Best Young Adult Books with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg
Top Picks from YA Bloggers in the Know
Thirteen YA Books to watch for in the first half of 2013!
Pam van Hylckama Vlieg may be best known for her fantastic blog Bookalicious.org, but she’s also a literary agent with Larsen Pomada in San Francisco. She represents young adult and middle grade children’s book authors, and adult romance authors. Pam writes supernatural YA and MG fiction. She also partners her blog with Hicklebee’s, a children’s bookstore in San Jose. Look for her first agented book, Angel Academy: Prophecy Girl by Cecily White, coming out on April 2! We’re in luck to have Pam name her top YA picks for 2013.
Thirteen is about my most favorite number ever. Great things come in 13s. Like a baker’s dozen. That’s thirteen cookies/cupcakes/insert your favorite dessert here. I was thirteen when I beat my nemesis out of first chair with my clarinet and had my first boyfriend. I met him at the roller rink and he was manly enough to admit he liked NKoTB. So thirteen is a pretty special number and these books are pretty special as well.
Imagine a library filled with the dead. I’ll give you a moment. Think of shelved bodies each with their own stories to tell. Now imagine the story of the girl who is responsible for keeping these stories on the shelves, and how Victoria Schwab’s magical folkorian (that’s a made-up word, just roll with me here) prose could tell that story to you. This is a book you can submerse in for hours on end.
Ages 12 -17 | Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children| January 22, 2013
From the author who brought us a boy with no features who could take on whatever image he wanted, evil faeries that created a fashionista that could doom us all, and a league of corporate bureaucrats that polices paranormal creatures. Mind Games is sure to be a thrilling ride through a dystopic-esque society that uses extraordinary girls for nefarious means. I don’t know about you but I love nefarious things, and Mind Games is going to be full of debauchery.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: HarperCollins| February 19, 2013
People all over the world are obsessed with Downton Abbey. (Spoiler for season three: Everyone dies and the dog inherits.) Cinders and Sapphires has all the intrigue, all the period tropes, and all the smoldering of Downton all rolled up into a fabulously well-written guilty pleasure read for teens. The At Somerton series busts onto the scene with secret baby drama, servant woes, and a new step mama who hates the main character’s guts.
Ages 12 -18 | Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children| January 22, 2013
By Cynthia Hand
The conclusion of the fabulous Unearthly series is an amazing read. Much like in Unearthly and Hallowed Hand, it weaves a complex story together with phenomenal writing that shows her extensive research into angel lore and doesn’t overwhelm the reader. If you haven’t read the first two in the series you have the unique opportunity to read all three books at once! If you have read the previous novels then you should not miss the ending of this amazing series. This is my favorite angel series to date.
Ages 13 -17 | Publisher: HarperCollins | January 22, 2013
By Ruta Sepetys
Ruta wrote Shades of Gray. That is one of my most loved books of all time. I had no idea what had happened in Lithuania during the war and how those people were abused, but Sepetys showed us this little known history and wrote lovable flawed characters at the same time. Out of the Easy is set in 1950s New Orleans and the character is the daughter of a well-known brothel prostitute. I seriously cannot wait to read this book.
Ages 14 -17 | Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group| February 12, 2013
Imaginary Girls was at the top of every blogger’s flail list last year. I bought the book and never set time aside to read it. I know tons of my friends and tastemakers I trust loved the novel. The premise of 17 & Gone calls to me like a siren song, a broken girl getting visions of girls who have gone missing. Each of the girls is 17 and gone; will our main character be next? Can she stop this or help these girls. Maybe she’s just addled. I can’t wait to find out!
Ages 14 -17 | Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group| March 21, 2013
Forever is a long time to be stuck in high school. Now that is a tagline that sticks with you! Imagine being stuck on the grounds of your high school forever. At first it is fun because you get to hear all the juicy gossip but eventually this will get boring. When our ghost realizes she can possess people while they are thinking about her and can then make them do anything she finds a way to turn the tides of vicious gossip. I for one cannot wait to see how Katie handles this topic.
Ages 13 -17 | Publisher: Chronicle Books| April 30, 2013
I am dying to read the story of Ezra Faulkner and his troubles. From what I understand this book will be a John Green-esque literary masterpiece and I want to know what makes Ezra so devastatingly interesting. Ezra is the golden boy of his school until a knee injury takes away his beloved sports career and the popularity that goes with it. In Severed Heads, Broken Hearts we will delve from the heavens into hell with Ezra when most books are told about newfound popularity we will get to experience a fall from grace.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: HarperCollins| June 4, 2013
I can’t even begin to tell you what Orleans is about. It isn’t really dystopia, it isn’t historical, and it is definitely futuristic but not in the flying car kind of way. All I can tell you is New Orleans (which is one of the best places to set a book ever) has been ecologically decimated and tribes of people are living futuristic caveman style. It sounds amazing.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group| March 7, 2013
I wasn’t a huge fan of Wings and it’s sequels but I have faith in Pike as a storyteller and I cannot wait to see her reimagining of The Scarlet Pimpernel. School uniforms, dead BFFs and hot boys are sure to delight readers of every genre.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: HarperCollins | April 30, 2013
Imagine a demolished Manhattan, pollution causing a plague in the citizens and one kick-butt main character who motorbikes her way around The Ward looking for a fresh water source and a cure for her sister. That sounds pretty awesome and I’ll be lining up to read this book.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: HarperCollins| April 30, 2013
By Jill Wolfson
Three high school girls who barely know each other are angry. At their parents, their peers, and other life issues. Their sleepy little California town will never be the same once they become The Furious of Greek legend. I love Greek myth and I love reimagined lore. This book is going to be an intense read.
Ages 14-18 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.| April 16, 2013
Honestly, I’m just going to paste the synopsis for this book because I can’t even begin to do it justice.
THE CHOSEN ONE MUST BE RETRIEVED FROM EARTH
HE WILL BRING DOWN THE WALL AND RESTORE THE KINGDOM TO GLORY
HIS NAME IS TOM PARKING
With this mysterious yet oddly ordinary-looking prophecy, Tom’s fate is sealed: he’s been plucked from his life and whisked away to a magical kingdom to be its Chosen One.
There’s just one problem: The kingdom is mostly made of garbage from Earth. Okay, well, two problems: the king hates Tom. Also, the princess likes to wear fake mustaches. And being Chosen One seems to consist mainly of cleaning out rats’ noses at the Royal Rat-Snottery.
So, basically, the kingdom sucks.
When Tom turns down the job of Chosen One, he thinks he’s making a smart decision. But when Tom discovers he’s been replaced by his best friend Kyle, who’s always been cooler, more athletic, and better with girls, Tom wants Crap Kingdom back—at any cost. And the hilarity that ensues will determine the fate of the universe.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Viking Juvenile | March 7, 2013
Nicki Richesin is the author and editor of four anthologies; Crush, What I Would Tell Her, Because I Love Her, and The May Queen. She is the San Francisco correspondent for Du Jour and a frequent contributor to Sunset, The Horn Book, 7×7, The Huffington Post, and Daily Candy. Find her online at www.nickirichesin.com.