The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman) runs Monday, December 15th through Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite books published in 2014 using a variety of fun superlative categories. See the host's pages for the categories of each day and to join the link-up!
My 2014 Reads This Year:We Were Liars, Independent Study, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Unmade, Brown Girl Dreaming, Conversion, One, Two, Three, Everything Leads to You, Push Girl, Far From You, Don't Even Think About It, The Impossible Knife of Memory, Isla and the Happily Ever After, Control, A Death-Struck Year, The One
Elements of Fiction – Wednesday, December 17th
Most Formidable World--Brown Girl Dreaming. If you'll allow me a serious moment at a festive time of year: one of the things that Brown Girl Dreaming does really well is reveal the gaps between the ways laws have changed and the ways people haven't. Progress doesn't happen nearly as quickly or cleanly as we hope it would, and given the events of the last few weeks and months in America, I think it's safe to say that we still have a long way to go. The world of Brown Girl Dreaming is our world, and our world feels pretty formidable at the moment.
Most Wanderlust-Inducing--Everything Leads to You. I thought about Isla, because that book is full of amazing places...but in the end, Everything Leads to You was the book that made me actually want to visit LA. For someone who hates driving and heat as much as I do, that's a real feat. Emi clearly loves LA so, so much that I've been won over.
Loveliest Prose--The Raven Boys (on the technicality that Brown Girl Dreaming is poetry!) Maggie. No one is surprised.
Best Performance in a Supporting Role--Jesse Dittley, Blue Lily, Lily Blue. BECAUSE I HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR CHARACTERS WHO TALK LIKE THIS. (And "ANT"!!!)
Best First Line--We Were Liars. The whole opening, in fact:
Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.No one is an addict.No one is a failure.The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressive.
Most Dynamic Main Character--Hayley Kincain, The Impossible Knife of Memory. Hayley's growth isn't magical or instantaneous, but it is striking. And she's such a vibrant character, with an incisive wit (that seems to be what Laurie Halse Anderson does best!)
Most Jaw-Dropping Conclusion--Isla and the Happily Ever After. I liked this book, but the end was maybe my favorite thing I've read all year. It was such a satisfying payoff to not one but three stories and it made me so, so happy.