At the beginning of the year, I posted my top ten list of favorite books I read in 2011. Today I’d like to look at why those were my favorites.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (Mar 2010)
Savvy by Ingrid Law (May 2008)
Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer Nielsen (Oct 2010)
Luminous by Dawn Metcalf (Jul 2011)
The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan (Jun 2011)
Red Glove by Holly Black (Apr 2011)
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton (Feb 2011)
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Mar 2010)
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (Feb 2010)
If I do my top 10 YA books of 2011, I would replace the 3 MG books (the first 3 listed) with:
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker (Mar 2011)
The Shattering by Karen Healey (Sep 2011)
Okay, right off the bat I can see that I favored middle grade books with an unusual voice. With Origami Yoda, the unusual structure was as much a part of the voice as anything.
However, with my favorite young adult books, it was more about plot, setting, and/or character arc than voice. I connected in some way with each of those main characters, and the plot kept me turning pages. The settings are all over the place—from outer space to New Orleans to New Zealand.
Now, very few of these are contemporary fiction, but that has to do with what I was writing in 2011 (which I mentioned in my previous post). For all of that year, I was working on manuscripts with some kind of fantasy element. 2010 was my year for contemporary. This year is also about fantasy elements, so we’ll see what 2013 holds for me.
How do you choose the books you read? What are your favorite genres? Does this reflect what you write?