I listened to podcasts and then I read YA books

This happened.

I like books, I like podcasts, some podcasts talk about books, and there you are in the library’s YA section.  This library happened to have a handout about the Printz Awards, which are for YA literature.  You could do far, far worse than to read anything on the Printz lists!  In particular, books that I have liked from that list include An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. I have heard good things about a lot of the other books, too.  They have a lot of women authors too, in addition to a few that I list below.

the YA books I got at the library recently, or as gifts, and loved:

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell. It took me forever to pick up this book, but… Ok, everyone was right! This book is so fantastic (see what I did there? FAN-tastic?). It’s about a young woman that goes off to college, and her family, and the people she meets, and how she tries to adjust. The woman also happens to be extremely active in the online fan-fiction community and is a passionate writer trying to find her place in the world. Recommended by everyone, and now by us too!

I got Doll Bones by Holly Black from the library because it looked interesting, but I haven’t read it yet. Has anyone here?

In the library I put down several books that I’ve heard are probably good (e.g., Gregor the Overlander) because they looked like they were all-boys, all the time.  I was bored with that.

I read The Archived by Victoria Schwab, which I finally picked up in a local indie bookstore after having it on my wishlist for a while. It was great! I can’t wait to read the sequel. Mac knows that the dead aren’t gone, they’re just… shelved. Cataloged. Organized. Archived. Sometimes they break out… In a family reeling from loss and grief, Mac has to find a way to deal with catastrophe in her own way.

Ask the Passengers, by A.S. King, is another book I heard a lot about from podcasts. I think it was probably Rebecca Schinsky at Book Riot who talked about it (though it could have been Veronica Belmont from The Sword and Laser. But I think Schinsky.  Or, no, wait, it could have been Jenn from The Bookrageous Podcast).  Holy cow, this book is amazing.  I love how it’s written, the voice of the main character, Astrid.  I like the chapter titles, the way it’s structured, and of course the characters.  Just go read this book, it goes quickly, and it’s worth it.  Reeeeeaaddddd ittttt.

I also recently re-read Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper trilogy (starting with Terrier). All I wanted to do was read this book and not go to work.

Finally, I greatly enjoyed Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, which isn’t technically YA, but whatever.  The first story, from which the book title is taken, is lovely in particular.  The editors are famous for the excellence of their work on fantasy anthologies of all sorts, and rightly so.  Read the first story and you’ll want to read the rest.

Other suggestions?

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26 Responses to “I listened to podcasts and then I read YA books”

  1. Ana Says:

    Read Rainbow Rowell’s others (I haven’t read Fangirl yet, its not on our library e-book system), and everything by John Greene (I liked “An abidance of Katherines” the least of the 3 I’ve read).

  2. Sapience Says:

    I just discovered Elizabeth George’s new YA series (she wrote the Inspector Lynley mysteries for adults, which I really liked, and she’s set the new series on Whidbey Island and I’m a sucker for any story that’s set in WA). I read the first one in not quite one go–I did the first 150 pages by the pool yesterday, and then meant to do just another 30 last night before I went to bed only to find myself finishing the novel at 2 in the morning…

  3. omdg Says:

    I love YA literature. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. Liz Says:

    What defines “YA literature”? That it is marketed to adolescents or that the protagonist is an adolescent, or both? I’ve read a number of coming-of-age stories recently that I don’t necessarily think fit into this genre (Most recent example was some Alice Munro coming of age short stories, that are not considered YA, but I’m not really sure why not)

  5. Alyssa Says:

    This is great! Always looking for new books.

    I loved The Book Thief, and I think Lovely Bones would fall under YA, The Glass Castle too.

  6. Steph Says:

    As I start thinking about what books to read this summer, I’ve been glad to see the book recommendations coming you guys have been posting :) Some of these are definitely going on my list.

    I’ll rec just about anything by Scott Westerfeld, though specifically Uglies. Post-apocalyptic future where everybody gets plastic surgery at 16 to make them pretty. And there are no more wars, racism, poverty, etc. But of course, there’s more going on beneath the surface. The 4th book in the series, Extras, is also fabulous. The 2nd and 3rd books, Pretties and Specials, are ok, but slower and have less to say about society. (I may or may not be choosing to re-read this series during my finals period and may or may not be halfway through already.)

    • Steph Says:

      argh, “book recommendations you guys have been posting”

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I read Uglies and I think I read Pretties too, but not Specials. I intend to read it someday, probably, but it’s not a high priority. But I did enjoy the first one! Mmmm summer books.

      • Steph Says:

        If Pretties didn’t thrill you, it might be worth skimming Specials (or just wikipedia it) and jumping to Extras. Same world, 5-10 years down the road, with a new protagonist and set in former Japan. It deals with popularity and identity in a city where social media is everything, and the quality goes back up to the level of Uglies.

      • Sapience Says:

        I liked Uglies/Pretties/Specials/Extras, but I actually preferred his steampunk series that starts with Leviathan.

  7. jlp Says:

    This is probably old, old news, but I did enjoy Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now.

    Also, our entire house loves anything by Lynne Rae Perkins. Most of her work is picture books, but she has also written YA: As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth, (though it’s about a boy) All Alone in the Universe, and Criss Cross. (Oh, hm. I see Criss Cross has won the Newberry, so perhaps it is not technically YA? I remember it as being for a slightly older audience, but it’s been awhile since I read it.) LRP reminds me a lot of Lynda Barry, but with the pain dialed down exponentially.

  8. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Oh! I think I’ve heard of How I Live Now. It rings a faint bell. And looks like it has a Printz honor too. Recommendations are delicious.

  9. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    What the flock is a flocken YA??

  10. femmefrugality Says:

    I was originally offended when GoodReads started sending me their YA newsletter via email. Then I looked at my virtual bookshelves and decided to just go with it. There are some gems out there. Husband introduced me to The Legend of the Seeker books. I think they fit the bill, and they have some really powerful female characters.


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