We had our second Cybils deadline this weekend, asking us to list our top ten favorite books thus far. (You can see my first deadline results here.) I got mine down to a dozen without a huge amount of pain but then got stuck for a while, mulling which final books to cull over others, trying to explain to Rudi why I was cutting books I’d enjoyed quite a bit for one reason or another. It was hard, and I expect it to get even more challenging in short order.
My top ten were, in no particular order:
- The Storyteller, a haunting, harrowing, modern twist on a fairy tale set in contemporary (or maybe recent) Germany focusing on a young woman who, after pursuing a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, suddenly finds herself caught up in a variety of dramas, one of which may threaten her very safety
- Crazy, an epistolary, post-summer-love exchange between two teens, where one of them slowly goes off the rails
- Boy21, in which a teenage basketball star from a poverty-stricken town must come to terms with what is most important to him and to those around him
- The Fault in Our Stars, a contemporary romance between two kids who have cancer
- Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel, historical fiction of a Virginia slave who led an unsuccessful rebellion for freedom
- How to Save a Life, a contemporary coming-of-age novel about two teen girls whose lives intersect when one of them agrees to give up her impending baby to the other’s mother for adoption
- Pinned, the coming-of-age tale of two classmates, both of whom are struggling to overcome a disability
- Gone, Gone, Gone, a teen romance set in the D.C. suburbs in the aftermath of 9/11 and during the sniper attacks
- DJ Rising, in which a teenage boy struggling to make ends meet at home gets the chance of a lifetime to follow his dream
- The Boy on Cinnamon Street, a contemporary romance involving a girl who’s suffering from PTSD
I would say that all of the books on the list at this point would merit at least 3.5 stars out of 5 and at least one would earn 4.5 stars. Of the group, I’d say my favorites so far have been Pinned, How to Save a Life (my review), The Boy on Cinnamon Street, and The Storyteller.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a roundup of what’s next in my Cybils reading and how the rest of my participation in the panel will pan out (to my understanding thus far). And I should have some more reviews for you beginning later in the week.