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Another paranormal roundup

January 2, 2012

of books I read last year.

Department 19 by Will Hill
I actually read this in, like, May, so I probably should’ve written about it earlier. I’ve been taking it booktalking, calling it Alex Rider on steroids, with vampires who get splattered instead of sparkling (which gets a nice response). Lots of action, lots of adrenaline. Lots of pages, for that matter. But the way Hill incorporates classic stories like Dracula and Frankenstein is fun, and the pages turn quickly.

Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac
I seem be comparing a lot of books to the Alex Rider series these days. This one is Alex Rider meets the new Kelley Armstrong series.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil and Misfit by Jon Skovron
If there’s one thing that automatically downgrades a book in my eyes, it’s using the term hari-kari instead of the correct word, harakiri. I mean, is that so hard to get right? Possess used hari-kari, so it lost practically all the points I’d mentally given it for having a hapa protagonist. I did like the the dark, spooky vibe, but didn’t buy the romance or anything else outside of the horror, really.

Basically, if you’re looking for a book that mixes Catholic school with demons and a bit of romance, you should read Misfit instead. It was just shortlisted for the Cybils in the YA Fantasy and Science Fiction category, so I’m not the only one who thinks highly of it. It’s got an awesome voice, a believably difficult father-daughter relationship, a sweet romance, and flashbacks that totally work. (I’ve lost a lot of patience with flashbacks since I started blogging.)

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
Maureen said, “The plot is so thin you can see through it, but you’re having too much fun to care,” and I completely agree. It’s a short, quick read, with an appropriate amount of gore (it is a zombie book, after all), and a smart, scientific heroine.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Another Cybils YA Fantasy and Science Fiction finalist. (Seriously, this panel did an awesome job!) I know others have made the old school Supernatural comparison, but it’s true. And as I love the early seasons of Supernatural, well, naturally I ended up really enjoying this book. I mean, urban legends, ghost hunting, an unexpected twist concerning [possible spoiler?] a deceased parent. If you’re a Supernatural fan, read this book.

Bonus contemporary novel
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I liked Anna and the French Kiss, but didn’t love it the way everyone else seems to. Perkins totally won me over with Lola and Cricket and the chemistry between them. Plus, she made Anna and Etienne an integral part of this book in a completely natural way. Can’t wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After later this year.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2012 2:56 am

    SO much to love on the SFF Cybs panel this year – we had a lot of junk to slog through, but some REALLY shiny books – only wished we had room for more!

    • January 10, 2012 1:52 pm

      You guys managed to pick four of my favorite books from last year, plus probably the best post-apocalyptic/dystopian YA, so I bought Angelfall on that recommendation alone. I got stuck while reading Girl of Fire and Thorns but obviously have to give it another try now.

      Thank you, and the rest of the committee, for your hard work!

  2. January 7, 2012 4:53 am

    Have to laugh! But actually, Alex Rider makes a great comparison for all the new adventure series.

    • January 10, 2012 1:53 pm

      Especially when someone’s unknowingly been trained from birth or is from a family of secret agents.


  1. Department 19 by Will Hill « The YA YA YAs

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