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top ten of 2009. January 3, 2010

Posted by Katie in shoptalk.
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Okay, I know that I’m ridiculously late in posting these — and that you’ve probably read a THOUSAND posts like this. But I wanted to wait until I had no other chance of finishing a book in 2009 before making my top ten list. Not limited to books published in 2009, but limited to books actually published. So, here it is…alphabetically!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Before I started this book, I couldn’t stop petting it. After I finished it, I literally had trouble picking up a book to follow it. This world is magical, unique, and unbelievably real to me. I am literally waiting on pins and needles for the sequel. If you want to see me babble more incoherently on my love for this book: my review.

Fire by Kristin Cashore.
I loved “Graceling” and didn’t really see how I could ever love a sequel as much as I loved the first book. “Fire” bowled me over. The new depths to Cashore’s writing truly threw me for a loop and made me re-think the term “sophomore slump.” My review.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown.
The mark of a great book for me is when little details nag at me, when the book has literally bleed into my everyday thoughts. This book is that book for me. “Hate List” was not an easy novel to read. It was a hard, painful subject and I had to put the book down to take a break. Except that I didn’t want to take a break and picked it up again and again until I finished it. You can skip my review, and just read the book. Seriously.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
I was so sick of the buzz for this book, I picked it up to shut everyone up for yelling at me to read it. I formally apologized to my co-workers in my review — they were right. And not to increase the buzz, but this book and this series and author are *amazing.* I would literally sell my first-born child (who does not exist) for the third book right now in my hands.

Looking for Alaska by John Green.
This year, I have found there are reasons why people nag us to finish certain books — these books steal our breath away from us. My teens nagged me for this one. It was my one shame as a teen librarian that I hadn’t read a John Green book, but had instead watched almost every vlog multiple times. I fixed that this year. And I’m so glad that I did. However, I read this one before I had a blog, so I have no review to share with you!

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr.
This novel is gorgeously written, completely relatable, and one of the books I would have related to most in high school. I want to re-read this one almost every time my eyes pass over it in my bookcase. This was the book that I literally couldn’t cut from my list of finalists because I have loved it even more in retrospect. Check out my review.

Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle.
Another book from before I started a blog — this book is like the epitome of realistic fiction for me. Especially because it was a book about sisters. (And my sister is my best friend in the whole world.) But! It was true to how sisters are, in my experience. Not always friends, very complicated relationships. And I seriously love the cover.

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore.
A quiet, supernatural build-up. I loved this book. This is older YA at perfection, in my opinion. I love booktalking this book and seeing my older girls argue about snatching it out of my hands. I am perfectly happy with how it ended, but I would also love a sequel. When I closed this one, I picked it up and re-read the last few hundred pages or so all over again. And here’s my review.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
It’s hard to even talk about how much this book has changed the teens in my library. We talk a lot about why people commit suicide in Teen Book Club because it happens in their lives, it happens in the books they read. This book calls attention to the fact that it’s not always a giant event — it’s sometimes a bunch of small things. But Hannah isn’t excused from her decision, and no one preaches about how suicide is wrong. It’s an issue book without having a moral, a perfectly drawn conclusion. Another book from before I started my blog, perhaps I will have to review it at some point.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
This cover is absolutely perfect and is my favorite cover of 2009. This book is embedded in all of my favorite memories of this year — starting my blog, ALA, reviewing, talking to my teens, and sharing books with them. The story is just a great read and I’m so glad I bought it on an impulse buy. Check out my review.

I am so excited for the books that have just come out and for the books that are coming. I hope I can read just as many amazing books this upcoming year.

Happy new year, all!