So here we are featuring another rundown of the best YA novels of 2011, chosen by some of the most passionate and enthusiastic bloggers on the planet. Seriously, if you’re not following these blogs and have an interest in YA, then you should be!
Human.4 by Mike A Lancaster
Easily one of the best Science Fiction books I’ve read this year. Human.4 takes a page right out of The Twilight Zone’s book. The plot is simple enough. Kyle agrees to be hypnotized as part of the town’s talent show only to wake up to broken technology and everyone acting like he doesn’t exist. The truth ends up more terrifying than he could have imagined. To me it feels like an “old school” Science Fiction book which I love! Everything about it is what I love about Science Fiction: crazy storylines, really cool technology, man vs. machine ideology. It’s Science Fiction at its finest. Sci-fi fans, I can’t urge you enough to go buy the book!
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
It is a beautiful yet harrowing book which looks at the treatment of the Lithuanian people under Stalinist rule. They were treated in much the same way as the Jewish people under Nazi rule but it is a horrific event in our recent history that very few people seem to know about. Just watching Ruta’s video which introduced the book was enough to do it for me as you can see how important the subject is to her as the book is based around events that happened to members of her more distant family in Lithuanian. What makes this book perfect for me is despite all the horrors the main character Lina faces she still carries around in her this overwhelming notion of hope for a better future which for me was the entire message of this book … that even in the most awful conditions the spirit human kindness and goodness still exists and can’t be stamped out by even the most tyrannical of oppressors.
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
This has been my most anticipated book of the year! The love story of Patch and Nora has been so addictive, I just can’t get enough! I fell in love with Patch all over again! I devoured every page in Silence. I knew it was going to be an amazing read right from the opening. I went through so many different emotions, in the span of couple of chapters. Anger . . . Pain . . . Sadness . . . Relief . . . It was easy getting back into this storyline. In Silence we are introduced to new characters, as well as a visit from characters we have already grown to know and love (or hate?!). There were a few points in the book that had my heart pumping (love it!). I can also pinpoint WHEN I fell in love with Patch again . . . dancing at the club. The whispers, and the twirling, and the sexy half smiles, and the hands (squeeeeee!) There was one line in the book, where I had to put the book down, and just smile and sigh. I won’t say what it is, but when you come across it, you’ll do it too! And honestly, I found myself giggling like a school girl at certain parts. And yes, they revolved around Patch’s unforgettable one liners. You know the ones! Whether you are just beginning this sage from the beginning, or are waiting for book #4, you will be so engrossed in this story, and you’ll be wishing for your own Fallen Angel.
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
It’s impossibly difficult to only choose one favorite in 2011. But, the first book that came to mind was The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta. This book is amazing, powerful, emotional, heartbreaking and hopeful. And, honestly, it’s Melina Marchetta. What more do I need to say?!
Department 19 by Will Hill
This was an easy choice for me. Will Hill did a few things with his YA debut, and my favourite amongst them was give me my monsters back. When I was a kid, vampires, werewolves, and assorted other beasties all frightened me. In DEPARTMENT 19 they do that again, and with a flowing prose that won’t allow you to put the book down. If creatures could crawl off the page, sneak across my sheets and steal away into my dreams they certainly did here. A fast-paced, action-oriented romp through history and modern day that simply doesn’t stop for breath. I found myself reading at 3 A.M. many a night after the world had gone to sleep and I just didn’t want to leave Hill’s world. An absolutely amazing debut, written by quite a storyteller, DEPARTMENT 19 is definitely my favourite YA title of the year.
The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner
My pick for top YA novel of 2011 is Sally Gardner’s The Double Shadow. Set during the Interbellum and the Second World War, this is a story about the importance of memory. Amaryllis’ and Ezra’s (love) story is just the top layer of this complex narrative, which shows the reader not just how much memory and identity are interwoven, but also how dangerous it is to lose or get trapped in your memories and I found it fascinating. I fell in love with Sally Gardner’s characters – even some of the baddies! – and the way her narrative made me think about things, not just the book itself, but also how its themes applied to my own life. Historical with a speculative bent, The Double Shadow was a haunting book, which I had a hard time putting down and couldn’t wait to pick back up!
A massive thanks for all these contributions – we hope you’re busy adding titles to your Christmas wishlists! (we certainly are…)
If you would like to get involved and tell us your favourite YA novel of 2011, please send an email through using the form on the website!