Michelle Krys | The Children’s Book Review | November 18, 2016
It’s almost cruel to make an author pick just five favorite books. I could name a dozen just off the top of my head, and the list is constantly changing. (And because my memory sucks, it usually includes the last five great books I read.)
Alas, here are some of the ones that stick out to me the most:
Written by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass is about an infamous assassin named Celaena who has been dragged out of prison in order to compete against killers, thieves, and warriors to be the king’s hit person.
This entire series is incredible. There’s high stakes competition, a sexy forbidden romance (#TeamChaol), heart stopping action, and a smart, layered female protagonist who kicks ass and takes names. What more could you ask for? (Lots and lots of sequels, and Maas delivers.)
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA | 2012 | 978-1619630345
Written by Lauren Oliver
Before I Fall is about a popular high school senior named Samantha who dies the night of a big party, only to wake up in her bed the next day to discover it’s the morning of her death again.
When we’re first introduced to Sam, she’s not exactly endearing. (In fact, some might say she’s shallow, selfish and just plain mean.) But it’s because her road to redemption is so bumpy that her growth over the seven days she relives her death again and again is so incredibly compelling. Simply put: Samantha has one of the best character arcs in YA history.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2010 | 978-0061726811
Written by Julie Murphy
SEMV is about a girl named Alice who discovers that her terminal cancer has miraculously gone into remission. But the good news comes at a sort of inconvenient time, since Alice has spent the last few months settling scores with all her enemies.
I laughed. I cried. I cringed. I threw the book at the wall. Then I wondered how I could have ever claimed to love other books before this one. Honest, flawed characters, incredible voice, and utterly heartbreaking twists and turns, all told in a gripping non-linear format, this book is a complete suckerpunch to the heart.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2014 | 978-0062245373
Open Road Summer is about a girl named Reagan, who, looking for a fresh start after breaking up with a bad-news boyfriend, joins her country music superstar best friend on tour for the summer.
There are a million reasons I love this book. The friendship, the romance, the fun road trip hijinks, the blunt, levelheaded, fiercely devoted protagonist who you can’t help but root for. But mostly? Matt Finch.
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | 2014 | 978-0802738011
Written by E. Lockhart
There isn’t a whole lot I can say about this book without giving everything away, but let’s just say it’s about a beautiful, privileged family and a summer on their private island.
When I finished this book, I sobbingly ran into the bathroom, where my husband was showering, and whipped open the shower curtain. He thought someone died, so he wasn’t that impressed when I told him I just read the best book.
Haunting prose, a clever mystery, layered characters, and twists that (even if you see them coming) take your breath away—if you haven’t read this book yet, drop everything and do it now.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Delacorte Press | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0385741262
13 More Young Adult Fiction Favorites
*Honorary mention goes to Twilight, without which I’d never have written my own YA novel. It will forever hold a sparkly place in my heart.
And . . . because it pains me not to mention my other faves, I also love love love:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (actually, the whole series is utter perfection)
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (and . . . all of Marissa Meyer’s books)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Selection by Kiera Cass (pure, escapist fun)
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers (Summers fan girl for life!)
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
There you have it, folks! What are some of your favorite YA novels?
About Michelle Krys
MICHELLE KRYS is the author of Hexed and Charmed. When she’s not writing books for teens, Michelle moonlights as a NICU nurse. She lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, with her family.
Written by Michelle Krys
Publisher’s Synopsis: A girl accepts a mysterious invitation to play a deadly game in this suspense-filled thriller from the author of HEXED–perfect for fans of NERVE by Jeanne Ryan and Lauren Oliver’s PANIC.
You are cordially invited to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.
Hope is sick of everyone treating her like she’s breakable. Sure, she has cystic fibrosis (basically really bad lungs), but she’s tired of being babied by her mom and her overprotective best friend, Ethan, not to mention worrying about paying for her expensive medication and how she’s going to afford college.And she’s bored with life in her run-down New Orleans suburb.
When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she just might win some real money.
But the Society isn’t all that it seems . . . and soon Hope finds that playing the game isn’t a choice—it’s a requirement.
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Delacorte Press | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0553508024
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