Teens’ Top Ten: Part 2

And without further ado or yammering on my part, here are the top five selections from ALA’s Teens’ Top Ten list for 2011.

Cover art for The Iron King by Julie Kagawa5. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Meghan’s half-brother is kidnapped by faeries and replaced with a changeling. Her friend Robbie, who happens to actually be a faery called Puck, leads her to the faery realms to rescue him. But Meghan’s quest will reveal things about the world that she never knew–and things about herself that she might not have wanted to know. This is book 1 of the Iron Fey series, with a fourth book coming out tomorrow, less than two years after the first book. Good news for impatient fantasy fans!

Cover art for I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore4. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
You’d almost think it was meant to be, right? I Am Number Four…is number four. John Smith is hiding out in Ohio, trying to avoid the notice of the Mogadorians. John Smith is a Loric, one of nine who are hiding out on Earth. But the Mogadorians are coming for the Loric children, hunting them down in order. The first three are dead now, and John is next. With a movie and a sequel (The Power of Six) already published, the pseudonymous Lore is popular indeed.

Cover for Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick3. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
In the sequel to Hush, Hush, Nora Grey and her sort-of-reformed fallen/guardian angel Patch set out to find out what happened to Nora’s father. The journey brings her into contact with Nephilim and worse–her arch-enemy Marcie. In trying to uncover the truth about her father’s death, Nora discovers family ties she never wanted and begins to question the only person she really trusts–Patch himself. Make sure you pick up Hush, Hush first, though, or Crescendo won’t make a darned bit of sense.

Cover of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy is probably the weakest of the books, but that still doesn’t mean it’s bad. District 12 has been destroyed because of Katniss’s rebellion, and now the rebels have taken her on as their figurehead. But it’s hard to lead a revolution when you’re just a teenager, and everyone wants to use her for their own agenda. When a daring raid on the Capitol is planned, Katniss chooses to lead it–but the sacrifices might not be worth the gains. In Mockingjay, Katniss spends too much of the book out of the action, having events relayed to her, but the final battles are so intense, you won’t be able to put the book down.

Cover of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments universe goes steampunk in this first installment of Infernal Devices. Tessa Fell’s brother has vanished, and when she goes to hunt for him she finds herself drawn into the shady Downworld, where two creepy sisters force her to practice her talent for shapeshifting. She’s rescued by a Shadowhunter with an attitude problem, and she’ll have to learn to trust him and his comrades if there’s any hope of saving her brother.

Breaking up is hard to do; or, a Dear Twilight letter

Do you feel obligated to finish all books you start reading?

Short answer? No.

Long answer? No, but I feel really guilty, like I might be hurting the book’s feelings.

Look, I’m sorry, Demonata. I’m just not looking for a long-term commitment right now. Inheritance Cycle, I’m tired of how you always promise me a sequel and never deliver. Breaking Dawn, it’s not you, it’s me.

Okay, Breaking Dawn, it actually might be you. But still, I’m sorry I abandoned you right in the middle of your vampiric pregnancy. I just couldn’t take it anymore–we’re not right for each other, can’t you see? Let’s just go our separate ways. You’ll find the right reader someday, and I’ll be free to search for a book that’s more to my taste.

I’ll never forget you, but it’s time to move on. There are lots of books in the sea, right? Or is that fish on the shelves?