2009 in Review

The blogosphere is awash with “Best of 2009” lists, so I’ve decided to review my 2009 reading in a slightly different way. These aren’t necessarily books that were published in 2009, just books that were read by me in 2009.

Best Book of 2009

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness

I couldn’t stop thinking about this book for months after I finished it. I’ve been coercing everyone I know to read it. If you haven’t read it, go check it out from your library today.

Biggest Disappointment

Impossible, by Nancy Werlin

Quite truthfully the worst book I have read this year. I know it has received many accolades; I know people love it. With many books like that, I can honestly say “I see why people like it.” I don’t see it with this one. Bland characters who all speak with the same voice, contrived plot (even for me, a diehard fantasy reader), bad dialogue. Huge disappointment.


When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead

The best phrase to sum up this gem is still “What an odd little book.”

Most Overrated

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly

I’ve seen this one in the running for many people’s Newbery picks, but it just doesn’t have the kid appeal it should have. Then again, the Newbery committee isn’t really known for picking books that kids like.

Most Beautiful Book

Lips Touch, by Laini Taylor, illustrated by Jim diBartolo

Taylor sure can write, and unlike other readers, I think the third and longest story is the strongest. I’m so glad this was nominated for the National Book Award, because I never would have read it otherwise. The artwork (consisting of mostly grays and reds) is incredible and the cover is one of the best of the year. A beautiful package all around.

Book That Made Me Want to Throw it Against a Wall (in a Good Way)

I am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak

An ending that really blew me away – I did not predict it at all. I had to re-read it and then immediately call up a friend to discuss it. Not as good as The Book Thief (nothing is), but still great.

Most Unique

Once Upon a Time in the North, by Philip Pullman

Everything Pullman writes is golden, but this is a particularly neat little book because of all its extras, which I discussed in a previous post.

Most Eagerly Anticipated for 2010

Monsters of Men, by Patrick Ness

barely edges out

Hunger Games Book 3, by Suzanne Collins

I like Katniss, but I love Todd and Viola. Oh, Todd and Viola. I must know how your story ends. Please don’t put them through any more torture, Patrick Ness. (I say this knowing that he will.)

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