Fave Fiction Jamboree: Young Adult Books

So many books to recommend and so little time: so I’m opting to go with the YA FAVE FICTION BLITZ EDITION!

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a sixteen-year-old cyborg who has a stunning ability to repair almost any malfunctioning machine. Considered a freak by her stepmother, she toils in a small market booth to earn her keep. When the Prince stops by to see if she can help repair his android and sparks fly, Cinder dares to dream that she could have a different life – but then her sister dies of the human plague and her wicked stepmother devises an evil plan that Cinder may not be able to find a way out of alive. This is an uber-cool, futuristic version of the Cinderella tale that is tough to put down!

Nation by Terry Pratchett

When a giant rogue wave washes across his tiny island, Mau believes that he is the only person left alive. Then Daphne appears out of the ravaged jungle, the sole survivor of a ship from the other side of the world which was also destroyed by the wave. Together, they begin to recreate a world and as other refugees arrive, they find themselves struggling against fear, ancient spirits, secrets and death. Can Mau and Daphne really succeed in creating a new world?

Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

Radley is volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti when the President of the United States is assassinated and the American People’s Party takes over the country and declares martial law. Her only thought is to get home to Vermont to be with her parents but with all the chaos, it takes nearly 24 hours just to land back in the States. Stuck in New Hampshire with a dead cell phone, cancelled credit cards, no money and no paperwork that will satisfy any of the new checkpoint guards, she begins to get back to her parents in the only way she can – by walking home alone.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

During the thick of World War Two, daring young women joined the fight against Nazi Germany by becoming secret airplane pilots and spies. Not really acknowledged, their missions were often unsupported and thus, even more perilous. In this novel, two of these women find their bravery and their friendship tested to the ultimate limit as they work behind the scenes to win the war.

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

Victor Frankenstein may have created The Monster, but what was it that created Victor? At sixteen, Victor’s twin brother, Konrad falls gravely ill with an incurable disease. In agony at the prospect of his brother’s death, Victor convinces his cousin and his best friend to accompany him on a quest to find the ingredients that are rumored to create an Elixir of Life. Thrilling, terrifying and twisted, this book lays bare the creation of the Mad Dr. Frankenstein… 

Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina is willing to follow her friend Mal and the rest of the army into The Fold – a frightening black hole of darkness where creatures feed on human flesh. Only half-way across, Mal is attacked and in desperation Alina calls on an inner power she never knew she possessed to save him. News of her stunning rescue soon reaches the royal court and Alina finds herself chosen by The Darkling himself to be trained as a member of his elite magical squad known as the Grisha. At first, the pampered adulation is amazing, but what darkness really lies along this new path?

Curveball by Jordan Sonnenblick

Peter Friedman’s life is baseball. He lives, breathes and eats it and is the all-star pitcher on his freshman team. Everything about his life is wrapped up in his identity as the star pitcher – it’s just who he is and always will be. Then a nasty accident in a summer game changes everything. Who is he now? Who are his real friends? What’s happening to his beloved grandfather all of a sudden? And is it possible to find a girlfriend who doesn’t care that he is no longer the star athlete at school?

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

It’s 1996. Josh and Emma have been neighbors and best friends forever. So when Josh’s family gets a free trial CD in the mail to sign up for AOL, Emma’s family is fine with him bringing it over to install on their new computer.  Excited to try out the new technology, the two friends log on and find themselves on something called Facebook – which has not even been invented yet. Ans what’s more – they both have Facebook user profiles that are showing them the daily posts from their lives fifteen years into the future! Nothing they imagined seems to have played out for them, so they begin to experiment with making changes to their present to alter their futures. Can what they choose today really make a difference that will show up in their online futures? 

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler & Maira Kalman

Min and Ed are breaking up. It’s not a pretty break-up. In fact, Min has collected everything that she’s kept to commemorate their relationship – bottle caps, notes, stolen sugar, matches – every single thing and packed it into a box. On the top of the box she’s written, “You either have the feeling or you don’t”, and she’s dumped the whole thing on Ed’s front step to explain to him EXACTLY why they are breaking up. Part journal, part scrapbook, and all angst, this is a sharp look at love and its aftermath.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Seventeen-year-old Hazel has had some success with experimental treatments over the years, but her diagnosis has always been that she is a terminal case. She’s always known it, her family has always known it, and the other kids in her newly required Cancer Kid Support Group have always known it. Then one of the regulars at the Group brings along his gorgeous friend, Augustus to a meeting and everything changes. Is it possible, or even wise to allow yourself to love and hope and dream when you know your days are numbered?

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Elisa has never been the honored sister. Her older sister is poised, beautiful and accomplished and will rule the kingdom when her father transfers his powers. Elisa is clumsy, chunky and awkward and feels the burden of knowing that her birth was the cause of her mother’s early death. Yet when her father seeks to marry one of his daughters to the dashing King Alejandro, it is Elisa who is chosen for her secret and untested power. Just sixteen, Elisa finds herself married, lost on a desert journey, and hunted by those who seek to control her power for their own purposes. Can she overcome her many doubts and insecurities in time to be the leader everyone else believes her capable of becoming? (We also just got the sequel, Crown of Embers!)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Amy and her parents have agreed to become part of the crew aboard the Spaceship Godspeed. Their goal is to colonize a new planet, which they’ve named Centauri-Earth. Because the voyage will take three hundred years, each of them will be cryogenically frozen in individual chambers and will be awakened upon their safe landing on the new planet. But fifty years before the ship is due to land, Amy’s chamber is unplugged, waking her too suddenly. The scene onboard is nothing she could have expected – manned by a cruel and tyrannical leader and a generation of people who have never known what it is to live anywhere but on a ship hurtling through outer space. Amy is a seen as freak and an outsider who is not to be trusted. But who woke her and why? Was it to help the mission or was someone trying to murder her? (We’ve got the second book in the series now, too – A Million Suns.)

Born to Rock by Gordon Korman

Leo has his life all planned out. President of the Young Republican Club, accepted to start at Harvard in the fall, there’s nothing that can derail his all-too-bright future. That is, until he learns that his biological father is none other than King Maggot, the world’s most notorious punk rocker. Somehow, that knowledge of what sort of person must lurk inside of his blood sets Leo on edge and in an act of defiance, he manages to lose his scholarship. Never one to be without a back-up plan, Leo signs on as a roadie with his dad’s band, hoping to be able to bond enough to convince his new dad to pay his tuition. But Leo has no idea what life on the road has in store for his life, his heart, or his future! 

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

Vince Luca may seem like a regular high school guy with regular high school problems, but his father just happens to be the godfather of a powerful crime family. Making friends and dating get pretty complicated when you can’t really describe what the family business entails, but when he meets Kendra the complications seem like they could be worth the trouble. Everything seems to be going great until Kendra shares the news that her dad is an FBI agent – the same agent who’s trying to take down his father’s empire! Can their love survive in the crossfire?

Pool Boy by Michael Simmons

Fifteen-year-old Brett is a rich, spoiled jerk. He’s got the mansion, the Mercedes and a $5000 stereo system and is happy to make sure you notice all of it. Then his father is arrested on insider trading charges and his family loses everything. Forced to find a summer job to help keep them afloat while his dad is in jail, Brett finds himself cleaning his former friend’s pools for a living. Will anything ever be good again for this former lord of the McMansion set?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Thirteen-year-old Conor has a recurring nightmare that wakes him from his sleep in a panic. Then at 12:07 AM, a tree-like monster calls to him from the yard overlooking the church graveyard and tells him that he will continue to appear at that hour to tell him three stories. In return, Conor must tell him the story of his terrifying recurrent nightmare. If he refuses, the monster will kill him. Who is the monster and how has Conor’s nightmare called him forth? And will Conor find the courage to describe his darkest fears to save his life?

Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Plain Kate’s world is filled with superstitions and curses and a great deal of pain. An orphan, she toils as a wood-carver and her skill at it has many claiming that she must be a witch. When a strange fog begins to envelop the country, bringing death and sickness, the town decides to blame their misfortunes on Kate. Desperate, Kate is approached by a stranger, who says he can help her escape and grant her dearest wish for a home and a family and a place to belong. In exchange, she must forfeit her own shadow. In the face of her wretched solitude and imminent danger from the townspeople, Kate thinks her shadow is a small price to pay, but is she right or very, very wrong?

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Lucky is anything but lucky. His grandfather never made it out of the Laotian prison camp after the Vietnam war, his father never got over the loss of his father, his mother just wants to pretend that everything is perfectly fine, and the worst bully at school has chosen Lucky for his personal target. Luck is something in very short supply. But in his dreams, Lucky roams the war-torn Laotian jungles, braving all sorts of dangers in an ongoing effort to find and rescue his grandfather. How can Lucky keep up this balancing act between fantasy and reality? And what will happen if he can’t?

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

It’s not every day that a 13-year-old boy gets a new baby brother. It’s even less often that the new baby brother is an 8-day-old chimpanzee. Ben Tomlin’s dad is a famous behavioral scientist and is embarking on an experiment in which their family will raise the baby chimp as a regular member of their own family twenty-four hours a day. Ben is to treat Zan as his actual baby brother – a feat that seems about as likely as walking on Mars. But Zan soon bonds with his new big brother and what started as an experiment becomes very real. Then Ben is caught between his father’s methods and his own heart and must make the toughest decision of his life.

Every Day by David Levithan

Every day A wakes up in the body of another person. Every morning it is someone new. In a new place. Girl, boy, rich, poor, sick, well… every day is a new experience. A has never known any other kind of existence. So there are rules to try to stick to: don’t get attached, don’t get noticed, don’t interfere. Best just to try to get through the 24 hours without making any impact or being impacted, for tomorrow will literally be a totally new day. Then one morning A wakes up in Justin’s body and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon and just like that, A’s rules seem meaningless. For A would do anything to be able to be with her every day for the rest of eternity. But how can A convince Rhiannon to fall in love with someone who appears in a new body day after day after day?

The List by Siobahn Vivian

Every year for as long as anyone can recall, on the last Monday in September at Mount Washington High four hundred copies of a list appears all over campus. On that list are eight names: the names of the prettiest and ugliest girls in each of the four classes. No one knows who makes the choices or how the list seems suddenly to be everywhere. Nor does anyone know who owns the embossing stamp that always marks it as The Official List.  How can you navigate the rest of the school year when you’ve been branded by someone unknown with the power to make or break eight lives? 

Stuck on Earth by David Klass

Ketchvar III has been given one mission by the rulers of his home planet of Sandovinia: travel to Earth, inhabit the body of a normal teenaged boy and then use that body to observe and analyze the human race to see whether or not they should all be destroyed. Taking up residence in the body of geeky, 14-year-old Tom Filber, Ketchvar soon discovers that being human is a terribly complicated matter. Is there enough good to recommend Earth for a reprieve or are they better off at the business end of the Gagnerian Death Ray?

Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent’s mother and aunts are all able to talk to the dead. Theirs is a world of fortunes told and prophecies made – one of which is that Blue will be the cause of the death of her one true love. But Blue is only able to magnify their abilities instead of actually making any sort of contact herself. Then one evening in the churchyard, as her mother watches a procession of soon-to-be-dead souls pass by, a boy’s spirit emerges from the darkness and speaks directly to Blue. Her shock at this is intensified when she meets the boy in town several days later and learns he is Gansey, and a Raven Boy – the nickname given by the townspeople to the rich kids who attend the local private school. Why did Gansey’s soul speak to her? Could he be her one true love? Or is he the invitation to a much larger mystery that Blue cannot resist? 

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

In early 1941, the nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia disappeared from the maps of the world – the result of annexation by the Soviets during World War Two. Fifiteen-year-old Lina is preparing for a wonderful summer filled with dates and fun before heading off to art school until the night that they Soviet Secret Police drag her, her mother and her little brother out into the train yards. There they are loaded onto cattle cars with many of the others from their neighborhoods and begin a long harrowing journey to a work camp in Siberia. Harsh, heartbreaking and hopeful, Lina’s fight for life and to keep a written record of the brutality her people endured is an unforgettable tale.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey Cuttler wants her life back. She just wants to hang out with her friends, go listen to some live music, maybe manage to get a date with the cute guy at work. Instead, she’s being hounded by paparazzi everywhere she goes and her face is splashed on every tabloid in sight. How did such a regular girl become an overnight sensation? Could it have something to do with her ex-boyfriend’s number one single on the Billboard Charts? The one detailing their break-up entitled Audrey, Wait!?

 

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