It’s the last day of the 2014 YA Superlatives Blogfest! See Monday’s post for details.
Day Four: Best in Show
Kara and Jack 5ever. (Nice boys are my winners on this year’s list, apparently.)
Most Likely to Succeed
Nina LaCour writes beautifully and her books are full of compelling characters.
Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime
This was my other favorite fantasy read of the year. The twists and turns – especially regarding the love triangle – made it impossible for me to put this one down, but there is also fantastic world building, as well as a princess who ran away from home to figure out who she really is. I really did miss my bedtime to finish this and had absolutely zero regrets.
Best Repeat Performance
If Sarah J. Maas keeps up like this, she’s got a lock on this category for a couple more years.
Best Breakout Novel (aka debut)
First of all, how many YA novels are there about the Spanish flu? This is the only one I can think of. So that immediately caught my attention. Ultimately, I stayed up past my bedtime to finish this one because of the suspense, as well as the fact that it was totally creepy so I couldn’t really sleep, anyway.
Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry
Most Pleasant Surprise
Both of these are books I couldn’t get into at first but eventually ended up winning me over. Blackbird is written in second person, which put me off at first but ultimately was something that worked to highlight how the narrator feels like she’s outside herself. With Red Rising, I spent the first fifty pages rolling my eyes at the main character, at which point he loses everything and has to figure out how to deal with that.
Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle
Lia finds herself torn between two men, one of whom is an assassin sent to kill her, and we spend most of the book not knowing who is who because both are equally compelling.
It gets political thriller-y toward the end, but for the most part, this is a story about a teenage girl who just happens to be the daughter of a deposed Middle Eastern dictator. I liked this look at cultural differences between American culture and Laila’s culture, as well as how she tries to reconcile them. In all the important ways, she’s just another teenage girl, so I feel like this is an important book for people to read.
Favorite Books with LGBTQ Characters
I feel like there are a lot more books featuring LGBTQ characters than when I was a teenager, which is great. I read several this year, so I wanted to highlight some of them.
This one is critical of religion, which was my only major issue since I know plenty of people who are religious and aren’t as judgmental as some of the characters in this book are portrayed. But at the same time, religion in this book is one of the sources of conflict since it drives the people trying to “cure” the kids at the camp, so there’s that.
The main character’s brother is gay but still in the closet, until his parents out him on live national television. Which, by the way, is one of the most gut-wrenching scenes I’ve ever read in a book.
My favorite part of this book was the subplot where two of Laurel’s female friends have feelings for each other and are trying to figure out what to do about it. Their confusion and fear were, unfortunately, realistic.