’ bleak desire to get out of poverty and small-town life. This situation involves intrigue, backstabbing, and some suspenseful moments.
Delilah S. Dawson’s “Servants of the Storm”
I genuinely am interested in this, I thought after being so moved by the cover, and then I saw it on Edelweiss, so I downloaded it. I then began reading it, even though it won’t be available until August 2014. I was then unable to stop. To avoid doing the tasks, I was required to accomplish. I read this book much earlier than I should have. A hurricane barrel through Georgia, one closest friend, Dovey, survives, and one person perishes. Everything changes a year later when Dovey believes she sees Carly. As she discovers the truth about what happened to Carly, what lies beneath the surface of her community, and the impending major storm, it feels like she has fallen down a rabbit hole. It is an unusual, perverse perspective on demons. Although occasionally scary, it is also immensely fascinating.
Various Side Effects, by Julie Murphy
What I know about this book is that after learning she has cancer, a girl compiles a list of everyone she intends to exact revenge on. She enters remission once she crosses the final victim off her list of targets for vengeance. Oops. She now has to deal with the fallout. Simply put, this sounds so appealing.
Additionally, Julie Murphy has a beautiful style and voice, which I think will translate well to the page and connect with teen readers. I have met her. Who can disagree with Printz Award winner John Corey Whaley when he thinks this book is good?
Illa J. Bick’s White Space
Because this is what was sent to Greg Ferguson at Egmont in a two-book deal: “Ilsa Bick’s WHITE SPACE, pitched as The Matrix meets Inkheart, about a seventeen-year-old girl who jumps between the lines of books and into the white space where realities are created and destroyed – but who may herself be nothing more than a character written into being from an alternative universe.” Bold mine.