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. Continue reading “Top 5 YA Novels I Have Read & Reviewed”
“I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I’m strange.”
After the break-up of her parents’ marriage, sixteen year old Mary Iris Malone (Mim) finds herself living in Mississippi with her dad and step-mom. Upon overhearing that her mother is sick, she runs away from Mosquitoland Missisippi and jumps on a Greyhound bus to Cleveland. Throughout her journey she meets a number of different characters and ends up on a few unexpected detours, learning valuable lessons along the way.
Mosquitoland is a charming and offbeat young adult novel that follows Mim’s journey from Mississippi to Cleveland. Mim is a funny and engaging narrator who we really get to know and understand as the story develops. Her struggles and difficulties in connecting to others are presented in a way that makes them quite relatable. The author mixes humour and serious subject matter very well, creating main characters that are believable and so endearing that I wanted more time with them. It is a touching novel that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
Favourite quote: “All my life, I’ve been searching for my people, and all my life, I’ve come up empty. At some point, and I don’t know when, I accepted isolation. I curled into a ball and settled for a life of observations and theories, which really isn’t a life at all.”