Thursday, November 8, 2012

In which I discuss YA.

If you've been around here any amount of time, you'll know that I am a bookworm. And honestly, I read a lot of YA novels and children's books. I read more books about teenagers now than I did when I was a teenager. I don't read an awfully lot of grown-up books. :)
I feel kind of weird admitting that I enjoy YA because I wasn't a typical teenager. My teenage years were fine and not angsty in the least. I got along with my parents. I much preferred staying at home and reading than hanging out at the mall or cruising around with friends all weekend. I didn't have a cell phone and I didn't count down the days until I was old enough to get into an R-rated movie. I hardly even watched PG-13 movies. :) I like reading books about teenagers, but I still don't care for ones with the smoking/drinking/partying teenage scene.
This post is supposed to be about why I love YA, but I'm having a hard time putting it into words. Maybe it's because I've been there...I've been that age and I can relate to the characters in some way or another. Or maybe it's because they're usually called to step out of their comfort zone and do something brave, and I like that. Maybe it's because there's usually a sweet romance involved. :) Maybe it's a combination of all those things.
One little thing that sometimes bugs me about YA is that it can be very...trendy. That can be a bad thing if the current trend is something you're not interested in, but a good thing when it's one you love. Examples: after the Twilight series became popular, the YA section in bookstores was nothing but vampire romance and paranormal stories. Very obnoxious, considering I have zero interest in reading books like that. But when the dystopian fad hit, following the success of The Hunger Games, well...that's a different story. I do love dystopian YA. :)
These are some of my favorite YA books and/or series:
The Hunger Games. Loved the first one, liked the second one, and the third one was okay. But these are my favorite dystopian stories so far.
Harry Potter series. I see the first few as children's books, but the later ones definitely seem YA to me. I love these's my second favorite book series ever (Narnia is first :).
The Book Thief. Historical fiction set in Germany during WWII. It's haunting and sad and unforgettable.
The Goose Girl. And anything else by Shannon Hale, especially if you're into fairy tales. This is one of my favorite books ever, though I love the rest of the Books of Bayern series and pretty much everything else she's ever written.
Stargirl. I want to be like Stargirl. She's incredibly quirky and creative and joyful. Her whole existence revolves around doing good for other people.
Holes. I haven't read this one in years but I used to love it. Very funny.
To Kill a Mockingbird. One of my favorite books. I only read it for the first time last year! I know, what was I thinking? I'm not sure why I hadn't picked it up before then. This is one of those that's sort of YA or adult-ish, even though the main character is still young.
Ella Enchanted. If you love fairy tales, you must read Gail Carson Levine's books! They are incredibly wonderful...I fell in love with several of them when I was about 11 or 12, and they're still favorites (especially Ella Enchanted and the Two Princesses of Bamarre. But I love all of her stories except Ever). You might have seen the film, but please don't let that stop you from reading the book. It's so much better. This is written as a middle-grade book, but Ella is a teenager.
The Giver. The first dystopian book I ever read...I still remember how it creeped me out with some of the awful ideas of the futuristic world. I haven't yet read the rest of the series.

If you like YA, too, Beth Revis (author of the Across the Universe trilogy...AtU was one of my favorite books that I read last year) is hosting a huge book giveaway at her blog! Tons of signed YA books. Check it out. :)

Until next time,


  1. You know what's funny Kristin? I'm pretty much the same with my literary genre of choice ~ I prefer YA or even well written children's books over most Adult books any day. I also love a good classic and have read the "Anne of Green Gables" series more times than I could count!

    I don't tend to explore very many modern YA books, because like yourself I don't like the partying/smoking/drinking type books ~ which is why I don't like most Adult ones either! But I think that the Stargirl book sounds interesting; I'd like to read it now.

    bonita of Depict This!

    P.S. ~ if you like sweet, funny romances, Georgette Heyer's regency romances are fantastic! I love them and she's one of my favourite authoresses.

  2. I love YA, too! Although I don't read as much modern YA as I do YA that's a generation or two older than me. :) I'm also adding Stargirl to my "to read" list. I enjoy following you on Goodreads. Maybe someday I'll give The Book Thief another try.

  3. I was the same way growing up, not angsty, nor did I have problems with my family. And I too love to read YA fiction (and will be posting my own thoughts on YA fiction AND joining in with Beth Revis' giveaway!)


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