I started reading YA when my niece and nephew were younger. I would buy them books, and I would read them first. Mainly to give me something to talk to them about with them. Over the years, I have found that YA has really became a genre with powerful novels that can affect a person. So, I want to give you five that I think you should read. But I am cheating a bit - 1 of them is a series of 3, so it is really of list of 8 ;-) I tried to give you a list with a bit of variety. It is my hope that one of these will make it on your reading list.
The Red Rising series holds a special place in my house. My hubby is a huge comic book reader and not much of a book reader. But I gave him the first one, and he was addicted. He got through them faster than I did. I tell my friends that this is a mix between Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Ender's Game.
"His wife taken. His people enslaved. Driven by a longing for justice and the memory of lost love, Darrow will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies.... even if he must become one of them to do so. For the first time, Red will rise."
Confession -- I bought this book at Target because it was at the check out line. I had seen a preview for the movie and saw it and thought - why the heck not. This one is a heart tugger. You will fly through it.
"It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he's figured it out: the answer to the basic existential question, how is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: Remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl.
This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg's mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg's entire life."
If you have not read Sherman Alexie, you should! His adult novels are amazing. But I really feel that this is his best book. I have felt just like Junior more than once in my life. I read this because it was picked at the local universities Freshman book of the year a few years ago. I had not heard of it until them - and now I give it to everyone. Run out and pick it up now!
"Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation.
Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone but his best friend. Determined to receive a good education, Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attacks life with wit and humor and discovers strength inside himself that he never knew exited."
This is the only graphic novel on the list. Written by one of the creators of Lumber Janes - which is amazing comic series about an all girl's camp. I recommend that as well, but thats for another list! Nimona is all about a young girl that wants to be a super villain. Peak your interest? It did mine.
" Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Baluster Blackhearts is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillian, Nimona and Lord Blackhearts are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosias Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are."
This is one of my favorite books I have read this year. This book was recommended to me by my friend Ryan during one of our virtual bookclub meetings. And I actually listened to the audio version because he told me that Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame) read it. And let me tell you - I took the long way home and stayed longer at the gym in order to listen to this novel. It does tackle some young person coming out issues - so, it really hit home. I LOVED IT!!
"Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship- the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be."
I think this is a great list of YA books that every adult will love. Let me know if you read any of them and tell me what you think.