Archive for January 24th, 2010

January 24, 2010

The Best YA Books You Haven’t Read

Kelly over at YAnnabe celebrated her one-year blogiversary by doing something really awesome. She threw the Unsung Heroes of YA Blog Blitz. Basically, she’s inviting kidlit bloggers to share their favorite YA books that nobody else has read. You can read all the official rules on her site, here, but that’s the gist of it. And she’s keeping a little running tab of everyone who participates, so you can browse for hours and hours through everyone else’s choices. Not that I have hours and hours to waste. I’m a grad student, here.

My Top 5 Favorite YA Books

…that you haven’t read

… but really should

1. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

I’ve read this book so many times I’ve lost count. So many times, my sisters and I destroyed the library copy – it was replaced and we got to keep the scrapped copy. Classic realistic, guy-why-aye-fic. Oh, and Rob Thomas is directly responsible for a young lady called “Veronica Mars.” If that doesn’t sell you, then I don’t know what will.

2. Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart

Everyone’s read Frankie, and probably Ruby, too. But Gretchen Yee will always have my heart. This is quintessential YA, for me: strong voice, quirky storyline, a relevant ideological bent, and a little romance. One year, I read it three times.

3. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

A high school, full of characters, and each with their own story. Or, in this case, a poem. I really, really love this book. The poems stand alone in terms of voice and originality, but the real fun is the unraveling of the loosely woven schoolmates… who is friends with who? Which stories will come back again? Will everyone get a happy ending? Love, love this book.

2. Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller

Talk about hook: new boy at ritzy prep school, learning to navigate the social ropes… but Gideon’s story is told by the girl who is CURRENTLY SPYING INTO HIS MIND. Unbeknown to Gid, of course. How did this one slip under the radar?

1. Teen Angst? Naah… by Ned Vizzini

His latest YA is about to be a major motion picture. But before he was a fiction writer, Vizzini was a high school wunderkind, going to Stuyvesant High and writing for the New York Press and The New York Times Magazine. This, his nonfiction debut, is a collection of those essays and articles, personal missives on some of the more mundane aspects of adolescence. You know, like and Ode To Playing Magic The Gathering. That kind of nerd fodder. His stories are topical enough to inspire young readers to catalog their own lives via creative nonfiction, but well-written enough to shock the adult reader when he or she realized Vizzini was only  15.