Saturday, November 20, 2010

Contemporary Young Adult Literature 101 (Part Two)

Yesterday I talked about what a great genre contemporary YA is and how many amazing books it holds, if only you now where to look. I also posted part one of my Required Reading list, promising more to come. Today I'm sharing with you the second part of  my Contemporary Young Adult Lit 101 list, and next week I'll post the Recommended Reading list, made up of the books that didn't quite make it into the first fifteen.

Contemporary Young Adult Literature 101: Required Reading (pt.2):

Paper Towns, by John Green - LOL  <3  ^_^
John Green's third novel tells the story of Quentin Jacobsen and the amazing, erethreal girl he's loved since childhood. When the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman disappears before their high school graduation, Q chases after her, finding clues he believes that have been left for him along the way. This is an incredible mystery with plenty of exploration of friendship, love, and our perceptions of others.

This is What I Want to Tell You, by Heather Duffy-Stone - FAM  ^_^  <3
This story of two twins and their best friend, is told in alternating point-of-view from the siblings, as the two slip further and further away from each other, one starting a new chapter in his life while the other seems to be spinning out of control. This is one of the most deeply emotional novels I've read; the slim book has extremely strong characters and packs quite a punch.

The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams - ??  ^_^
This is a gut-wrenching story of a young girl attempting to escape from the strict, polygamist community she's grown up in after becoming betrothed against her will to her uncle. It's a harrowing, insanely intense novel that's gratifying while seeming very authentic and realistic.

Suite Scarlett, by Maureen Johnson - FAM  LOL
Without a doubt Maureen Johnson is one of contemporary YA's best and funniest writers and her newest series, focusing on a New York family who owns, runs, and lives in an old hotel, is arguably her best work yet. Though this book is the first in a series it works incredibly well on its own as the family's teenage daughter deals with the eccentric new guest, her older brother's hilarious and crazy antics, and the new love interest in her life. Above all, this is a LOL-for-real book full of memorable characters and relationships.

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson - ??  &
This is a beautifully-written, haunting novel about a teenage girl battling anorexia -- the same disease that killed her best friend. The plot, voice, and characterization are all handled amazingly, not to mention that the subject matter itself is intensely compelling. Though it's a difficult topic to tackle or to read about, this book is definitely a must-read.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart - <3  ^_^  LOL
Frankie is a funny, feisty, whip-smart protagonist and her story is one of love, feminism, wordplay, and incredible boarding school hijinks. The book is hilarious, touching, relatable, and one of the best-written books I've come across. I can't say enough good things about it.

The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney - ??  ^_^ 
This book tackles issues the issues of date rape, justice, and right vs. wrong in an incredible way. When Alex, a student at the prestigious Themis Academy, is date-raped, she can't go to the administration and instead she turns to The Mockingbirds - the student body's own justice system. Through her wonderfully-written story, this book tackles some very important and difficult subjects in a great way.

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