Today, I thought I'd give you all some recommendations of books that I really love and that I feel could use a bit more attention. Some of these I've mentioned before, but wanted to emphasize; others I haven't recommended and am happy to finally share now! Enjoy.
Neal Shusterman's Unwind Dystology
This four-book YA sci-fi series takes place in a dystopian future where, after a big war over abortion, a compromise is made where abortion is illegal, but teens can be sent to be "unwound", or taken apart as organ donors, if they're unwanted. The series is full of incredibly political and social commentary, and I find it brilliant, relevant, and engaging. It really makes you think, and it's full of action too! Seriously, it's so good! (5-star average)
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
In this YA thriller, Jazz Dent, the son of a notorious serial killer, tries to stop a new serial killer in his hometown. It's one of the most brilliant and effective psychological thrillers I have ever read. Seeing Jazz utilize the horrible things his dad taught him for good and watching him navigate human relationships while dealing with all the stuff that's in his head is incredible. This book says a lot about how our parents shape us, but also about making our own choices. If you can handle some disturbing content, absolutely read it. (5 stars, later downgraded to 4.5 stars)
Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles
The Lunar Chronicles is a brilliant, creative, and original fairytale retelling, a YA sci-fi story where Cinderella is a cyborg, Red Riding Hood falls in love with a genetically altered wolf-man, Rapunzel is a hacker trapped in a satellite, and Snow White is princess of the moon. Besides being a beautifully woven combination of sci-fi and fairytale, this four-book series has some fascinating social commentary and great cultural aspects. Give it a go! (4.75-star average)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This is the most powerful WWII YA historical fiction story I've ever read. It's told from the perspective of Death, which is quirky, original, and really thought-provoking all at once, and it's done in such a way that it really makes you feel. The Book Thief is incredibly well-written, and I will always recommend it. I Am the Messenger, also by Zusak, is a similarly thoughtful YA contemporary read, although the beginning is almost torturously slow. I recommend both books! (4.5 stars each)
Kiera Cass's The Selection Trilogy
This one is a really sweet, swoony read that's lighter than the others on this list. It takes place in a dystopian future, but little focus is put on that. The YA trilogy tells the story of a lower-class girl who is put into a televised competition, a la The Bachelor, to win the hand of the Prince. It's about romance, yes, but also choosing to make a difference in the world and standing up for what's right. It's very fun. (4.5-star average)
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
I have this thing for books that have disability or mental illness representation. They're thoughtful and educational at once, promoting true empathy, and I devour them. In the past, I've loved Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (a girl with Asperger's) and Wonder by R.J. Palacio (a boy with a severe facial deformity). These are both middle grade novels, however.
Five Flavors of Dumb is the one YA read that I feel is up to the standard of those MG books. This contemporary novel follows a deaf teen girl who becomes the manager for a local rock band, which is a terribly wonderful premise already. The story is pulled off so well, with true empathy and feeling and a cast of really vivid characters. The perspective it has on family as well is very intelligent and worthwhile. You should definitely read it!
Why I Hate James Pat...
The Lesser Evil: Femi...
PTSD and The Hunge...
Guest Post: 5 Fandom...
My Mayo Clinic Experi...