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NPR, Why You Gotta Do Me Like That?

In which NPR readers vote on the 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels and our souls die a little.

NPR, Why You Gotta Do Me Like That?

Well, the day is here.  We sent in our nominations, we voted and here is what us, the people, the NPR readership voted as the 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels.  Now this type of “best of” list is more or less designed to enrage an easily enraged person such as myself.  And this one didn’t disappoint.  I mean, it disappointed, obviously, but you know what I mean.

Since I’m not a total hater (just like 99%), let’s start with the good.

*  Happy to see Harry Potter as Number One.  I mean, what other series or book could deserve that place?  Who could contend with the behemoth that is The Boy Who Lived?

*  Twilight is 27th.  Which is actually a LOT lower than I thought it would be.  When you set the bar really, really low, sometimes the universe manages to fall over it!

*  Fantasy (and especially old school fantasy) has made a good showing.  As my favorite genre, I am pleased.

*  Betsy-Tacy managed to sneak in as number 100.  BETSY RAY ILU!

But it wasn’t all good.  Oh no, certainly not.  As the gods are cruel, so are internet polls. 

*  No Sara Zarr.  No Melina Marchetta. No Megan McCafferty. Only one Meg Cabot.  My feelings can only be expressed in a Picard meme.

 

*  No The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.  How could that happen!?  Is this real life?  I didn't even notice it was missing on my first read through because my brain obviously couldn't compute that possibility.  (Thanks Maria, for the heads up!)

*  ...Jodi Picoult, REALLY?

*  So. Many. God. Damn. Vampires.

*  Publication dates are extremely skewed toward the 10 years and even the last few, really.  (Thanks commenters, for the reminder!)  Someone not me needs to make an infographic!

*  Extremely white list. (Thanks Laurie!)

*  NPR made ridiculously arbitrary and inconsistent decisions as to which books they believed qualified as YA and which books were completely removed from the voting process.  If something was nominated enough, it should have been left on the list.  If enough people consider it YA, then it shouldn’t matter what a panel of a few people decide.  Pride and Prejudice was too “Universal” (what on earth does THAT even mean in terms of this poll?) and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn was too “Adult.”  Ender’s Game was removed because its “violence isn't appropriate for young readers.”  Because I can’t even respond to that without my brain exploding, I will express myself in another Picard meme.

*  The same people who decided to remove completely legitimate books chose to let Middlearth dominate the Top 10 by leaving in The Hobbit (so childrens) and The Lord of the Rings (so adult).  Don’t get me wrong, I adore the LOTR universe, but it just doesn’t seem right here. 

*  And John Green manages to get 5 out of his 5 books on the list.  Now, we certainly love us some John Green around these parts, but that’s ridiculous.  No person should have their complete bibliography represented on a list like this.  This is much more a testament to his internet presence than his literary legacy.

Well that’s how I felt, but how about you?  Anything you wanted to see on the list that didn’t make it?  Anything that made the list that you would have cut?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!  You can find a ridiculously typo-ridden printable list here (seriously, NPR, you’re embarrassing me now) or you can check out the complete list below (with links to our book reports!)

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 Goldman
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 (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 Playlist 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. This 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 (series) by Maud Hart Lovelace

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.