1. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I am a huge Sarah Dessen fan. Her books are perfect for middle school students and are so very realistic. I must admit though that her last book, The Moon and More, didn't feel like it was up to Dessen standard so I was hesitant when I picked up Saint Anything. Dessen is back on track with this gem though.
2. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I loved this book with its dual narrators, twins Jude and Noah. The twins who were once so very close have grown distant. This book is all about relationships, trust, love and communication. Breathtakingly beautiful, this was my favourite read of the year. A great book for fans of John Green and/or Rainbow Rowell.
3. She is not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
I really enjoyed the philosophical nature of this book. Sedgwick weaves the theories of coincidence in a stunning book in which the main character, Laureth, happens to be blind. I liked how this book made me think while entertaining me at the same time.
Well, how do I start to describe this book? Ingenious is really the only word I can think of to describe such a novel. Lockhart manages to keep the reader in the dark for the majority of the book without the reader even realizing it. It is not often that a YA book catches me off guard but this one certainly did.
5. How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon
I enjoyed this book when I read it in the fall and it has stuck with me. What is so appealing about this book is that each of the characters tells a piece of the main story and only you, the reader, knows the entire story. Beautifully written, How it Went Down is very realistic and heartbreaking. Our school has just purchased 10 copies to read in Harry Potter Book Club and then move in to the grade 9 literature circle novel sets.
What I find interesting about my top 5 picks is that my favourite genre, fantasy, isn't here and I certainly read a lot of good fantasy novels this year. Also, all these books are stand alone books and not part of a series.