January 19, 2011

Last "Best Of " list, I promise

The TAB (Teen Advisory Board) has spoken. At the theaters in 2010, they laughed. They cried. They hurled at hideousness and revelled in Harry Potter. They argued and voted and came up with not only their list of favorite movies of 2010 but also the worst movies of the year. I think they're over the 3-D craze. And some films make appearances on both lists--go figure.

The Best

10. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
9. Vampires Suck
8. Iron Man 2
7. Kick-Ass
6. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: the Lightning Thief
5. Easy A
4. Letters to Juliet
3. Tangled
2. Toy Story 3
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1

The Worst

10. The Twlight Saga: Eclipse
9. Pirhana 3-D
8. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: the Lightning Thief
7. Tron: Evolution
6. Clash of the Titans
5. The Other Guys
4. Step Up 3-D
3. Yogi Bear 3-D
2. The Spy Next Door
1. Little Fockers

January 12, 2011

Lisa's Favorite Books of 2010

I can't keep up. There are SO MANY teen books on my "To Be Read" list that it's impossible to read all the latest. I did really enjoy some of the 2010 books that I managed to read. I'd like to share my Top Ten with you and would love to hear what books you enjoyed reading this past year.

10. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder is a cleanly written and heartfelt verse novel about coping with grief and renewing hope for the future.

9. Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern was a lot of fun to read because I have so many friends like the ones Jessie makes. A breezy read and a hint of romance too.

8. This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer was the conclusion to a harrowing series of books about what would happen if the moon's orbit got knocked off kilter and moved just a wee bit closer to us. The first book was excellent, the second one good and the third a melding of the first two. Intense!

7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE The Hunger Games. I found this end to the trilogy to be rather bleak, but then what can one expect from a dystopian world? Collins is still a great writer, and I'm still on Team Katniss. I just wish the final chapter wasn't such a bummer.

6. Numbers by Rachel Ward was another bummer but exciting as well. Jem and Spider have the language of street kids, which is a bit tough to take, but the storyline was magnetic and intriguing. Would I want to have Jem's special ability? I think not!

5. Fang by James Patterson was a definite improvement on the previous two entries in the Maximum Ride series. There's less focus on the Go Environment! plot that seemed out-of-place when it was introduced in The Final Warning, and the romantic tension between Max and Fang was exciting. Angel is coming out soon!

4. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi just won the 2011 Printz Award and deservedly so. It's another dystopian setting, but the premise is fresh and unusual. I don't think we've seen the last of Nailer and crew.

3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare was an excellent introduction to a new series! I was sad when The Mortal Instruments ended, then happy when I heard there would be another volume after all. Then I was impatient when I learned that another series would begin before that and happy to know that a character from Mortal Instruments would be putting in an appearance. And this was all BEFORE I read Clockwork Angel. Clare's writing is still exciting, and I actually think I liked this one MORE than City of Glass. Looking forward to the next books in BOTH series.

2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver was a surprise. I was surprised by how much empathy I had for the mean girl protagonist. Surprised by the Groundhog Dayesque structure of the story. Surprised that I had so much trouble reading the last chapter because my eyes were blurry with tears. It's wonderfully written, and I heartily recommend it.

1. Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft is one of those books that most people will never hear of. It will never get the kind of publicity that Twilight, Lighting Thief and the Hunger Games get. But I fell in love with the Wesselhoeft's beautiful, lyrical language, and I was devastated along with Jonathan over the loss of his brother.

Wow, I just realized that almost all of the books on my Top Ten list deal with death in one way or another. I guess that's just what kind of year 2010 was. How was it for you?

January 6, 2011

White Cat

by Holly Black
YA SciFi Black H
310 p. 2010 SciFi
Grade: A

An extremely creative novel mingling magic and the mob. White Cat has extremely clever and delightful twists. You've gotta love the protagonist, Cassel, and his fascinating family, from his hoarder mother who calls from jail, his "death worker" grandfather, brothers of dubious morals and of course, the mystery of the white cat. Highly recommended. Dying for the sequel. Black's best novel to date.

Reviewed by Teen Lit Club member Mary G.