Monday, 28 April 2014

Top Ten: Young Adult Fiction

As my deadlines are still looming I 'm still starved for reading time, so here we go with another "time-saving" blog post (actually, it probably took me longer to think about my top ten books than it would have taken me to read and review a new book!).

Who doesn't love a good bit of YA fiction and at the moment the spotlight has never been more focused on this budding genre, jumping on the bandwagon I thought I'd share some of my favourite YA books. 

Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman: Blackman's novel has one of the best concepts that I've ever read and I loved it so much that I actually wrote my sixth year dissertation on it. Despite that there's not much I can say about the novel without losing my tenuous grip on articulation. Noughts and Crosses tells the tale of Callum, a nought, and Sephy, a cross, who fall in love despite the odds. Blackman explores the themes of prejudice and racism in a throughly engaging way that has made the book a staple for many school curriculums, a must read.

Shadowland - Meg Cabot: I love Meg Cabot's Boy Series for adults, the first of which I reviewed here, and whilst never having read her hugely successful Princess Diaries series I do love her paranormal YA series. The first in the series, Shadowland, begins the story of Suze, a teenage liaison between the living and the dead. Wonderfully funny and entertaining, Suze is a smart and spunky heroine and along with her ghostly sidekick, Jesse, her adventures span six wonderful books with a seventh being announced last year!

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins: Dystopian fiction has taken off of late and alongside Westerfield's Uglies, The Hunger Games was one of the first that I read. There's not really much I can add to all the rave reviews surrounding the book and most of you have probably read it or watched the movie by now anyway. Collins' novel really stands out for me because of her heroine, Katniss, and the thought provoking way she handles her themes, never once talking down to her audience. 

Looking for AlaskaJohn Green: Recently named one of Time's most influential people, if you like YA then John Green will be a name known to you. Green's latest, The Fault in Our Stars is now a much anticipated film due for release next month. Although I read and enjoyed TFIOSLooking for Alaska is probably my favourite of Green's, although that is a difficult choice to make. Miles is one of my favourite YA narrators and his relationship with Alaska Young is another beautiful tale from Green. 

The Raging Quiet - Sherryl Jordan: Another book that I actually read as a YA. I still remember receiving my copy for my birthday with the words, "it sounded like your kind of thing" and it definitely was my kind of thing. It's no secret that I love history and Jordan's book about a young bride that moves to a small village and after befriending the village outcast is accused of witchcraft. I don't want to spoil any of these books for any of you that are lucky enough not to have read them, but suffice to say that The Raging Quiet is a wonderfully romantic story that captured my heart as a teen and one that I still love reading.

Ketchup Clouds - Annabel Pitcher: The premise of Pitcher's novel really grabbed me, young Zoe, tormented by her secret, decides to write to a death row inmate and confess all. Dark and yet full of humour, Pitcher's novel is unlike any other on the list and kept me hooked right until the end.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging - Louise Rennison: Really harking back to my youth with this one, I used to love the Georgia Nicolson books when I younger and eagerly awaited the next throughout my school years. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging is a year in the life of Georgia, a typical British teenager who's just trying to negotiate her way through that most awkward phase of life. Rennison's series maintains a coveted spot on my bookshelf and supplied me with many a wonderful catchphrase throughout my teen years. 

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell: I reviewed Eleanor & Park here and there's not much more I can really add to that other than that I think this is the YA novel that everyone should read, a wonderfully haunting and relatable love story for any age.

I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith: I know I am not the only teenage girl to relate to Smith's I Capture the Castle and it was a huge part of my teenage years. A classic coming of age story, Smith's first novel appears on many must read lists for young women and I have to say that I heartily concur, although I'd go one further and recommend that everyone read it. From the first page Cassandra is sure to delight and the tales of her eccentric family are witty and insightful and are sure to completely charm you.

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak: I don't think that this book needs much introduction given its huge success, as a history student and a YA lover this book really had to be included on my list. The Second World War is one of the most written about eras of history so finding a new and innovative approach to the topic isn't all that easy but Zusak's novel managed to engage children and adults alike in one of the most important historical events ever. A distinctive and yet easy style really elevates Zusak's novel and makes it a must read, whether you're interest in the subject matter or not. In other news, I've still yet to see the movie, if you've seen it let me know if you'd recommend it!

Despite loving the genre I've still only returned to it relatively recently so I know I'm missing some fabulous books, if I'm missing your favourite let me know and on to the TBR it goes!

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