So for the first week, I want to start with some contemporary novels that I really enjoyed. Most of the novels that I suggest will be YA, but not all of them. Also, most of these books I read during high school, so to current YA readers they might be a bit dated, but I believe they stand the test of time. When I read them they had an impact on me, so I hope they have an impact on you too.
Panic by Lauren Oliver
Panic is really hard to explain, but it's a story told in dual perspectives about two teenagers that join in a game called Panic. The game has been played in this small, poor town in up-state New York for as long as anyone can remember. It's basically a series of escalating and dangerous dares, but whomever is left standing at the end wins a boat load of cash. The back and forth between the two characters is flawless, and Oliver has lovely writing in this one.
Dreamland By Sarah Dessen
This was the first book I read by Dessen, and it was incredibly intense. Dreamland tells the story of how Caitlin falls in love with Rogerson Biscoe, but he is not whom he seems as he begins to physically abuse her. This book might be hard for some readers to swallow. I read this when I was 14, and luckily I have never been in this situation, but this book rocked me to my core.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close By Jonathan Safran Foer
My cousin introduced me to Foer, and this book was the first where I discovered how a book can really interact with its reader. Foer tells the story of a young boy whose father died in 9/11 and how he tries to solve the mystery of who his dad was. It's an interesting and experimental story centered around such a traumatic event in American current history, that I think it's worth a read.
See the rest after the jump.
The Fault In Our Stars By John Green
I like to read Green's work because sometimes I really just want a male protagonist. Sometimes I think his characters are really pretentious, and he does this a lot with Gus and Hazel, but I think he got Hazel's voice down really well. If you don't know what this book is about by now, it's about teenagers with cancer, so not the most uplifting content. I like the message behind it that their illness doesn't define them, but be prepared because this book is pretty freaking sad.
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things By Carolyn Mackler
HAHAHA! I just have to laugh at the title, and I think that's why I initially picked up this book. This book tells the story of Virginia, an over-weight teenager who struggles with having very unsupportive parents that put added pressure on her. Being a little over-weight in high school and never quite feeling right in my own skin, I connected a lot with Virginia, and I think kids can still relate to her story.
Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson
Anderson's novel Speak is pretty prolific and tells the heart-wrenching story of a girl who feels like she is not being heard. If you haven't read this book by now...GO READ THIS BOOK!
Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher
When I was looking for books about hockey this book came up in my searches, I'm not sure why, but I'm glad it did. Asher's novel tells the story of Clay Jensen who finds a box of tapes on his doorstep from his crush who committed suicide. In the tapes she explains the thirteen reasons why she did it. I imagine listening to the book on tape would be really eerie.
Got any other book recommendations you want me to add to my lists? Leave me a comment below and maybe I'll add it to next week's installment.
Happy Reads Everyone!