Monday 7 January 2013

YA Yeah Yeah Year-Ends Part 1: Best Groups/Pairs of Characters in 2012

This is the first of a four part series celebrating my favourite books of 2012. Today's is the first of two featuring the best characters - from YA (mainly), MG and adult books alike. These are my very favourites in each category.
Also, this is limited to 2012 UK releases. I did debate whether to include 2013 releases that I'd read already but decided it would be fairer to wait until next year. (That said, if you went out and bought Pantomime by LR Lam and Geek Girl by Holly Smale as soon as they were available, I don't think the characters would disappoint. Just saying!)

Top overall casts

Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton - Emma herself, sister Bex, and love interest Alex and Oscar are all great characters. I want to read much, much more about them! (We want Rebecca Hearts Paris, don't we, everyone?)

Fear by Michael Grant - As Grant's epic sci-fi series draws to a close, everyone has been wonderfully developed. All the kids here - powered and non-powered - are completely believeable and brilliantly written.

Flappers: Ingenue by Jillian Larkin - Larkin's three wonderful narrators, and some fabulous love interests, are all beautifully portrayed.

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald - An outstanding central trio make this contemporary YA comedy a superb book.

The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant - As I said when reviewing this one, I fell completely in love with about six different characters when reading it. I was crying so much whenever anything bad happened to ANYONE that tissues were being used up at a scary rate.

And the winner is...

The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant

Best non-romantic couples

Chris and Declan - Silenced by Simon Packham - Written in the form of a letter from a grieving Chris to his best friend Declan, who's just passed away, Silenced is a stunning novel. The grief Chris feels for his dead friend is moving, and Declan's personality shines through in Chris's words.

Holmes and Watson - Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Legacy by David Ruffle - I love Holmes books, and will grab any new releases I can get my hands on. I generally find that there are some really good ones out there (with two of my favourite writers, apart from Conan Doyle himself, being Barrie Roberts and Tracy Revels), but Ruffle seems to capture the friendship between the central pairing in a way that few people have done since the originals.

Kat and Charles Stephenson - A Reckless Magick by Stephanie Burgis - Kat has been one of my favourite characters ever since I read the first book in her series. Charles reforming himself and becoming an overprotective brother instead of a drunken gambler is brilliantly hilarious.

Stella and Ruby - Torn by Stephanie Guerra - Good girl Stella and her new wilder friend Ruby are a fabulous pairing in this coming of age story. 

Verity and Maddie - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - Two of the best heroines of the year, the friendship between these two brave young ladies is outstanding. (There's lots more I want to say, but as always when discussing this one, my fear of spoiling things gets in the way!)

And the winners are...

Verity and Maddie - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein 

Best romantic couples

Echo and Noah - Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry - Two hugely damaged characters, one who has scars on her arms and no memories of the night which gave them her, and another who's been torn away from his beloved younger brothers after their parents' death, find love in an incredible book.

Gloria and Jerome - The Flappers: Ingenue by Jillian Larkin - Larkin portrays the problems that a couple in an interracial relationship in Prohibition-era America have wonderfully, and both of this pairing are incredibly believable.

Jacqueline and a certain other guy - Easy by Tammara Webber - I hate love triangles. BECAUSE I hate love triangles so much, I normally don't have the problem of trying to rave about a book without giving away who the girl ends up with - I just don't bother raving about it. However, Webber's Easy, the flagbearer for the emerging New Adult category/genre/whatever people are calling it today, is sensational, with a stunning romance at the centre that I can't STOP singing the praises of. 

Jenna and Ryan - Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt - Two broken characters - a girl horribly scarred in a car crash and a boy who's spent his life dealing with prejudice against travellers - help each other in a wonderful romance.

Lucy and Ed - Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - Lucy wants to find mysterious graffiti artist Shadow, not get stuck hanging around with Ed, a boy whose nose she broke last time she spoke to him. She only spends a night wandering the city with Ed because she's told he can help her find the guy she's after. Ed has other ideas, though - and a secret to keep.

The Winners Are...


Echo and Noah - Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Lucy and Ed - Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
(Sorry, I've spent 3 weeks trying to choose between them and just CAN'T, they're both amazing!)

Check back on Thursday for Part 2 of the YA Yeah Yeah Year End Awards, the best individual characters.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post, what a great idea! You've picked some really great couples :) I don't think I'd be able to pick between Echo and Noah and Ed and Lucy either!