One of my goals has been to get back into reading young adult literature. I’d been in a slump, or should I say disappointed with what I’d been reading, so haven’t been reading like a good YA librarian should. To that end here are the ones I picked up to give a go and have read so far this summer:
1. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (4 out of 5 stars); [contemporary; realistic fiction; PTSD]
Uhm, read it a LONG while ago, so don’t remember any pertinent details, just that it was good, not as good as some of her other books (ie: Speak), but still definitely worth purchasing.
2. Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (3 out of 5 stars); [contemporary; realistic fiction]
This was a VERY well written book and I have my own reasons, not to do with the plot/issue of the story, of why I didn’t give it a higher rating. If anyone is interested in why I didn’t give it a higher rating, ask me in the comments and I’ll email you. My answer has the potential to spoil the ending for those who may want to read the book and I hate spoilers so I wont do that to anyone else!!
3. Love in the Time of Global Warming by Franchesca Block (DNF); [science fiction; survival fiction; magic realistic fiction]
Okay, this one I just couldn’t get into – mostly due to the back and fourth “fantasy/reality” passages and as you really need to know/understand some mythology (I guess) to “get it” and I just didn’t feel like I wanted to put in that much effort in my summer reading! Sorry! This wasn’t my “cup of tea”! Maybe others will enjoy it as I know she’s a popular YA author.
4. How to Love by Katie Cotugno (3 out of 5 stars); [contemporary; realistic fiction; teen pregnancy]
Good, but not great. I like that the main character accepts responsibility for her actions; however, I don’t believe that it accurately depicts the hardships single parents face – she had it too easy! This also borders on a New Adult(ish) title since half the book is while the main character is out of high school flashing back to high school and how she became pregnant so I don’t know that it is a true YA title in my opinion.
5. Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young (4 out of 5 stars); [contemporary; realistic/science fiction; romance]
Reminded me of a YA version of the movie “Sliding Doors” – what happens if you make one decision/choice over another? Does it lead to the same conclusion/fate? I didn’t always like the choices Caroline made, in either “reality”, but overall I liked the book.
6. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (4 out of 5 stars); [contemporary; realistic fiction; bullying; romance]
Really liked the positive aspect of the adults in the main character’s life – didn’t stay in the background/absentee as in most YA, but took active roll! Adults aren’t the enemy!
7. The Gaged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni (4 out of 5 stars); [historical fiction; mystery; romance]
Very interesting that the story is based on true account of caged graves! Who ever heard of such a thing? Weird.
8. Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel (4 out of 5 stars); [historical fiction; mystery; espionage; romance]
I would have given it even higher marks; however, this isn’t a YA book in my opinion. This reads like a regular romance novel that happens to have a teenage protagonist. It has very sexual undertones: an attempted rape; mentions of the kings mistress; witnessing a lovers tryst; etc. While nothing overt/explicit, it is more adult in content and in writing style/language than most of my teens would be willing to invest. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and WILL be recommending it to my teen girls who like romance and mysteries.
9. The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (3 out of 5 stars); [steampunk; historical fiction; science fiction; romance; mystery; fantasy]
This book tired to be too many things and just didn’t work for me. Overall, it is an okay story/mystery, but it just tried too hard to do too much at once.
Okay, that’s it for now, but I have a whole bunch more on my TBR pile. I’ll post those as I get to them! What have you been reading?