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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

RTW: Best Books of October!

Reading Song of the Day: "Baby I'm A Star" by Prince

The lovely ladies of YA Highway want to know what was the BEST book we've read this month. Here are our choices:

Pam's Thoughts:

I've been so frantically revising throughout October that I only managed to squeeze in one book. However, even if I read more than one book, I'd still pick this one--since it's now officially one of my favorite books of ALL TIME. What exactly is this gem?

I've already swooned about this book here, so I'll let Goodreads give you a synopsis:

The absolute value of any number, positive or negative, is its distance from zero: -1 = 1
Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis—divorce, abuse, and a parent's illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip—like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief.

In his luminous YA novel, Steve Brezenoff explores the changing value of relationships as the characters realize that the distances between them are far greater than they knew.

I originally bought this novel to research multiple POVs (I was in the midst of revisions for Wants), and I soon started hating everyone and everything that pulled me away from this book. I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that Brezenoff not only manages to make distinctive and realistic teen voices, but he also perfectly balances humor and heartache. I can't wait for his next novel!

Quita's Thoughts:

As always, my sentiments for this month is "FML." I never have the time to read the millions (okay, minor exxageration) of books that have in my bookcase, begging to be read. But I did get to finish the one book that I've been dying to get through. That is Lauren Oliver's (did we mention that we MET her at the James River Writers Conference??) Before I Fall.

I like how Pam gave the Goodreads synopsis of her pick, so I'll do the same.

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined

I fell in love with this book after getting through the first chapter. Lauren Oliver talked about how many people have put her book down from hating her MC, Sam. I didn't have this issue-- but I could see how others would. It just tells you how powerful and beautiful the writing is that people actually picked it back up and finished it. If you haven't read this yet, or it's not on your to be read list...then what's wrong with you?

Tell us, what was the best book you read in October?


KatOwens: Insect Collector said...

ooooh great picks. I have not read either-- but I will, I promise!

Alicia Gregoire said...

I haven't read these either. So many books!

k said...

Ooh, man, the first one sounds amazing. Definitely putting it on my list!

Rebecca B said...

BEFORE I FALL was a fantastic book. -1 sounds great, too.

Unknown said...

I want to read both of these! I'm on the hunt for great contemporary, so thanks for the recs ladies!

Melanie said...

Those books do sound amazing! I will add it to my list.

Is it weird to say that the book I am currently reading is the best book I have read? Especially considering that I am only on page 217 of 609? But it is awesome! "Roses", by Leila Meacham.

Holly Hill said...

The absolute value of negative one -- what a freaking amazing title! Sorry, I kinda love numbers. I want to read it just for the use of math on the cover.

And I'm reading Before I Fall! Yay for great books!

Kristin Briana Otts said...

I only recently heard about the Absolute Value of Negative One, and I kind of salivated a little at the review I read. Now I'm definitely goign to have to read.

Heather Howland said...

I've been dying to read -1! I'm so glad to hear it's as good as I hoped!

Racquel Henry said...

Love the choices! You guys always have the most interesting books! Unfortunately, I only got a chance to read the crappy books for annotations. I did read a couple good short stories too. Don't ask me what the names were...they were from online magazines. lol :)