From classic dramas to modern romance to dystopian futures, 6 young adult books you have to read in order to satisfy the book nerd in you.
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief is a classic young adult novel which centers on the life of Liesel Meminger, a ten to fourteen-year-old in Germany during World War II. Liesel’s experiences are narrated by Death, who describes both the beauty and destruction of life in this era. She is an adopted girl on the verge of adolescence, fostered by the Hubermanns after her father “abandons” their family, her brother dies, and her mother is forced to send her to a foster home owing to her political belief-communism, which is forbidden then. Liesel is the “book thief” referred to in the title. Liesel Meminger is fascinated by the power of words “I have hated the words and I have loved them.” and ends up stealing books from bonfires, mansions, and snow.
2. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesley Walton
A mesmerising, lyrical tale of the bright and dark sides of love and desire. Foolish love appears to be a Roux family birthright. And for Ava Lavender, a girl born with the wings of a bird, it is an ominous thing to inherit. In her quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to join her peers, sixteen-year-old Ava ventures into the wider world. But it is a dangerous world for a naive girl – a world which may view her as girl or angel. On the night of the summer solstice celebration, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air and Ava’s journey and her family’s saga reaches a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl is a 2013 contemporary young adult novel written by Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl’s publication follows Rowell’s previous young adult novel published earlier in 2013, Eleanor & Park. Cath is a freshman at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, along with her much more outgoing identical twin sister Wren. But Cath is having a hard time adjusting to college. First, because Wren doesn’t want to room with her, and second, because of her social anxiety disorder. A lot of Cath’s free time is spent writing fan fiction for a book series about a boy magician named Simon Snow, and Cath has tens of thousands of passionate followers who read her award-winning fan fiction on a daily basis on the internet.
4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The young adult story begins in The Raven Boys with a prologue from Blue explaining that she is the only non-psychic from an entire family of psychics, and that every clairvoyant she has met has warned her that if she kisses her true love, they will die. On St Mark’s Eve, she goes to the cemetery with her half-aunt, Neeve, to watch the spirits walk past. These spirits are people who are fated to die within the next twelve months. Because of Blue’s lack of psychic abilities, she is usually unable to see the spirits, but she sees one of a teenage boy who tells her his name is Gansey. Neeve then tells her that the only reasons a non-seer would see a spirit is either if the person is their true love or because they’ll kill them. ‘Ley Lines’ are also explained as invisible lines that allegedly connect places, and have mystic energy surrounding them.
5. The Selection by Kiera Cass
Though some might argue whether this book falls under the Young Adult category, I think it does. America Singer lives in a world with eight castes depending on one’s social and economic status. Ones are the royals and most desirable, with Eights being the lowest and poorest. America is a Five, which consists of the entertainers (Musicians, Artists), and are often fairly poor. Crown Prince Maxon Schreave will be holding the Selection, a competition for the prince’s hand and the crown for a princess. Despite pressure from her mother, Magda, and younger sister, May, America has no interest in entering the competition because she has been secretly dating Aspen, a Six. Aspen urges America to accept the opportunity at a better life. Her mother later bribes her into the Selection by offering to let her keep half of what she earns at her jobs. Later that night, America brings food to Aspen, and Aspen gets upset, believing that he must be the “provider”. America is devastated, and at her weakest state, she is chosen for the Selection. Without the support of Aspen, she travels to the palace where she has to compete with 34 other girls to win the prince’s heart.
6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna Oliphant is a senior in high school who is forced by her father to attend the fictional boarding school ‘School of America in Paris’ – nicknamed SOAP by students. She is heavily against having to leave Atlanta for Paris, specifically due to leaving her best friend Bridgette, great job, and Toph, whom she has a crush on. Anna wishes to become a film critic, being a major movie fan. On her first night at SOAP, she meets her next-room-over neighbor Meredith (Mer), who consoles her after finding Anna crying in her room. After Anna leaves Meredith’s room, she bumps into a beautiful boy who introduces himself as Étienne St. Clair, and has an English accent. The next morning at breakfast, Mer invites Anna to sit with her and her friends; Rashmi and boyfriend Josh, as well as Étienne from the night before – he is known by everyone as St. Clair. This book is full of young adult romance and the adventures that follow.
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