Sunday, May 15, 2016

YA Fiction I'd Suggest to Anyone



Since I've started reading YA (young adult) fiction, I have passed some books onto my mother, and she has also read them and then we talk about them. YA is broad genre, with many good themes, and I don't think should just be read by young adults. So, I've made a list of YA books I'd suggest to anyone.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This book. It made me feel. The writing was perfect and I couldn't put it down. The characters hid their mental illness from adults, which is not a good message, but I think it is realistic. It's compared to The Fault in our Stars sometimes. I'm not sure why- the characters are so much better, the story is more realistic and compelling (I can't stand tfios, not even sorry).

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I basically read this book under my desk at school and had a very unproductive day. But the writing? The characters? Everything about this book is beautiful. The themes, like the importance of books and Nazi Germany and survivors guilt are handled carefully. Also the character development was amazing. While this book is aimed at young adults, it's easily an adults read as well.

Unwind
I sort of shiver every time I think about this book. It's creepy. But in a good, thought provoking way. Unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts. The writing is awkward and a little bit clichéd. But once you get caught up in the story, you forget about these things. Basically, the overall question is what value does life have? When does it end? And who gets to decide that? This book isn't written for everyone, but I think everyone should give it a read.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
Hear me out. The Hunger games itself is not the best written book ever, and it does rely a bit on clichés. But, it is action packed, and while aimed at young adults, it contains some very important themes. Power, society/class, sacrifice and violence for entertainment are just a few of the themes addressed. These are important themes in society in general, not just for young adults. Also, the movies are brilliant, so I'd suggest watching them too.

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
This book is based around short to the point chapters from various points of view about Liz Emerson, what lead to her trying to commit suicide and how people react. The narrator is an unusual one, but it didn't really matter. I cried a tiny little bit at the end because at the time, the event of a suicide was an especially sensitive thing. This book really highlighted how we all play parts in others lives whether we realise it or not.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Another book that is often compared to The Fault in our Stars, but is so much better. The narrator is funny, the story is realistic and we get to see the characters develop and react to events. There's nothing adult-y about this book, it's pure teenager. Which does mean it's pretty dirty, unfortunately, but it's still worth the read. Fitting in, liking yourself and caring about more than yourself are some of the themes in this book.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My least favorite book in the Lunar Chronicles, but probably the most important. Why? Cinder's not fully human- she's part android. And because of this, she's treated as a second class human. I come back to thinking about Cinder a lot. In the future, humanity is going to have to decide what defines a human. I can't decide what I think, and so this book continues to plague my thoughts.

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
What We Saw centres around rape culture. Kate gets drunk at a party, and so does another girl. The other girl is raped, while a friend takes Kate home. Rather than rally around the raped girl, the town rally's around the boys. Kate grows more and more uncomfortable, and eventually decides to speak out. The themes in this book may be dark, but it's not graphic, and it's defiantly not just for young adults.


Which YA books would you always suggest to anyone? Why? Do you disagree with me on anything or my list? What would you add? Have you read all the books on my list?
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Opal loves YA. 

25 comments:

  1. I've only read The Book Thief out of those you listed, but I've been thinking I'd like to read All the Bright places for a while now, and you've just convinced me even more..

    I'd probably have to add Ruta Sepetys books, especially Between Shades of Gray.. Have you read any of her books?

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    1. Yay! Please give it a try :)

      I haven't read any Ruta Sepety, so I'll have to check it out :)

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  2. I agree with a lot of your choices-- THG's themes were ultimately one of the reasons why it stands out and became one of the faces of YA.

    The Book Thief I have, but I haven't gotten around to reading yet, which is an odd thing considering I'm extremely fascinated by anything World War II. For All the Bright Places, I have it as well, but I can't keep myself invested in the book at one time-- I need to have an actual sit-read for that.

    The breadwinner of this list has got to be Cinder though-- the Lunar Chronicles, in general. Weaving fantasy origins within a sci-fi story is something I love seeing, and can we just talk about the refreshing feeling of there being no existing love triangles?

    xoxo Morning

    P.S. It's so weird to see that you're following my old theatre account, although I really shouldn't be calling it old-- I'm still somewhat involved in using it.

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    1. Agreed! People open say it's badly written, but I think that's easily overlooked when you address the themes.

      The Book Thief and All The Bright Places are awesome :) The Lunar Chronicles as a whole are awesome as well.

      I hadn't even noticed :o I'll have to follow your current account :)

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  3. I've only read half of the books on the list (All The Bright Places, The Book Thief, Falling Into Place, and Cinder), but I absolutely agree with all of them. The Book Thief is one of my personal favourites, and All The Bright Places was one of the first YA books that I read (I think). It's really interesting to hear your opinions about why you think everyone should read these books, and I'll definitely be adding a couple of them to my TBR. Thanks for sharing! :D

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this post and got to add some books to your TBR :)

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  4. This is such a great list! I've made my dad read The Book Thief and The Hunger Games, so I'd definitely agree with those. I've heard such mixed things about All The Bright Places, so I'm still deciding whether I want to read it, but I'm glad you loved it so much! And I've been meaning to read What We Saw for a while now. It's just never been at the library.

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    1. That's awesome! I'd defiantly suggest reading All The Bright Places and What We Saw when you get the chance :)

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  5. How much profanity is in the books you listed? I was so disappointed at how much cursing The Book Thief had in it. I am on the search for good and clean YA books!!

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    1. SAME! I can handle profanity in bits and pieces, but with The Book Thief it was an every-page type of thing, and I just got annoyed and gave up. I LOVED The Hunger Games, though- the themes are fabulous. And Aaliyah, that's a pretty clean series, as long as a bit of gore doesn't bother you. I actually haven't read the rest of these, I'll have to check them out!!

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    2. YES! EXACTLY! It was entirely too much cussing. It was ridiculous. I was so grateful the movie didn't have hardly any in it. And okay, awesome!

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    3. I wish I could answer the question with honesty, but because I attend high school and have read hundreds of books with profanity, I tend to just blank it out. I'm currently working on a list of clean YA, so keep your eyes out :)

      Cinder and Unwind were good, if I made a tentative choice :)

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  6. I totally agree with The Hunger Games! I've been on the edge about whether or not to read All the Bright Places - it seems like contemporary high school romances have been on the rise lately (TFIOS, Paper Towns, Elenor & Park) and I'm afraid it'll be too much like ones I've already read.
    Another I'd add (simply because it's too fun!) is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. It's about two kids who run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and end up trying to solve the mystery of who created a strange angel statue. It's definitely one of my all-time favorite books!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. I think you can take a shallow look at All the Bright Places and come away feeling like it's cliché, but if you have the time/dedication to think about it more, you start to realise the deeper parts :)

      Sounds like an awesome book, I'll have to check it out!

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  7. All The Bright Places was FANTASTIC!! it was my favorite book I read last year! Me And Earl And The Dying Girl also made that list. have you seen the movie yet? personally, I liked it even better than the book. and I dont say that often.

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    1. YAY!!! It was one of mine as well :)

      I LOVED the movie as well! Jesse Andrews wrote the script (I'm pretty sure), and I thought it followed the book quite closely and carried the humour :)

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  8. It's so interesting that you have All the Bright Places as the first on your list. I bought a copy of it ages ago, and when I was cleaning my bookshelf up yesterday, I was reminded of it. I think I might just have to make time for it soon!

    Thanks for the recommendations!

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    1. Yes! I'd defiantly suggest moving it up your TBR :)

      Welcome :)

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  9. I love All the bright places,jenifer Niven is such an inspirational lady!,and yes,it is better than tfios,but I like tfios too.

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    1. Yay! She is indeed :) I'm glad you enjoyed tfios, because it shows how we all have our own taste when it comes to books :)

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  10. Does All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven have that cliché inevitable sex scene? Because if so, I ain't gonna read it.

    I loved reading the book thief, however there was quite a lot of cursing in it but it was fairly easy to tolerate because there weren't any 'f-bombs' I guess *shrugs*

    The Hunger Games ummm... the themes were good but the story could be better, yes.

    I'll see if I can check out "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and also 'What we saw'.

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    1. From memory, there wasn't a whole lot of sex in All the Bright Places, and (also from memory) nothing was described, so I guess the answer to that is no, I don't think so :)

      The Book Thief was awesome! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that about The Hunger Games.

      Hope you enjoy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and What We saw :)

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  11. Of these, I personally liked Cinder and Unwind, but I think Unwind is really the only one I could see myself recommending to anyone. I guess, to me, it felt like the greatest way to describe the teenage experience, and in some ways I wish it were required reading for teachers and parents. Cinder is definitely a fun one, though, and I would also suggest it for people looking for a fun read! :) This was a great idea, Opal!

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