Good Minds Suggest—E. Lockhart's Favorite Young Adult Books for Readers of All AgesDecember, 2014
Not since The Hunger Games has a young adult novel captured the attention of readers of all ages as effectively as E. Lockhart's We Were Liars—no wonder it's this year's winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction! The American author's previous novels include The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and the four-book Ruby Oliver series. Her latest, the bestselling We Were Liars, is a dark and gripping suspense that follows Cadence Sinclair, the teenage scion of preposterously privileged WASPs, who must uncover the truth about the terrible summer night that destroyed her memory. Lockhart, a National Book Award finalist who also writes children's picture books and books for adults under her own name, Emily Jenkins, shares five of her favorite young adult novels for readers of all ages.
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang (Goodreads Author)
"This is a stunning graphic novel about the Boxer Rebellion in China. The subjects are religion, war, identity, opera, fantasy, legend, and family. The story of the war is told from two opposing perspectives, that of a young fighter in the Boxer Rebellion and that of a girl who has converted to Christianity. Yang mixes brutal realism with hallucinations and visions to create a dual portrait that is tragic, funny, and deeply human."
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Goodreads Author)
"Also a double narrative, this is the story of two British women, one a pilot and one a spy, during WWII. Verity has been captured by the Germans in Nazi-occupied France, and much of the novel is her forced confession revealing details of the British War effort. She is furious, witty, and clever beyond belief, and Wein's intricate construction and slam-bang ending make it one of my favorite books ever."
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
"A tour de force about the multiple ways gay, transgender, and questioning boys fall in love, fall out of love, and navigate their positions in contemporary culture, all narrated in the collective all-knowing voice of the gay men of the 1990s, who were felled by the AIDS crisis. It is romantic and extremely sophisticated, deeply emotional."
Bronxwood by Coe Booth (Goodreads Author)
"A rip-your-heart-out story of a teenage boy living with a group of other guys in the projects, and what happens when his sometimes charming and always criminally minded father gets out of jail. Tyrell is a gloriously complex and honest character—sometimes a player, sometimes a sweetie—looking desperately for human connection and a way forward."
The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty
"The comical drama of the Zing family and its Secret, this is magical realism that feels joyful and logical and surprising all at once. Moriarty is whimsical and smart; more important, she writes with tremendous insight about families and pulls seemingly unrelated events together into a beautiful and satisfying whole. Read this and smile all the way through."