Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday Reading - YA Books Aren't Just Twilight!

Brigid Coady is talking about her recent reading experiences.

I’m putting my hand up to confess that recently I have mostly been reading Young Adult books. Why you may ask? Why am I reading YA instead of grown up books?

Well I say to you that some of the best stories out there are being written for the YA market. Yes I have read the Twilight books and seen the movie (Robert Pattinson swoon) but there are some other YA books out there.

Here are some reasons I love YA books and what I am learning from them:

1. They mix up the genres, everything is YA whether crime, romance, paranormal, fantasy or historical. And sometimes they can be all of the above. They make me think out of the box, mix things up and take chances.

2. The books grip you from the start. These books are being written for an audience that has so many other pulls on their time. If they want to keep them reading they have to get in, grip you and keep it going till the end. I am learning loads about writing brilliant beginnings and pacing.

3. Who doesn’t remember being a teenager? Everything was more intense, ups and downs seemed more catastrophic. We had our first loves, our first kisses, our first dates. When I read YA books it comes flooding back and it reminds me of the intensity.

And because I am a nice person I’m going to recommend some recent books I’ve read.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before—and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...

I read this book in one sitting and then haunted the bookshop until the second one came out! Brilliant, disturbing with a love triangle that has you picking teams.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
I'm Annabel. I'm the girl who has it all. Model looks, intelligence, a great social life. I'm one of the lucky ones. Aren't I? My 'best friend' Sophie is spreading rumours about me. My family is slowly falling apart. It's turning into a long, lonely summer, full of secrets and silence. But I've met this guy who won't let me hide away. He's one of those intense types, obsessed with music and totally unafraid of confrontation. He's determined to make me listen. Will I ever find the courage to tell him what really happened the night Sophie and I stopped being friends?

I would actually recommend any book by Sarah Dessen including ‘The Truth About Forever’ and ‘Lock and Key’.

They have all had me up until 2am sobbing my heart out by the end. Funny, sad, heart wrenching and dealing with difficult issues in a sympathetic way.

So go on, tell me what YA books have you been reading lately?

Brigid Coady is currently NaNoWriMoing (as BeeCee - come buddy up). She is finishing off ‘Bah Humbug!” and starting on a YA story of her own. Her short story ‘The Great Leap Forward’ will be published by Tonto Books in ‘Even More Tonto Short Stories’.


  1. Oh I am so with you on the quality of Young Adult fiction. Wonderful stories.
    As for reading? Recent books include-
    *The Knife of Never letting Go - by Patrick Ness [ sci-fi and violent/scary in places. boy hero]
    * Evernight by Claudia Grey. School for vampires with some great twists - young girl POV
    * Ugly by Scott Westerfield [ another sci-fi set in future where everyone has cosmetic surgery/is made pretty. young girl rebel.]
    INterestingly the first two books are written in the first person and the last, very close third and there are very few characters to distract from the core action.
    Powerful storytelling.
    More please! LOL

  2. Oooo I have the Patrick Ness one and haven't started it. I keep picking up Evernight and putting it down. I will check it out. Ooo Ugly... that sounds good. I have been reading The House of Night series by P.C.Cast which is also a school for Vampires and first person. For good fantasy 'The Pellinor Quartet' by Allison Groggan and for slightly younger readers 'Wind On Fire Trilogy' by William Nicholson.

  3. None lately, except for the L'Engle series that the girls and I are still reading together.

    But I did read the first Princess Diaries book and laughed SO hard. I read the whole Twilight series too and really enjoyed it. There are a few more YA in my TBR too, but you know the old story - so many books, so little time...

  4. I love Anna Godbersen's Luxe series as well as Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods Vampire Series. I also have to put the word out on my friend Marley Gibson's Ghost Huntress series as well as Marianne Mancusi's Vampire series. And I still sad that Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series is over.

  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is amazing, and after the cliffhanger in book 2 I can't wait for book three.

  6. Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series -- mixes genres to the hilt, but manages to be believable and normal even! They're the best YA novels I've picked up in awhile and I read a lot of them. :-)