YA Superlatives Blogfest

Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest, Day 1

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Last year, Jessica Love, Alison Miller, Tracey Neithercott, and Katy Upperman put together the Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest, and they’ve brought it back this year! Which is good, because I specifically sought out more 2012 releases to read this year so I could participate. (What can I say? I don’t like being left out :P) If you want to see the full list of what I had to work with, you can find that here.

Today’s theme is: Head of the Class. I’ll be choosing my favorite 2012 release for each genre – and yes, I DID manage to whittle it down to one choice per category.

It was really, really difficult.

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Favorite Dystopian
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My Review Here
Insurgent
Not to be obvious or anything, but it is what it is. I actually was close to choosing Pandemonium, but ended up choosing Insurgent because Four > Julian. (I know, I know. Shallow, shallow me.) What I loved about both of these books was how nicely the personal relationships were brought front and center. I also loved seeing what sorts of choices both Lena and Tris were forced into making by the societies they live in. But what ultimately gave Insurgent the edge for me was how well done the relationship between Tris and Four was. Normally, I prefer characters to get together at the end, because the tension that makes things so exciting tends to go away at that point, but not so here!

Favorite Science Fiction
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My Review Here
CinderCinder swiftly shot to the top of my TBR when I read the summary – a cyborg version of Cinderella? SO IN. Add in political intrigue, a plague, and a forbidden romance, and you have a book I couldn’t put down.

Favorite Fantasy
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
My Review Here
Froi of the ExilesI really envy Melina Marchetta’s ability to put so much depth in her fantasy novels. The world of Froi of the Exiles isn’t a kind one, but it’s still one I want to get lost in, just because it seems so real. Even though this is a fantasy book (and a rather lengthy one), I feel like anyone could read this – and its predecessor, Finnikin of the Rock – because the focus is really on the characters, each of whom seems so realistic, they could be sitting right next to you.

Favorite Contemporary
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
My Review Here
If I LieI’ve read a grand total of five contemps so far in 2012, only two of which were released in 2012. One of them was The Fault in Our Stars, which was a tempting pick, but I ended up going with If I Lie. What these two books had in common, I felt like, was the characters. Hazel and Quinn are both in pretty less-than-awesome circumstances, and both of them make the choice to be strong, as hard as it is. What made me choose Quinn and If I Lie, though, was the fact that Quinn was strong even though (almost) no one knew she was, whereas Hazel had a whole entire team in her corner.

Favorite Action/Adventure
False Memory by Dan Krokos
falsememory False Memory was the obvious choice for this genre because it changed my mind about action/adventure books, which I generally stay away from. It’s pretty much non-stop action, but it also has really smart twists (pretty much none of which I saw coming – HUGE accomplishment since I pretty much pick up on all of them normally) and I feel like Miranda was a really well-developed character.

Favorite Historical Fiction
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
My Review Here
SSaDStrictly speaking, Something Strange and Deadly is steampunk. However, due to the fact that I didn’t read a single YA historical (that was released in 2012, anyway), I’ve decided to highlight it here. From the historical standpoint, I loved it – I felt like the details of the time period were very accessible to people who aren’t as familiar with it, and I also loved the subtle references to things going on in U.S. history in the 1870s.

Favorite Comedy
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My Review Here
TFiOSI realize The Fault in Our Stars wouldn’t come to mind as a comedy to a lot of people – I mean, teenagers with cancer! – but I laughed out loud at many parts of it thanks to the witty dialogue, even as I was crying in certain parts. Therefore, this book wins my vote for Favorite Comedy. (Also, I tend to like my comedies with a slightly darker side, anyway, so there’s that.)

Favorite Mystery
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
My Review Here
A Million SunsThis sequel was every bit as suspenseful as Across the Universe, with another mystery to be solved. Amy and Elder follow a trail of clues to uncover a secret so big, nothing will ever be the same again. Which I realize sounds like a complete and utter cliché, but I’m trying really hard not to spoil it for you if you haven’t read it (for shame!). I read an ARC in October last year, and I’ve been waiting over a year to find out how this whole thing is going to end.

Favorite Romance
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My Review Here
PandemoniumLena and Julian’s relationship is one I would like to think will last, and I’m willing to fight all of Alex’s fangirls on this. Their relationship felt realistic to me, and it felt more mature than many of the relationships portrayed in the other romances I read (and there were A LOT OF THEM). I feel like a lot of it has to do with where Lena and Julian are in their lives – they’ve both done a lot of growing up already and taken on a lot of responsibility – and that’s just something that resonated with me more than some of the others.

Favorite Paranormal
The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
My Review Here
TSGI almost stopped reading this series last year when I read The Lost Saint, but I’m glad I decided to give the final book a shot, because The Savage Grace reminded me of what I loved about The Dark Divine in the first place: a good blend of mythology, action, and romance.

Favorite Family Drama
and
Favorite Genre Bender
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
This is Not a TestSloane has some issues to work through over the course of This is Not a Test, and they all stem from problems with her sister and her father. I felt like Summers did a great job portraying these problems in a way that was raw and honest. To me, this book read like a contemporary (and was almost my pick for the contemporary category because of this), but it just happens to have zombies in it, zombies which are the catalyst for all the soul-searching that Sloane and the others do throughout the course of the book.

What about you? What were your favorite 2012 releases?

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19 thoughts on “Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest, Day 1

  1. We picked some of the same books for our categories, but you’ve got a number that I haven’t read yet. I really need to read some Melina Marchetta already! I’m currently reading a fantasy novel, so I should probably pick up FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK. Great list! 🙂

  2. I never even thought about The Fault in our Stars for comedy, but you are totally right. I laughed while I had tears in my eyes reading that book..good pick!

    I *almost* picked The Savage Grace too because I think it was a great ending to the series but in the end I didn’t.

    I keep seeing Something Strange and Deadly and If I lie on lists, so it looks like I’ll be adding those to my TBR list.

  3. Haha, I think Insurgent and The Fault In Our Stars has been on every Top of The Class list I’ve seen! They are so awesome 🙂 I’m super excited for If I Lie. Great list!

  4. I need to read some Melina Marchetta. I keep hearing wonderful things about her writing. I also totally agree with you about SS&D; one of the things I enjoyed the most about it was the careful historical detail. Really appreciated that and it did cross my mind that it could fit into the YA Historical category.

    I also loved what you had to say about Four and Tris. I almost expected them to be somewhat less dynamic now that they’re together, but Veronica Roth really evolved their relationship in a realistic way that made sense given their circumstances without being melodramatic.

  5. Really like the cover of Froi of the Exiles–yes, I judge books by their covers. Terrible, I know…BUT I’m going to put this one on my list too because, as other books, I hadn’t heard of this book until today!

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