Thursday, February 4, 2010

For the Love of Books

If you know me, you know I'm a voracious reader. I always need to be reading something, and if I don't have a novel handy? I read cereal boxes, read over people's shoulders on the el. Lately, this book-itis has gotten worse, all thanks to Young Adult fiction. I'm zipping through novels, caught up in some crazy but amazing, intelligent, tersely-written plots. And since I'm reading them so quickly, I feel like I'm reading even more than before. Two books in a week? No problem. Well, sometimes. I do write every once in awhile, you know, even if I haven't graced the pages of this blog as often as I used do.

Can you tell how much I've fallen in love with YA lit? I started reading it because my WIP Through Charlotte's Eyes is YA, and now I've fallen head over heels. I hope I too can join the ranks of these mighty fine YA novelists one day.

So, what have I read? I wish I kept better track, because I know this list doesn't encompass it all. But, here goes, in no particular order, all the YA I've read in the past 6 months, give or take.

(Also, I promise to get better about keeping track of everything I read. I want to remember all this awesomeness.)

A Curse Dark as Gold, by Elizabeth Bunce; Bunce takes the Rumpelstiltskin tale and turns it on its head.

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore; I didn't read fantasy before this, but I loved Katsa, a young girl graced with fighting abilities, who is tasked with saving her kingdom.

Me, the Missing and the Dead by Jenny Valentine; Lucas Swain thinks a woman in an urn, Violet, is trying to tell him something about where his father disappeared to. Expect to cry.

Sovay by Celia Rees; Set in England and France during the French Revolution, this novel follows Sovay, who dresses as a man and acts as a highway robber--until her father is arrested for treason.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson; After waking up from a coma, Jenna starts to put the pieces together of what happened to her, and who she is now. A stunning look at the power of science.

Madapple by Christina Meldrum; Brought up in a home far from the city, Aslaug isn't ready to leave when her mother unexpectedly dies. But once in the city, she starts unraveling the truth about her family. One of the most bizarre reads--which isn't a bad thing--of all the YA I've read so far.

13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher; Another tear-jerker. Clay Jenson receives cassette tapes from Hannah, who recently committed suicide. The tapes tell the story of who she blames and why she chose to end her life.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green; Laugh out loud funny and a great introduction to John Green. Colin is a prodigy who has only dated Katherines. The book tells the tale of a road trip with his best friend, and all the discoveries that come along the way.

The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman; Sisters Katie and Michaela react in different ways when their family gets uprooted from NYC and move to rural Fir Lake.

Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene; An oldie but a goodie. 12-year-old Patty helps Anton, an escaped POW, hide and eventually escape. And this short description doesn't give justice to this emotional book.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M. T. Anderson; This one doesn't read like YA, but it's a compelling story about a boy who was raised as an experiment around the time of the American Revolution.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak; Narrated by Death, this tale tells the story of Liesel Meminger, who steals books in Nazi Germany. Gripping through the dramatic end.

Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; A heart-pounding thriller about a young girl who takes the place of her sister in the hunger games, where everyone fights to the death. I sacrificed sleep to finish this book, that's how good it is. Its sequel, Catching Fire, started out a bit slower, but after I finished? Well, let's just say I CAN. NOT. WAIT. for the third book to come out this summer. Seriously. If someone somehow manages to get an ARC - LET ME KNOW.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins; Hooked by her Hunger Games series, I started her first series of books. While geared to younger readers, this is another fantasy book that had me hooked from page one. It's a spin on Alice in Wonderland, had Alice been a boy who lived in New York City and who fell down a grate into a world of humans and 6-foot creatures, like cockroaches, spiders, rats, and more.

Mercy's Mill by Betty Levin; Sarah doesn't like moving to rural Massachusetts, but she's soon distracted when she meets Jethro, a boy wrapped in mystery, who claims that he travelled through time to save Mercy.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness; Gory, bloody--and incredibly riveting. Todd Hewitt needs to escape Prentisstown when he stumbles upon something he shouldn't have. But his escape is made a lot more difficult considering everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts. The first in a series, again. (And yet more books to add to my reading list).

Dinoverse by Scott Ciencin; A fast-paced novel about a boy and three other junior high students who travel back in time and become dinosaurs. While the reading level for this book felt younger than most, I was hooked by the characters and the story.

When I was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten; Successfully written in the perspective of a young boy, Burt, this novel shows the difficulties between literal-minded parents and literal-minded kids. It used to be marketed as YA but no longer is.

The Book of Time by Guillaume Prevost; Another first in a series! When searching for his missing father, Sam tumbles into the past, not once but three times into totally different places and eras.

Phew! That's what I remember reading, but I'm sure I've forgotten something. I've also read a handful of 'adult' novels--like a book from the Mistress of the Art of Death series--but they haven't held my attention as much as all this YA fiction has.

Do you have any YA recommendations? I'd love to hear about them, even though my reading list is huge!


sherylaf said...

I found your blog through your comment on Flavorwire's post, "The 10 Best YA Books for Grownups." Awesome suggestions. I'll have to add a few to my queue. Thanks!

partyweetow said...

I'd suggest:
1.The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty
2. the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare
3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
4. the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison
5. the Internet Girls series by Lauren Myracle
6. aaaand the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty (not because *I* liked it, but because I know most people LOVE it).

I hope some of these you haven't read already! Happy reading! :D

J said...

Oh, read everything by John Green. And 'this is all' from Aiden Chambers!