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Young Adult

  • 5th Wave

    The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  “Another entry into the crowded young adult dystopian fantasy category, The 5th Wave has a compelling lead character (female, of course) who can't really believe what's happening to her world - which is really our world, invaded by aliens. Yancey captures the teenage nuance well, and made me consider what I would do if things got really, really, really bad around here.”

  • Book Thief

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. “A quick read, but a very intense story about the 2nd world war. Told from the point of view of death.” "The most elegantly written, 'takes you to the depths of life,' book I have read in years."

  • Divergent Series

    The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. “Of course, I like the books better than the movie (even though the first movie released was pretty good). If you liked the film, do yourself a favor and read the books. I will tell you that the last book really ticked me off, although I completely understand why Veronica Roth wrapped the triology up the way she did. Still made me mad.”

  • Eleanor and Park

    Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowells.  Several of you recommended this.  “This was a YA hit last year, but I only got around to reading it this year and loved it.  Two high school misfits secretly love each other.  They trade mixtapes and comic books and secretly spend time together.  He is from a loving family.  She's from a broken, abusive home.  It's sweet and lovely, and I adore the author and think she's a class act.”

  • Go Ask Alice

    Go Ask Alice by Anonymous.  “Read this late in elementary school when my older cousin loaned it to me.  The book terrrrrrified me around drugs and sex -- but now going back and re-reading it, it's hilarious and so obvious that it was anti-drug propaganda.  High school teen experiments with drugs, sex, runs away, struggles with family.  Writing is terrible and overwrought, but was great to re-read and think about how something like this would/could play out today.”

  • Harriet the Spy

    Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. “I read this book well over a hundred times in my childhood and a few times in adulthood.  Went back and re-read it again this year and loved it just as much.  Elementary school kid who doesn't quite fit in spies on friends and neighbors, keeps notebook about them.  Gets caught, loses friends, learns what impact her words have on others, but doesn't necessarily give up on who she is and why she's curious.  Love this book so so much still to this day.”

  • Nineteen Minutes

    Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.  This is a typically gripping Picoult novel about a school shooting. "I haven't read anything that great recently but can't put this one down. Good summer fiction." Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy.

  • Red Pyramid

    The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) by Rick Riordan. "The first book in the new series by Rick Riordan of Percy Jackson fame . I've always been fascinated with ancient Egypt, so this one is a great fit." This is technically a children's book.

  • Saint Anything

    Saint Anything by Sara Dessen. “If you need a little YA action in your summer reading, Sara Dessen is a great author who write breezy, thoughtful fiction for young adults that even us oldsters can enjoy.  Saint Anything is about ay oung woman whose charismatic brother goes to jail for drunk driving, and she's left to find her place in the family structure and future out who she is. Man, that sounds trite and gross, but trust me — this book is sweet and good!”

  • Secrets of My Hollywood Life

    Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita. "Tween Mother-Daughter reading. There are four books in this series and my daughter and I have read each one and talk about them. In depth. No swear words, some kissing, no sex, no weirdness. Just a fun story of a girl (think Miley Cyrus) who is a huge TV star and longs for a normal life. Light, fluffy, fun."

  • Twilight

    Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Many contributors assured me I would get beyond my doubts. (You know … doubting that I can enjoy a teen vampire book?) Truly, though… The series seems to have gone viral from teens to their curious moms to the big world beyond. Some of your comments:  "My No. 1 beach read... I can't think of anything more perfect to get absorbed in while ignoring the kids at the beach and engaging your 10th grade babysitter in the whole Edward vs. Jacob debate."  "I am so enjoying these books." "If you like Jane Austen, you will like these." "If you have been hesitant because of that "vampire thing," jump right in. There's so much more than that, including an amazing love story, you almost forget the vampire thing. And this was a great series to share with my 12 year old daughter (Note: Definitely pre-read the first part of the fourth book in the series before handing over to a daughter!)” " CRACK! Pure crack. I was a huge doubter... and now I am hooked. I wish I had saved them for the beach .. They would have been perfect, mindless, a one-sitting- book-a-day reads."

  • Wonder

    Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  "I stole this book from the hands of my 9 year old and would not give it back until I finished.  August is a boy with a severe facial deformity going to public school for the first time.  There, he must navigate friendships and taunts, dealing with the cruelty of children and their socially manipulative parents.  Through it all, he is a good person, treasuring his family and friendships and trying hard to be normal.  A heartwarming story with a message everyone, regardless of age, about acceptance and tolerance."