I read a lot of great books this year and I thought, as the last day of 2010, it was the perfect opportunity to make some suggestions. All the books on the list are books that are published in 2010, and are not necessarily debut authors. Also, all links lead to my reviews. So, in no particular order...
1. Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
This dystopian about a girl trying to save her parents, secret codes and a mysterious soldier blew my mind when I read it and reaffirmed everything I loved about dystopian literature. You will not be able to put this down!
2. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
As an avid reader of Nancy Drew, I always make time for some mysteries, and this did not disappoint. Violet has a secret power that enables her to locate dead bodies (yes, it is very morbid) and she uses her skills to track a serial killer. The Body Finder was a very suspenseful read perfect for a stormy night.
3. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
This mix of historical and contemporary fiction was flawlessly executed in a novel that deals with grief, love, families, death, and the healing powers of music. If you want some thought-provoking and insightful literature, look no further than Revolution.
4. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
This thrilling sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth follows Mary's daughter Gabry into the forest again as she has to deal with flesh-eating zombies while looking for her mother. This novel is one of the creepier post-apocalyptic series (but it a really good way!).
5. Heist Society by Ally Carter
I was completely blown away by this book because I wasn't expecting it to be totally awesome. The protagonist, Kat, has decided to give up the family business of art heisting, but is pulled back in when her father is accused of a heist he didn't commit. Heist Society has funny characters, a clever and strong heroine, and a jet-setting plot. I can't wait for the sequel!
6. Girl, Stolen by April Henry
One of my favorites of the year, Girl, Stolen, features a blind protagonist who is kidnapped...and she's also suffering from pneumonia. Despite unbeatable odds, she manages to be a strong and capable heroine in this exciting novel.
7. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
Mostly Good Girls is probably the funniest book I've ever read. Told in vignette style, the narrator Violet will make anyone laugh at her crazy antics at an all-girls' prep school. I read this so fast and even found myself laughing out loud in public. Be careful where you read this!
8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The epic conclusion to arguably one of the best YA dystopian trilogies, this book didn't quite live up to my (extremely) high expectations. Regardless, this novel and the trilogy still remains on my list of top books. I don't think it really needs an explanation.
9. Grace by Elizabeth Scott
I was amazed that one of my favorite contempory authors who pretty much just writes romantic comedy-esque novels (excluding Living Dead Girl) could also write this astonishing dystopia with eerie similarities to current day theocracies. Keep your eyes on Elizabeth Scott - she is a great author!
10. The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C.K. Kelly Martin
Another contemporary romance, this time from a boy's point 0f view, which I don't read quite enough of. There's romance, but there's also familial tension, like the struggles of a new step-family, which are very well-written and realistic. The Lighter Side was my first Martin novel and I can't wait to read more!
11. This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
This subtlely creepy novel about a priest who begins to stalk his protegee will have you looking over your shoulder every few minutes. You feel the fear and suspense right along with Olivia, and you feel powerless to help her, but you'll still want to keep reading.
12. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
This debut by Lauren Oliver seemed like it might be boring - a girl reliving one day over and over again? But the hype was well-deserved in this beautifully crafted and meaningful novel of second (and third and fourth) chances and the ability we all have to change our lives.
13. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Another mystery, All Unquiet Things was more realistic in that it moved slowly and focused heavily on the character development between the two leads, Neilly and Audrey, and their dead friend Carly. Not without excitement, All Unquiet Things proved that you don't need to stumble across blood stains or have crazy police connections to have an interesting mystery.
14. The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
Six Rules features an extremely relatable protagonist, Scarlett, who feels the need to solve everyone's problems, including those of her newly married and pregnant sister. Unrequited love puts Scarlett in the middle of her own drama, but she eventually learns life lessons about herself, her family and her friends. Insightful but accessible, all of Deb Caletti's novels will leave you looking around for her next book.
15. The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Another Scott novel, this time one of her famous contemporary romances. In this novel, Sarah falls for her best friend's boyfriend, with interesting consequences. All of Scott's novels are light and cute, but still manage to be more than just mere rom-coms.