I told you it was coming: the second installment of “Books I Can’t Stop Thinking About, YA/Young Adult” Edition. If you’ve been around me for any amount of time, you’ve probably come to realize that I a) think teenagers are hilarious, b) think every human should be in relationship with some teenager, somewhere, and c) always love keeping a little adolescence in my life by reading YA.
So, without further adieu, here are four of my favorite young adult novels that I read this past year:(1) I’ll Give You the Sun (Jandy Nelson, 2014): Disclaimer #1 (which you may very well see in every selection of books): this novel is not for everyone. It “stars” a set of young adolescent twins, a boy and a girl, who’ve lost their mother and therefore have to navigate the new normal. So it involves all those things you’d find in a normal teenager’s life: family, relationships, love, sexuality, creativity, and self-discovery. But, bonus, there’s also incredible story weaving and figurative language throughout it all.
(2) The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (Heidi Durrow, 2010): This is perhaps the darkest of the four selections, but Durrow’s storytelling style is captivating. Like We Were Liars, it took me awhile to understand what was going on, but once the ingenuity is understand, it’s hard not to call it brilliant. Definitely pick it up and give it a gander.
(3) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee, 1960): I know, I know. You’ve read it before. NO. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK SINCE YOU WERE FOURTEEN YEARS OLD, YOU MUST READ IT AGAIN. I’m not sure how I let more than twenty years go by from its first reading, but I could not put it down. You know this is one of the most compelling and most important books ever written, so please, read it (again).
(4) Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli, 2000): Technically a children’s book, Stargirl is magical, and the one book thus far that I can’t wait to read to and with my boys someday. Among other things, good children’s literature not only evokes an emotional response, but it ends on a positive note. And sometimes, we all need a little bit of Disney in our lives.
So, that’s it for now. Pick up a Young Adult book if you haven’t lately, and see if it changes you. Because (secret’s out): YA books are not just for young adults. But don’t tell anyone I told you! Otherwise, check back Monday for my four favorite Christian/spiritual memoirs of the past year.
So, what would you add? What were YOUR favorite YA books you read this past year? Otherwise, from my above list, what would you delete and spit out of your mouth? It’s okay. We can still be friends.