I know I can focus on bad television and fashion most of the time, but I am an avid reader. I love reading! There is nothing better to me than having a big chunk of time to just sit and get lost in a book. I could talk endlessly about all the different types of books I love and why, but today, I want to focus on young adult novels. There are so many amazing books out there, but if I can influence you with even just one, I’ll consider it a success! We all know about the obvious choices: Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Stay With Me, HARRY POTTER SERIES (note that is in caps), but I want to recommend the not so obvious.
I’m going to start with Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.This was one of my favorites. This is not your typical “boy-meets-girl, they fall head over heels” story. It is complicated. And let’s just say, not a love-at-first-sight story. It follows the lives of Park and Eleanor, teens living in the same small town. Both of the protagonists feel like they don’t quite fit in, though they are part of very different groups. They form a strange “friendship” to start and build from there. My favorite line from the book reads “‘I wanted to break that song in to pieces,’ she said ‘and love them all to death.’” Throughout, Rowell uses music to punctuate the story. You’re sucked in before you even realize. The story can get a bit heavy, but the fantastic writing and relatable characters make it well worth your time.
As sweet and vulnerable as Eleanor and Park is, I wanted to go down a bit of a weirder path with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Sixteen-year-old Jacob becomes shaken up by the sudden death of his grandfather. He and his father go to a remote island to visit the orphanage in which his grandfather was raised. Jacob grew up listening to stories his grandfather told, and soon finds out those stories may have more truth than he ever imagined. At one point, he muses “I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”
I’ll finish with The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Protagonist Charlie is chartering his way through the early stages of high school. He’s not sure where he fits in, or if he does at all. He gets befriended by some quirky seniors who help him see that everyone is soul searching, and not always very successfully. My favorite line is “we accept the love we think we deserve.” Though romance is involved, this isn’t a love story, but one of self awareness and acceptance. There are emotional twists and turns throughout that will leave you sad, shocked, and captivated.
All of these books are vastly different story lines, but all make you find something within yourself—strength, romance, pain—and help you work through it. Or at the very least, make you feel not so alone.
So PLEASE, any Young Adult literature that you found profound, TELL US! I want to know likes, dislikes, reviews. Anything you have to say about some YA lit.