Friday, January 1, 2010

Best of 2009

This year was my year of taking chances. Before I started this blog I read books that only I would like. Me. Just me. This year I stepped out of my comfort zone and picked up books that I wouldn't normally touch. The statistics? Some of them I loved, some of them I really did not care for. If someone would have been honest enough to tell me I wouldn't like them, I probably could have saved a lot of eye strain. You know what? That's what I'm here for. I wrote and posted this for you so that YOU can read some great books this year without having to wonder if that it's worth reading 300+ pages. 
Out of the 74 books I read this year, 14 were favorites. They earned a heart next to them on my Shelfari page and a special place in my heart. Hope you will pick them up this new year: (also please forgive some of my reviews that are in my old format)

The Ancient Ocean Blues by Jack Mitchell
Pirates, shipwrecks, spies, and high adventure galore! Even Homer makes an appearance in this action-packed comedy that takes place the dangerous ancient oceans between Rome and Athens.

The Whale Rider by Witi Tame Ihimaera
A breathtaking story of one girl desperate to prove herself and the ancient legend of the whale rider. A great novel for any age.

My Fair Godmother by Jeanette Rallison
Get ready for some laughs because this fairy godmother's got attitude! Thrown into a medieval fairy-tale world by her bubbly fair godmother Chrissy, Savannah must decide who's the prince of her dreams before the hectic battle, er, Ball is over.

The Musician's Daughter by Suzanne Dunlap
Set deep in heart of the musical 18th century Vienna, one girl must discover the secret that murdered her father. This stunning tale of deceit and justice will have you holding your breath to the very last page.

Love Rules by Dandi Daley MacKall
After Emma's brother and best friend leave her behind for the college halls of Freedom University, they make a promise to send her a "love rule" for every thing they learn about love. Love Rules is a charming story about three friends, some postcards, and what it means to find true love.

Project Sweet Life by Brent Hartinger
What do you get when you take three, desperate teenage boys, several failed plans, and buried treasure? One heck of an adventure. Join Dave, Curtis, and Victor as they try their hands at catching back robbers, look for legendary Chinese loot, and try to come up with 17,000 dollars before the end of the summer.

The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones
Mimi Shapiro escapes from her stalker professor from NYU and heads for her father's cabin in Canada only to find that someone else has already been living there. Someone uninvited? Meanwhile Cramer Lee is hard at work keeping his mother happy. He is also dying to meet Mimi again, even if means pulling some tricks. Suspenseful and entertaining, The Uninvited will have you on the edge of your seat.

A Sweet Disorder by Jacqueline Kolosov
After sixteen-year old Miranda Molyneux's father dies, she is bound for the dazzling, yet tricky Courts of Elizabethan England . Filled with Court gossip, jousting knights, true love, and other 17th century life, this historical drama is a great addition to any library.

Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris
When Rebecca moves to New Orleans with her "aunt" Claudia and her daughter Aurelia, a ghost in the old cemetery across the street. The ghost's name is Lisette and she has a haunting secret that may involve Rebecca. I absolutely loved this book. It has (good) ghosts, a little romance, and a chilling curse. You won't want to put this one down.

Hannah: Daughters of the Sea Book 1 by Kathryn Lasky
This is a sort of historical fiction/ fantasy book about three sisters. The first one is about Hannah who is a scullery maid for a wealthy Bostonian family. With the help of a mysterious portrait artist, Hannah discovers a magical secret about herself. Great book for teens and tweens.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock
A humorous, and witty story of county bumpkin D.J. There's cows, football, romance, and well, more cows. I think it's become a favorite of mine simply because of the farm setting and I just really like D.J.'s personality. If you haven't picked up Dairy Queen, you're missing out.

Eli the Good by Silas House
I swear if this doesn't go down in history as a classic, I'll be really disappointed. This is a touching and beautifully crafted story of America. Of life, love, war, and of family. It takes place in 1976 (the Bicentennial) right after the Vietnam War. It's a really good book, don't pass it up.

Medina Hill by Trilby Kent
A captivating and an unforgettable story about friendship and justice. I really liked this book because it had cozy characters, a vivid setting, and the story linked with that of Lawrence of Arabia. Interesting little book.

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau
You know how they say that you can travel anywhere through a book? Lately, the only thing you can travel to with YA in high school, but with The Indigo Notebook, you can take an exciting trip to South America. Zeeta has traveled all over the world her whole life, and this summer she's in a small village in Ecuador. When she meets an American boy who is looking for his long lost birth parents, Zeeta agrees to help him. Soon Zeeta and Wendall are on a voyage of discovery they won't soon forget. This is definitely a book I'd read over again!

Best Historical Fiction
1st Place: The Ancient Ocean Blues by Jack Mitchell
2nd Place: A Sweet Disorder by Jacuqline Kolosov
3rd Place: The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap
Other Honorable Mentions:
Lady Macbeth's by Lisa Klein

Best Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction
1st Place: The Parliament of Blood by Justin Richards
2nd Place: The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki
3rd Place: Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Best Contemporary Fiction
1st Place: Eli the Good by Silas House
2nd Place: The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau
3rd Place: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Honorable Mentions:
The Summer of Silk Moths by Margaret Willey
And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman

Best Thrillers/Mystery Books
1st Place: Ruined by Paula Morris
2nd Place: The Uninvited by Tim Wynn-Jones
3rd Place: Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell
Honorable Mention:
Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

Other Best Books
Best Thought Provoking Books of 2009

Runner Ups:

Best To Buy Books of 2009

Best Book for Guys Too!



Anonymous said...

Dropping in to wish you a Happy New Year!!

Nina said...

Wow, great post. I put Eli the good on my tbr list.

The Book Owl said...

Wonderful lists! It means a lot that you take the time to make them. I'm dying to read The Muscician's Daughter and The Indigo Notebook.

You've also made me quite interested in Eli the Good. Thanks for featuring historical fiction - my favorite!

Madeline said...

Nice post! I can't wait to get my hands on The Musician's Daughter and A Sweet Disorder.
I love your blog! Happy New Year!!!!

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