[DWJ] Best of 2008

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Fri Dec 12 14:06:51 EST 2008


I posted my best of 2008 on my professional blog at
<http://gnomicutterance.livejournal.com/30120.html>. It's all
children's and young adult; what with reviewing and teaching, I've
almost had time to read nothing else.

I will paste it here so people don't need to go look at a
webpage:

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Fantasy and science fiction:
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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
House of Many Ways* by Diana Wynne Jones
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Flora's Dare* by Ysabeay Wilce
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Realism:
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Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
This Full House* by Virginia Euwer Wolff
The Porcupine Year* by Louise Erdrich
Antsy Does Time* by Neal Shusterman

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Books that weren't as good as I wanted them to be but were still
very enjoyable:
-----
Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock: very enjoyable but the
well-meaning attempts to deal with body image politics backfired
badly.
Rex Zero, King of Nothing* by Tim Wynne-Jones: excellent, like
everything he writes. But the Rex Zero books are too nostalgic
for my tastes.
Impossible by Nancy Werlin: this book was beautiful, but one of
the things I like about Nancy Werlin is how grim she is willing
to be. This story tied up all the loose ends more neatly than I
wanted it to.
Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin: I really wanted to love this book
with its protagonist who unwillingly gender swaps monthly. I got
hung up on some really icky race politics that are a tiny part of
the book, so it's hard for me to judge the text fairly aside from
that.

-----
Books that were way better than I expected them to be:
-----
Mousetraps by Pat Schmatz: this looked like a really fun, silly
book with a pat message about accepting your gay friends, until
it got unexpectedly dark.
Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi: Scalzi decided to write a standalone
young adult novel that takes place in the middle of an existing
adult science fiction series. It sounded like a train wreck to me
-- but the book was great, and worked very well as a standalone.
He didn't give me any interest in reading the adult books in the
same series, but it did make me want to read more about Zoe from
her own point of view.


-deborah
--
The main character is a misogynistic, hermaphroditic,
heavy-drinking, ultra-cynical aardvark. It's an acquired taste.
 	-- A member of the DWJ list, on Cerebrus



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