Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My top 10 YA reads for your holiday reader

There are so many good YA books out there that I’ve read (and PLENTY that I haven’t), it’s hard to pick just ten. But I’m going to try. Here’s a list of my top ten YA books (in no particular order) and why I liked them so much. They’ll look great wrapped and under the tree for the book lover(s) in your life (or yourself!)

  1.     .    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein A historical fiction piece about the bonds of love and friendship set during World War II, this book reaches down deep to wrench out your heart. The writing is superb and the voice is sharp and fresh. An all around good book. Rating: PG-13 for scenes of mild torture. Find my review, here.
  2. 2.       The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa Dystopia, kick ass girls, great writing, and vampires. PERFECT COMBO. I’m a fan of Julie Kagawa and this is the book that got me membership. Vampires rule the cities and keep humans like cattle. Everyone is registered or you don’t eat. Which is why Allison is on the verge of death, refuses to do so and ends up becoming what she hates the most. The writing is sharp, engaging, witty, and captivating. If you’re a fan of dystopians and vampires, go there. Rating: PG for some awesome violence. Find my review, here.
  3. 3.       Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard This book made me want to sell everything I own, leave everything behind and have adventures while traveling the world (if I were 18, that is). Almost poetic in the way she writes, Kristen paints pictures and creates such an enticing experience for the reader. Rating: PG. Read the full review, here.
  4. 4.       The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Do you all REALLY need me telling you AGAIN how much I loved this book? It really is a coming of age story about a girl who finds out who she really is and what she wants to become after her sister dies. It’s about love, and death, and living. And the writing is absolutely beautiful. Rating: PG-13 for some sexuality. See the review, here.
  5. 5.       Divergent (and the sequel, Insurgent) by Veronica Roth Another Dystopian, the author creates a completely creative and unique world where everyone lives in factions according to the values they want to live by (information, selflessness, bravery, truth, etc). But when Tris Prior picks a faction other than the one she’s lived in her entire life, her whole world is turned upside down. This book really does have it all, action, risk, love, humor. Rating: PG See the entire review, here.
  6. 6.       Vixen by Jillian Larkin (Book 1 in the Flapper Series) The whole series is good, but this one was the first and best, in my opinion. Set in 1920’s Chicago, the book follows Gloria as she struggles with falling in love with a black piano player from the local speakeasy while she’s engaged to another man. The book is told from three different, but connected, points of view; filled with love, jealousy, secrets, and revenge. I really loved this book. Rating: PG-13 some strong sexuality. Read my review, here.
  7. 7.       Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to GettingGirls by Tallulah Darling This book is more on the risqué side because it deals with sex. Lots of sex - but in a surprisingly non-vulgar way. Which might be hard to believe.  Sam and Ally are best friends. Sam’s a player and Ally’s been dumped. She has her best friend teach her how to get in and get out without being committed. But everything backfires for everybody. This book is hilariously funny, but definitely for mature audiences and the older YA reader.  Rating: R for strong language, drinking, euphemisms, and lots of “bow chicka wow wow”. See the full review, here.
  8. 8.       Blood Red Road by Moira Young This was the first dystopian book that I read. It was hard to get into at first, but after I got used to the voice, I ended up loving this book. Full of action, drama, cage fighting, love, and reluctant rescuing, Saba’s journey is addicting. The second book in the series, Rebel Heart, is available in stores and online. Rating: PG for some violence
  9. 9.       Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers Contemporary fiction written by an English author about a young man, Karl, and his older mentor (unnamed) who tries to help him win his girlfriend over. It’s not outstandingly prolific, but the changes that happen in the lives of Karl and the narrator are moving. A good, deeper read. Rating: PG
  10. 10.   The Book of Blood & Shadows by Robin Wasserman Oh, wow. This book has it all: mystery, suspense, a little bit of love, betrayal, revenge, conspiracies, mysterious religious organizations, codes, clues, travel, EVERYTHING! It’s long (450 pages) but it goes by so quickly. Especially with a storyteller like Wasserman. Rating: For some mild violence


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