Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A few of my favorites of 2013...Young Adult

 Today I'm on my last favorite list...Young Adult.  Now this genre of book is always a little tricky with me.  I'm not even close to being a young adult, but I have two living with me.  And I have way enough of the typical trappings of this age to go around.  I am not patient with angst, drama, fit-throwing, emotional outbursts, and anxiety in my books because I'm trying to survive this stage in my children.  So you could say that I'm pretty hard to please in this category.  Yet I've found five this year that blew my mind.  In all five there are strong characters with mountainous obstacles, and I've been moved, sometimes to tears.  Here they are in no particular order:




Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell

I said it a couple of days ago, and I'll say it again.  You are missing out on LIFE if you don't read this author.  Although this novel is technically YA, it is good for everyone.  This story about outcasts finding each other, young love, and rising above the worst home life is one you will not forget.  Precious characters is what Rowell does.  Just do yourself a favor and read it.





Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

This book defied all odds with me.  YA is touchy, and I don't read Sci Fi AT ALL.  But enough people told me it was excellent, and the movie was coming out so I caved.  And I'm glad I did.  A compelling, precocious protagonist, clever twists and a knock out ending did it for me.  






Rose Under Fire - Elizabeth Wein

From the author that impressed us with her strong females and twisty plot in "Code Name Verity", we get more of what we loved in her new book which stands as a companion novel (a few consistent characters in the two books).  The ladies in this book don't get any more kick ass than this...survivors of torture, starvation and experiments in the Ravensbruck concentration camp in WWII.  At this point, I'll read anything Ms. Wein writes.




The Sea of Tranquility - Katja Millay

This gem was recommended to me by Rhapsody Jill, the expert in all things YA.  Yet I hesitated and shame on me for that.  This book had some similarities to Eleanor & Park (outcasts that find love), except the characters are older and more damaged.  The characterization is so real and raw, the chemistry palpable. I was so completely moved, and similar to a Rainbow Rowell book, it ended too soon.   





The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

Yet another well-crafted book, written in the form of letters, that truly captures high school in the 80's from the perspective of a bright, shy and damaged young man.  I loved all the cultural references, as well as the message that there can be joy in being yourself and finding your people.




12 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I loved Eleanor and Park too. I loved the movie version of Perks and have wanted to read the book ever since.

JoAnn said...

I'm definitely going to read (or listen to) Rainbow Rowell in 2014! I didn't realize the Elizabeth Wein book is YA. Does it stand alone or should I read Code Name Verity first?

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I loved Ender's Game but read it a million years ago. I should probably read it again!

Literary Feline said...

I haven't read any of these books, but several are on my list of must reads. I've heard nothing but good things about Eleanor and Park. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one I've been wanting to read for quite some time now. If I ever get around to reading Code Name Verity, I definitely want to read Rose Under Fire too.

Carrie said...

I have Eleanor and Park on its way to me, and I've been on the waiting list at the library for Perks for about three months now. Sigh.

Anna said...

I have Rose Under Fire set aside to read on my Christmas vacation. I just hope I have enough time to actually read!

Iliana said...

Ooh what a great list. I hardly read any YA this year so I'd like to fix that next year. You know I love E&P too and it is going on my list of favorites of the year too.

stacybuckeye said...

Ender's Game was on my favorite list the year I read it (2008?, 2009?). The movie was okay, but uninspired.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Three are my favorites and now Sea and Rose are bumped up my list!

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

You have such good YA taste! ;) I loved all of these too, even Ender's Game when I read it years ago. If I had to choose a favorite of the ones you listed I couldn't do it. They are all incredible reads.

James Chester said...

I think I'll put Eleanor and Park on reserve before the TBR Triple Dog Dare deadline. That defeats the whole purpose, but there you are

Happy Christmas.

Michele said...

YA was a touchy subject for me in 2013 (okay, except Rowell). I did enjoy Perks of Being a Wallflower though and have flirted with the Wein books via Audible. They're on my wishlist there so maybe with February's credit I can get a start on Verity.