Yes, my reading list is still pretty heavy with the YA selections. The Young Adult genre has simply produced some of the most amazing stories in the last ten years. It’s so different than how I remember YA from when I was a kid. I adored my beloved Paula Danziger, but I read all of her books in middle school. By high school, I read nothing but adult fiction. If YA fiction had been this amazing and epic when I was in high school, I wouldn’t have had to read all that Anne Rice. And may have abandoned black lipstick that much sooner.
#4: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – Set on an island off Ireland where the annual sport every November is catching vicious water horses and racing them for a cash prize. This book was scary and brutal, but also incredibly moving and memorable. The characters were all so sympathetic and realistic, and the Irish village setting was so quaint and freezing. The main characters Kate and Sean also had some significant swoon factor. [book club selection]
#5: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – This is quite simply, one of the best books I’ve ever read. It was so good, that the moment I finished it, I started reading it all over again. I never do that. Taylor Markham goes to school on the Jellicoe Road where every Fall for a generation, a group of cadets from a military academy descends on the school property, and territory wars erupt between the two schools and the townies. This year, Taylor is in charge of the Jellicoe side, and Jonah Griggs, a boy from her murky past, is in charge of the cadets. There are so many amazing layers to this story, and all of the characters are fantastic, and I love them so much.
#6: Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, Book 1) by Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling’s best friend, Hope, has just moved away and left her alone in a high school where she seems to hate everyone and everything. The book is comprised of journal entries and letters to Hope about how awful her pseudo-friends are and her growing obsession with oddly hot pothead, Marcus Flutie. I liked aspects of this book, like the awesome stylings of Marcus Flutie, but overall found Jessica to be such a miserable whiner that she’s not at all sympathetic. [book club selection]
#7: Second Helpings (Jessica Darling, Book 2) by Megan McCafferty – So I loved Marcus Flutie so much, that I read the second Jessica Darling book just to get more of him. And this book, though still written as a series of whiny Jessica’s journal entries and letters, was much more rewarding in the Marcus Flutie department, and for that, I am grateful. This is Jessica’s senior year of high school, and she finally has some epiphanies about herself that serve to make her a slightly less obnoxious teenager. And I will probably read the third book in the series, because, you know, MARCUS.