Okay, so I’ve come across a couple of these lately and I’m always super excited to read them. Mostly because I want book recommendations for myself and seeing what others liked well enough to buy for the special people in their lives…well, those books must be good, right?
Well, yes, but that generally means I’ve read them. Or, at least, have them on my TBR shelf.
So, I thought I would try putting together a holiday gift buying guide of YA books (mostly) that we don’t all already have, and we haven’t already lent out to everyone. You know, books other than Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Though, those are both fantastic and you should totally buy one for everyone in your life. Really.
And please let me know what books who are planning to give to people. I need ideas!
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta – Yes, there’s a lot of swearing and a lot of talk about sex, and a family that’s been torn apart by death and alcohol. But. Oh. My. God. Everyone is so flawed. And so perfect because of their flaws. I cried a thousand times. Marchetta has that wonderful ability to drag you into her characters lives and make you see them as human, as people who deserve love and happiness no matter what horrible things they’ve done or said. This is the type of book I would give one the adults in my life who just don’t get why I still read YA books.
Entwined by Heather Dixon – Sure, it’s super girly. And over the top cute. But…no…wait…that’s why it’s so awesome. It’s SUPER GIRLY!!! And OVER THE TOP CUTE!!! GUYS!!! Twelve dancing princesses!! Twelve sisters who just want to dance but their austere father wont let them after their mother dies??? And it’s the only way they can feel close to her. And how their father wants so desperately to reconnect with them but doesn’t know how? It’s just the cutest, best story ever! Just perfect for all ages. And I kind of think of it as a perfect bridging book for girls old enough to move on from MG but still pretty young. It’s about princesses and dancing and pretty things, but there’s complex family and romance and good evil character. And good characters who have flaws and such.
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton – This book reminded of why I kept YA books on my shelves even when I’d moved on to more “adult” books (when I was like…twelve. I was SO pretentious about it too.). And why I went back to them as my main source of reading material as an adult. It read just like some of the amazing books I grew up with, and I loved the intricacy of the plot and the characters and I can’t wait for more!
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor – Now, I’m not a fan of short stories because I find that just as you get attached to the plot and the characters, the story ends. But I am going to recommend this one for two reasons. Well, three reasons. 1. It just came out in paperback, so it’ll be a reasonable price. I have the hardcover and it’s gorgeous and all but not what I would usually spend on three short stories. 2. The artwork is beautiful! 3. It’s Laini Taylor, so the writing is just delicious.
The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins – I love these books soooooo much! They deal with a lot of the same themes and ideas that the Hunger Games does but in a way that is geared toward a younger audience. And even though people under 10 years of age can enjoy it’s humour and action and twists it never, ever cuts corners when dealing with war. It is not afraid to show young people how awful war is and how there can be good people and people on both sides of a war. Wonderful books. A good thing to read while waiting for The Hunger Games movie.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman – I just reread these and was reminded about how awesome they are. Even if I didn’t love the characters and the story and the writing, which I do, I would recommend these books simply because they take well known stories and completely turn them upside down. They are absolutely fantastic at making you think differently about things you’ve always taken for granted. Not that I’m saying they change your mind about things…just that they encourage critical thinking about how we choose to live our lives. All while telling an adventure story with travel between worlds, mystical creatures, lots of physics, and, above everything, love. Also, new additions were released recently with some “extras” in the back.
Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant by Mark Jeffrey – Lots of fun in a sci-fi MG setting. You don’t see too much sci-fi in MG…or, at least I can’t think of much. And I really enjoyed this book and how it played with history. A smart, fast-paced read that is a lot of fun with enjoyable characters. Though, I always feel I should warn people, the author is one of those people who think they know a lot about social marketing…and maybe he does when it isn’t his own stuff, but I just find the more I saw of him on the internet, the more annoyed at him I was. Social marketing can be a bit of tight rope.
The Man in the Moon by William Joyce – It’s just so pretty! I know I read it…but honestly, I don’t remember the words at all. I know there’s a story about Mim, the Man in the Moon, and what he does, and how got to be that way…but this book is really all about the illustrations. It’s just a piece of art. You need to give it to people so they can go “oooohhhhhh.”
We Are in a Book by Mo Willems – Or, you know, ANYTHING EVER by Mo Willems. He is a genius and an artist and all of his books are fantastic and funny and wonderful. We Are in a Book just happens to be my favourite. His books are so simple and fun yet complex and smart and awesome. I don’t know how he does it. Buy these for an adult with a sense of humour, they’ll enjoy it. I promise.