This is a neat weekly feature over at a blog I really enjoy, The Broke and the Bookish. They read books similar to some that I've been reviewing, and they're fun and they write well. Totally worth checking out!
Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to People Who Had Never
Tried YA Fiction
1. The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal. This is easy to recommend to adults, because it's so borderline. It's classified YA here at my library, but there's definitely some behind-bedroom-doors scenes in it, and it's been billed as "a fairytale about syphilis." Definitely has some more mature plot to it, and I think adult readers of fantasy/thrillers would enjoy it.
2. The Madman's Daughter and Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd. I'd give these to anyone who usually read adult classics or anyone who liked romance. The books are based on The Island of Dr. Moreau (The Madman's Daughter) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Her Dark Curiosity), so you get the same feel as you would reading those stories (darkness, suspense) plus you get some romance. The third book promises to be just as good, and will be based on Frankenstein.
3. Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. A lot of adults read The Book Thief last year, when the movie was released. Those same adults would love the Elizabeth Wein books. I would also hand them to anyone who enjoyed WWII fiction or nonfiction.
4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. The setting? 1980s. This will take you right back to when you were a teen in the '80s, making mix tapes for your special someone.
5. Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson with Maxine Paetro. Not only would the author be recognizable to someone who usually read adult fiction, but the writing is phenomenal. The main character "feels" much more mature than you would expect from a teen, and she's got a great snarkiness.
6. The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison. The narrator of the book is a teen struggling with intense grief and OCD, so she's pretty unreliable. The entire book feels rather dark. I'd hand this one to adults who usually read dark suspense mystery thrillers.
7. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I'd give this set of books to anyone who usually read adult fantasy, because these books have it all: vampires, werewolves, magical clockwork creatures, sword fights, general badassery. Bonus: Victorian England.
8. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal. This one is nonfiction YA, and I'd hand it to any techhead or biography junkie. It was really well-written; not clunky or bogged down at all, and I learned tons of interesting facts about Steve Jobs. Like, there was a period where he ate only yogurt and apples and thought that because he was only putting clean things into his body, he didn't need to shower. Hmm.
9. Heist Society trilogy by Ally Carter. This one I'm recommending to younger kids, pre-teens, looking to stick their toe in the waters of YA. The books are clean of language and lovey-doveyness, but they're YA length and depth. The main characters are teens who work together to pull off major heists, or thefts, but for good, not evil.
10. And finally, just for fun, I'd love to hand a grown-up guy Winger by Andrew Smith or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I think they'd make the reader laugh out loud (I laughed out loud when I read them!) and take them right back to their own teenage days. Well-written and hilarious: not a combination you find every day.
Small confession: I work in teen services in a library, so I get to see what books adults request, and occasionally recommend YA books to adults, for all of the reasons mentioned above. So I almost feel like this was a "cheat" post. :) But I haven't had an opportunity yet to fulfill #10 on my list! Leave a comment and link to your Top Ten! What do you recommend we read?