Well, for 12-12-12, I couldn’t resist recapping 12 of my favorite reads from the past year on BooksYALove. Click on each title to read my recommendation on a new page/tab, then select some for your holiday and/or birthday wishlist – you’ll be so glad you did!
Ashfall – 16-year-old Alex sets off alone through the ash and dangers to find his family after a catalysmic volcanic eruption.
Followed by Ashen Winter as civilized behavior begins to crumble – stunning, scary adventures that really could happen beneath those cold and cloudy skies.
Incidents of ignored history as historical fiction:
Does God truly hear the prayers of both The Wicked and the Just in 13th century Wales, as English overlords mistreat local folks to the brink of revolt?
Jump Into the Sky with the black paratroopers of the 555th Battalion, as seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Levi, whose father is away from home too long as commander of ‘Triple Nickels’ during World War II.
Graphic novels from fave folks:
Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy) teamed up with John Green (the artist one) to create TeenBoat! Imagine “the angst of being a teen, the thrill of being a boat!” – yes, it’s that funny.
In a more serious vein, Doug TenNapel examines friendship, family, loyalty, and greed in his most recent graphic novel involving a not-so-simple gift of Cardboard.
Music changes everything:
The song which instantly connects Emily and Sam promises that I’ll Be There, but will his crazy father endanger everyone, including winsome little brother Riddle?
Music and hope can heal hearts, according to Ollie’s preacher father With a Name Like Love, but this rural town is determined to condemn a mother without trial, until Ollie decides to prove her innocence.
Friends see the true you: That voice in Ever’s head – always mocking she’ll never get Skinny through bariatric surgery – almost drowns out the concern and care of her best friend.
Why did Dad volunteer as a doctor in Malawi, so far from Clare’s friends and the things that keep her late mother’s memory alive? Can her new classmates help her learn to Laugh With the Moon and be whole again?
Not your normal paranormal:
Vampires rule the world, and if they discover Gene’s true human heritage, then he will become the object of The Hunt for his savory heper blood.
Perhaps Ismae truly was fathered by the Dark Lord himself, rumors whisper at the convent where young women train as assassins, using the Grave Mercy of Death to keep Brittany free of the greedy French.
Review copies and cover images courtesy of their respective publishers.