All YA Love: I was a YA sceptic…but not anymore

Filed in All YA Love , The Latin Lover Posted on October 6, 2010 @ 12:00 pm 18 comments

Hey Everyone!

Not only should you be surprised that I am doing a YA post now, but that I will be advocating YA novels! Yes, me, who was admitting everywhere, high and low that Twilight must have been the last YA novel I have read as I’m not a big fan of teenage literature. And guess what? Seems I was proven wrong! I know, sounds pretty shocking, so hear me out.

I don’t/didn’t like YA books because I was irritated by all the teenage drama, the constant whining and drama queen antics, that every little problem means the end of the world and the lack of maturity and intelligence in the characters not only frustrated, but angered me. But recently, despite my misgivings I have read a few YA novels and believe me, I was the most shocked to discover that I loved them!

So it seems my prejudiced days against YA novels are over, and from now on – even if treading carefully but – I’ll give YA books a chance when they sound interesting.

So if you are/were like me, I think you should give a few YA novels the benefit of the doubt, who knows, maybe you’ll discover you had a misconception about young adult literature and will even become a fan! 🙂

And if you are curious as to which YA novels made me a believer, I would wholeheartedly recommend these two. Not only is the plot exciting, the writing quality is brilliant and thankfully even though the characters are teenagers, they show extraordinary maturity.

Hush Money by Susan Bischoff (The Talent Chronicles #1)

Release Date: 3 August 2010


Goodreads appetizer: Be normal, invisible. Don’t get close to anyone. Kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear when they get noticed. Joss has spent years trying to hide. Now she has an unasked-for best friend, who is the victim of an extortion plot by the school bully, who used to like Joss, who is best friends with her long-time crush, who is actually talking to her. Life just got more complicated.

Longer version:
They call their abilities Talents, and that’s what they call themselves as well. Talents are people born with supernatural powers, feared by the population at large. Possession of an “unregistered ability” has become illegal, and those who are discovered are forcibly removed to government-run research facilities. For Talents, keeping their secret is the most important thing in their lives. For some, that need for secrecy begins to define who they are.

That’s how it is for Joss, a high school girl who does everything in her power to go unnoticed. She’s incredibly bright, but strives to maintain grades that are good yet not too good. She doesn’t participate in school activities, keeps quiet in class, eats by herself. Despite her longtime crush on Dylan, she wouldn’t even think about trying to talk to him. Joss doesn’t make friends of any kind, because friends can draw attention, friends can make you slip up, friends can make things complicated.

When new girl, Kat, steps in to rescue Joss from an uncomfortable situation with Marco, the class jerk, she doesn’t realize what she’s getting into, and it blows up in her face. Joss finds herself torn between a desire to do the right thing, to find some way to help a girl who was kind to her; and her need to mind her own business and fade into. For the first time, Joss begins to question the way she operates, and starts to long for connections with other people–especially a connection with Dylan, who’s finally starting to talk to her.

But what’s up with Dylan’s sudden interest? As Marco’s best friend, can he be trusted at all?

It’s bad enough when a girl’s got to worry about friends, boys, over-protective dads, and shoes that pinch, but when you throw in blackmail, government agents with guns, and really annoying little sisters…that’s just about too much to handle, even for a girl with an ass-kicking superpower.

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James
Release date: 13 July 2010

Goodreads appetizer: So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?

Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice – she doesn’t like being cast off.

Even if based on the above two summaries you think the stories are just “too high school-y” and you’d pass, I would still urge you to pick them up. In my opinion these blurbs were put together to entice the younger readers, believe me these two books are very much enjoyed by adult audience too!
So what other YA books do you think are also enjoyed by more mature/adult readers?
Which exceptional YA novels do you think YA sceptics should give a chance to?
I’m really curious to see your recommendations, and who knows, mabe you’ll get your favourite YA novel/series another fan… 😉

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • Sullivan McPig October 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I've said it before and will say it again: The darkest powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong!

  • Savannah October 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I love YA! Glad that you found you enjoyed them. I've read Beautiful Malice and enjoyed it. I have not heard of Hush money but will put it on my tbr list.

  • pattepoilue October 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Without a doubt the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I can't believe it's considered YA. It's SOOOOOOOOO good. I was blown away by it's awesomeness.

    I am a bit reluctant to read YA. I used to read many YA novels, but at some point I grew frustrated with it. The Hunger Games books were the first YA books I read this year.

  • Farrah Rochon October 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. I cannot stop thinking about it.

  • cories5 October 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Anything by E. Lockhart especially "The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks".

  • tina werner October 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    hunger games *****
    vampire academy *****
    linger and shiver *****
    darkest powers trilogy *****

  • Dwayne October 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    OOh, I have both these books! Well, I looove The Hunger Games trilogy (I'm sure you'll love it if you already don't). I also like Simone Elkeles, Jennifer Echols, Kristin Cashore. Also check out Angela Morrison and Angel by LA Weatherly!

    Edit: Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman and Trash by Andy Mulligan. Ace books, I swear.

  • Danielle October 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    When it comes to Urban Fantasy you definitely can't discount the YA side of things. It's mostly the YA books that are being adapted to film, much more so than their Adult counterparts. Twilight, Hunger Games, Vampire Academy…

    My recommendations:
    * "Blood and Chocolate" by Annette Curtis-Klause
    * "Vampire Academy" series by Richelle Mead
    * "Morganville Vampires" by Rachel Caine
    * anything by Melina Marchetta

  • draconismoi October 6, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    YA is like any other genre….there is a lot of crap hiding some fantastic work. I don't know what it says about the world that the crap (i.e. Twilight) always seems to top the best seller list.

    I support the recommendations for The Hunger Games. I'd also recommend the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett, His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody….and pretty much anything by Tamora Pierce.

    If you are looking for less genre-sepcific recommendation, I find the Banned Books list a good jumping off point for YA reading.

  • Jenny N. October 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I'm always happy to hear about another YA convert. I've heard good things about Beautiful Malice and am still on the waiting list to get it from the library.

  • Corrine October 6, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Welcome to the dark side. 😉 I'd say definitely Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy, or Rachel Caine's The Morganville Vampires series.

    For a more contemporary vibe, I'd definitely recommend Jennifer Brown's Hate List, Carol Lynch William's The Chosen One, and I'm blanking on other titles at the present time. Those are all good ones though. 🙂 Hope you get a chance to read them and enjoy them! 😀

  • Corrine October 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Sorry, I only hit enter once. Not sure why it posted 4 times! :S

  • Stella (Ex Libris) October 7, 2010 at 5:00 am

    @ Sully, as a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong, I can't understand how come I haven't read her YA series yet, put it on my wishlist! If it is as good as her Women of the Otherworld series, I'm in for a treat 😀

    @Savannah, do read Hush Money, it is fantastic! I so cannot wait for book #2!!

    @Caro: I know, I was dreading reading YA too.. Everyone keeps recommending the Hunger Games, I'll have to really put those on my wishlist!

    @Farrah Rochon: I just checked out Perfect Chemistry on Amazon, it sounds good, thanks for the rec!

    @cories5: I have never heard of E. Lockhart, will check those books out, thanks!

    @Tina Werner: Thank you, I already have Linger and Shiver on my TBR shelf, can't wait to get around to read them! :-p

    @Dwayne: wow, thanks for the many recommendations Dwayne, will check these out! 🙂

    @Danielle: I just started reading the Vampire Academy series, and love it!! If you say that the others are just as good, will have to put them on my TBr list as well! 😀

    @draconismoi: Thank you, have heard of some of these, but never looked them up, will do so now 🙂

    @Jenny N: Jenny, yes, do read Beautiful Malice, it is fantastic! Not an easy read, but I would say the YA version/equivalent of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (the movie adaptation of which made Hitchcock famous!)

    @Corinne: Haha, thanks Corinne, the dark side seems fun so far 😀

  • Vampire Book Club October 7, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I say it all the time — Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead is fantastic. She doesn't pull back her writing — OK, you're not going to have the same kind of sex that you would in a Georgina Kincaid novel, but the prose is just as gripping. Bonus, the series gets better and better as it progresses. The fourth book, Blood Promise, is one of my favorite novels.

    I also really liked Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey trilogy — the first two books are out The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. If you like vivid worlds, you'll dig this. (Even if you're not into faeries. Swear.)

  • Vampire Book Club October 7, 2010 at 11:24 am

    And I should agree with all the others singing the praises of the Hunger Games. Dark, but awesome.

  • Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading) October 9, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I have not read either of these but plan to! Have you read Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series? It is outstanding YA.

  • Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading) October 9, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Whoops, I just saw from another comment that you are reading VA. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I have!

  • Molly Looby October 10, 2010 at 4:36 am

    If you haven't read the Hunger Games you should pick it up! It's one of those novels that's just phenomenal. I was blown away by all three!

    But I have to say I read the first Vampire Academy book and didn't like it at all. It was too 'high-school' for me. I'm not a fan of all that. But of course I understand why people do like it.

    The best YA book you can ever read though, has to be The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Just amazing, so amazing the right word to describe it hasn't been invented yet! If you want a little more detail on WHY it's so fantastically ace, I've got a blog on it

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