CCRSB Library Services staff carefully chose the 2014 Top 10 based on the best critical reviews, readers’ reviews, and the books’ performances on well-respected awards lists. These titles represent a wide range of genres and include some of the best fiction and non-fiction published between January, 2012 and January, 2013. They are (in alphabetical order by title):
- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
- The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
- Bomb: The Race to Build – And Steal – The World’s Most Powerful Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Every Day by David Levithan
- Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
- I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
- Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick
- Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
The results are in! 927 votes were cast and the winner is :
Divergent by Veronica Roth! This action-packed dystopian novel received 206 (22%) of your votes!
The complete Top 10 list, ranked by number of votes received, is as follows:
- Divergent by Veronica Roth – 206 votes
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – 137 votes
- Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol – 123 votes
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – 114 votes
- Blood Red Road by Moira Young – 93 votes
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – 73 votes
- The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler – 62 votes
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis – 52 votes
- This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel – 62 votes
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – 31 votes
CCRSB Library Services would like to extend a huge thank you to all participating students for making this program a great success! It couldn’t have happened without you!
In less than 24 hours, the winner of the 2013 CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award will be announced! What book do you think will take home the crown? Check the award website tomorrow morning to find out!
If you liked This Dark Endeavor, the obvioius read-alike is its source material – Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein. If you’ve read it or want something that was published more recently, try one of these skin-crawling, spine-tingling novels.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (2003)
It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls – and their foray into the spiritual world – lead to? (Source: Chapters.ca)
The Haunting of Alaizabel Clay by Chris Wooding (2001)
Thaniel, just seventeen, is a wych-hunter. Together, he and Cathaline – his freind and mentor – track down the fearful creatures that lurk in the Old Quater of London. It is on one of these hunts that he first encounters Alaizabel Cray. Alaizabel is half-crazed, lovely, and possessed. Whatever dreadful entity has entered Alaizabel’s soul has turned her into a strange and unearthly magnet – attracting evil and drawing horrors from the very depths of hell. Cathaline and Thaniel must discover its cause, and thus begins a treacherous quest across London. At stake is all humanity. (Source: Amazon.ca)
Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London-working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.
Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward – both of whom she is deeply drawn to – Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius-and madness-in her own blood. (Source: Chapters.ca)
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy (2009)
These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.
So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was eating her, Will’s world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagus–a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest–and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatening to overtake and consume our world before it is too late. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Rotters by Daniel Kraus (2011)
Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It’s true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey’s life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.
Everything changes when Joey’s mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey’s father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey’s life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Scorpio Races has a unique concept; you’d be hard-pressed to find another book about racing deadly water horses on an imaginary Celtic island. However, there are many other fantasy novels inspired by legends of mythical sea creatures and/or Celtic folklore. If you are a fan of The Scorpio Races, here are five titles that you may want to add to your to-read list:
On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings-and to catch their wives.
The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Hush: An Irish Princess’ Tale by Donna Jo Napoli (2007)
Melkorka is a princess, the first daughter of a magnificent kingdom in mediæval Ireland — but all of this is lost the day she is kidnapped and taken aboard a marauding slave ship. Thrown into a world that she has never known, alongside people that her former country’s laws regarded as less than human, Melkorka is forced to learn quickly how to survive. Taking a vow of silence, however, she finds herself an object of fascination to her captors and masters, and soon realizes that any power, no matter how little, can make a difference. (Source: Chapters.ca)
The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley (1999)
Corinna is a Folk Keeper. Her job is to keep the mysterious Folk who live beneath the ground at bay. But Corinna has a secret that even she doesn’t fully comprehend, until she agrees to serve as Folk Keeper at Marblehaugh Park, a wealthy family’s seaside manor. There her hidden powers burst into full force, and Corinna’s life changes forever… (Source: Chapters.ca)
Sea Change by Aimee Friedman (2009)
Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science–and not so great with boys. After a major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she is happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother’s estate. Then, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts that her logical, scientific mind can’t make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship…and reality. Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something she could”ve never imagined? (Source: Chapters.ca)
Tithe by Holly Black (2002)
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms — a struggle that could very well mean her death. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Do you love Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and need something to tide you over while you wait for the sequel? Then be sure to check out one of these mysterious, magical, and creepy novels.
The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick (2004)
The days between 27 December and New Year’s Eve are dead days – days when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface of our everyday lives. There is a man, Valerian, whose time is running out, who must pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years ago.
His servant is Boy, a child with no name and no past; a child Valerian treats with contempt, but who serves his master well and finds solace in the company of his only friend, Willow. Unknown to any of them, it is Boy who holds the key to their destiny.
Set in dark threatening cities and the frozen countryside in a distant time and place of the author’s making, The Book of Dead Days conjures a spell-binding story of sorcery and desperate magic as Valerian, Boy and Willow battle to stop time and cling to life. (Source: Chapters.ca)
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (2006)
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things. (Source: Chapters.ca)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay (2011)
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. (Source: Chapters.ca)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011)
The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway – a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link, illustrated by Shaun Tan (2008)
Through the lens of Kelly Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. From the multiple award- winning “The Faery Handbag,” in which a teenager”s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of “The Surfer,” whose narrator (a soccer-playing skeptic) waits with a planeload of refugees for the aliens to arrive, these ten stories are funny and full of unexpected insights and skewed perspectives on the world. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Searching for another realistic romance along the lines of The Future of Us? Look no further than these great books:
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (2010)
Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? (Source: Chapters.ca)
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
Every Day by David Levithan (2012)
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with-day in, day out, day after day. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (2012)
Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere-spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night-and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (2011)
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – more sparkly, more fun, more wild – the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket – a gifted inventor – steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. (Source: Chapters.ca)
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is one of those rare books that can make you laugh while it’s breaking your heart into teeny, tiny pieces. If you’re a fan of realistic fiction featuring loveable characters trying to live a normal lives in the face of abuse, disability, and death, then you need to check out these books.
Before I Die by Jenny Downham (2007)
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints
of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.
Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Deadline by Chris Crutcher (2007)
How can a pint-sized eighteen-year-old make his mark on the world from Nowheresville, Idaho-especially when he only has one year left to do it? When Ben Wolf learns his senior year of high school will be his last year, period, he is determined to go out in a blaze of glory.
That means not letting anyone know about his diagnosis. It means trying out for the football team. It means giving his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine. It means going for the amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki.
But living with a secret isn’t easy . . . What will Ben do when he realizes he isn’t the only person who’s keeping one? (Source: Chapters.ca)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (2009)
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. (Source: Chapters.ca)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)
This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Wonder by R. J. Palacio (2012)
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid-but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. (Source: Chapters.ca)
As Blood Red Road and Divergent are very similar (action-packed dystopias featuring a strong heroine), their read-alike lists could easily be combined or interchanged. The main difference between the two lists is that the read-alikes for Blood Red Road are primarily novels set in lawless, post-apocalyptic wastelands, while the read-alikes for Divergent tend to focus on characters living under extreme government control.
(If you’ve read the books in these two posts and need more dystopian fiction, be sure to bookmark this great flow chart featuring The Hunger Games read-alikes, created by the Lawrence Public Library.)
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn (2004)
The bar code tattoo. Everybody’s getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity.
But what if you say no? What if you don’t want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There’s no option but to run…for her life. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (2011)
They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie. (Source: Harper Teen)
Legend by Marie Lu (2011)
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (2011)
No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time – and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (2005)
If you’re a fan of Blood Red Road, you’re in luck! It’s pretty easy to find dystopian books on library shelves in our post-Hunger Games world. Blood Red Road’s obvious read-alikes are The Hunger Games and Divergent, but there are many other titles that feature a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a strong heroine, intense action, or a combination of the three. Here is a list of five novels you may want to check out after reading Moira Young’s Dustlands series:
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari (2011)
Epidemics, floods, droughts – for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park.
But when she’s rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can’t continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There’s something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien (2010)
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia’s mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia’s choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (2008)
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. (Source: Harcourt Books)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food-and each other. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (2010)
In America’s Gulf Coast region, grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts by crews of young people. Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota-and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or by chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life… (Source: Chapters.ca)