The covers link to The Tattered Cover (to promote indie bookstores a bit) in case you'd like more info. Here's numbers eleven and ten, since I'm so behind today:
The Oracle of Dating, by Allison van Diepen
Why I loved this? At first, I thought it would be more of a light romance, but once I got started, I realized that this book had so much more to offer. I really enjoyed the wisdom shared by the 'oracle', and I especially appreciated how Kayla struggled to make her own relationships work, despite her unusual perception with others.
The story: Kayla uses her relationship intuition to be an 'oracle' for her classmates and friends, but when she begins to fall for someone herself, she starts to doubt her own understanding.
I'd recommend this to any teen girl who wants a slightly deeper romance story.
And now, to begin the top ten:
Zen & Xander Undone, by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Why I loved this? The characters and their relationships, not only with each other, but with everyone around them. The two sisters, Zen and Xander, are so complex and realistic -- and completely likable, despite their quirks. Out of all the 'death' stories I read this year (and there were quite a few -- clearly it's a popular theme), this was my favorite. I love how both girls handled their grief, and how their friends and other family members both helped and hindered. I thought the sweet romances were perfectly done (and subtle, in many ways). It's simply a lovely story.
The story: Zen and Xander's mom dies, and they struggle to find their way again. Zen turns to rebellion, pushing away anyone who wants to get close (including the boy next door, who's been in love with her for years); Xander, otoh, seeks human contact. Both work through their grief, and in the end, Xander helps her older sister come to terms with what happened and how to face the future (with a little help of her own from family and a new friend).
I'd recommend it to anyone who loves hopeful stories about relationships.