LJ Best Books 2017

It's time again for LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry and literature, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles.   SEE WHO MADE THE LIST

Best Books 2011: YA Lit for Adults

Billingsley, Frannie. Chime. Dial: Random. ISBN 9780803735521. $17.99. F
Seventeen-year-old Briony is an insightful and completely unreliable narrator caught in the ages-old conflict of duty and desire. Saving her village imperils her beloved Eldric‚ and may get her hung as a witch. Fans of The Folk Keeper (1999) have waited 12 years for this lyrical tale. (
LJ BookSmack! 6/15/11)

Blumenthal, Karen. Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. Roaring Brook. ISBN 9781596434493. $18.99. HIST
The 18th Amendment seemed like a good idea at the time. Sparked by a renewed interest in the Prohibition movement‚ brought on by Ken Burns’s PBS series‚ this engaging narrative brings to life the politicians, mobsters, and social reformers of the age. (LJ BookSmack! 8/18/11)

Bray, Libba. Beauty Queens. Scholastic. ISBN 9780439895972. $18.99. F
A planeload of Miss Teen Dream Pageant contestants crash-lands on a deserted island. The 14 survivors set to finding food, water, and shelter while the island’s volcano hides the secret lair of the Corporation: an intergovernmental superentity planning some bad, bad business. Delicious satire. (LJ BookSmack! 6/16/11)

Gantos, Jack. Dead End in Norvelt. Farrar. ISBN 9780374379933. $15.99. F
Grounded for the summer, 12-year-old Jackie Gantos reluctantly goes to work for Miss Volker, his town’s arthritic medical examiner, just as its remaining original residents begin dying with increasing regularity. Gantos’s love for history and for Norvelt‚ a cooperative community created as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act‚ grounds this frequently hilarious story. (LJ BookSmack! 9/15/11)

Marchetta, Melina. The Piper’s Son. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763647582. $17.99. F
Five years after the events of Saving Francesca (2004), Tom Mackee is teetering on the edge. In a last attempt to resurrect his dignity, he moves in with his aunt Georgie, who, pregnant and 40, is facing her own drama. This deeply satisfying examination of grief and recovery will entrance a new generation of readers‚ the parents of Marchetta’s teen fan-base. (LJ BookSmack! 2/17/11)

Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls: Inspired by an Idea from Siobhan Dowd. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763655594. $16.99. F
One dark night, the yew tree outside 13-year-old Conor’s window comes to life and makes a house call. The monster tells Conor three inscrutable stories and then demands from him the scariest thing of all: the truth. Adult readers will relate to Conor’s struggles with death and mourn the loss of the literary light that sparked his story. (LJ BookSmack 10/20/11)

Peet, Mal. Life: An Exploded Diagram. Candlewick. ISBN 9780763652272. $17.99. F
An exploded diagram frames the structure of Peet’s tale of two young lovers, set against the background of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In a world that may soon come to a quick and fiery end, Clem and Frankie’s forbidden romance feels like the only thing worth living for. (LJ BookSmack! 9/15/11)

Silvey, Craig. Jasper Jones. Knopf. ISBN 9780375866661. $18.99. F
Charlie has only known Jasper Jones as a cautionary tale until the summer night when he knocks on Charlie’s window and shows him a secret that he cannot share with anyone. With its distinctive prose and a unique sense of place, this winner of the Australian Indie Book of the Year Award evokes To Kill a Mockingbird. (LJ BookSmack! 7/21/11)

Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316134026. $18.99. F
By day, Karou is an art student living in modern-day Prague. Only her (naturally) blue hair and tattoos might give her fellow students cause to suspect her of running errands for Brimstone, a chimaera with an insatiable demand for human teeth. Taylor marries reality, fantasy, and mythology in this story of star-crossed lovers and tragic destinies. (LJ BookSmack! 8/18/11)

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  1. Mike Jung says:

    Don’t forget IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma and FALL FOR ANYTHING by Courtney Summers.

  2. Carol Wong says:

    Thanks for much for this list. One was already on my wish list, will check the others out.