I met Kim through a blogger link up site, and she is super cool. Wanna know why? Because she is going to be a librarian. Honestly, if I ever get a chance to go back to grad school, this is what I will do. Maybe I’m a little jealous of her. At least she shared a few of her fave YA reads over here at the Call Her Happy. Here’s looking at you Jen and Katie.
It seems like young adult literature is all the rage these days. So many of the next big books, authors, and movies are aimed at the 12-18 crowd, but even adults are jumping on board. But what does this mean for the adult reader who isn’t so enamored with sparkling vampires and boy wizards? For those readers, there are plenty of books beyond Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games that adults can enjoy; books that include plot, character development, and stylistic choices to match any adult novel. Young Adult doesn’t mean sub-par. These eight books are a great start for any adult who wants a taste of YA with the quality.
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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
After the tragic death of her mother on her sixteenth birthday, Gemma Doyle is sent to Spence Academy, a boarding school for girls outside of London. While there, Gemma begins to have mysterious visions, which lead her and her friends to the discovery of a magical world beyond anything they could ever have imagined.
Narrated by the witty and immensely likeable Gemma, this story of finding who you are is familiar to almost anyone, even if we didn’t spend our teenage years in a magical, Victorian boarding school. Readers will love the rich descriptions and the engaging plot.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The last thing seventeen year old Mia remembers is laughing with her family, when suddenly she is watching the scene of an accident as paramedics remove bodies – including her own. Stuck between this world and the next, she spends the next 24 hours watching as doctors try to save her, as friends and love ones mourn the loss of her family, and as they desperately hope for her to survive. During this time, she realizes she has a decision. Should she stay on earth? Or pass on to be with her family?
This is a beautifully written story of love, loss, and what it means to be alive. The power of family and friends and the choices we make is something that will resonate with readers of any age.
Sisterhood Everlasting by Gayle Forman
This fifth installment of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series takes place 10 years after the last book. Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown apart from the close friendship they once had, but an invitation from Tibby to meet in Italy seems like the perfect way to reconnect. When a tragedy occurs, however, the women’s lives are shaken to the core.
Though this is a continuation of the series, readers need not have read the first four to enjoy this book. The characters as adults are vastly different than their previous incarnations, but they are no less compelling. This is a book that will break your heart and put it back together again.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
When Jacob’s grandfather died, he thought he saw a monster. But monsters aren’t real, right? That’s what his parents and his therapist say. Jacob’s not so sure, though. To explore the mystery that was his grandfather and finally figure out the truth of his death, Jacob travels to a small island outside England where his grandfather lived during WWII. There he will discover Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children and learn that his grandfather wasn’t what he seemed to be at all. And neither is Jacob.
This imaginative tale is full of twists and surprises enough to keep any reader from putting it down. The multi-layered story is part fantasy, part adventure, part historical fiction, and all enchanting.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Saved from dying from Stage IV thyroid cancer by a medical miracle at fourteen, Hazel has spent the last two years tethered to an oxygen machine and living a very quiet life. When Hazel meets Augustus at a cancer support group, her world suddenly changes, forcing Hazel to re-examine her life and her illness. Yet, the future isn’t certain for either of them and they must decide what to do with the time they have left.
John Green has a very distinct, typical voice and plot and this book is no exception, but he manages touch on so much more in this book than his previous works. The beautiful journey and powerful ending will have readers laughing and reaching for a box of tissues.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Over the summer Frankie has changed from a quiet geek to a knockout with attitude. She snags a hot new senior boyfriend and a place in the in-crowd, but the intelligent, witty Frankie wants much more than that. When she is excluded from her boyfriend’s all male secret society, she decides to put her scheming brain to the test and use pranks to make a political statement about the classist, male-dominated nature of her school – and maybe earn her way into her boyfriend’s secret world.
Frankie is a truly charming character. Adult readers will love her hijinks and identify with her attempt to navigate the complications of a girl growing up and finding her place in her world.
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy
Orphan Will Henry acts as assistant to a doctor with a very unusual interest – monster hunting. Despite the bizarre circumstances, Will Henry has grown accustomed to his life until one night when a truly horrifying monster is delivered to the doctor. This leads Will and the doctor on a terrifying chase to stop the world from being overrun with a very dangerous and deadly beast, a chase that will reveal secrets to both Will and the doctor’s pasts.
This book is beautifully written and recalls the style of classic horror writers like Poe and Shelley. One note about this book, however, is the clinical detail with which the study of monsters and their victims is described. It’s not for the squeamish. If they can get past that, even the most skeptical of adult readers will be bewitched with the style, plot, and characters.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In this future version of United States, love is a disease and the government has found a cure. All citizens must take this cure when they turn 18 in order to be safe from the “delirium” and lead happy, predictable lives. Lena has always looked forward to the cure; she wants to be safe from the disease that destroyed her mother. Ninety-five days from her birthday, however, something happens that changes everything. Lena is no longer sure that the cure, her family, and the government are right about love.
This unique take on the typical dystopian story will have readers fearing for and rooting for Lena. Adult readers who are able to understand the nuances of love and the world without it will find her story even more fascinating and alarming.