The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list of recommended reading sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Sixteen young adult book clubs from libraries across the country are responsible for narrowing down a list of nominees for teens to vote on nationwide. Below is this year’s full list of Top Ten nominations.
I admit that I’m mostly satisfied with this year’s picks, though some might consider the list to be a little heavy on mythological romance like “Of Poseidon” by Anna Banks or “Underworld” by Meg Cabot. I love that this booklist gets published in late spring because it sets the tone for my entire season of summer reading. I loved Veronica Roth’s Insurgent” and I’m looking forward to reading “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater and “Every Day” by David Levithan. Which titles will you be adding to your list of must-reads?
“Crewel” by Gennifer Albin
In a futuristic world, Spinsters are women with the power to weave everything into form, whether it be food, buildings, or peoples’ very lives. Adelice Lewys has this talent, and she is whisked away into a world of luxury and elegance because of it. Although it is often advertised at the perfect life, it is far from it as things are never how they seem.
“Of Poseidon” by Anna Banks
Emma has never really questioned her ability to communicate with fish, her strange violet eyes, or her awkwardness on land, but when her best friend, Chloe, dies in a shark attack and the attractive, mysterious Galen keeps showing up in her life, Emma soon learns that she belongs in a different world –- one that is underwater. In the meantime, Galen, the prince of the Syrena, must learn why Emma seems to not quite fit in with either the humans or the Syrena while battling the strong attraction he feels towards her. As the relationship between the two develops, they are faced with difficult decisions between duty and desire that could lead to a huge change of Syrena history.
“Underworld” by Meg Cabot
In the second book of the Abandon series, Pierce Oliviera has been — yet again — kidnapped by John Hayden, the ruler of the Underworld. However, this time she can’t escape, and when she gets a video on her phone predicting her cousin Alex’s death, Pierce panics and begs John for help. She will do anything if only he will help her cousin out, including staying with him forever in the Underworld. Check out our staff review of the first title in this series!
“Bitterblue” by Kristin Cashore
When her evil father, King Leck, dies, Bitterblue is made queen of a kingdom she knows nothing about. As she struggles to come to terms with both who she is and the legacy her father left on the city, Bitterblue tries to discover the secrets of her father’s crimes by walking the streets of her own city in disguise. Filled with struggle, suspense and surprises, will she be able to turn her kingdom into a better place?
“Poison Princess” by Kresley Cole
What really happens at the end of the world? Cannibals, Baggers, people try to sell you — and in this world, sixteen-year-old Evie is one of the few healthy teen girls. Evie sets out on a quest to find herself, all while things heat up between her and Jackson, the troubled bad boy from across the tracks. She knows life will get even worse as she comes to realize that she isn’t like other people. Luckily, or maybe unluckily for her, Jackson is the only one that can help her survive.
“Skinny” by Donna Cooner
Ever has always wanted to live in a fairy tale, but with 302 pounds weighing her down, it’s difficult to achieve. It’s even harder with Skinny, her own private critic, constantly belittling her. In this inspirational tale, Ever discovers the truth of learning how to overcome and accept the issues that plague her.
“Kill Me Softly” by Sarah Cross
After being raised her whole life by her fairy godmothers, Mirabelle runs away to the town where they said her parents died. But when she gets there, she starts to notice that it isn’t any ordinary town and that the teens who live there are fated to play out the Grimms’ fairy tales. So when Mira finds out that she, too, has a role to play, it’s only a matter of time before her story could lose its happy ending.
“Croak” by Gina Damico
Lexington “Lex” Bartleby is a juvenile delinquent who is sent to her uncle Mort’s after her latest stunt. Once there she discovers that she is a Grim Reaper. She was born to have the ability to take the souls from dead bodies and send them to the Afterlife. On the job, she feels the need for justice for the poor people who have died, but they aren’t allowed to do anything but transport the souls. As she deals with this struggle, her limits are tested as she discovers how far she will go to help the souls and herself.
“The Hunt” by Andrew Fukuda
For as long as he can remember, Gene’s father has always taught him how to keep a low profile so no one can notice that he’s different. He can’t run as fast, he can go outside in the daytime, and he doesn’t have a lust for blood. Gene is human, and each day is a battle to keep his secret locked away or be devoured by everyone around him. When he is chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hunt the last few remaining humans, he is thrust into the fight of his life and into the orbit of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible. Little does he know, however, she has a few secrets of her own.
“172 Hours on the Moon” by Johan Harstad
When NASA holds a world-wide contest for returning to the moon, no one — not even the three teenage participants — can fathom what is really in store for them up on the airless, empty gray mass. Or is it truly empty … ? Unbeknownst to them, what they find up there will change not only their lives, but the lives of everyone on Earth.
“Seraphina” by Rachel Harman
Dragons and humans have finally achieved peace, and the anniversary celebration is fast approaching. For Seraphina Dombegh, who is half dragon and half human, life is about blending in. However, a series of events will place her in the path of the Prince Lucian, Captain of the Queen’s Guard, and a hunt for a killer determined to start a war.
“Wake” by Amanda Hocking
Three mysterious girls have just blown into town, and everyone has their eyes on them. Little does everyone know, they also have their eyes on the towns’ residences. Gemma in particular has caught their eyes, and they want her. Little does Gemma know, she’s about to be thrown into a situation she might not be able to get out of.
“Tilt” by Ellen Hopkins
Tilt tells the story of three teenagers, all wondering about who they are and how they fit into the world. One struggles with a teen pregnancy, another deals with AIDS, while the last must overcome an abusive relationship. As things begin to change drastically, with them not in control, all they can do is hang on for the ride.
“Enchanted” by Alethea Kontis
Sunday loves to write stories; the only problem is that when she reads them aloud, they tend to come true. So when a frog claiming to be a cursed human comes along, he asks her to do two things: to read a few stories that won’t harm anyone and to kiss him. When you kiss an enchanted animal — or in this case, a frog — the enchanted will return to his true self. What Sunday doesn’t know is that if she kisses him, her life will change forever.
“Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers
Ismae is the daughter of the God of Death. After a near escape to a convent from her arranged marriage, Ismae is trained in the arts of a handmaiden of Death: assassination. Sent to the household of a possible traitor, Gavriel, Ismae begins to see glimpses of faults within her convent and honor in the man she is sent to spy on. Despite any feelings or doubts, she knows her first duty is to Death, but she has to wonder: what will her duty cost her and the man she is coming to love?
“Butter” by Erin Jade Lange
Butter is a morbidly obese teenager who is sick of being invisible but who doesn’t really want to make a splash either. One day, he’s finally pushed over the edge, and he posts a blog about his last meal, the one that he plans will kill him. This blog post brings him instant popularity, making Butter happy for once in his life. But Butter knows that his life is still far from perfect, and he must struggle with himself to determine who he will be and what course his life will take.
“Monument 14” Emmy Laybourne
Monument 14 is a book filled with terror, fear, and love, all inside a supermarket where fourteen kids are trapped . They are unable to leave as a monster hailstorm has hit, leading to variety of other disasters like a chemical weapon spill. Now they must find a way to escape their town, Monument, and get to safety in Alaska.
“Every Day” by David Levithan
A wakes up in a different body every day. It has always been that way for A, and A has rules to live by, like not getting too involved in the person’s life. Then A meets Rhiannon, the girlfriend of Justin, the boy whose body A is inhabiting. Suddenly, none of the rules apply because A is falling for Rhiannon and she won’t leave A’s mind even after A has left Justin’s body…
“Son” by Lois Lowry
In this new branch of the dystopian story started by “The Giver“, we follow the life of Claire, a birthmother in Jonas’s community. When Claire gives birth and her baby is taken from her, we see the first signs of emotion from someone besides Jonas in the community. In this riveting tale about the strength of a mother’s love, you’ll be whisked through an epic adventure of good vs. evil that explores the concepts of freedom, love, and sacrifice.
“I Hunt Killers” by Barry Lyga
Jazz is the son of an infamous serial killer and has witnessed crime scenes from the killer’s point of view. So when a body is discovered, Jazz wants to use the skills he knows to help find the killer. However, he’s not just trying to prove to other people that he’s not like his father; he’s also trying to prove it to himself despite what he already knows.
“Pushing the Limits” by Katie McGarry
Echo is a high school girl with “freaky” scars on her arms and no memory of how it happened. Noah is the high school stoner who uses girls and has no future. Over the course of their senior year, their lives will intersect in a way they never could have imagined, going through a journey that will prove to themselves and each other that they are more than what their reputations demand.
“The False Prince” by Jennifer Nielsen
In a faraway land, civil war is brewing. To unify his kingdom’s divided people, a nobleman named Conner devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him on the throne. Four orphans are forced to compete for the role, including a defiant and clever boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. His rivals have their own agendas as well, so Sage must trust no one and keep his thoughts hidden. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of lies unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that may very well prove more dangerous than all the lies taken together.
“Between the Lines” by Jodi Picoult
Delilah is a lonely, straight-A, freshman student who is shunned by nearly everyone at her school except for her punk best friend, Jules. Her mother pushes her to get out more by making her join the swim team even though she always gets last place. Her father left her for another family and never visits. So it’s no wonder she would rather spend her days reading. She finds a fairy tale that she can’t stop reading and falls in the love with the prince of the story. Too bad he’s not real … or is he?
“Falling Kingdoms” by Morgan Rhodes
War is brewing and unrest is widespread. The breaking point is a single incident in the dying nation of Paelsia. While three kingdoms battle for power, four young people find themselves greatly affected by it as they experience things like betrayal and war.
“Insurgent” by Veronica Roth
In the sequel to “Divergent“, Tris Prior is safe at the Amity compounds with her fellow survivors. With the whole city at war with itself and Jeannine looking for all the Divergent, Tris must learn to embrace her own divergence and understand it, though it might prove a dangerous task.
“Immortal City” by Scott Speer
The Immortal City: where guardian angels only protect the richest people and it’s the hottest, trendiest thing to be an angel. Maddy doesn’t quite understand what all the hype on angels is about, but when the most desired angel, Jacks, asks her for help, she finds out more about angels than she ever expected possible. Soon after, they immediately fall in love. But when someone threatens this love, what will they do about it?
“The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys is a thrilling adventure that captures you and takes you down the supernatural path with a daring girl named Blue, four complicated guys, and one life-altering quest and mystery of finding the Glendower King. Check out our staff review of this title!
“Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein
Verity is held captive by the Gestapo in 1943. She is told to reveal the secrets of the pilot who brought her to France or face the brutal consequences. As she does this, she weaves a story of an unlikely friendship and the bonds formed by it. Their tales intertwined form a suspenseful, breathtaking narrative of espionage — hope — horror — and friendship that spans untold secrets!