Mom’s Bookshelf, Vol 7: YA Edition

My last edition of Mom’s Bookshelf was dedicated to Middle Grade fiction so it is only fair that I grow up a little and move on to the  Young Adult section. If you are interested in why an adult would read YA, I refer you to this series of articles in The Atlantic: Y.A. for Grownups. Or you could remember the words of C. S. Lewis: “Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us.” And really, what would you rather read, a well-written, thoughtful YA novel or Nicolas Sparks?

I rest my case.

So here are five six YA novels I recommend for those of you who think YA is all about Twilight (a book I will neverread, but won’t judge you if you do!).

(Note: Book covers and titles are affiliate links)

The Fault in Our Stars. I wasn’t going to read this book, because it’s about kids with cancer and how depressing would that be, etc. etc. But I did. And yeah, I cried for pretty much two-thirds of the book. But it was #$*%ing amazing.
Jellicoe Road. Author Melina Marchetta is an Australian import. I had heard so many good things about this one and although it took a chapter or two for it to grab me, boy did it ever. The winner of the 2009 Printz Award.
The Scorpio Races. Here’s the thing: I do not like horses. So, if I am recommending a book about horses you know it has to be good. A 2012 Printz honor book.
If I Stay and Where She Went. I hope you’ve laundered those hankies you used reading The Fault in Our Stars. You’re going to need them again.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. If I were teaching a class on gender and power relationships in children’s literature, this would be at the top of my list. Keeps you thinking. Yet another Printz honor book.

And in case you are wondering, yes, I have read The Hunger Games, but only this last April, which is very late in the game (ahem). I didn’t want to at first because I thought “Distopia? I won’t like that.” Although I could discuss why I don’t think the books are as brilliant as everyone says they are, they are certainly page turners.

Now that I’ve made this list and have left off a number of books I also loved, I think I’ll have to do another YA feature again soon.

What about you? Do you look down your nose at YA, or do you like to mix it in with your so-called grown-up reading?

(Note: Book covers and titles are affiliate links)

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  1. says

    “…really, what would you rather read, a well-written, thoughtful YA novel or Nicolas Sparks?”

    HA! REALLY! I listened to a Sparks audio book once (and it was the last). I kept thinking, “This must be a parody. This plot is as predictable as a Scooby Doo mystery; the dialogue cloying. How can this be popular?”

    Meanwhile, my bedside table is loaded with Percy Jackson (to enjoy w/the 11 year old, who co-reads with me) and Hunger Games Book 2–Playing With Fire (finally available at the library).

    • says

      So true. It's my opinion that book categories like Middle Grade and YA and Adult are only useful in telling us the age of the book's protagonist, not the age of the reader, or the quality of the writing.

  2. Steph E says

    I was home sick today and I finally read A Fault in Our Stars after hearing about it here first. Read it in just a few hours, bawled through much of it. I love your recommendation lists!! I also enjoyed The Hunger Games (for the entertainment value, not so much for the writing) and just recently finished the Divergent series, which I also enjoyed.

    • Erica MomandKiddo says

      So glad you commented here to tell me. This post brings back memories of these great books. I’m glad you got to read it! I believe they are making a film of it now, too. I haven’t read the Divergent series, yet — but plan to! Hope you’re feeling better soon.

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