Adult Reads for YA
Step outside your comfort zone a little with these great books published for adults!
Read this before the movie comes out next year. Not your typical chick lit, Something Borrowed is the story of what happens when the good girl gets the hot guy...who happens to be her self-centered best friend's fiance.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Arguably a historical fiction epic, full of great voices and a nail-biting conflict in an important period of American civil rights history. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Historical Fiction)
The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley
This post-apocalyptic novel is a good read for fans of Jodi Picoult who also want an apocalyptic twist. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, Sci-Fi/Dystopian)
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
An adult novel, but narrated by 12-year-old CeeCee, who learns to act her age again with the help of some lovely Southern women. (also on: Historical Fiction)
Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most fascinating nonfiction writers out there, in my opinion. In Outliers, he explains his theories of why success is not as we'd imagined.
The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz
This modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion will make for an enjoyable night. (also on: Retellings, Guilty Pleasures)
Discord’s Apple by Carrie Vaughn
This intriguing blend of dystopian, fantasy, and mythology makes it a great crossover read for fans of the related YA genres. (also on: Magical Realism, Wonderful Worlds)
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
These are not your typical dangerously attractive YA vampires. No, these vampires are gruesome and absolutely frightening. This is a book that will keep you up reading far later than you want to. (also on: Horror/Suspense/Thriller)
YA for Adults
Not sure where to start in the admittedly overwhelming world of MG and YA lit? Here are a few that, in my opinion, represent some of the best aspects of this genre.
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Like the prison itself, this book is such an epic creation, my mind can't quite wrap itself around how Catherine Fisher managed to conceive of it, and then write a tome about it. Thrilling, complex, and action-packed fantasy. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Fantasy, Best Books Published in 2010)
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
Have I talked enough about this quietly brilliant book yet? Have I? (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Thought-Provoking Reads, Quiet Gems, Memorable Protagonists, Exceptionalities, POC)
Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner
More MG than YA, but will remind of the best parts of being a preteen. I love this book with all of my heart and wish that I had had it when I was in late elementary or middle school. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, Books with Athletes, Middle Grade, Diverse Reads, Supporting Characters)
Nothing by Janne Teller
For the adults who like their reads thought-provoking, philosophical, and a little twisted. I'm actually rather surprised this was published as YA here in the US. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Books Published in 2010, Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Best Villains)
Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French
Another MG read that combines the passionate optimism of middle schoolers with an ageless message. (also on: Middle Grade, POC, Supporting Characters, Important Themes)
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
One of the best YA books ever. It's contemporary realism, but is written in such a way that it feels almost surreal. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Night-In Reads, Quiet Gems, Nice Guys, Messy Relationships, Diverse Reads)
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Jennifer Donnelly writes both adult and YA historical fiction. If Andi's angst grates on your nerves a bit, look past that to the meticulous research and sweeping feel of this novel. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, Historical Fiction, Diverse Reads)
The females in these books kick some serious butt, and I can only hope that, if I were ever in a situation like theirs, I would deal with it the way they do.
A Spy in the House and The Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee
Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, Book 1) by Tamora Pierce
Millennium Trilogy, Book 1: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
These books contain some relevant issues that make for good discussions, if not must-reads:
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Sexual assault: Hush by Eishes Chayil
Social networking and consumerism: The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
Environmentalism: Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French
Eating disorders: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Homelessness: Almost Home by Jessica Blank
Bullycide: By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Stalking: This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
Asperger's, grief: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Here are some so-called "classics" that I'd like to bring to your reading consideration, in case you, like me, are interested in reading these as well.
This British whodunnit features multiple narratives, the British imperialist attitude, and is overall a very fascinating read. (also on: Mysteries)
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
People know about Middlemarch, but The Mill on the Floss is a surprisingly poignant and interesting coming-of-age tale.
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Eliot's masterpiece. This epic classic details the minutiae of life in the English countryside.
An amazing, amazing play that earns its "modern American classic" status. The HBO miniseries based off this is fantastic, but the play is worth the read as well.
Anything by Anthony Trollope
He's lost in the Victorian canon amidst Dickens and the like, but he's nearly as good as Austen in his shrewd social commentary, in my opinion.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I enjoyed my second time reading this book far more than I did the first time. I guess this time around I was able to appreciate it as an intriguing, convoluted survey of English citizens of all socioeconomic classes.
Mass Market Paperback Love
Sometimes the best reads come in small packages. :)
Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Probably my number one favorite urban fantasy series. A perfect blend of wit, the supernatural element, and sexual tension. Sooo much love. (also on: Memorable Protagonists, Bad Boys)
WVMP Radio series by Jeri Smith-Ready
Another top-notch urban fantasy series, and the series that proved to me that I will never tire of reading about vampires, as long as they are written well. A wonderful cast of supporting characters, plus a strong romance at its core, make this a winner for me. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Night-In Reads, Nice Guys)
Guild Hunters, Book 1: Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh
This one is more paranormal romance than straight-up paranormal urban fantasy. I enjoyed the build-up of Elena and Raphael's relationship, but I know it won't appeal to everyone, especially hardcore feminists. (also on: Bad Boys)
I've only read the first two books in this historical romance series so far, but they are utterly adorable! There's humor and heart aplenty in these books, in addition to the necessary aspects of this genre.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean
Also excellent historical romance. I was completely invested in happy endings for the two main characters!
Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
The books in this series are in a genre of their own. Part historical, part steampunk, part paranormal romance, the series channels the brilliant wit of the likes of Jane Austen for a fast, furious, and giggle-inducing time.
Your turn! What books would you recommend to someone who's just starting to read YA?
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Linked titles go to my book reviews; annotations as inspired.