In the past couple of months I read a few YA novels, all within a relatively short span of time. I found them to be nice reads but falling short of the intrigue presented by their premise, and ultimately not reaching the full extent of their potential. This made me look back at the YA novels I have read and reviewed so far to re-visit my prior experiences. While there are a few books that fell short for me, there are five stand-outs that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend.
1. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
If I had to recommend just one book, it would be this one. It is a smart, character driven debut novel that is absolutely brilliant. It follows a nine-member crew travelling on a tunnelling ship whose job it is to punch holes through space in order to create shortcuts. A must-read.
2. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
A strange and heart-breaking story about a girl born with the wings of a bird. It’s wonderfully engrossing with great depth of character as it explores the struggles of Ava and her family.
3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
After learning that her mother is sick, Mary Iris Malone (Mim) hops aboard a Greyhound bus to Cleveland, running away from Mississippi where she lives with her dad and step-mom. Throughout her journey she meets a number of different characters and learns valuable lessons. Mim is an endearing and precocious character and I couldn’t help but be completely absorbed in her journey.
4. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
After the unexpected and tragic loss of her best friend, young Suzy has a hard time coming to terms with the tragedy. She believes that there has got to be a reason why it happened, and after a little research becomes convinced that this reason is jellyfish. She sets out to prove her theory in research paper format. A very unique, touching, and heart-warming story.
5. The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. A re-telling of A 1001 Nights with the Caliph Khalid, a boy king who takes a new bride each night and has them executed at sunrise. After her best friend becomes the latest victim, young Shahrzad volunteers to be next in order to put a stop to the murders. It is a quick, easy, and fun read. This is part of a duology, with the second book The Rose & the Dagger being released April 26, 2016.
I love a good YA book from time to time and it is always wonderful to come across a great new story or author.
What are some of you favourite YA novels?