Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My shameless love of YA Fiction - Tia

Allegiant - Veronica Roth

I love to read. I always have. I remember being in elementary school and meticulously pouring over the Scholastic Book order form deciding which books I needed and which ones I could live without until the next go round. (Spoiler: I usually needed them all right then.) Most kids looked forward to new video games or ice cream sundae bars in the cafeteria. I was always geeked for the day the books would arrive. 

I loved my books. I was a shy only child for almost 9 years. Awkwardly tall for my age, I liked sports, books, math and science. So you KNOW I was a hit with all of the other elementary school girls. Books were my way of escape. You could usually find me curled up in some corner reading something or other. 

And I treasured my books. No, you can't borrow them. I don't know your life. You might try to write in it. Or *gasp* fold down the corner to hold your page rather than use a bookmark. I can't take that chance. Side note: I wanted to give my little brother away when he wrote on my copy of Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. Which, by the way, I still have, green marker scribble and all. 

I hate to admit it but college kind of got in the way of my leisure reading. I was pre-med for two years and didn't have time to read anything but science books. Then when I switched my major to Psychology I didn't really have to time to read anything but psych lit. Leisure reading was essentially put on hold for 4 years. Even for a while after college, real life seem to have a way of intruding on my reading time. 

But the last few years have been quite different. I spend a ridiculous amount of time in the air. I usually travel for work 2-3 times a week. It's hard. And tiring. And lonely. However, it completely affords me the time to read. And that almost makes it worth it. 

The other day I was archiving some of my eBooks and I realized, for someone who hasn't been a young adult in a VERY long time, I have A LOT of YA fiction. I've never been a huge fan of biographies and memoirs. (Wait, is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a biography?) I can't respect anything about the Harlequin/Romance/50 Shades type books. (I secretly judge anyone I see reading a 50 Shades book.) And while there is some adult fiction out there that I have read and enjoyed, for a while now I've been coming back to the YA stuff. 

Side note again: I know I said I don't really get into memoirs. However, if you have not read Let's Pretend This Never Happened by The Bloggess aka Jenny Lawson, go immediately over to iTunes or Amazon and get it now. I literally almost wet my pants laughing at this box. No, not figuratively, LITERALLY. (I don't like airplane restrooms and I was trying to hold it because we were landing soon.) 

So if you're like me and you're not ashamed to be seen with something labeled as a children's book (or if you have an e-Reader and don't have to worry about anyone seeing what you're reading) here are some books that I've read in the last few months that you may enjoy. 
I am not yet unconvinced that a zombie apocalypse isn't right around the corner. You laugh, but don't come looking for me when it all goes down.  I will be hunkered down with provisions and weapons...surviving. Anyway, Zom-B is the story of B, a young British (yay!) student trapped at school when a zombie apocalypse breaks out. And that's honestly all I can say because anything else would be: 
The Zom-B books are easy reads. It's never taken me longer than an afternoon to read them. The only down side to that is that the author is not cranking them out fast enough for me. So once I burned through the first 3 books, I had nothing else to do but wait. 

The Matched series is set in a dystopian society (like a lot of other YA series) where choices have been removed. What you learn, where you'll work, who you'll marry and even when you die are all decided by the Society.  Do I even need to tell you that that ain't gonna work out for everybody? Yeah, I didn't think so. 

There is a love triangle per se. But you don't want to murder the female lead for being an idiot. (Looking at you Bella.) So if you hate stupid romance stories in books like I do, you'll be okay with this one. I won't give it away, but I will say the choices the lead character, Cassia makes are driven by strength and principle rather than desperation. Again, looking at you Bella. 

The Program - Suzanne Young

I stayed up until 2am last night finishing this book. I could not put it down. As I got closer and closer to the end I started getting a panicked feeling. There were far too many ongoing issues with what was clearly not enough pages to resolve them. My mind immediately asked the question, "When is the next book!?!?!" A tweet from the author made me do a slow wall slide and whine, "nooooo." 


In The Program suicide has become an epidemic for people under 18. The only cure seems to be The Program. But while kids who go into The Program may come out "cured" of depression, they also return with no memory of who they used to be. Sloane and her boyfriend will do anything not to end up in The Program. But it's getting harder and harder to keep up the charade. The depression is setting it. And once it does, they come for you. 

Obviously, I will make it until April but I won't be happy about waiting. No ma'am. 

A friend of mine told me that his daughter liked to read but she didn't have any books she could get into at the moment. I bought her the first two books of the Divergent series because I thoroughly enjoyed them and my friend's daughter reminds me a lot of myself at that age, so I figured she'd like them too. 

Two days after I gave her the books I got the following text, "WHEN DOES THE THIRD BOOK COME OUT?!?!?!" The first and second book are 496 and 592 pages long respectively. That child read 1000+ pages in two days. But I understand. The Divergent books are THAT GOOD. 

Set in a dystopian Chicago of the near future, (see, I told you. Dystopia as far as the eyes can see) 16-year-old Beatrice must decide which of the 5 factions she will dedicate the rest of her life to. She can follow her heart or stay with her family but she can't do both. Stressful, right? And if that wasn't enough, she has a secret that could get her killed. 

Page-turner is an understatement for these books. It's suspenseful and heart-breaking. You'll laugh at parts and weep at others. Okay maybe not weep, but I guarantee you you'll get misty-eyed during that thing know what, you're gonna with it. 

Seriously, if you haven't read The Hunger Games books by now, I can't with you. I just can't. 

If you've read this entire post then good on you. It probably means we are kindred spirits and which means you too will love all of these suggestions. So run along and start getting your read on. And if you have a title that you think I'd enjoy tell me in the comments or via "The Twitter." 


iggystar said...

So many suggestions from a trusted source. If you say they're good I believe it. I'm scarily in love with The Hunger Games, like I have yarn based on the series that will be knit with Katniss sock patterns..yes, there are such things, what can I say I'm an uber-geek. The Divergent series has been idle in my queue so I'll go with that next.

I've heard that The Uglies Trilogy is a good sci-fi YA series, at least that's what my teenager says.

Oh and I can attest to the fact that Let's Pretend This Never Happened will make you run for a bathroom. It's hilarity in book form.

Lei said...

Right now I am in the middle of the Maze Runner Trilogy. I started the Matched series, but the ending left me now wanting to even move on to the 2nd. I soared thru the Hunger Games Trilogy. I think I might be starting the Divergent or Uglis series next. I also secretly judge those who read Harlequinn and 50 Shades. My issue with the Scholastic book form was how in the world I was going to stretch my allowance to get everything I wanted. I wish I would've kept one of the forms. I still have some of the books purchased thru them.

Anonymous said...

I think there's more of us out there than is commonly thought. I was touched by this article. Please forgive and delete if you think this is spamming but I wrote Sonny Preyer partly out of a deep love for my YA fiction growing up. Something about how special and exciting new experiences are is frozen in time for the readers of these novels. Since something can only be new once, we celebrate that thrill. Mundane life takes on a new sheen through the YA inexperience. It's as magical a time as any and worth cherishing. As a teen, I was never tempted to use drugs because I knew what books/imagination could do and I didn't want to mess all that up. You're awesome for 'fessing up' like this. Thanks


Andrea said...

I clicked on this post from facebook because I saw the third book from the Divergent series and was freaking out! I read the first two a while ago and kind of gave up hope of reading the third. But, then, here it was right on my screen! So I clicked on it and boo, I have to wait til October! Well, I guess I will try and read some of your other suggestions because seeing as I can relate to almost all of your posts, I'm thinking I might like your book selections too.

Danielle said...

I've always loved to read since I was a little girl too. Like you, I didn't read much for pleasure while in college because I was busy with school. I'd say a few years after I graduated from college and once my son was at a age where he could do a little more for himself, I started reading all the time again. I rarely buy books so I'm always at the library to pick up books and dvds that I've put on hold. It got to the point where two of the librarians knew me by name because I'm always at the library.

I haven't gotten into any YA books even though there is one particular series that I honestly feel embarrassed over because I do want to read it since I've been watching the tv series. I'd say 98%of the books I read are Christian fiction, but maybe I'll give a YA book a try and see what happens.