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I tried to put together a list of successful young adult novels without including the regular: Hunger Games, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird. You catch my drift?
We have all seen and heard about these stories, and as fantastic as these stories and their authors are; there are even more out there to explore.
So let’s get started. 🙂
Green and Levithan wrote the Will Grayson 1 and 2 with alternating chapters.The viewpoints of two characters with the same name, different perspectives, and character traits makes for an intriguing read. The story poses themes for young love, self-identity and sexuality, and also good old teenage rebellion. It was the first LGBT young adult novel to make it to the New York Times best-seller list; where it stayed for three weeks.
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I chose this next one not because we share the same name but it’s actually just a really bad ass fantasy novel that ties in love, adventure, and a strong heroine. I’m a sucker for those. Published in 2008, Kristin Cashore’s debut novel won Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. It also won the American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults. Reliance Entertainment has acquired the film rights as of 2013, look out for Graceling on screen, but you should definitely read the book in the mean time. (FYI, it is a series, but so worth it.)
Photo courtesy of www.sarahjmaas.com
This is my favorite science fiction/fantasy series. I’m so excited Hulu will be producing a series based on this series. Film rights have also been acquired by Creative Artists Agency.
The heroine Celaena Sardothien is an 18 year old assassin, in this debut novel of the series she is drawn into a web of a corrupt kingdom and forced to fight for her freedom. What I loved about this story is there is more that meets the eye with our protagonist, she is not a damsel in distress by any means, and she can handle herself; if others step out of line she handles them too. Sarah Maas has said Cinderella was her inspiration for writing this story. The most recent novel in the story was released last September.
The book has been featured in Publishers Weekly, and the second novel made it to the New York Times best-seller list.
Photo courtesy of www.sheenalashay.com
Okay you maybe had to read this one in school, but didn’t you want to read it again after?
This was a top pick for me because it’s old literature but it still relates to the new because love stories never go out of style. Zora Neale Hurston’s storytelling is amazing. I love this story for so many reasons. If you have not read or seen the movie starring Halle Berry and Michael Ealy you are definitely missing out.
This is a recently popular book debuting in 2014 by Jacqueline Woodson.
This book highlights racial tension between living in the North and South States, and is also a coming of age story. I loved the free verse format in which Woodson told her story. It won the NAACP Image Award and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. It’s safe to say we haven’t heard the last of this new author yet.