Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Young Adult

For the past few months I've had an obsession with reading young adult fiction.  I've always been a closet YA fan, but only recently have I allowed myself to read them with abandon.  Sure, I mix in a few "literary must-reads" here and there...and a smattering of biography and history, but my purest pleasure comes from getting lost in the worlds painted by YA authors.

I love that in YA literature good and evil are so clearly delineated.  And, though it may go back and forth for a while and may be precariously close to tipping in the other direction, good eventually triumphs over evil.  Not every story may end wrapped nicely in a bow, but for the most part they're somewhat uplifting. 

It's a nice change from much of the literature on my "I have to read this book because it's influential/classic/will-come-up-in-educated-conversation (or jeopardy)" list.

Here's what I've been reading lately:

The Maze Runner series by Dashner
Eragon by Paolini
the Matched series by Condi
the Divergent series by Roth
the Artemis Fowl series by Colfer
The Phantom Tollbooth by Juster (for maybe the 15th time - it's a favorite)
the Flavia de Luce series by Bradley
the Percy Jackson series by Riordan
the Hobbit by Tolkien (also for the umpteenth time)

So, my question for you is: what should I be reading now?  I'm currently working my way through A People's History of the United States, but am finding its apologist view of history more-than-slightly depressing.  I need a good YA book to keep my spirits afloat.



  1. "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" by Rae Carson is really really good.

    The 7 Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima are really good (there are 4 books in the series) - The first three books are all great and I'm just about to finish the last book and it's been good too.

    "Graceling" and "Fire" by Kristin Cashore are really good. They have a couple semi adult spots in them where you may want to flip ahead a couple of pages. Her third book was a big let down for me, but the first two are good. Not a series but books written in the same world.

    Oh, and "The Thief" by Megan Whalen Turner is so good. The whole series is so good. I really liked "The Queen of Attolia" in that series.

    I have been reading a lot more traditional fantasy and epic fantasy lately but these are all super good YA reads that I think you will really like. I've read so many YA books, I've sifted through the worst and much of the best. Enjoy.

    (This is Karyn McHenry from high school ps)

    1. Hi Karyn! Long time no talk! Thanks for all the recommendations. I'm going to add them to my goodreads list and see what I can find at the library this weekend. I'm always happy to find another YA lover. Keep my updated if anything else great crosses your path.
      Hope you're doing well!

  2. "a curse dark as gold" by emily bunce is on my to-read list.

    1. Thanks! Adding it to my Goodreads list in 3...2...1...

  3. Have you heard of that little YA series about a human/vampire/werewolf love triangle? You should read that ;)

    1. I dunno...vampires? sounds sketchy to me ;)

  4. I've been trying to think of something good for you since you are my Goodreads bestie, but it looks like you've already read most of the things I have. The only series I can think of that I'm not sure if you've read is the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. They are fun. Other than that, you could just revisit some old classics. A few come to mind... A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver, and Anne of Green Gables. I also feel the need to revisit Harry Potter every few years. :)

    Another Goodreads friend of mine reads a lot of YA stuff with her kids, so I poked around on her page, and here are a few series she rated highly. Mind you, I know nothing about them, so I'm just passing this on blindly. Some of them may be younger than what you're looking for.

    Book of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau
    Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall
    The Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke
    Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry

    Just some ideas. Hope you find something good!

    1. Thanks so much, Joni! I just re-read A Wrinkle in Time and have the Giver on my Kindle app. I'm ashamed to say that I've never read Anne of Green Gables, so maybe that should be the first on my list.

      I'm going to add all those others to my goodreads list, too. Many thanks!

  5. oh i forgot! rick riordan has a new series. i forget the title, but the first book is "the red pyramid." i'm not sure yet if i like it as well as the percy jackson series, but it's definitely fun and intriguing. and finally, this isn't necessarily YA, but i really enjoyed "the book thief."

    1. Thanks, Annie! I love me some Rick Riordan so I'll have to check out his new series. I also loved The Book Thief. Maybe it's time for me to read that one again...

  6. Have you read the Hunger Games? I held off until a credible source told me to read them. I have only read the first book but I highly recommend it. By the way, thank you for the list, I feel some reading time coming on and teen lit will probably be right on my level for the next few months.

    1. I love the Hunger Games - I've read them each a couple of times! I hope you end up liking them, too. If you need to borrow any of them, I have them all at my house :)