How do you decide which books out of all the great young adult titles that have been published this year are the "best"? Well, the way I see it, there's three different ways to look at it: from the critic's point of view, bestsellers/most popular, and your own personal faves. So that's exactly how I've divvied up my list below! Best books of 2011? Here you go!
Critic Picks for Best of 2011
This is a compilation of critic picks from magazines like Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist. You might also take a look at Teen's Top Ten 2011.
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Anya, embarrassed by her Russian immigrant family and self-conscious about her body, has given up on fitting in at school but falling down a well and making friends with the ghost there just may be worse.
Stay with Me by Paul Griffin
Fifteen-year-olds Mack, a high school drop-out but a genius with dogs, and Céce, who hopes to use her intelligence to avoid a life like her mother's, meet and fall in love at the restaurant where they both work, but when Mack lands in prison, he pushes Céce away and only a one-eared pit-bull can keep them together.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
Sixteen-year-old Rebecca moves with her father from London to a small, seaside village, where she befriends another motherless girl and they spend the summer together exploring the village's sinister history.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters--the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known. When one day her family of chimaerae is attacked and the angel who attacked them enters her life, things for Karou will never be the same again.
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones
Two teenagers who are living on the streets and barely getting by become involved in a complicated criminal plot, and make an unexpected connection with each other.
Most Beloved of 2011
These are some of the most popular books this past year; we couldn't keep them on the shelves.
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
As the Council attempts to strip Charlotte of her power, sixteen-year-old orphaned shapechanger Tessa Gray works with the London Shadowhunters to find the Magister and destroy his clockworkarmy, learning the secret of her own identity while investigating his past.
Don't miss book 1 in the Infernal Devices series: Clockwork Angel.
Matched by Ally Condie
All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, whom to marry. When she is Matchedwith her best friend Xander, things couldn't be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky's face show up on her match disk as well?
Inheritance, Or Vault of Souls by Christopher Paolini
The young Dragon Rider Eragon must finally confront the evil king Galbatorix to free Alagaesia from his rule once and for all.
Don't miss book 1, 2, and 3 in the Inheritance Cycle also by Christopher Paolini!
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Demigod Percy Jackson, still with no memory, and his new friends from Camp Jupiter, Hazel and Frank, go on a quest to free Death, but their bigger task is to unite the Greek and Roman camps so that the Prophecy ofSeven can be fulfilled.
Book 2 in the Heroes of Olympus series! Make sure you check out The Lost Hero, which is book 1.
And Ms. Sarah's Favorite Books of the Year?
Chime by Franny Billingsley
In the early twentieth century in Swampsea, seventeen-year-old Briony, who can see the spirits that haunt the marshes around their town, feels responsible for her twin sister's horrible injury until a young man enters their lives and exposes secrets that even Briony does not know about.
This author will be coming to our library on April 21st! Make sure you come meet her!
The Gray Wolf Throne by C.W. Chima
Thief-turned-wizard Han Alister joins forces with Raisa ana'Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells, to defend her right to the Gray Wolf Throne.
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
When Paige Turner and her family move to New York City from rural Virginia, she tries to make sense of her new life through her sketchbook, and it helps bring her true personality into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding.
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: she betrayed the most closely guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again-- and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will's memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.
Don't miss book 1, Firelight.
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
When his twin brother falls ill in the family's chateau in the independent republic of Geneva in the eighteenth century, sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein embarks on a dangerous and uncertain quest to create the forbidden Elixir of Life described in an ancient text in the family's secret Biblioteka Obscura.
Happy New Year!! Can't wait to see what's published in 2012!