Before I get on with my Elements of Fiction choices for the YA Superlatives Blogfest, I’d love to refer you to Kristin Lynn Thetford‘s blog. First and foremost, she just signed with a fantastic agent… Go congratulate her! Second, she recently interviewed me about my writing, my experiences with querying, and my eventual signing with super agent Victoria Marini of GSLA. The interview is HERE if you want to check it out. (You totally should!)
The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 17th through Thursday, December 20th. All of the awesome people who are participating in the blogfest (YOU, I hope!) will highlight favorite books published 2012 using a variety of super fun superlative categories. The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest is about promoting extraordinary young adult books, so if you haven’t already, draft a post, hop down to the end of this post, and sign up to participate. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2012!
The 2012 YA novels I’ve read, listed in no particular order: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, A Million Suns, The Fault in Our Stars, The Disenchantments, Something Strange and Deadly, Pandemonium, Wanderlove, Under the Never Sky, Ten, This is Not a Test, Happy Families, Insurgent, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, Monstrous Beauty, Bitterblue, Time Between Us, My Life Next Door, Breathe, Pushing the Limits, Skylark, The Raven Boys, Live Through This, Bittersweet, Flawed, Ditched, Starters, Reached, Lovely, Dark and Deep, Meant to Be, and Days of Blood and Starlight…
And here’s how I chose to award today’s categories:
Elements of Fiction
Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Plot I wish I’d thought of myself…)
Using time travel to tell a story of intense, lasting love has been done before, but I especially love the way Tamara Ireland Stone uses Bennett’s special “talent” to challenge Anna and everything she thinks she knows.
Most Formidable World (Setting I would NOT want to visit…)
From Smarteyes and Realms to Aether storms and savages and potentially dangerous air, Veronica Rossi has created a detailed and dynamic world where almost nobody can be trusted.
Wanderlust-Inducing (Setting I’d happily travel to…)
Aah, beaches and hiking and fun in the sun — this book’s title is spot-on. I’d love to backpack with Bria and Rowan.
Or… perhaps Fate laid out your life for you like a dress on a bed, and you could either wear it or go naked. ~ Gorgeous imagery on every. Single. Page.
Best First Line
The night before Amelia Anne Richardson bled her life away on a parched dirt road outside of town, I bled out my dignity in the back of a pickup truck under a star-pricked sky. ~ The whole book is written this beautifully.
Most Dynamic Main Character
I absolutely adore Bitterblue. She’s so many things: utterly endearing, open and charmingly honest, naive and occasionally brusque, determined and loyal. Over the course of the novel, she faces what should be soul-crushing opposition, but she never, ever folds.
Most Jaw-Dropping Ending
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Grace, Trace, Cary, Harrison, and especially Rhys from This is Not a Test. I loved the Breakfast Club-esque dynamic between main character Sloane and her colorful and carefully fleshed-out supporting cast.
Best Use of Theme
Wren’s struggles with unimaginable guilt and grief could have been preachy and cliche, but Amy McNamara handles her protagonist’s troubles with subtle grace, which makes themes of forgiveness and acceptance shine.