Saturday, August 11, 2012

NPR's Top 100 Teen Novels

Because I have an opinion about everything, I thought I'd try to figure out my ultimate thoughts on NPR's list of the Best 100 Young Adult Novels by commenting upon the list. Most of my feelings conveniently fit into several categories.

This placement/inclusion makes me happy.

Harry Potter at number one? It's only fair. I'd be surprised and dismayed to see it anywhere else.

I'm glad Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli made it to  #37. I love the book but I think that's actually a pretty good number for it to be. Same goes for the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore (#45), Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (#53), 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (#55-- why they didn't include the sequel in that spot, I do not understand), and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (#70).

Why is the placement so high?

Guys, I like John Green but how did every single one of his books make it on to this list and at such high numbers? I like The Fault in Our Stars but #4? Really? And Looking for Alaska at #9? And An Abundance of Katherines at #22? And you know I love David Levithan too but I'd place Will Grayson, Will Grayson at a much lower spot than #34 if anything.

I also love Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy, but #39?

I'm also a bit annoyed by Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever being #64, but that's probably because This Lullaby is all the way down at #95. You'll never convince me that The Truth About Forever is superior. Never!

This is YA?

I definitely didn't know that The Hobbit (#5), The Lord of the Rings (#7), Fahrenheit 451 (#8), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (#12), The Call of the Wild (#33), and a few others were considered YA. Maybe that's just because they're all classics and I haven't read them, but I'm not sure they're all YA.

I should read more classics.

In general. Like the ones I listed above.

And maybe I should start remembering books more because I've both The Catcher in the Rye (#6) and The Chocolate War (#61) but cannot tell you half the things that happen in them.

This series isn't even finished.

Alright, NPR, if we're going to make series one entry on the list, shouldn't all the series be complete? Veronica Roth's Divergent series (#19), Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series (#21) and The Infernal Devices (#29), Lauren Oliver's Delirium (#52), and a few others still don't have a conclusion. What if the last book sucks and ruins the entire thing? Just saying.

Why are you here?

Maybe it sounds harsh but I'm truly baffled by the inclusion of certain books on this list. I mean I liked Divergent but how is it on this list, let alone at #19? I know it's a classic, but I hate Go Ask Alice (#36) and do not understand its hype at all. Same goes for the House of Night series (#68) because I understand those books' popularity even less. I read the first four, evidently because I hate myself, and I'm not sure how I made it.

Other confusing inclusions for me include the Hush, Hush series (#54), the Bloodlines series (#66), and Along for the Ride (#90).

This should be much higher.

Both The Book Thief and The Outsiders are pretty high up, at #10 and #13 respectively, but they should still be higher. Considering some of the books that are above them, Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy (#40), Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series (#57), Gayle Forman's If I Stay (#75), Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger (#82), and Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series (#91) should be higher.

Why isn't this anywhere?

NPR also posted the list of all 235 finalists, and I'm baffled by how some of these books did not make into the top 100. Maybe it's just my inner fangirl coming out but I'd definitely put David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy, E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Franke-Landau Banks and Ruby Oliver series, and Sara Zarr's Sweethearts , among others, somewhere. The injustice! 


This list is without a doubt a product of books people have loved for ages and books that will not have much longevity.  Also, the product of crazed internet fans that cannot differentiate between their favorite book and the best book, a problem that always results when you ask the internet for anything.


The full list, in case you don't want to click over and check (hopefully I caught and fixed all of NPR's dismal typos and mistakes):

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
3. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
4. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
5. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
7. The Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
9. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
10. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
11. The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry
12. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (series), by Douglas Adams
13. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
14. Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery
15. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
17. The Princess Bride, by William Golding
18. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
19. Divergent (series), by Veronica Roth
20. Paper Towns, by John Green
21. The Mortal Instruments (series), by Cassandra Clare
22. An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
23. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
24. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
25. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
26. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
27. Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
28. Uglies (series), by Scott Westerfeld
29. The Infernal Devices (series), by Cassandra Clare
30. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
31. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
32. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (series), by Anne Brashares
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
34. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green, David Levithan
35. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
36. Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
37. Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli
38. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
39. Vampire Academy (series), by Richelle Mead
40. Abhorsen Trilogy / Old Kingdom Trilogy (series), by Garth Nix
41. Dune, by Frank Herbert
42. Discworld / Tiffany Aching (series, by Terry Pratchett
43. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
44. The Dark is Rising (series), by Susan Cooper
45. Graceling (series), Kristin Cashore
46. Forever..., by Judy Blume
47. Earthsea (series), by Ursula K. Le Guin
48. Inheritance Cycle (series), by Christopher Paolini
49. The Princess Diaries (series), by Meg Cabot
50. The Song of the Lioness (series), by Tamora Pierce
51. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
52. Delirium (series), by Lauren Oliver
53. Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
54. Hush, Hush Saga (series), by Becca Fitzpatrick
55. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson
56. It's Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini
57. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (series), by Libba Bray
58. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
59. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
60. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
61. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
62. Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen
63. A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L'Engle
64. The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
65. The Bartimaeus Trilogy (series), by Jonathan Stroud
66. Bloodlines (series), by Richelle Mead
67. Fallen (series), by Lauren Kate
68. House of Night (series), by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
69. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
70. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlsit, by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
71. Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
72. Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
73. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
74. The Maze Runner Trilogy (series), by James Dashner
75. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
76. The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
77. Crank (series), by Ellen Hopkins
78. Matched (series), by Ally Condie
79. Gallagher Girls (series), by Ally Carter
80. The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
81. Daughter of the Lioness / Tricksters (series), by Tamora Pierce
82. I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
83. The Immortals (series), by Tamora Pierce
84. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series), by Patricia C. Wrede
85. Chaos Walking (series), by Patrick Ness
86. Circle of Magic (series), by Tamora Pierce
87. Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
88. Feed, by M.T. Anderson
89. Weetzie Bat (series), by Francesca Lia Block
90. Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen
91. Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (series), by Louise Rennison
92. Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld
93. The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
94. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (series), by Diana Wynne Jones
95. The Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen
96. Gone (series), by Michael Grant
97. The Shiver Trilogy (series), by Maggie Stiefvater
98. The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
99. Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson
100. Betsy-Tacy Books (series), by Maud Hart Lovelace


  1. I too was surprised by John Green's overwhelming presence on the list. I mean, The Fault in Our Stars was great, but #4? And it was only published a few months ago! Let's give it some time to settle into the world of YA before we declare it the #4 book. I suspect that Nerdfighters turned out en masse to vote, which probably contributed the high (and multiple) rankings for Green's books.

  2. I agree with the John Green thing. Don't get me wrong - I love The Fault In Our Stars, but I think #4 is a bit too high. I also am kind of stunned that Paper Towns is at #20, whereas books like If I Stay and Wintergirls are so far away. Thanks for sharing :)

    Chloe @ YA Booklover Blog

  3. Definitely agree on John Green and the classics that needed to be higher up. And yes yes YES to This Lullaby being THE BEST - love that book!

    Basically, this whole post = MTE. Hah Glad I'm not the only one!