Monday, August 13, 2012

Best-Ever Teen Novels?


NPR put together a list of what they consider the best ever teen novels. Some of them are classics, and some were recently published. They’ve announced the top 100, so you should check it out.

I always find polls like this interesting. They are completely subjective, and often turn into nothing more than a popularity contest. Which sometimes angers me if a book I find lacking in writing quality wins over books that are amazingly well-written and have layers and layers of depth—and it happened in this list. But hey, a poll is just for fun.

I found this one particularly difficult, though. Not just because there are 235 in the list, but because of the huge variety. There’s light and fun books next to raw and gritty ones. I like both, but need to be in a particular mood for them. So my favorites reflected the mood I was in at the time of voting, which might be different next week.

There were books missing that I thought should be there (not the classics outlined here, btw), and then there are books on the list that I hated, which I think is to be expected.

I would have liked to see Anna Dressed In Blood and Girl of Fire and Thorns on the winning list, because I think they are far better (and better quality) than several of the ‘winners.’ But that’s me. :) What would you have liked to see make the list?

9 comments:

Kelly Hashway said...

I agree that these become popularity contests more than anything else.

Cyrus Keith said...

It sure seems that way. One I would have liked to see there is "If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, by Barb Ehrentreu.

angel011 said...

That list made my head hurt, and I barely looked at it. Fahrenheit 451 is for kiddies? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is not for YA readers? Blah.

Kiersi said...

Girl of Fire and Thorns is an exceptional novel, definitely one of the best released in the last two years. I would never call Hitchhiker's Guide a teen novel. A good novel, yes, a teen novel? No.

Adrianne Russell said...

It was an odd list, as these tend to be!

annebingham said...

Exactly that about HHGG. Arthur Dent was a homeowner, for crying out loud!{wrings towel}

Michelle @ Oh! For the Love of Books said...

I agree as well. I think in the world of writing, (as also in movie) it needs to be in genres and age groups. It's like comparing The Lion King, The Goonies, Gone with the Wind, and Dirty Dancing... All great - but very different but good...

Ednah Walters said...


Girl of Fire was great, but I haven't read some that made the list. Like you said, this is a popularity contest and has nothing to do with the best of the best.

mfogelsong said...

When I was a YA, my favorite book was The Beginning Place by Ursula LeGuin. I still sometimes pick it up and re-read it, even though I'm an adult now. I love her style, and the tale touches my heart in a personal way.