18 Nov 2014

Begginner's Guide To: Young Adult Literature

As I’m sure a lot of you are aware, there have been some not so nice (or accurate, for that matter) comments going around about Young Adult Literature, and what that means, who can read it etc.

I’m a firm believer that everyone should be allowed to read whatever they choose. There are so many people in this world who don’t ever read, that I think it’s a bit ridiculous that those among us who do read get criticised for our choice in books.

This isn’t an opinion piece, though there are many articles I’ve read in the last few months that make me want to stab myself (and others) in the eye. Today, I’m just giving you recommendations of where I think you should start in YA if you’d like to. In my opinion, these are the sorts of books that really give you a taste of a few different genres and I think they can be enjoyed by everyone (like pretty much every other YA book). 

Shall we start? I think we should start.

Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I mean, you all saw this one coming right? I know this one is pretty obvious, but I thought I should mention it anyway. I think it’s a really good story, and yeah maybe it makes cancer look a little pretty at times (trust me, cancer is hard) but I still think it has a good message. Besides, everyone needs a good cry now and again, don’t they? (And by cry, I mean uncontrollable, painful, heartbreaking sobs.)

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Again, this is probably no surprise to anyone but you know what? I love this series too much not to include it. This story is just epic, I don’t really know how else to explain it. The characters are amazing, the world is brilliant and I personally think it’s really interesting. This would be a great place to start for adult fantasy readers, I believe. I know it’s helped me slowly edge into adult fantasy.

Legend by Marie Lu
I know a lot of lists would suggest The Hunger Games or Divergent, but I think Legend deserves to be mentioned more often. This trilogy is amazing – you’ve got your kickass female lead, a messed up world, and lots of action. What more could you possibly ask for?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I think paranormal novels often get a bad rap – generally there’s vampire and werewolves and everything is labelled as the ‘next Twilight’, but that’s not everything in this genre- there is so much more. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a crazy ride – not only is it paranormal, but it’s a bit mystery, a bit thriller and a bit romance. It’s one of those novels that will have you begging for more.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
This was definitely the hardest genre to just pick one book from. There are so many that I wanted to talk about – The Book Thief, Rose Under Fire, The Diviners and The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (both of which are also paranormal), The Wrong Boy. I could literally go on for hours! I chose Between Shades of Gray because it’s maybe the story that has haunted me the most. It’s about a concentration camp in Lithuania in the Second World War, and as you can imagine that means a lot of pain. I can’t even begin to describe it, you’ll just have to read it yourself!

So those are my picks for today. In the future, I’m going to do some follow up posts about certain genres and issues etc. but for now, it’s just these few. What do you guys think? What books would make your list?

Thanks for reading!