Sometimes, when we hit a bit of a reading rut, we pick up a young adult book. Why? Well, you may or may not have heard we’re in a YA golden age. And we are. These books tend to be fresh, trend-setting reads that are equally suitable for adults. They often explore sensitive issues, even political concerns, through the frank lens of a modern-day teen. While there is usually romance, usually a little angst, they also offer a glimpse into the future, and what’s important to our younger generation. Even if you haven’t read any, you are probably familiar with the influx of young adult books that have strong female characters, lasting relationships and dystopian story lines that reflect a conscious concern for the future.
Both Jody and I have been in a little bit of a reading rut lately and we thought there might be some of you out there struggling with the same thing. So here are five YA books that have helped us get our mojo back in the past – do you have any you would add to the list?
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – a quirky, often hilarious and totally awkward read which is a little bit Harry Potter, a little bit John Green and a whole lot of Rainbow Rowell. Rowell wrote the bestsellers, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, where we first met the protagonist of Carry On, Simon Snow. This odd, entertaining book was a delight to read.
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, both contemplating a dramatic end to their lives. With this in common, they embark on an unlikely friendship. This book is a great one for fans of The Fault in Our Stars, although it’s quite different, and for adults with teenage children. It does well to outline some of the issues at the forefront of their minds today.
The Heart of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson – the second book in the Remnant Chronicles. One of Jody’s favourite young adult series, with a great story line and characters you can love and hate. She even bought the eBook first so she could have it sooner!
The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – Definitely one for fans of The Hunger Games series. This story is set in a world divided by blood-type, red or silver. The Reds are commoners, the Silver elite. What happens then, when Mare, a red-blooded commoner, discovers she has powers that should only belong to the Silver elite? While the story is predictable, the world is so interesting you’ll find yourself eager to pick up the second in the series!
Stay with Me by Maureen McCarthy – Maureen McCarthy has been a favourite of ours for a long time. The Australian born author wrote the much-loved Australian YA classic, Queen Cat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life. Stay with Me is the fast-paced, dramatic story of Tess, who is running from a life of domestic violence with her young daughter. This intense book is definitely skewed to the older-teen age bracket but it packs a punch worthy of its accolades.
There are so many other great YA titles out there, so maybe next time you’re browsing for books, it might be worth taking a stroll past!
Amanda & Jody