Tuesday, October 2, 2012

tuesday 10: backlist reads

This week's topic from The Broke and the Bookish is top ten "older" books that you don't want people to forget about. I'm going to be focusing on YA published before 2010 -- I know, I know, that's not very old. But with so much attention constantly on new releases, it's easy to bypass a book just because it was published a few years ago.

1. Two-Way Street
Lauren Barnholdt
Published 2007
This is the first Lauren Barnholdt book I read and one of the first "YA road trips" books I've read -- it still stands up as one of the best of both categories. Less focused on wacky roadside attractions and more focused on the relationship between the two people in the car, this is a sweetly sad, emotional read that surprises. And despite me just calling it sad, it's actually really fun. It's the story of Courtney and Jordan (her ex-boyfriend), who got into the same college before Jordan dumped Courtney, and are now stuck driving to their new school together. It's so good. And so not quite what I was expecting.

2. When It Happens
Susane Colasanti
Published 2006
Susane Colasanti's first book -- an opposites-attract love story -- is still her best. It's your typical boy-meets-girl romance, but it's just done so so well

3. Bass Ackwards and Belly Up
Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain
Published 2006
Looking at my shelves right now I realize that this book is missing and whether I got rid of it or something else happened to it, it feels like an error because this is a great book. Three best friends bail on their college plans to do the unconventional thing and "pursue their dreams" -- college not included. I at first thought it was going to be a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants knock-off (and, yes, there are some similarities), but it's a very different story altogether.

4. Jerk California
Jonathan Friesen
Published 2008
Tourettes. A road trip. A quest for truth and acceptance. This book is so worth reading.

5. Breathing
Cheryl Renee Herbsman
Published 2009
A love story between a girl with athsma and the boy who seems to make it disappear. Full of southern dialect, hot summers, and complicated, confusing feelings, this book is sort of exactly the type of book I like. The "love story" between Savannah and Jackson is never quite as clear-cut as I wanted, which made the book all the more awkward and great.

6. The Key to the Golden Firebird
Maureen Johnson
Published 2004
Maureen Johnson's debut novel has a bit of a Dessen-y feel compared to her other novels, and it's one of my favorites. A little more dramatic than, say, Girl at Sea, but still full of great humor.

7. Scribbler of Dreams
Mary E. Pearson
Published 2001
A modern twist on Romeo & Juliet, this is another love story between teenagers whose families hate each other. And I don't know what to say about it except that I absolutely, positively love it. So, so great. 

8. How to Build A House
Dana Reinhardt
Published 2008
One of the most sparsely-told, brilliant little books I've come across. It's the story of a girl dealing with her father's divorce by joining a volunteer program that has her building a house for a family whose own home was torn apart by a tornado. It's a love story, a family story, a journey of self. It's really, really good. (If you read and liked The Summer I Learned to Fly, you'd probably love this one.)

9. I Was A Non-Blonde Cheerleader
Kieran Scott
Published 2005
Oh, it's basically just what you expect from the title (just better), and it's so cute, so good, so awesome.

10. The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading
Charity Tahmaseb & Darcy Vance
Published 2009
Another cheerleading book where the cover says it all. And again -- so cute, so good, so awesome. It's a mix of geeky and traditionally popular that I just love, love, love. (Even years after reading this book I can't help but spazz out about how good it is.)


  1. I haven't read any of these books. I haven't heard of many of them either. It's always fun to find new titles, so I'm going to check them out - even when I think they aren't really for me :)

    My TTT @thedailyprophecy

  2. I haven't read any of these, I think I have a few on my TBR pile ;)

    My TTT

  3. Aw, thanks for the shout out. I was lucky enough to meet Jonathan Friesen a few years ago and hear him give a talk. He's amazing and should be more widely read.

  4. I actually have not read any of these! But you can be sure that I'm taking note of the titles, and aiming to find them. They all sound pretty darn good to me!

  5. I am sorry to say I wasn't a huge fan of When It Happens. I just got really annoyed with the girl MC. Plus, generally alternating POVs aren't my favorite. But I'm glad you liked it. I know tons of people do.

    Quinn from Quinn's Book Nook

  6. I haven't read any of these, but I have a couple of them on my shelves. Definitely looking up the others I'd never heard about. Thanks!