At the end of each year I like to consult my Chilly Willy notebook, in which I faithfully record the titles of the books and short stories I read. Though I don't believe quantity is more important than quality, I do get a certain smug self-satisfaction in counting the numbers. So with great (and probably misplaced) smugness I here reveal that I read 92 books in 2006. Of course, never being satisfied with anything for long, the obsessive-compulsive part of my nature yearns for an even 100. Ah, well, the truth is 92, not 100. Of those 92 books, 54 were teen titles.
This, of course, leads me to recap a few of my favorites. The two that emerge as the most outstanding of the teen books I read in 2006 were The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and The Blood Confession by Alisa M. Libby. The first made me cry (a complete anomaly) and the second chilled my blood in a most satisfying and gothic manner. I recommended the second to one of my teen volunteers and she pronounced it one of the best books she'd ever read, hands down. Both of these are historical fiction, with Blood Confession falling more into the historical fantasy genre. The Book Thief, narrated by Death, tells the story of a girl growing up in Germany in World War Two. The Blood Confession tells the (highly fictionalized) account of the mass murderess, Erzebet of Bathory. Both were incredible reads, worth every page and every drop of ink.
Of course there were others I read and liked. Offhand, I'd highly recommend the following: What Happened to Cass McBride by Gail Giles (chilling and entrancing), Rash by Pete Hautmann (a prediction of our societys future?); King Dork by Frank Portmann; Devilish by Maureen Johnson; and A Certain SLant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.
What did you read and like in 2006?