Sunday, March 1, 2015

YA Recommended Readingz

I've read a few more YA titles since the last time Angela and I posted our faves, so when she asked if I'd be keen to do another round-up, I was all 'yup!'  There are too many great titles and not enough time to read them all...

As we did last time, Angela and I are posting our faves on the same day - so go and check out her list (it will be good) over at Striking Keys.

So these are my 15 faves from the last year or so of reading.  I definitely read some duds too, but these are not those.  In fact, some of these titles are in my Top Ten of All The Times list!  I'll let you guess which...

'How I Live Now' - Meg Rosoff

Waaaaaaaaah < that's me crying.  I get that this one isn't for everyone, but it was for me.  Rosoff's writing is topnotch, and the story really got under my skin.  It's a short read, like stay-up-till-ya-finish-it (because once you're invested, you can't put it down).  There is some controversy about the romance, but I thought this was overblown tbh.  The love story actually got me the most.

:-) :-) :-) Laini fangirl right here :-P.  Just do yourself a favour and READ THIS TRILOGY!  Unlike 'How I Live Now', I think this is a series that would be enjoyed by a wide range of YA readers/adult readers.

Definitely a 2014 favourite.  In terms of plausibility - I don't know, sometimes it felt far-fetched, BUT What do I know?  And I really fell for the three main chars. so what does it even matter?  They were totally endearing.  And it was all totally heartbreaking but in such an unexpected, poignant way.  Go.  Read.  

Totally weird and completely compelling.  I'm sold on Gaiman, even though his subject matter is def not my usual cuppa.  I'm going to read more of his work this year.  

'Okay for Now' - Gary D. Schmidt

Awwww!  I had a number of male, anti-hero, protags in my reading list for 2014.  I'm a fan.  Something about the hero-that-doesn't-believe-he's-worthy-but-totally-actually-is just gets under my skin.  Big fat tears rolling down my face.  'Boy21', 'The Wednesday Wars' and 'Finnikin of the Rock' all fit this description.  Allllll the cryyyyying.

'Scarlet' - Marissa Meyer

I loved 'Cinder', and 'Scarlet' was even more fun!  A range of captivating characters, riveting plot, and lush settings.  Seriously digging this series and anxious to get into the third.

'Finnikin of the Rock' - Melina Marchetta

This was an amazing read!!!  And I loved the sequel even more!  Can't even believe it's taken me this long to read these because Marchetta is definitely a fave YA author.  It's like 'Game of Thrones' for young peeps - a sprawling, exotic setting, kickass characters, secrets, mysteries and epic battles (but these are kept to a minimum, just fyi).  RecoMMEND!

I think everyone's read this already, but it made my top ten last year.  I was a little dubious at first, the only John Green I'd read previously was 'Looking for Alaska' which I didn't dig.  However I loved 'The Fault in Our Stars', the characters, the story, the humour.  So, so sweet.  And all that other stuff that everyone else says about it ;-)

'The Giver' - Lois Lowry

So it turns out this is studied in some schools and evvvvverybody has already read it.  I'm slow to the party, and now join the hoards of fans.  Waaaaay more painful than I thought it would be, but so, so beautiful too.

'Birthmarked' - Caragh M. O'Brien

This whole series was great - perfect YA/crossover fiction.  The writing is intelligent and the characters are compelling.  Plus all the action and romance and cool settings you'd expect from a YA Dystopian novel. Much fun and a few crys.

'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe' - Benjamin Alire Saenz

Beautiful, tender and more than a little heartbreaking.  I really loved Saenz' writing style, and those characters, oh, oh.  

I love a good mystery (I mean, c'mon!  Who doesn't?!) and 'Spark' delivers one, for sure!  There's plenty of action, romance and badassery too, and I'm thinking it's all going to be amped up a notch or two with the sequel - 'Stray' (hopefully out soon?).  And did I mention, NZ fiction too?  Boom!

'we were liars' - e. lockhart

I'm not going to say I loved this one.  I spent most of the novel withholding judgement, and growing increasingly frustrated with many of the characters - esp. the adult ones.  But I was completely won over in the end, and retrospectively enjoyed it, yanno what I mean?  One esp. awesome thing?  The setting!  I mean, wow.  What dreams are made of.

'Where Things Come Back' - John Corey Whaley

Another one I didnt LOVE (at least not in a rabid Laini-Taylor-Hazza-Potta kinda way) as I was reading it - it was unsettling at times, and wasn't desperately drawn to the protagonist.  BUT it totally stuck with me afterwards, and I think about it often.  A cleverly crafted piece of writing, and one that I think would be a valuable read for YAs.

'Under the Never Sky' - Veronica Rossi

This one was straight-up escapism at its best.  Nothing fancy or flowery about the writing, this one is all about the story.  A pretty solid all-rounder - well-excecuted romance (that sounds so cold, but I was v. satisfied with the build-up - no insta-love here), interesting setting, fun side characters, mystery, baddies, action and some freaky deaky cannibals.  I haven't read the third yet, but I reckon she'll deliver.

I have a pretty good-looking TBR pile on my nightstand, which is always the best feeling (though if February is anything to go by, I may not finish many titles this year :-/ ).  I'm ludicrously excited about some of the beautiful books that are waiting for me, so I really just need to stop watching TV completely.


  1. I kind of feel like these posts are me giving you homework. I am sorry...but also grateful. I LOVE hearing your thoughts on books I've loved AND trawling for your rec's. LOVE.

  2. I love the Giver quartet I think my fav is gathering blue so I would def recommend the others if you liked the giver. I'm a bit scared of watching the film because I think they'll disney-fy it. I was with you on we were liars too - in the end I liked it but it was a process. I think I might struggle to do as much reading this year too but we can only try right? xx