Team Novel Teen’s Top Ten YA Christian Books of 2012

I can’t believe another year has come and gone! Yet here we are at the end of December, 2012, ready for another list of Novel Teen’s top ten books. This year I didn’t choose this list based on comments or reader feedback. Instead, I had Team Novel Teen bloggers vote for their favorites. There were one hundred and seven votes between thirty-some bloggers, and not all the books voted for made the top ten. So if you’re looking for book ideas, look no further. Here is what the Team has to say. Click on each book cover to read the full book review.

Merry Christmas!

10. Temptation by Travis Thrasher, 4.17% of votes

Book, three in the Solitary tales, is Christian teen horror about a young man who lives in the town of Solitary. In this book, Chris is done with the craziness in Solitary. He decides to stop fighting. Blend in. But the closer Chris gets to the darkness, the more he realizes that he can’t ignore the evil. He’s going to have to choose a side once and for all.

“I love these books. I love Chris. I love that he’s this smart yet clueless teen boy. I love his voice. I want him to win.

If you like a book that will suck you in, make you laugh, make you think, and scare you. If you like thrillers. If you like a creepy mystery that’s not quite over. If you like Chris Buckley. If you like Travis Thrasher’s writing. If you like books that depict real life but are written with a thread of hope. If you want to read something different, clever, and entertaining, read the Solitary Tales. They pretty much rock.” –Jill

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer


9. The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer, 4.17% of votes

This is the first in a new teen fantasy series that takes place in medieval Europe. Thomas is planning an escape from the corrupt monastery he grew up in. He has many secrets left for him by his dead mother. But when he sets out to accomplish that which he has been planning for years—to take the castle Magnus—he finds himself in the company of an odd band of companions. Some know things they can’t possibly know. Who to trust? And who are the Immortals?

“My recent fascination with Camelot, King Arthur, and Merlin caused me to buy this book. While The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer is set after the Age of Camelot, several references to Arthur and Merlin hint that the classic legend will influence this new story, which is legendary in its own right. While the first half of the book felt a little slow to me, the second half flew by. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough (or tap the pages since I got the ebook). It’s the kind of book that slowly unwraps layer by layer different aspects of each character and elements of the story that hint at something big beneath the surface that’s trembling to break through.” –Jessica


8. Halflings by Heather Burch, 5.21% of votes

The first in a teen series about half angels/half humans and the girl they’re trying to protect. After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger.

“A very exciting, wonderfully told story. The characters were diverse and intriguing. The story and the messages were beautifully told. Don’t really agree with everything that was said about angels but I also don’t know that much about them. I did find, though, that the angels were more humanish than angelish, in my own opinion. But, I loved how Mace and Nikki try to help and protect one another. Vine was just too sweet and I hope to see more of him in the future. Raven has lots of potent but lots to work through, too. At first, I had some trouble understanding who Nikki was and connecting with her but, as she was fleshed out, I got it. I was so intrigued and fell for the characters so much that I can’t wait for the next book. Might have to go get the prequel e-book too.” –Rachel

Embittered Ruby by Nicole O'Dell


7. The Embittered Ruby by Nicole O’Dell, 5.21% of votes

Carmen Castillo’s live is falling apart. Her parents have gotten a divorce, which meant she had to move to s new school in New Jersey, far away from her boyfriend in New York, the country club where she plays tennis, and her beautiful home. New Jersey is gross. Their new apartment is in a seedy part of town, and on the first day of school, she gets hit on my the head of a dangerous gang. Carmen just wants out. But her desperation leads her to deceive everyone she knows. 

“Nicole O’Dell has a real talent for opening up the heart of a troubled teen girl with serious issues…and helping the reader sympathize with her. Carmen’s journey is a very raw and real one that will tug at your heartstrings and even bring a few tears. The ending is almost wistful. I wish the book were a bit longer. I would have loved to travel more with Carmen after she accepts God’s love for her…but somehow I know she is going to be okay and that is enough. I look forward to reading the third book in the Diamond Estates Series, The Shadowed Onyx.” –Rachelle


6. Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan, , 6.25% of votes

When the pastor’s son, Sam Hopkins, falls in with the wrong crowd, it’s only a matter of time before he gets into serious trouble. His new friends harass an odd girl name Jennifer, and Sam sticks up for her. Then Jennifer tells Sam that she has dreams of demons and death, which freaks out Sam even more when her prediction comes true. When Jennifer tells him about another prediction, Sam is the only one who takes her seriously, which means he’s the only one who can stop it from coming true. 

“I LOVED this book! Klavan’s writing is phenomenal! (You would think I would no longer be surprised by that…) His characters are extremely realistic. Sam talks directly to the reader, telling us his story, which I usually find annoying and contrived, but Sam is so real that his asides to his audience are my favorite part of the story. Jennifer is also very well-done.” –Claire


5. Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, 6.25% of votes

After a tragedy shatters her life, Brielle comes home to the tiny town of Stratus, Oregon. And even though her father and all her old friends are there, nothing is the same. An icy cold fear grips her at all times. She connects with a new student named Jake. With his dark skin, he looks as out of place as Brielle feels. But he is warm—unhumanly so. Somehow, they are continually thrown together, become friends, and a gift from an angel unleashes hidden powers in Jake and Brielle that draw them into a realm where angles and demons wage war.

“If I could, I would give this book six stars. I was that taken with it. I’m totally serious. This is a powerful, entertaining story that stays true to scripture where angels and demons are concerned. I loved how the author did this. It’s like Peretti’s This Present Darkness meets a Melody Carlson novel or something. And I loved the way she wrote how angels can see human fear. Whenever I’m afraid in my life, I will forever remember the image the angels see. Brielle’s story was strong and compelling. There was an ongoing mystery, a gentle romance that didn’t overwhelm the story. This book rocks!” –Jill 


4. Interrupted by Rachel Coker, 8.33% of votes 

After the death of her mother, Allie moves to Maine and becomes the new foster daughter to Miss Beatrice Lovell. As World War II looms on the horizon, a new boy moves to town. His name is Sam. The same Sam that Allie knew years ago. She might have forgiven him for what happened when her mother died, and he might not be so annoying anymore, but that doesn’t mean that Allie is ready to deal with the confusing emotions that stir up inside her whenever he’s around. But Allie needs to make some decisions about life or it just might pass her by.

“Interrupted is Rachel Coker’s debut novel and a good one at that. Though Rachel is only sixteen, her writing bears a maturity and skill far beyond her age. I especially liked Rachel’s attention to the little details of the story and characterization. Interrupted is a sweet story, filled with a memorable cast of characters who leave you wishing there was at least a page or two more…or another chapter…or another book! I highly recommend Interrupted and look forward to picking up Rachel Coker’s next book.” –Gillian


Failstate by John Otte

3. Failstate by John Otte, 8.33% of votes

Robin Laughlin (aka. Failstate) is a contestant in a reality TV show called America’s Next Superhero. His goal? To become an official, licensed superhero. It doesn’t help matters that his powers are often out of control, that his handsome big brother is wining the hearts of the voters, or that Robin can’t even remove his mask or viewers would shriek from fright. When one of his competitors is murdered, Robin sets out to find the killer, hoping for justice and to prove he’s no failure. 

“This was a really great book! When I saw the cover I thought it would be some short little comic book or graphic novel. Instead the e-book was a 216 pg document full of text, not pictures with little speech bubbles. And it was deep and thought provoking. It hooked me quickly and I enjoyed reading it a lot! I highly recommend this story to those looking for a good adventure/comic book kind of story that teaches the truths of Scripture.” –Jamie


Swipe by Evan Angler

2. Swipe by Evan Angler, 9.38% of votes

Logan Langly is starting school and is only a few months away from his thirteenth birthday. That’s the day when he can get the Mark, which will give him the full benefits of citizenship. He’ll be able to get a job, to buy things, to take the trains. But Logan isn’t sure he wants the Mark. Because when his sister went in to get it, she never came back. Plus, people are following him and he doesn’t know why. When a new girl starts school and Logan befriends her, they start investigating, and what they discover is the beginning of something huge. Something that will change everything. Forever.

“SWIPE was a cling to the covers, don’t turn out the lights, stay up until the very wee hours of the morning, riveting story that remains with you after you’ve finished reading it for days on end kind of a novel, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed and will definitely be reading again in the near future. Needless to say, I am EAGERLY awaiting the arrival of the 2nd book.” –Sarah


1. The New Recruit by Jill Williamson, 15.62% of votes

Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club. These guys mean business. Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.

“For those looking for an adventure read, here’s your answer. For those looking for a great birthday or Christmas gift for a guy or little brother, The New Recruit would be an excellent choice. The ending, especially, is handled with great tact. I love it, but I won’t give anything away. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.” –Rachelle

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