Renee's Top 5 Reads 2012

–          All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

A refreshing, spirited narrative style with some truly compelling characters and some family drama resulting in very tense situations. Slight futuristic/dystopian elements, but they were certainly the backdrop to a genuinely moving coming-of-age story.

–          A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

A marvellous blend of contemporary realism and high fantasy, this novel balanced dual protagonists beautifully and effectively captured some distinct emotional struggles, while at the same time incorporating a surprising amount of tongue-in-cheek humour. Was very impressed by all of the typical YA tropes that this novel avoided also!! That’s always a plus.

–          Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

As a huge fan of its predecessor, Glow, I was incredibly excited to see how this second instalment would measure up in terms of emotional resonance, thematic tension and so forth. It did not disappoint! This series is fast proving to be one of the most original, genuine and intelligent I have ever encountered in young adult fiction. High recommended, especially for science fiction and dystopia fans.

–          Cinder by Marissa Meyer

One of the most blatantly enjoyable fairy tale retellings I have encountered in a long time; unapologetically fun at times, while never sacrificing character and story. The Cinderella elements are all present and accounted for, but it’s still very much its own unique story, and Cinder quickly became one of my most cherished heroines in recent reads.

–          The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Somewhat defying age distinctions, this is technically an adult novel featuring a 12 year-old protagonist, but could certainly be read and enjoyed easily by young adults.  The fairy tale elements are a strong and constant presence throughout the novel, but can be seen in very different ways than most contemporary readers would be accustomed to. The level of graphic detail and dark thematic content might be a little unsettling to some, but it undeniably makes for a gripping read. The novel also features one of the most despicable, heartless villains ever put to paper.

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