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9/8/09

what have you been reading, adolescent lit. edition.

I read tons of adolescent literature. Buckets of it. I once told a former classmate I loved adolescent literature, and she was absolutely disgusted. "Don't tell anyone that! No one will respect you!"

Whatever. I read grown-up books too, and a lot of the time, they aren't nearly as fun. Or well-written.

Thus, for your reading enjoyment, I shall tell you about some of the adolescent literature books I have enjoyed. As a courtesy, I will try and mention if the book has people doing the nasty, or using naughty language, if I remember. I usually don't, I'm a heathen that way. (And read too much Steinbeck as a youth.)


1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan.

This book is beautifully, beautifully written. That said, it is also disturbing as hell. Basic Plot: Zombies have taken over the world, and it is bad news for remaining humans. After finishing it, I could not stop thinking about it for weeks. It is the only book that has ever caused me nightmares. But it is so beautifully written, and the story is captivating. But be warned, I once described this book as The Road for teenagers. With Zombies. It is also the first of a series, and the other books are not out yet.

(Read if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, which was also very good, and not as depressing, but that is all I will say, because this book has already been discussed to death elsewhere.)


2. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George.

I read this right after Forest of Hands and Teeth, and it did an excellent job of stopping the nightmares. Strong female central character? Check. Plot based on Nordic fairy-tales? Check. Excellent writing? Check. Love story? Check.

(Read if you enjoyed The Goose Girl. Another excellent, but widely publicized YA book.)

(Also, both Shannon Hale of Goose Girl, and Jessica Day Parker of Sun and Moon, are Utah writers. Represent, Utah.)

3. Princesses at the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George.

A retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairy-tale. Light, entertaining, Purged any lingering nightmares from Forest.

(Read if you liked Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted.)


4. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.

Another book that seems to have been discussed to death, and that I am very late and negligent in reading. In case you are also late, I cannot recommend this book enough. Told from the perspective of Death, (a personified character,) the book follows several characters living in Nazi Germany. The writing style is uniquely lovely, and I kept wanting to read parts over and over again. This book won the Printz Award for a very, very good reason.

(It swears though, as people sometimes do when their country falls apart.)

On an unrelated note: My husband started reading this book before I did, and said "The Death character reminds me of you." I was offended, until I read the book. Now I am quite flattered, in a strange way.

5. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.

I love Neil Gaiman, he wrote one of my very favorite books: Coraline. He's novels are dark, oddly funny, and very well written, and The Graveyard Book is no exception. I will admit that this book is more the late-elementary school level, and should be read with that audience in mind. If I had a kid, we would definitely read this together, which is one of the few things I look forward to when it comes to child-rearing.

(Don't pretend you look forward to changing exploded poopy diapers, never sleeping, and tantrums. You deal with them because you have to, and you love your kid. But you do look forward to some things. I look forward to reading with my child.)


Well, it is now time to admit that I had secret motives with this post: To cure my insomnia to the point that I may be able to sleep. Mission Accomplished!


Goodnight, and Good Morning.



also, later, I need to discuss a bunch of books I completely hated. I shant forget. I think those had more nasty teenagers and naughty language anyways.

10 comments:

Michemily said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I hope you were able to get to sleep!

The Boob Nazi said...

I recently reread all my old Christopher Pike books. haha not quality literature, but entertaining just the same.

Sarah said...

I love adolescent lit. I believe that it is, more often than not, miles ahead of adult lit. I repeatedly tell people I respect them more if they willingly admit they enjoy adolescent books. (There are of course exceptions to this rule.)

Thanks for the books. I need to go to the library and put my name back on the waiting list for the Graveyard Book. I got skipped because I had a book out overdue. Bummer. I was number ninety-one too.

Post more books.

Sarah said...

p.s. I have another book for you to read. Not adolescent but equally awesome. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosney. It's about the Holocaust in France. Need I say more?

Mackenzie said...

I am a huge fan of adolescent lit as well. Have you read The Hunger Games yet? The sequel, Catching Fire, just came out and I gobbled it up. Thanks for your recommendations...I shall head to Barnes and Noble later today!

Daae' said...

Thanks for the reading suggestions! Now I want to hear about the books you hated, so don't forget to post that.

Lena said...

I am currently on a Neil Gaiman kick. I just finished Good Omens (which was laugh out loud good, highly reccomend it) and am currently reading Stardust. I have Corraline on hold at the library and my BIL just finished Graveyard Book and is bugging me to read it. I'm glad to hear some one else liked it too.

I started The Book Theif, but at the same time the next book in a series I was reading came in, so I stopped. I will have to go back.

Love talking about books.

stewbert said...

sweet ... new books to look for. i hate adult literature -- most of it has smut in it and i'm apparently now a prude.

Sharon said...

Ok, I can't remember if I've ever commented before, but I've been stalking you a while now, and this post put me over the edge. Wanna be my new BFF? I LOVE adolescent lit. I am also a high school English teacher, so it works out well. By the way, has that fetus arrived and allowed you to start your "fake" teaching job?

I loved Hunger Games AND The Road, so I'm all over the scary zombie book. I wonder if my library has it.

Also, you can't imagine the joy you'll feel when your kids love books as much as you do. The very best part of this past weekend was watching my six-year-old walking around with her nose in Magic Tree House books, and hearing her say that "reading was her favorite thing to do in the world." Moments like that serve to soften the edges of my colic-diaper rash-sleep deprivation flashbacks.

andrea.roche said...

One of my favorite books of all time is from a college ad. lit class. Freak the Mighty. I laughed. and cried. and loved it.

And obviously, my English degree did me no good considering I can't even type proper english via blogger.