Best Young Adult Books with Love YA Lit
Top Picks from YA Bloggers in the Know, #4
It’s summer reading time. We’re fortunate to have the talented Em, Nora, and Alicia of Love YA Lit here to share their current summer reading list with us. You’ll drift away with these white hot reads.
While only Nora has summer break these days (school is officially out for summer), all three of us still have a special place in our hearts for summer reading! Whether reading at the beach while catching some rays, listening to an audiobook while gardening, or taking a tourism break on a trip by diving into a story, we are excited to have some outstanding books as companions on these hot summer days. Here are a handful of books that we’re excited to check out this summer!
Eva is a copy of another girl named Amarra. She spends her time studying everything about Amarra so that she is ready to replace her if she is ever to die. And die she does. Now Eva is expected to take her fifteen years of studying, move to India, and convince the world that Amarra is alive – that this other girl is her. In addition to an interesting concept, India is the big draw here. Em spent a semester of college in Bangalore, which is where the author grew up, and is drawn to books with Indian settings, which are few and far between. We have heard very little buzz about this title – positive or negative – and are curious to check it out for ourselves.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers | August 28, 2012
By Beth Kephart
Kenzie is graduating from high school. While her peers are dreaming of prom and heading to college in the fall, she finds herself with bigger concerns: the loss of her father and the baby growing in her belly who her mother and her boyfriend don’t understand her desire to keep. The silver lining? She’s sent to Spain for the summer. The downside? She’s meant to live out her pregnancy working in the kitchen on a bull ranch and then give her baby up for adoption to a Spanish couple. This book offers readers a chance to vicariously travel the world, but it might not be the vacation of our dreams. A big draw of the book is the setting, but the last thing we want to do is work on a bull farm and feel pressured about what to do with our bodies (and our babies). Hopefully there’ll be some gazpacho slurping and someone (not the pregnant teen) will get to drink some sangria.
Ages 13-17 | Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) | July 19, 2012
Delilah is a bit of a loner. She spends more time reading a children’s fairy tale book than she does interacting with her peers. Oliver is a character stuck in a book – the very same fairy tale book that Delilah is enamored with. He’s tired of running the same scenes over and over again, not being able to make his own choices and being confined to the world created by the author. When Oliver manages to make contact with Delilah, the two of them become determined to find a way to free him from the pages. We love the grass is always greener conflict of this story. Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer wrote this book together side-by-side, which is adorable. We’re curious to see the large crossover potential of this book reaching from middle grade readers through adults.
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Emily Bestler Books/Atria/Simon Pulse | June 26, 2012
by Nora Price
Zoe is staying at Twin Birch, a facility for girls who are a threat to themselves. She’s not sure why she’s there. She misses her best friend, Elise, who won’t reply to her letters. As she revisits her memories of her friendship with Elise, she must come to terms with the truth of what happened to her friend so that she can heal herself. This book has been compared to Wintergirls, The Sixth Sense, and Girl, Interrupted, all good things. The question is, does this comparison give away too much about the story? We love unreliable narrators – real girls with flaws and secrets like Zoe and are hoping for the best.
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) | June 14, 2012
Celaena is an 18-year-old assassin who is granted temporary freedom so that she may take part as the Crown Prince’s champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. If she wins the competition, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted freedom of the non-temporary variety. When contestants start turning up dead, Celaena realizes that she must figure out who the killer is before it’s too late. Oh, and there’s a love triangle perhaps – a handsome prince (we assume he is handsome) and the captain of the guard who leads the training sessions. While Nora is not quite as excited about this book (fantasy isn’t her thing), Em and Alicia love kick-butt heroines in fantastical settings.
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA | August 7, 2012
“Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss”. . . .an isolated village, an eccentric aunt, evil…you know, all the good stuff that makes a reader shiver. Something happened in the past at Guerdon Hall involving two sisters, and history may be repeating itself when Cora and her younger sister are sent there to stay with their aunt. The doors and windows are all locked and sealed, but will Long Lankin find his way in? We need a nice atmospheric, scary story to keep us shaking in our boots this summer.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Candlewick Press | July 10, 2012
Thanks again to the ladies of Love YA Lit for sharing their summer reading list with us!
Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies The May Queen, Because I Love Her, What I Would Tell Her, and Crush. She is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, Daily Candy, 7×7, Red Tricycle, and San Francisco Book Review. Nicki has been reading to her daughter every day since she was born. For more information, visit: www.nickirichesin.com.