I started writing this post approximately two weeks ago, a few days before my birthday. And then I thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it some more. And as I poured over Goodreads to look at all the books I read this year (which is deceiving, because I read and reread books that never make it onto my Goodreads list), I realized a few things that were interesting.
Aside from one notable exception (Changes by Jim Butcher) everything that stood out as one of my favorites from this year was not part of a series. Even though Mockingjay and Last Sacrifice came out (and I loved both), I didn’t love them with the fervor that I loved the books I did pick. And Changes can be explained by the fact that I’m a hard core Dresden Files fan, and he could write about Harry becoming a beach bum in Acapulco and I’d read it.
Second, I noticed that not all the books I really loved are dark (as I would have expected). And even the ones that WERE dark were dark in different ways. Paranormalcy had dark elements, but it was a fun read. White Cat had dark characters, but it was gripping. Blood Magic had dark visuals, and The Replacement had a dark town.
And finally, I realized that I like urban fantasy way too much. There were lots of contemp books that I loved this year, but they just didn’t capture my imagination the way that the urban fantasies did. Maybe because they were too real? I don’t know, but it’s definitely something to consider. My opinion skews heavily towards the fantastical.
White Cat – I think this one is hands down my favorite of the year. The book was exactly what it promised to be – a book about con men and curses. I absolutely loved the world building, I was fascinated by the characters, and at the end of the day, White Cat was exactly what I wanted it to be. Cassel was one of the most interesting boy-narrators I read this year, and the whole book felt “fresh” to me. Totally in a good way.
Paranormalcy – This one was fun in a way I wasn’t expecting. First off, it’s another one of those covers I simply love – I always go back to the way Evie’s hand is almost grabbing her dress. The voice in Paranormalcy is fantastic, too. It’s refreshing in a different way – instead of the dark and jaded books I was used to reading, this one was more light and fun. And there was a pink Taser. You can never go wrong with a pink Taser. I mean unless you’re at the receiving end of one…
Blood Magic – Technically, this one doesn’t come out until April. But this is one of two books that I’ve been dying for ever since I saw the PM announcement. I have a soft spot for witches anyway, and the entire premise of Blood Magic is gory and delicious. Like I said to Tessa, Blood Magic is what I think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would have been if Tim Burton had been suffering from delusions and rage blackouts. And, y’know….blood instead of chocolate.
The Replacement – This one was super creepy in the same way that Poltergeist 3 was the creepiest of the movies (to me). In Poltergeist 3, all the creepy things are happening in a skyscraper with tons of other people around – but no one finds any help or solace. It’s one thing to have a creepy plot happening to beleaguered characters, but it’s another to have an ENTIRE TOWN turn a blind eye while this is going on. Gentry absolutely fascinated me.
Side note, but seriously Merry Sisters of Fate? Must all of your books be so fantastic? Honestly, you’re making the rest of us look bad. 😉 But if you ever decide to add a Zeppo to your coterie, feel free to give me a call.
Honorable mentions: The Tension of Opposites, The Vast Fields of Ordinary (which was also the very first book I read this year), Hate List, Deception, and Before I Fall.
What were some of your favorites in 2010?