Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

John’s Best of 2010 List

My list of the 10 ‘Best’ books published in 2010, listed in alphabetical order in relation to the title.

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (review coming soon)
  • Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart (review by John)
  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher* <– this one looks really good!
  • Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan-Hyde
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (review by John)
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher* (review by John)
  • Stork by Wendy Delsol
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (also on Shuzluva’s best list)

* –   Was originally published in the UK during a prior year.   The list is based on 2010 releases in the US

Ever since a good friend brought him a copy of Johanna Lindsey's Gentle Rogue, he has been hooked on the romance genre. Though he primarily reads in young-adult, he loves to spend time with paranormal, historical, and contemporary adult titles in-between books. Now, he finds himself juggling book reviews, school band, writing, and finding time to add to his TBR pile.


  1. Fia
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 14:51:01

    Although I’m somewhat allergic to SF/fantasy fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron. It’s been four years and everything about it is still vivid in my mind today.

    I still can’t decide whether I actually liked this dark story. It would make a great addition to a Christmas stocking of anyone who likes Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast series, I’m thinking.

    It’s hard to classify this book and its sequel, actually. Gothic. Fantasy. Dystopian. SF. Suspense. Medieval. Futuristic. Fairy Tale. Dark. Light. It’s a genre-bender.

  2. Tweets that mention John’s Best of 2010 List | Dear Author --
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 15:48:22

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  3. orannia
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 15:50:10

    Oh, great list John! After reading your review I am looking forward to reading Raised By Wolves at some point :)

    @Fia – ohhh. From what you’ve said about Incarceron, I need to do some investigating as it sounds like something I might like to read :)

  4. Janine
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:11:15

    I really want to read Incarceron but it sounds dark and I’m a happy ending kind of girl.

    I tried to read Stolen after your fab review here, John. I thought the voice was quite good but I couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters (I stopped right after she first left the house in the desert). It’s the kind of thing I would have had no trouble reading at a younger age but is a very tough read for me now. The older I get the harder I find it to read about something like this.

  5. Angela
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:24:34

    @Fia: Well I think you just sold me on Incarceron.

  6. John
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:45:51

    Incarceron was awesome. Dark and gritty and certainly not for everyone, but awesome. It blew me away.

  7. Beth Kephart
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:45:53

    John. Dear John.

    This means a whole lot to me, it really does. You are a discerning reader. I am in fine company.

    You’ve warmed a very cold night considerably. My thanks to you.


  8. Catherine Ryan Hyde
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:55:25

    That’s terrific, John. I’m so happy to be on your list. I’m really glad you like Jumptart. This made me feel great.

  9. MaryK
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 17:50:40

    The Book Smugglers reviewed Incarceron, and it sounded good. But I was once again tripped up by the “does it (the series) end well” question. :| Anybody know?

    [Believe me, I know it’s a problematic tripping point. I can do doom and gloom just fine on my own though. I don’t need any extra.]

  10. Jia
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 18:14:20

    @Janine: I agree about Stolen. I got a copy of that book as well and while I do think I would have been able to read it to the end if I were younger, it’s a very difficult read for me now. I think I stopped around the same point as you too.

  11. Janine
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 18:58:46

    @Jia: A kindred spirit where this book is concerned! I can tell it’s a powerful book and I think I might have loved it at another time (since I used to adore John Fowles’ The Collector, which has a very similar setup). But I’m just more sensitive to this type of material now.

  12. Ana
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 03:37:43

    Great list there John. I just finished reading Five Flavors of Dumb and OH MY GOD IT WAS SO AWESOME. I just bought Anna and the French Kiss and can’t wait to see if I am a mutated pineapple or not *g* .

    Dangerous Neighbors was a lovely read and I know that Thea loved Incarceron!

  13. Wendy Delsol
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 11:04:20

    Very honored to be among such distinguished company. Thank you!

  14. hapax
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 11:05:26

    @Mary K — “Does [INCARCERON] end well?”

    Assuming you read it with the sequel, SAPPHIQUE, it doesn’t end with any sort of conventional “happy ending”, but it ends… RIGHT.

    I don’t like sad or gloomy books either, and I’m notorious in my writing group for forcing happy endings, and I think that INCARCERON / SAPPHIQUE may be among the best books I’ve ever read, period. They are joyful and despairing, beautiful and painful, transcendent and utterly true, just in the way that all real myths of love and grace are.

  15. Janine
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 19:35:43

    @John: Have you posted your thoughts on Matched somewhere? I’d love to hear them.

  16. John
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 20:26:04

    @Janine: Yeah, I reviewed it on my personal blog.

    I really enjoyed it because it was such a quiet dystopian read. I’d also look up the review for it at The Book Smugglers, though. They really disliked it and how similar it was to The Giver (which I still need to read). That way you can get an idea of whether you’ll be on the love or hate side of things. It’s a very love/hate kind of book.

  17. Antony John
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 22:03:49

    I’m extremely honored to find myself (or at least my book, Five Flavors of Dumb) on this list. Thank you SO much!

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