Friday, 27 July 2018

6 Young Adult Novels to Read

young adult books to read, ya must reads, books to read, say her name, juno dawson, review, the fault in our stars, john green, stolen, lucy christopher, sarra manning, adorkable, dreamland, sarah dessen, thousand words, jennifer brown

Try as I might to get into the realm of adult books, I find myself constantly coming back to young adult novels. Although I've had people not understand my love of the YA world, I feel like people can often jump to the conclusion that as it often portrays the relationships and lives of teenagers, that it must deal with things that are no longer relevant to me as an adult, or that their stories are limited. I completely disagree, however, as I think that I still relate a lot to what goes on in YA books, and nowadays almost anything is possible in them, too.

I thought I'd share some great reads with you that deal with some heavy topics and/or steer in a direction that's a bit different from the typical teenage love story. 

SAY HER NAME - JUNO DAWSON

A recent read for me, I picked this up last year as I wanted to get into YA horror, and I loved every minute of it. Although I will give a bit of criticism as I thought the interactions between the main character and her love interest were a bit too cheesy for my tastes, the story itself was amazing. It was a new take on the Bloody Mary myth for me, one that I'd have never thought of myself, and it was a book that I didn't want to put down. Definitely creepy, and thoroughly enjoyable all the same. You can read a bit more on this book here.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS - JOHN GREEN

Regardless of how much I dislike unhappy endings, I really love this book and would consider it one of my favourites. I have never watched the movie and don't intend to, but if you haven't read the book I highly recommend it. It's thoughtfully written, with intense, three-dimensional characters. I often find myself not enjoying John Green books - more on that here -  but TFIOS is completely different. You'll fall in love with the characters for sure.

STOLEN - LUCY CHRISTOPHER

This is such an interesting read because it deals with a situation I'd never have thought about before - Stockholm syndrome. The book revolves around a teen who was kidnapped by a man at an airport whilst abroad, and has recently been released. It's told from Gemma's POV as a letter to her captor, and it deals with quite complicated emotions. Gemma has clearly developed feelings for her captor due to how often he has rescued her from situations that are harmful to her - as they live in the Australian outback -, and even eventually takes her to hospital, knowing full and well the risks that are posed to him. I definitely find myself feeling what Gemma feels, which is some sort of empathy for her abductor and because of this I didn't find it as uncomfortable to read as I thought I would. For anyone that's wondering, there's no kind of physical or sexual abuse in the novel. From what I remember their relationship is fairly tame and in some ways it's almost amicable.

ADORKABLE - SARRA MANNING

One of my favourite books of all time, Adorkable is one for us bloggers. Centered around Jean, a teenager who's made it big in the blogging world, she bases her online identity on her coloured hair, eccentric clothing and her sharp tongue, wit and humour. The chapters alternate between being narrated by Jean, and being narrated by her love interest, Michael, who initially starts out as a guy she dislikes and who dislikes her. I really love Jean and Michael as a couple, and I love the way Sarra Manning narrates while writing as Michael - it's not weird or cringey like it is to read a John Green novels (soz!) but instead he seems really cool and relaxed and much like I'd expect the brain of a 17-year-old boy to function. It's funny, it's cute as hell, and although there's a lot I don't have in common with Jean and her lifestyle, I still feel like she's hella relatable. 

DREAMLAND - SARAH DESSEN

Not for the faint of heart, Dreamland is one of Sarah Dessen's earlier works, and one I go back to time and time again. Centring around the relationship of Caitlin and Rogerson, whom Caitlin meets after her sister takes off from their family home at the start of the novel, Dreamland deals with themes such as drug-use and domestic violence. Caitlin, once a good student with plenty of hobbies and friends, soon becomes so enveloped in Rogerson's world that everything she once knew starts slipping away from her. Not too heavy that it's hard to take, but definitely heavy enough to stick with you, I can't recommend this book enough. 

THOUSAND WORDS - JENNIFER BROWN

Jennifer Brown is notable for the way she tackles more unique issues that teenagers can face - those who lose their homes and families to natural disasters, for example. The first book I ever read from her was Hate List, about a girl whose boyfriend open fires on their high school before committing suicide. I do recommend that book too, and it's one I need to go back and revisit.

Thousand Words is about a teenager who takes a nude photo for her boyfriend and sends him it, but it goes viral after an ugly breakup, reaching all of her school classmates. Her father is, I believe, part of the school board of some sort and finds out, and all hell breaks loose. I found it difficult to read simply due to the restrictiveness of Ashleigh's parents, and I hate how much blame is put on her, and the way  she is vilified by her peers and former boyfriend, who is facing charges of distributing child pornography as Ashleigh is younger than him. Like, it's literally his own fault but he tries to get sympathy from Ashleigh and everyone else. Some parts were frustrating to read, sure, but it's definitely worth it, especially when Ashleigh meets a cool guy at the community service she has to do (which also completely baffles me as Ashleigh is the victim?). If you give it a read, or have read it before, let me know your thoughts! It was very interesting to see the consequences of Ashleigh's actions, but I really felt like she was treated horrendously.

What YA books do you love?

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