Monday, January 28, 2013

The 2nd Annual Jody-intz Awards

Back by popular demand! Okay, not really, but I need a blog topic, and since this is the day that the ALA announces the Printz Award for the best young adult book of the year, I realized it was time to release my own list of besties.

And now without further ado, the Jody-intz-es: 

1. Book That Made Me Laugh Out Loud (and also fight off tears). Daniel Handler's Why We Broke Up. Handler's the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events, so he's an expert in quirky humor, but this turn at YA proves that he's got heart too. This brilliant novel is one long kiss off letter--main character Min's rant against big time %&$* jerk Ed. Oh, I soooo wish a book like this existed when I was a teen.

2. Best Love Story. A 3-way tie between The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (because I LOVE Oliver and LOVE the serendipitous moments that continually pull him into Hadley's life over a 24-hour period); Just One Day by Gayle Forman (even though the romance takes a back seat to the main character's journey of self-discovery); and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (yeah, this book does not need anymore accolades--it's placed firmly in bestseller land as shown by its appearance on shelves at Walmart and Kroger--but I will praise it anyway: Great book on multiple levels by an awesome writer I bow down to.

3. Coolest Hook. Every Day by David Levithan. I could've stuck this one in the best love story category too. Thought-provoking and heartbreaking and probably contains the most noble sacrifice in the history of love stories as main character "A" fights to woo Rhiannon despite his curse of never remaining in one body for more than one day. Bonus points for being a fave of both of my kids, a rare feat for a picky teen girl and her hardly-ever-reads-fiction older brother.

4.  Book That Had Me Hearing Slasher Music in My Head Whilst Reading. Shift by Em Bailey. Riveting psychological horror/thriller about Olive, who may or may not be crazy, who's enemies with Miranda, who may or may not be evil, who may or may not be sucking the life out of Kate. Cue the freaky music...

4. Series I Wanted to Keep Reading (and Did). I read a lot of books and too many are first books in a series. Unless I am totally hooked, I rarely follow up on the sequel (there are so many other books to try....) but I did with Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns and the sequel (just finished this one a week ago) The Crown of Embers. I'm not typically a fantasy fan, but Carson's reluctant and very human princess Elisa is worth following through multiple novels. Major bonus points for unpredictable and complex plot. Eagerly awaiting book three!

5. Book that Transcends a Difficult Topic. Colleen Clayton's debut What Happens Next. The topic is date rape, which might turn some readers off, but Clayton never over-dramatizes or crosses the line into lurid. Her main character Sid's journey is heartbreaking and beautiful and somehow funny and romantic too. My only beef with the book is the kinda "meh" title. Something else might've worked better to capture the essence of this novel. Or maybe not. The whole time I was reading I had no idea what was going to happen next.

6. Books That Stuck with Me and Make Me Proud to Call Myself a Young Adult Writer. In addition to the ones listed above, a shout out to Adele Griffin for the horrifying and twisty/turny drama All You Never Wanted; E.M. Kokie's brilliant debut Personal Effects about a boy's search to understand his revered older brother's death (and life); Michelle Cooper's Brief History of Montmary because I rarely like historical fiction but totally fell into her quirky pre-WWII world; and last but not least, Meg Rosoff's There is No Dog, which made me laugh and think and question my belief in God.

UPDATE:  The official Printz Award was just announced: In Darkness by Nick Lake, a book I sadly have not read but will add to my TBR list asap!

And just for the heck of it, here's the entire list of books I read this year, in case anyone's wondering: (Reviews highlighted)

1. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, adult fiction
2. I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson, adult fiction
3. The Future of Us by Carolyn Mackler and Jay Asher, YA fiction
4. A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper, YA historical fiction
5. The Fitzosbornes in Exile (sequel) by Michelle Cooper
6. The Vanishing Game by Katie Kae Myers, YA fiction
7. Ripper by Stefan Petrucha, YA historical/Steampunk
8. The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin, YA fiction
9. The Fault in our Stars by John Green, YA fiction
10. Dead to You by Lisa McMann, YA fiction
11. Catch and Release by Blythe Woolston, YA fiction
12. Maze Runner by James Dashner, YA science fiction
13. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, YA science fiction
14. Bewitching by Alex Flinn, YA paranormal
15. Partials by Dan Wells, YA science fiction
16. Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg, YA fiction
17. Slide by Jill Hathaway, YA paranormal
18. Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis, YA paranormal
19. There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff, YA fiction
20. Croak by Gina DaMico, YA paranormal
21. Where Men Find Glory by Jon Krakauer, adult non-fiction
22. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, YA fiction
23. The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, adult fiction
24. Shift by Em Bailey, YA paranormal
25. In the Woods by Tana French, adult mystery
26. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, adult "non" fiction/inspirational
27. Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, YA dystopian
28. V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton, adult fiction
29. The Selection by Kiera Cass, YA romance/dystopian
30. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, adult nonfiction/inspirational
31. Crazy by Amy Read, YA fiction
32. Grim by Anna Waggener, YA paranormal
33. Cat Girl's Day Off by Kimberly Pauley, YA fiction/fantasy
34. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, adult fiction
35. So Close to You by Rachel Carter, YA paranormal
36. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, adult fiction/dystopian
37. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, YA dystopian
38. Guitar Notes by Mary Amato, YA fiction
39. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline, adult mystery
40. Chime by Franny Billingsley, YA historical/paranormal
41. Sailing to Freedom by Martha Bennett Stiles, middle grade historical
42. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, YA historical
43. Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin, YA dystopian
44. Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott, adult non-fiction
45. The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler, adult fiction
46. Breaking Night by Liz Murray, adult memoir
47. Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, YA fantasy
48. Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti, YA fiction
49. Thrill in the 'Ville by Patsi Trollinger, middle grade fiction
50. Safekeeping by Karen Hesse, YA dystopian
51. Every Day by David Levithan, YA fiction
52. Graceling by Kristin Cashore, YA fantasy (second time reading this and loved it all over again)
53. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, YA fantasy
54. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, YA fiction
55. Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie, YA fiction
56. Buried by Robin MacCready, YA fiction
57. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton, YA fiction
58. Broken Harbor by Tana French, adult mystery
59. WIP by a friend, YA contemporary
60. Because it is my Blood by Gabrielle Zevin, YA fiction
61. Sacred by Elana K. Arnold, YA paranormal
62. A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler, YA fiction
63. Leaving Fishers by Margaret Peterson Haddix, YA fiction
64. All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin, YA fiction
65. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald, adult historical fiction
66. Shadows by Ilsa Bick, YA dystopian
67. Wild by Cheryl Strayed, adult memoir
68. Tighter by Adele Griffin, YA fiction
69. Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini, YA parnormal
70. The Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff, adult memoir
71. A Woman Called by Sara Gaston Barton, adult non-fiction
72. Just One Day by Gayle Forman, YA fiction

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