Book Reviews Miscellaneous

The Half-Year Mark: Best Books of 2010 (so far)

Hey folks! As it’s officially the beginning of summer and we’re halfway through the year, we decided that it was time to start keeping score – of our favorite books of the year, that is.

Without further ado, we present you with our Best of 2010 Lists – So Far.

Thea’s Best of 2010:

So far, 2010 has been running a little below average as a reading year – why do I say this? Because when reflecting upon the reviews I’ve written this year and the books I’ve read so far, only a very select few jump out at me as truly memorable. I couldn’t even fill out an honest Top 10 for 2010, unfortunately. BUT. While many of the highly anticipated debuts or sequels of the year have failed to live up to expectations and I’ve read a lot of rather ho-hum/decently entertaining but ultimately mediocre books published in 2010, there are always a few diamonds in the rough that make it all worthwhile. And I’m hoping for a STELLAR second half of the year – given the number of titles I’m ridiculously excited for, I think 2010 will, in the end, be just fine. I’m breaking out my picks in three lists: 1. Best books read, reviewed and published in 2010; 2. Best books read & reviewed in 2010 (regardless of publication year); and 3. Honorable Mentions.

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2010

1. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, 9 (Dystopia/Speculative Fiction)
2. Lies by Michael Grant, 8 (YA, horror/SF)
3. Naamah’s Curse by Jacqueline Carey, 8 (Fantasy)
4. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, 8 (YA, dystopia/post-apocalyse, SF)
5. Silver Bourne by Patricia Briggs, 8 (UF)

Best Books Read & Reviewed in 2010 (regardless of publication year)

1. Hero by Perry Moore, 10 (YA, Superhero/SF)
2. Heart of Veridon by Tim Akers, 9 (Steampunk, SF)
3. Anti-Ice by Stephen Baxter, 8 (Steampunk, SF)
4. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, 8 (YA, Steampunk/SF)
5. Titan by Stephen Baxter, 8 (Science Fiction)
6. The Affinity Bridge by George Mann, 7 (Steampunk, SF)

Honorable Mentions:

1. Girl with the Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron, 9 (YA, contemporary)
2. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, 8 (YA, dystopia/SF)
3. Veracity by Laura Bynum, 8 (Dystopia/SF)
4. The Enemy by Charlie Higson, 7 (YA, Post-Apocalypse/SF/Horror)
5. Spellwright by Blake Charlton, 7 (Fantasy)

As you can see, young adult and dystopian/apocalyptic novels still dominate my lists, with a few steampunk books thrown in there too. And wouldja look at that, my New Year’s Resolution to read more science fiction is totally paying off. Here’s to an awesome back end of 2010!

Ana’s Best of 2010:

Things are quite different, at my side of the Smuggliverse – 2010 has been a fabulous reading year so far for me. I read 65 books and the majority of them were pretty good reads to the point where I had a problem trying to come up with ONLY a top 10 of the year especially taking into consideration we are only half way through 2010. If things keep up like that – and chances are they will, with so many books I am looking forward to reading – 2010 might well be one of my best reading years ever. I will break my picks in three lists as well only slightly different: 1. Best books read, reviewed and published in 2010; 2.Hororable mentions; 3. John Green (because his books were my favourite discovery of the year).

Best Books Read, Reviewed and Published in 2010

1. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves, 10 (YA, Fantasy)
2. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K.Jemisin, 9 (Fantasy)
3. In For a Penny by Rose Lerner, 8 (Romance, Historical)
4. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, 8 (YA, Contemporary)
5. Irredeemable Vol.1 by Mark Waid and Peter Krause, 9 (Graphic Novel, Superheroes)
6. Irredeemable Vol.2 by Mark Waid and Peter Krause, 9 (Graphic Novel, Superheroes)
7. White Cat by Holly Black, 8 (YA, UF)
8. The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan, 9 (YA, UF)
9. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, 8 (YA, Fantasy)
10. A Conspirary of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner, 9 (YA, Fantasy)

Honorable Mentions:

1. The Girl With the Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron, 8 (YA, Contemporary)
2. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken, 8 (YA, Fantasy)
3. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, 8 (UF)
4. Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson, 8 (YA, Contemporary)
5. Mind Games by Carolyn Crane, 8 (UF)
6. Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook, 8 (Novella, Steampunk)
7. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready, 8, (YA, Fantasy)
8. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M Campbell, 7, (YA, Fantasy/Superheroes)
9. Shades of Gray by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge, 8 (Fantasy, Superheroes)

John Green AKA Best Discovery of 2010:

1. An Abundance of Katherines, 8 (YA, Contemporary)
2. Paper Towns, 8 (YA, Contemporary)
3. Looking For Alaska, 8 (YA, Contemporary)
4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson (co-authored by David Levithan), 7 (YA, Contemporary)

Ok, tons of YA as you can see, which is where the good stuff seems to be at the moment, especially of the Fantasy variety. I plan to read more straight Fantasy, Romance and Anthologies, on this second half of the year. Let’s see how it goes.

What about you, what are your favourite reads of the year so far?

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  • Liz
    June 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I have to say, I agree with most of these choices. The Demon’s Covenant especially, that series has now become one of my favourites. I also enjoyed The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong, and I’m looking forward to the next trilogy. I haven’t read Incarceron yet, but I think I will soon. There’s been a lot of praise for it.

    The cover of An Abundance of Katherines always creeps me out for some reason. I think it’s all the eyes. I have it stacked face down on my bookshelf so I don’t have to see it!

    Also, sent my contact info your way in regards to the last giveaway. Hope you received it!

  • Karen Mahoney
    June 22, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Wow, great post Smugglers! πŸ™‚

    Hmm… I have only read 6 or 7 of the books on all of your combined lists. Though I have several more that I INTEND to read soon. *cough*Queen’s Thief series*cough* Girl with *cough*Mermaid Hair*cough*

    So far this year my top reads have definitely been:

    LIAR – Justine Larbalestier
    BLEEDING VIOLET – Dia Reeves
    THE DEMON’S COVENANT – Sarah Rees Brennan


  • April (Books&Wine)
    June 22, 2010 at 6:59 am

    This is awesome, so many of these are books I am fricken excited to read, like Incarceron which I just ordered! Also, this makes me want to read the rest of my John Green books, but I am saving them for a special occasion.

  • Mollie
    June 22, 2010 at 7:12 am

    I was sooo disappointed with Incarceron. I just never really connected with any of the characters, it was a huge disappointment for me.

    Books I have loved so far:

    I too enjoyed Jandy Nelson’s the Sky is Everywhere.

    I also really enjoyed Kristen Chandler’s debut: Wolves, Boys and other things that might kill me.

    Lastly I finally started the Joss Ware series and really enjoyed that.

    I’m really looking forward to picking up Ship Breaker, Mind Games, and Brightly Woven!

  • KMont
    June 22, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I was just thinking about doing my post like this the other day. Will have to get on it. πŸ™‚

    I think my most favorite read of the year so far has been Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. I think the only ones on yalls lists that I’ve read too is Mind Games and A Local Habitation.

    Honestly, though, I feel like I’m still waiting on a book to completely astound me, you know?

  • katiebabs
    June 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Shalador’s Lady by Anne Bishop and The Lord of White Hell by Ginn Hale are my picks for best of 2010 so far. Best debut is hard because there are so many great ones. But I would definitely put Mind Games and Touched By An Alien by Gini Koch up there.

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  • Estara
    June 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Hmmm, I went to my goodreads page to see what I liked so far (then again I only started using that in April) and what would mostly fit your tastes – and not be rereads – so my best so far are Magic Bleeds, Bound in Blood (of course ^^) and Somatesthesia. In comparable manga the Sakura Taisen series πŸ˜€ – and in a cracktastic fashion (as in – over the top guilty pleasure) Kylie Chan’s Earth to Hell – which the US won’t get after all, since Angry Robot changed ownership, but the UK probably will get after all. No matter – I’m going to import the next book in the series, coming out in August, from Australia anyway.

    In an amalgam of anime/manga and fantasy style – N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

    Also Happy Snak and Graceling.

  • Mandi
    June 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm list! πŸ™‚

    Mind Games is def making it on my tops for the year:)

  • The Bookish Type
    June 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I feel so behind. I don’t think I’ve read any of these! I’ll have to check them out!

    My faves so far this year would have to be:
    The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (YA Fantasy)
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman & S. Morgenstern (Classic)
    The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan (Children’s Fantasy)
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (Classic Gothic)
    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (Classic)
    Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer (Fantasy)

  • orannia
    June 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    So many books I have yet to discover, although I have a few (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms; The Thief [no, I haven’t even started this series…yet!]; White Cat) on my TBR list.

    As for my favourites. I finally finished The Doctrine of Labyrinths series (Sarah Monette), and it was good! I also discovered Carol Berg through Flesh & Spirit/Breath & Bone. I’ve discovered some great m/m books – Tigers & Devils (Sean Kennedy), Keeping Promise Rock (Amy Lane), By Degrees (JB McDonald) and the whole Adrien English series (Josh Lanyon). Oh, and I discovered I love Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series.

    What am I hanging out for? Ginn Hale’s The White Lord of Hell.

  • Chachic
    June 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    This is an awesome post. Some of my favorites from this year are:

    Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold
    A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
    Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
    the Samaria series by Sharon Shinn
    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

    Also, I discovered Jennifer Crusie and Julie James this year! πŸ™‚

  • Missie
    June 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    This is why I love this blog! Thanks for all the great picks!

  • Fif
    June 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Just finished reading The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff and definitely the highlight of the year so far. Lovely, heart warming book.

  • Emily and her little pink notes
    June 23, 2010 at 3:12 am

    “bleeding violet” got a 10! wow I am putting this on my TBR list immediately

    I must say that in 2010 I read some excellent books like “The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley and “Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Elkeles

    Probably the real surprise for me has been “I wanna be your Joey Ramone” by Stephanie Kuehnert, a wonderful contemporary ya novel

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  • Doret
    June 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    There are so many good books there year. I will stick to YA only

    Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
    Guardian of the Dead by Karen Haley
    Fortune’s Bones by Marilyn Nelson
    Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe
    Sweet,Hereafter by Angela Johnson

    I loved The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and I Wanna be Your Joey Ramone

    June 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Loved, loved, loved the Demon Lexicon, can’t wait to read the Demon Covenant it’s one of my Summer Picks along with Shade. I thought White Cat was excellent and think John Greene’s dialogue is fricken hilarious!

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  • Victoria Tramaine
    July 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Love this list! Thanks Ladies! As a reviewer myself I would love you to add “The Liquid City” by Curtis J Hopfenbeck. He’s new, but is gloriously charming and witty and, for a man, really gets women. It’s one of those ‘make you laugh, cry and stand-up-and-clap at the end’ scenarios. My readers are raving so just thought I would pass it along as a fan of your website. Happy reading! Vicky

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