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2010 books I can’t wait to read

January 3, 2010

The last couple of times I’ve done this, my list has been long and I don’t think I’ve actually read everything I listed. So I decided that this time, I’m going to limit myself only to those books I want to read most. (Which, I realized while typing the following list up, still falls into predictable categories. Hence, the categories.)

The Fantasies

The Historical Novels
I’ve said before that I love historical novels about young women who want more than what society expects or condones of them. Thus,

The Mysteries

  • The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand. To quote myself, “Because Beaufrand’s previous novel, Primavera, was one of my favorite books of 2008. Because the Little, Brown catalog says, ‘Will appeal to fans of Gail Giles and Veronica Mars,’ and even though I know it’s a sales pitch, as sales pitches go, it hits the right notes with me.”
  • The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting because the mention of psychic powers, serial killers, and romance reminds me of the YA books I loved way back when I was a pre-teen.
  • All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab. I don’t know this is a result of wishful thinking or if I’m reading too much into the description, but I get a Veronica Mars vibe from it. And if what I said about The River doesn’t make it clear, if there’s something Veronica Mars-ish about a YA book, I’m going to want to read it.

The Historical Novel + Mystery =win!

It is May 1858, the beginning of London’s “Great Stink” — a blend of river pollution and heat wave that paralyzes the city. Tucked in the attic of a nondescript girls’ boarding school is the Agency, an intelligence service with a difference: it’s an elite, all-female group of private investigators with a reputation for getting things done. And it’s just hired a hotheaded, 17-year-old ex-thief whose on-the-job training goes completely wrong…

New agent Mary Quinn’s task is to pose as a lady’s companion and observe a merchant suspected of smuggling. But this straightforward assignment goes awry when Mary gets impatient and exceeds her mandate. Almost immediately, she finds competition in the shape of James Easton, an arrogant young man who’s doing some snooping of his own. They first tangle — literally — in a closet.

When pressed, Mary reluctantly joins forces with James. But as useful as the partnership may be, it’s also dangerous: their mutual attraction threatens to distract them from the real secrets of the merchant’s household. Eventually, they reveal a plot that threatens James’s life, as well as Mary’s own dark secrets…

Let’s see… The word Spy in the title. Historical setting. An “elite, all-female group of private investigators” disguised as a boarding school. Hint of romance. Mention of a life threatening plot. Yeah, the only thing wrong with this description is that it’s making me so excited that I’m afraid of getting my hopes too high.

The Only 2010 YA Book with an Asian-American Protagonist I’m Aware Of Right Now

  • Paper Daughter by Jeanette Ingold. Even better, I’d totally want to read it even if the main character wasn’t Chinese-American. After Maggie’s journalist father dies, she interns at the local newspaper. From the description on Ingold’s site: “The first story that Maggie works on, though, causes suspicion of illegal activity to fall on her father, and she knows she must clear his name. Thrust into Seattle’s Chinatown, what she finds is far from what she expected: secrets, lies, and a connection to the Chinese Exclusion Era, and an immigration underground of paper sons and paper daughters. Using all of her journalist instincts and resources means Maggie must confront her ethnicity–and a family she never knew.”

Finally, The I-Didn’t-Think-the-First-Book-Was-Well-Written-But-I-♥ed-It-Anyway-and-So-I-NEED-to-Read-This-One-Too category

Wait, nevermind that “finally.” I forgot about The Non-Fiction, which in this case, basically consists of history and science.

  • They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • FDR’s Alphabet Soup: New Deal America 1932-1939 by Tonya Bolden
  • Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement by Rick Bowers
  • Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive by Stephen Buchmann
  • The War to End All Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman
17 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 4:31 pm

    Trisha, thanks for highlighting some titles I’d heard nothing about so far! (Pretty much everything except The River and All Unquiet Things.) We just won’t talk about how long my TBR list is now. 🙂

  2. January 4, 2010 8:09 pm

    A SPY IN THE HOUSE sounds OH so good!!!

  3. becky permalink
    January 5, 2010 2:48 am

    You have got to add the book The Lost Daughter by Daralyse Lyons to this list. Best YA novel ever written! EVER. Read it

  4. Jenn permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:23 am

    I’m right there with you with pretty much all of your fantasy picks, especially Conspiracy of Kings. And Jellicoe Road pretty much guarantees I’ll read anything Melina Marchetta puts out in the future.

  5. January 6, 2010 9:05 pm

    Wow, a ton on here I haven’t heard of!

    I can’t wait for Finnikin either. 🙂

  6. January 6, 2010 9:42 pm

    Sarah – You’re welcome! And my TBR list just keeps getting longer and longer, so I know how you feel.

    Jenn – I think those are the two books on this list I most want to read.

    Kelly – At least won’t have to wait much longer for Finnikin.

  7. January 9, 2010 6:21 am

    Great list, thanks! Ahem — my BAMBOO PEOPLE (fall 2010/Charlesbridge) features not one but two Asian guy teen protagonists, one Karenni and one Burmese.

    • January 9, 2010 2:53 pm

      Mitali – Thanks for commenting, and for mentioning your book, since it sounds like it has protagonists and a setting we rarely see in YA fiction. And two male protagonists at that!

      Do you happen to know of any other titles featuring Asian-Americans that are coming out this year?

  8. January 9, 2010 3:50 pm

    I will try and find out! You let me know, and I’ll let you know.

  9. January 9, 2010 6:53 pm

    I really like Melina Marchetta, too–I’m so glad to hear she’s got another coming out. I’ll definitely have to read it. Thanks for the other tips, too. I’m not that great at keeping up with what’s upcoming, so I rely on my much-more-informed blog buds to help me stay current.

    Also: if my book THE LATTE REBELLION indeed comes out this year, as it’s supposed to, the narrator is half South Asian, and her best friend is half Chinese, so I guess that counts as an Asian-American protagonist(s)…at least, I’d count it. 🙂

    And, thanks for stopping by our blog celebration for Tanita!

    • January 10, 2010 12:15 pm

      Yes, it definitely counts! I’ll add it to the list when we get closer to the pub date.

  10. January 9, 2010 8:04 pm

    Oooh, Paper Daughter sounds amazing! Adding that to my list right now.


  1. APFOL: January 3-9 « Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
  2. Random linkage « The YA YA YAs
  3. A Spy in the House (The Agency #1) by Y.S. Lee « The YA YA YAs
  4. More 2010 books I’m desperate to read « The YA YA YAs

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