Best YA Literature

Another list!

NPR are calling for votes on the best YA literature. They’re now narrowed it down to 200-odd entries based on peoples’ suggestions. I decided to take a look at how many I’ve started, finished, or plan to read.

Format borrowed from KiwiRia.

The ones that are in bold are the ones I have read all of, the ones in italics indicates a note, where I either read at least one of the series and then either decided to stop or may eventually continue. The ones starting with *** I really want to read.

13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson
Abhorsen Trilogy / Old Kingdom Trilogy (series), by Garth Nix (Read the first in series, may read the rest eventually)
***The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
***Across the Universe, by Beth Revis
Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel
Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, by Daniel Pinkwater
Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen
American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery (read a couple of them but not all of them)
Annie On My Mind, by Nancy Garden
Ash, by Malinda Lo
Ashfall, by Mike Mullin
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing (series), by M.T. Anderson
The Bartimaeus Trilogy (series), by Jonathan Stroud
***Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray
Before I Die, by Jenny Downham
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
Betsy-Tacy Books (series), by Maud Hart Lovelace
Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys
***Blood Red Road, by Moira Young
Bloodlines (series), by Richelle Mead
Bloody Jack Adventures (series), by L.A. Meyer
***The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
***The Book of Blood and Shadow, by Robin Wasserman
***The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
***Boy Meets Boy, by David Levithan
Brooklyn, Burning, by Steve Brezenoff
Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Chaos Walking (series), by Patrick Ness (LOVE THIS SERIES)
***The Chemical Garden Trilogy (series), by Lauren DeStefano
Chime, by Franny Billingsley
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (series), by Diana WynneJones
The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica (series), by James A. Owen
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Circle of Magic (series), by Tamora Pierce
***Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (series), by Louise Rennison
Copper Sun, by Sharon M. Draper
Crank (series), by Ellen Hopkins
Criss Cross, by Lynne Rae Perkins
Crown Duel, by Sherwood Smith
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
***The Curse Workers (series), by Holly Black
Dairy Queen, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
***The Dark is Rising (series), by Susan Cooper
Darkest Powers (series), by Kelley Armstrong
Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
Daughter of the Lioness / Tricksters (series), by Tamora Pierce
Delirium (series), by Lauren Oliver (read the first one–will probably read the second one eventually)
The Demon’s Lexicon (series), by Sarah Rees Brennan (read the first one–will probably read the second one eventually)
Discworld / Tiffany Aching (series), by Terry Pratchett (read quite a few of the Discworld books but not all of them)
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
***Divergent (series), by Veronica Roth
Dolphin Sky, by Ginny Rorby
Dreamland, by Sarah Dessen
Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, by Jordan Sonnenblick
Dune, by Frank Herbert
Earthsea (series), by Ursula K. Le Guin 
East, by Edith Pattou
Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series), by Patricia C. Wrede (loooved these books as a kid)
Everybody Sees the Ants, by A.S. King
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Fallen (series), by Lauren Kate
***The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
Feed, by M.T. Anderson
Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones
The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson
Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
***The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan
Forever…, by Judy Blume
Gallagher Girls (series), by Ally Carter (Read the first, may eventually read the rest)
The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (series), by Libba Bray 
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson
***The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente
The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry (read the first one. Keep forgetting it’s a series)
***Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
Going Bovine, by Libba Bray
Gone (series), by Michael Grant
The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
***Graceling (series), by Kristin Cashore
Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley
Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers
The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages
Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie
Harper Hall Trilogy, by Anne McCaffrey
Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
Hate List, by Jennifer Brown
***The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
Hex Hall (series), by Rachel Hawkins
His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series), by Douglas Adams (read 2 or 3)
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride
Hold Still, by Nina LaCour
House of Night (series), by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff
How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr
Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins (read the first two. No desire to read the third)
Hurt Go Happy, by Ginny Rorby
Hush, Hush Saga (series), by Becca Fitzpatrick
I Am the Cheese, by Robert Cormier
I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Immortal Beloved (series), by Cate Tiernan
The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa
The Immortals (series), by Tamora Pierce
Impossible, by Nancy Werlin
The Infernal Devices (series), by Cassandra Clare (read Clockwork Angel. Will wait for Clockwork Princess to come out and then will probably read the last two back to back).
Inheritance Cycle (series), by Christopher Paolini (read a couple of them)
The Iron Fey (series), by Julie Kagawa
It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini
Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey
Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
Jessica Darling (series), by Megan McCafferty
Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen
The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
***The Legend of Beka Cooper (series), by Tamora Pierce
Leverage, by Joshua Cohen
Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld
Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
The Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
Lost in the River of Grass, by Ginny Rorby
The Lumatere Chronicles (series), by Melina Marchetta
Lux (series), by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Make Lemonade, by Virginia Euwer Wolff
A Mango-Shaped Space, by Wendy Mass
The Marbury Lens, by Andrew Smith
Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork
Matched (series), by Ally Condie
The Maze Runner Trilogy (series), by James Dashner
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
Monster, by Walter Dean Myers
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness (I’d say this is more MG though? Along with a few others on this list)
The Monstrumologist (series), by Rick Yancey
The Mortal Instruments (series), by Cassandra Clare (Read the first 3)
My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger
My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson
Nation, by Terry Pratchett
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
North of Beautiful, by Justina Chen Headley
A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly
The Only Alien on the Planet, by Kristen D. Randle
The Outside of a Horse, by Ginny Rorby
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
Outtakes of a Walking Mistake, by Anthony Paull
The Oz Chronicles (series), by R.W. Ridley
Paper Towns, by John Green
Perfect Chemistry, by Simone Elkeles
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
The Piper’s Son, by Melina Marchetta
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A.S. King
Postcards from No Man’s Land, by Aidan Chambers
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
The Princess Diaries (series), by Meg Cabot (Read the first couple)
The Princesses of Iowa, by M. Molly Backes
Private Peaceful, by Michael Morpurgo
Protector of the Small (series), by Tamora Pierce
The Queen’s Thief (series), by Megan Whalen Turner
Raw Blue, by Kirsty Eagar
Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly
A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L’Engle
Ruby Blue, by Julie Cassar
Ruby Oliver Quartet (series), by E. Lockhart
Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier
The Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin
Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta
The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater 
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (series), by Michael Scott
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
Seven Realms (series), by Cinda Williams Chima
Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi
Shine, by Lauren Myracle
***Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Shiver Trilogy (series), by Maggie Stiefvater
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (series), by Ann Brashares (read the first one after the film came out)
The Sky Is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson
Sold, by Patricia McCormick
Something Like Normal, by Trish Doller
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
The Song of the Lioness (series), by Tamora Pierce
Soul Screamers (series), by Rachel Vincent
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Split, by Swati Avasthi
Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
Stolen, by Lucy Christopher
Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr
The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han
Sweep (series), by Cate Tiernan (devoured these books as a teen, but didn’t finish the series)
Sweethearts, by Sara Zarr
Teach Me, by R.A. Nelson
Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
This Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen
Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Trash, by Andy Mulligan
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler
Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Uglies (series), by Scott Westerfeld
Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
Vampire Academy (series), by Richelle Mead
Wake (series), by Lisa McMann
The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic, by Allan Wolf
Weetzie Bat (series), by Francesca Lia Block
Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
Where She Went, by Gayle Forman
Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley
Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler
Wide Awake, by David Levithan
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green, David Levithan
Willow, by Julia Hoban
Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Year of Secret Assignments, by Jaclyn Moriarty

Books/series read all of: 47
Books/series started: 15
Total: 62!

Fantasy Mistressworks

I was perusing Elspeth Cooper‘s blog and noticed she put up the top 50 female writers that my editor, Amanda Rutter, put up over at Fantasy Mistressworks. I decided to do it as well, and bold the ones I’ve read. I also italicized ones where I’ve read other work by the author, but not that particular book.

1. Songspinners – Sarah Ash
2. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
3. Rats and Gargoyles – Mary Gentle
4. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (this was published as Cross Stitch in the UK)
5. The Riddle-Master of Hed – Patricia McKillip
6. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
7. Lud-in-the-Mist – Hope Mirrlees
8. The Curse of the Mistwraith – Janny Wurts
9. Shadow Magic – Patricia C Wrede
10. Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
11. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K Le Guin
12. Familiar Spirit – Lisa Tuttle
13. Beauty – Sheri S Tepper
14. Diadem from the Stars – Jo Clayton
15. The Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart
16. Black Horses for the King – Anne McCaffrey
17. The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M Auel
18. Fortress in the Eye of Time – C J Cherryh
19. Red Moon and Black Mountain – Joy Chant
20. The Birthgrave – Tanith Lee
21. Briefing for a Descent into Hell – Doris Lessing
22. Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
23. The Wood Wife – Terri Windling
24. Briar Rose – Jane Yolen
25. The Porcelain Dove – Delia Sherman
26. The Winter Prince – Elizabeth Wein
27. The Time of the Dark – Barbara Hambly
28. Sword of Rhiannon – Leigh Brackett
29. Tam Lin – Pamela Dean
30. Fire in the Mist – Holly Lisle
31. The Sacrifice – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
32. The Beleagured City – Margaret Oliphant
33. The Soul of Lilith – Marie Corelli
34. The Citadel of Fear – Francis Stevens
35. Jirel of Joiry – C L Moore
36. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter – Elizabeth Moon
37. Dragon Prince – Melanie Rawn
38. Black Trillium – Julian May
39. The Thief’s Gamble – Juliet E McKenna
40. Daggerspell – Katharine Kerr
41. The Blue Manor – Jenny Jones
42. The Barbed Coil – J V Jones
43. In the Red Lord’s Reach – Phyllis Eisenstein
44. The Spirit Ring – Lois McMaster Bujold
45. The Last of the Renshai – Mickey Zucher Reichert
46. Archangel – Sharon Shinn
47. The Hall of the Mountain King – Judith Tarr
48. A Blackbird in Silver – Freda Warrington
49. Kindred – Octavia Butler
50. The Red Magician – Lisa Goldstein

I’ve only read 9! I’ll have to try and make my way through at least a few more!

The London Mush-Up

A few weekends ago, I travelled down to Edinburgh to meet a friend, Dianna Potter, but I never got around to posting about it. But go here to see her lovely write-up of our weekend of walking about in drizzling rain and catching up: Lang May Yer Lum Reek.

This past weekend, I went down to London with my best friend, Erica Bretall, in tow. We went to visit my book sister, Kim Curran, whom I love to bits. On Friday evening, we gussied ourselves up and went into town to meet my wonderbar agent, Juliet Mushens, who had arranged The Great London Mush-Up of 2012 ™.

On the way to Peters Fraser & Dunlop, Kim took a silly photo of me posing with a giant mask seat. This is a bit of a hint about my cover, which I had as the backdrop of my phone but have blacked out for now. Little did I know this is the last day that phone would work–it was drenched by a cocktail later that evening.


Juliet then commenced to thoroughly spoil us. We had champagne in their office before we meandered to the restaurant where we ate delicious food and had some wonderful banter before going out for cocktails. Juliet even gave us all presents–I got Carter Beats the Devil, a biography of a prominent magician. She knows me well. I kept having to slyly pinch myself throughout the evening. It was just such a lovely evening, despite getting drenched in alcohol a time or two!

Some photos nabbed from Twitter:

Team Leopard Print
With Amy McCulloch

Definitely mushed

My favourite image of the night. Me and Kim!

Saturday and Sunday were chock-a-block sightseeing–the British Museum, and the British Library (where we saw the handwritten manuscripts of Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Jerkyll and Mr. Hyde, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Yeah, it was amazing). We also went to the Wellcome Centre, which had the esoteric collection of the pharmacist, Wellcome. I ended up scribbling some notes for research. We were planning on going to Albert Hall for a show, but the thought of standing proved to be too much, so we opted for the wise choice of Thai food and The Fifth Element.

Afternoon Tea by the British Museum
At the British Library

Sunday we went on the London Eye, and the weather was glorious. At the top:

Afterwards, I went for brunch with Juliet and Kim and Erica went to the Globe Theatre. We then all wandered about the Tate Modern and then went to possibly my favourite place of the weekend–the Old Operating Theatre museum, in the attic of a church.

Operating Theatre

I miss everyone already! Hopefully this will be an annual event.

Search Term Bingo

I’ve gotten a couple of funny search terms for people asking Mother Google for answers to life, the universe, and everything. And then they find my blog, which probably doesn’t answer any of their questions.

I get a lot of the same ones over and over, most of which are fairly obvious. People searching for vintage circus things, or YA books I’ve reviewed or other things I’ve showcased on my random research posts. Every day people are searching for my agent, Juliet Mushens, etc. Sometimes people search for my name.

I decided to showcase some of the funnier ones.

drystan the white faced clown – This one I just don’t get. I have a character named Drystan, and he’s a white clown, but why would anyone search for him yet? Quite funny, and possible the result of a search spider or something. Similarly I have gotten drystan the white faced clown in books. Is there another white clown named Drystan I’m not aware of?

i just craped myself cat – Probably some meme I’m not aware of, but LOL all the same. Also, typo!

you are tricking me – Oh dear, am I? Frightfully sorry about that.

laura lam micah grey nude – Obviously one of my Twitter friends being strange!

elf male minstrel – sorry to disappoint, but I am neither an elf, male, nor a minstrel. More’s the pity. Neither am I a fairy elf league of legend.

robot owl – I’d quite like to have one of these. Naturally, I’d name it Hedwig.

laura lam lies down on broadway – Got this the other day, which sparked some witty banter on Twitter.

promiscuous kitten – You’ve come to the right place. Obviously.

how do i know if l am good sex – I dunno, man. Don’t ask me.

what did brian katcher want to be before he was a writter – I think the answer to that is librarian, because that’s the coolest job. Don’t think he’s a writter, though. 😉

stanley lam from edinburgh – Nope. Not me.

lora lam – Also not me.

lam watch movies and learn alsks built with taatnak – ORLY?

OK, so they’re not as WTFSTRANGE as some people’s, but they still make me chuckle. If you’ve a website, what are some of the stranger search terms you’ve gotten?

Books Read in June

Here are the books I read in June, linked to their Goodreads pages. Have you read any of them? What did you think?

1. Spook: Science Tackling the Afterlife – Mary Roach (nonfiction, ghosts, afterlife, science)

2. Clockwork Angel – Cassandra Clare (YA, fantasy, steampunk)

3. Shift – Kim Curran (YA, science fiction, quantum physics, action)

4. Fleshmarket – Nicola Morgan (YA, historical, Victorian, Edinburgh, medicine)

5. The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle #3) – Libba Bray (YA, fantasy, magic, historical, boarding school)

6. Blackwood – Gwenda Bond (YA, mystery, fantasy, alchemy)

7. Tithe – Holly Black (YA, fantasy, fairies)

And, as usual, I’m in the middle of a bunch of other ones that’ll show up in the July list.