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YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten Nominations Announced!

2014 April 17
by Allison Tran
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TeensTopTen_logo_webPut your party hats on– it’s Celebrate Teen Literature Day!

This is a great day for YA lit fans, because not only is it an opportunity for us to spread the word about how much we love books for teens, it also brings the announcement of this year’s Teens’ Top Ten nominations!

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list where every title is nominated and voted on by teens. Voting will start on August 15 and run until Teen Read Week, during which the winners will be announced. For YA lit gifs, info, and fun all year long, be sure to follow the Teens’ Top Ten tumblr.

And now… the nominated titles for the 2014 Teens’ Top Ten list!

Read on for the annotated list of titles (also available in a handy PDF for easy printing)…

  • Arnett, Mindee. The Nightmare Affair. Tor Teen. (9780765333339).
    Dusty Everhart a Nightmare, (literally!), has been trying to escape the shadow of her mother’s reputation, and one night, while dream-feeding, she sees the crime scene of a murder victim who attends her high school, a school for supernatural children. When she arrives back on campus, she finds, to her horror, that the dream had come true. Now she must use dreams to find the killer and save victims-to-be in order to stop an ancient darkness from returning.
  • Banks, Anna. Of Triton. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends. (9781250003331).
    After Emma’s mother, the long lost Poseidon princess returns to the sea, the Syrena begin to bring her identity into question. When all hope seems lost, and appears the Royals have a revolution on their hands, Emma has the opportunity to use her Gift to save those that she loves. But at what cost will her choices bring to not only her, but also to those she considers her family.
  • Bardugo, Leigh. Siege and Storm. Macmillan/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. (9780805094602).
    Alina, a sun summoner on the run from the evil Darkling, is searching for a way to increase her power and save the ones she loves. But as her power grows she falls deeper in the Darkling’s grasp and farther away from her best friend and love, Mal. When the time comes Alina must choose between her love, her power, or her lust for the Darkling and all of his power.
  • Block, Francesca Lia. Love In The Time Of Global Warming. Macmillan/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. (9780805096279).
    Penelope believes she is the last person alive in the city of Los Angeles after a massive earthquake destroyed the majority of the earth. After encountering a group of survivors, however, she begins to have hope in whatever may be left of the world, whether it be love, trust, and, just maybe, her family. Modeled after Homer’s Odyssey, Pen goes on a post-apocalyptic journey filled with Giants and butterflies in an attempt to find her way home.
  • Charbonneau, Joelle. The Testing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ( 9780547959108).
    Cia is chosen to participate in The Testing, a government program that will select the brightest graduates who show potential for becoming future leaders in this post-apocalyptic world. Cia’s excitement of being chosen soon dies when her father warns her of the experiences he faced when he was chosen. Cia must trust no one if she hopes to come back alive. However, will she be able to face the dark, unholy truth about the testing? One kept whether you leave… Or don’t?
  • Dashner, James. The Eye of Minds. Random House/Delacorte Press. (9780385741392).
    Michael is an average kid who plays video games, but this video game, the Virtnet, is different than others. You can die in it physically and mentally, and that happens to a girl named Tanya who rips out her core and commits suicide. Suddenly, Michael is whisked away by the designers of the VirtNet and is given a mission by them to find a cyber terrorist, named Kaine, who is suspected of killing gamers.
  • Edwards, Janet . Earth Girl. Prometheus Books /Pyr . (9780007443499).
    In 2788 humanity has developed technology that allows them to portal between many habitable worlds except for those are deemed “the handicapped”, those who are born with a one in a thousand chance of having  an immune system that cannot tolerate other planets. Jarra, a handicapped 18-year old student with a passion for history, creates a false identity for herself and enrolls in a college course for students from other planets in an attempt to get revenge for the way the handicapped are looked down upon.
  • Gleason, Colleen. The Clockwork Scarab. Chronicle Books. (9781452134680).
    The niece of Sherlock Holmes, the world’s first consulting detective, and the half-sister of Bram, the vampire slayer, are thrown together to find out why high society girls are being murdered and what a mechanical scarab beetle has to do with it.
  • Gray, Laurie. Maybe I Will. Luminis Books. (9781935462712).
    One life-altering, life-changing event which dramatically effected Sandy, and not in the good sort of life-changing events like winning the lottery or having a kid, will leave you thinking. Finding true friends and activities that allow Sandy to really be free and let off steam is all that keeps Sandy sane and is an important factor in putting Sandy’s life back together once again.
  • Henry, April. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. (9780805095418).
    Cady wakes up in a up in a dark, torn apart cottage hearing someone tell another man to “finish her off.” To make things worse, not only does she not know why she’s in the cabin or why the men are trying to kill her, she also doesn’t remember who she is. Eventually, she escapes and meets up with Ty, a boy who is willing to help her even at the risk of losing his own life. Together they attempt to figure out what happened to make her lose her memory.
  • Howard, A. G. Splintered. ABRAMS/Amulet Books. (9781419704284).
    Alyssa, a girl already struggling with life in general, is pulled into something dark and mysterious. She follows in the footsteps of her ancestor, Alice, and goes down the rabbit hole to right the wrongs that Alice caused to cure her family of their “curse”. Instead of finding Lewis Carroll’s Beautiful wonderland she finds a dark and twisted version with monstrous creatures that aren’t as nice as the ones in the novel or as pretty.
  • Kate, Lauren. Teardrop. Random House. (9780375990694).
    Eureka has only ever cried once in her life and the one time she did, her mother told her to never cry again. Ever since then, she has never shed a tear; not even when her mother was killed in a tragic freak accident. Unbeknownst to Eureka, she was also supposed to die, but Ander couldn’t bring himself to let her die despite the threats that Eureka possesses because of her tears.
  • Konigsberg, Bill . Openly Straight. Scholastic. (9780545509893).
    Rafe has been out of the closet for years.  After transferring to an all-boys boarding school, however, he decides to keep his sexual orientation to himself.  But when he meets Ben, a teammate on his soccer team, he wonders if their friendship-turned-more is worth outing himself for.
  • Laybourne, Emmy. Monument 14: Sky On Fire. Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends. (9780312569044).
    When disaster strikes in the city of Monument, 14 kids are huddled in a Greenway store for shelter and survival. They decide their only chance of living through this nationwide disaster is to make their way to Denver International Airport where the military is evacuating people to safety. Will they make it alive or will they meet their doom like others have?
  • Richards, Natalie D. Six Months Later. Sourcebooks/Fire. (9781402285516).
    Chloe Spinnaker is an average student just barely making the grade. But one day spring day, after falling asleep in study hall, she wakes up to snow and an empty classroom. Six months of her life has passed and she has no clue what happened except that now she is popular and has lots of friends that is, except Maggie, the one true friend she had before everything changed. Bewildered by the sudden time lapse in her life, Chloe decides to embark on a mission where she stops at nothing to figure out what happened to her and to get her memories back.
  • Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin. (9781250031211).
    The year is 1986 when Eleanor arrives in town to live with her family and abusive step-father. It’s been a year since the last time she lived with them, and she doesn’t expect life to be any better. Park’s life, on the other hand, is going steady. He’s got a spot in the popular crowd and he’s about to get his driver’s license. But when the two meet on the bus, things change drastically. Even though they both know high school romances never last, they’re going to try everything they’ve got to make it work. But in end, will everything they have be enough?
  • Sales, Leila. This Song Will Save Your Life. Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (9780374351380).
    Elise Dembowski is a high school loser. After reaching the tip of the iceberg and facing suicidal thoughts just months before, Elise is searching desperately for a way out of her nearly friendless life. When she accidentally finds a dance club called Start, Elise’s life finally takes off as she meets new people, makes new memories, finds a new passion, and discovers herself.
  • Sanderson, Brandon. Steelheart. Random House/Delacorte Press.  (9780385743563).
    Ten years ago, Calamity came; a light in the sky that appeared one day and many believe that somehow it was connected to the rise of the Epics. These beings, once human, now have all kinds of amazing and dangerous powers that have enabled them to take over the world, and one could argue the most dangerous one is Steelheart. Able to bend the elements to his will and turn any non-living substance to steel, many say he’s invincible because they’ve never seen him bleed — except for David, who will stop at nothing to get his vengeance and see Steelheart bleed again.
  • Sanderson, Brandon. The Rithmatist. Tor Teen. (9780765320322).
    Joel wants to be a Rithmatist more than anything. Rithmatists have the power to bring two dimensional beings called Chalklings to life and defend against the wild chalkings that threaten to overcome the Rithmatists. Joel is student at Armedius Academy, a prestigious school where Rithmatists and wealthy children go to learn. When a string of kidnappings begin to occur Joel must gain assistance from the Rithmatists at Armedius Academy in order to bring order back to the academy.
  • Smith, Jennifer E. This is What Happy Looks Like. Little, Brown & Company. (9780316212823).
    Ellie is the girl from Middle-of-Nowhere, Maine, and Graham Larkin is the hot superstar sensation from Middle-of-Everything, California. While Ellie hides from the media, Graham is constantly being watched by the paparazzi. However, an email mistake from Graham to Ellie starts an online relationship between these two teens, marking the start of a friendship and something more. Can Ellie accept Graham despite all the publicity? Or will the media be the demise of this couple’s happiness?
  • Smith, Andrew. Winger. Simon and Schuster. (9781442444928).
    Ryan Dean West is a fourteen year old junior trying to make everyone else blind to the one thing that makes him different than everyone else, his young age. This is not easy though, as he must prove himself to everyone – the girl of his dreams, his scary roommate, his friends, and the rugby team. As Ryan Dean tries to survive his junior year, he encounters horrifying injuries, moments of ecstasy, and shattering heartbreak.
  • Stine, R.L. A Midsummer Night’s Scream. Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends.  (9781250024343).
    Claire, a girl with a dream to become an actress, finally gets her chance when her parents decide to remake Mayhem Manor, a movie that was never finished because of 3 real deaths. As the camera starts rolling on the remake, strange things begin to happen. Like the little hairy man Claire meets by the makeup trailer one day. Who or what could be the cause of these actors’ deaths?
  • Tucholke, April. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Penguin/Dial. (9780803738898).
    Violet, a sassy, independent, and sharp-tongued young lady, rents out the side cottage on her parent’s estate in the hopes of making a little extra money to pay the bills. Her easygoing customer is as dangerous as he is mysterious, and murders and madness soon sweep her little home town. She takes it upon herself to understand him and the events, but only finds a darkness she can only hope to escape with her sanity and safety.
  • Winters, Cat. In The Shadow of Blackbirds. ABRAMS/Amulet Books. (9781419705304).
    It’s the fall of 1918: The Spanish Influenza and the horrors of World War I grip the world with terror, and spiritualist photography, as the face of death seems to greet every household in America, has become increasingly popular.  After her father is arrested as a suspected traitor, Mary Shelley Black travels to San Diego, hoping to escape the flu while living with her Aunt Eva.  Only a few days after arriving, Mary Shelley is told that Stephen, her sweetheart who recently became a soldier, has been killed in France.  But Stephen’s spirit hasn’t left yet, and he desperately needs Mary Shelley’s help.
  • Yancey, Rick. The 5th Wave. Penguin/Putnam Juvenile. (9780399162411).
    Present day – the aliens have invaded the planet, or as Cassie likes to call them, the Others.Almost everyone has been killed off by the 4th Wave, and now, Cassie one of the few survivors living now during the 5th wave, roams the country while trying to stay alive to find her brother – that is, if he’s still alive. When she’s taken in by a boy named Evan, she realizes that he’s different. He’s not like her, but he’s all she’s got. Cassie has to overcome her doubts and trust issues if she wishes to survive the 5th wave.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Stacy L permalink
    April 21, 2014

    Sorry, but this list is incomplete without Sarah J. Maas’s books from the Throne of Glass series, Crown of Midnight and The Assassin’s Blade (Crown of Midnight was released in 2013 & The Assassin’s Blade was just released this past March). I teach high school students who are literally clawing each other’s eyes out to be the next person to read the books from this series. When they are checked in, I don’t even have time to put them back on the shelf before a student is taking them from my hands to check out. These really should be on this list if this list is going to really count for anything.

    • Stefanie permalink
      May 1, 2014

      The teens at my library LOVE that series too. It’s always checked out or has holds on it. Our teen group is one of the nominating groups so I can explain a little bit why this happens sometimes with popular titles that seem like they’d be shoe-ins.

      The TTT groups didn’t get advanced reader copies of the Throne of Glass series, which is the biggest reason it’s not on this list. We get sent hundreds of galleys from publishers for TTT; and while the advisors are always encouraging teens to nominate books we didn’t receive as a galley, non-galley books are more unlikely to make the list. One reason is that the kids are excited to be the first to read books that aren’t out yet so they focus on those. Another reason is that we are required to send in as many reviews as we can for those galleys in exchange for getting so many free books. So some kids just don’t end up reviewing a book that isn’t a galley because those are required. No matter how much we remind them, they are busy and it just doesn’t end up happening as much as we’d hope. Many of the students in my TTT group have read and loved this series but didn’t get around to nominating it.

      It’s not a perfect system, but it’s an incredible way to get free books into the hands of teens and get their honest feedback on YA books directly to the publishers. The current TTT committee has been gathering feedback and coming up with ways to make TTT even better, so encouraging “non-galley” nominations to make the list is a really good issue to think about.

  2. May 28, 2014

    I am a high school librarian in an underserved area. I have a very active book club – about 40 freshman students who are avid readers. Is there an application process to be considered for the nominating group? Thank you!

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