Over the next 5 days (the last 5 of 2010) I'll be posting my Top Ten favorite reads of the year. They're not necessarily books released in 2010 -- just books that I've read in the past year. I'll be giving the synopsis and linking to my review (if it's been posted) and telling why I love these books so much. These books are not in a particular order, they are simply my top ten favorite reads of the year.
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
"I'd always welcomed war, but in battle my passion rose unbidden."
Why I Loved It: This is such an intelligent novel. I've never read a dystopian novel with fantasy elements before. Andrea Cremer weaves a story that combines fantasy and philosophy, romance and dytopia. The novel treats themes of loyalty, servitude, free will and domination. It is a fascinating look at profound, contemporary issues within the microcosm of the mystical world of Vail, Colorado. The history of the Keepers and Guardians is shrouded in mystery, but it is all bound up tightly with Hobbesian theory. The novel kept me guessing and holding my breath; the mystery and suspense were almost overwhelming (in a very good way). It evoked such strong emotions -- frustration with the system, sadness and admiration for Calla, love for Shay, horror as the truth began to unfold. This debut novel is truly spellbinding and I can't wait to see what brilliance the future installments hold.
Description from Goodreads. Click the hyperlinked title to purchase.