Hello lovely readers of Books With Ems! My name is Becky and I’ve popped over from Blogs of a Bookaholic with a guest post for you today.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge YA reader. Despite technically not fitting into the ‘teen’ age bracket anymore having reached the ripe old age of 21, I know that I will continue to return to this genre. I love that after reading it for so many years it can still surprise me. I have come across so many unique writing styles, creative plots, snappy dialogue and an endless array of heart-wrenching situations through YA stories, and today I thought I would share with you 5 YA novels that I wish would get a little more love!
First up, Trouble by Non Pratt which tells the story of Hannah, a 15 year old who falls pregnant and Aaron, the new boy at school who for mysterious reasons, agrees to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Now if that isn’t a hook, I don’t know what is!
I had always been hesitant to read a novel about teen pregnancy for fear it would become preachy, but Trouble steers around this with ease and is a smart, laugh out loud heartfelt story that is so much more about friendship, family relationships, societal views and self-empowerment than the pregnancy itself. Throughout the story, you get to watch the complex relationship between Hannah and Aaron unravel and truths about their pasts are revealed. Trouble is one of the most honest and realistic YA novels I’ve ever read!
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Next up we have Dreamland by Sarah Dessen. While Dessen herself is a highly well-known author that you will find on pretty much every library bookshelf, I feel like Dreamland is a novel of hers that is often overlooked, possibly because it is slightly grittier. The story follows Catlin, a girl who is greatly confused about her identity and has always been left in the shadow of her sisters achievements, that is, until her sister flees without warning leaving nothing but a note. When Catlin meets the rebellious Rogerson she finally feels whole and wanted, but her boyfriend soon becomes abusive which causes Catlin’s mental health to spiral. Dreamland is such a powerful novel and it completely sucked me into Catlin’s warped thinking and desperation. It’s a story that hits you right in the gut and will stay with you long after you turn the final page!
The Diviners by Libba Bray is a recent discovery of mine, and I honestly don’t know why this series hasn’t received more hype and marketing because it’s amazing and has pretty much everything you could ever want from a YA novel! It’s set in 1920s America in New York City, amongst a sea of flapper dresses, prohibition and glorious excess. But there’s a twist, because in this world the supernatural exists, and some people have been gifted with mysterious abilities from object reading to dream walking, and worse still, there is a serial killer on the loose. The protagonist Evie O’Neill is a little rocket full of witty one-liners and sarcastic comments which make a refreshing change from the normal Mary Sue. Every character is vibrant and unique and there’s lots of creeptastic and atmospheric imagery!
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
This one’s an oldie but a goodie! Elsewhere tells the story of Liz whose life is tragically cut short and she finds herself in a bizarre afterlife – Elsewhere. The reader follows her horrible realisations about all the things she will never get to do – the careers she won’t be able to build, the relationships she will never have and the college courses she will never get to study. Her struggle through anger, denial and eventually acceptance is powerful, moving and gripping. This novel is full of so many interesting ideas to keep readers captivated, such as the existence of the observer deck that allows the dead to look down on the ones they love, to the idea of people aging backwards in the afterlife to eventually reborn. If you’re looking for something unique and a little out of the ordinary, this one is definitely worth a try!
The final book on my list follows a perceptive young girl named Mila, who has a Sherlock type ability to pick up on things about people that others miss. So when Mila’s father discovers that his friend has gone missing, father and daughter set off on a road trip across America/Canada to look for him. This is a difficult book to describe, I guess it’s kind of a mystery but is mostly about coming of age and realising that adults are not infallible and that even when you think you know all the answers – you probably don’t. Meg Rosoff is a fascinating writer. Her style is bizarre but distinct and has a sort of understand brilliance about it, and part of this comes from the fact that she doesn’t use speech marks which is tough to get used to at first, but makes you feel totally immersed inside the main character’s head! I really wish this book would get more attention.
And that’s it! I hope this post was vaguely interesting and that you might have found a few new books to try out. Happy reading!
What are your favourite underrated YA novels? I’m always looking for recommendations!
She blogs over at Blogs of a Bookaholic: http://beckysblogs.wordpress.com/
I love it when people do guest posts for me and Becky is such an amazing book blogger. If you want to do a guest post then tweet me @emmixbowles