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10 YA Books I Bought for the Holidays

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim | 47 comments
Hey, last minute shoppers. Looking for the YA reader on your list? As an author, I often get asked to share the titles I buy people for the holidays. Here’s the list this year in no particular order. I’ve put a little star (*) by them if they are for mature readers (you know mature themes with sex and drugs and such) but I think all were tastefully done.

1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Actually, I bought the trilogy. Uglies. Pretties. Specials. Future. Environmental. Cleanly written and fast-paced. They’re wonderful for the hard to please reader.

2. You Remind Me of You by Eireann Corrigan (*)
For the language lover. A writer’s writer. Hands down, she’s one of the best writers in YA (in my opinion) for her raw lyricism. These are all poems but have a story arc. Delicious.

3. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (*)
Beautifully written futuristic tale that packs an emotional punch. All of my students have loved this one.

4. The Tribes of Palos Verdes by Joy Nicholson (*)
For the surfer in your life. Or the person who just likes a really good story about a girl trying to make sense of her life. My male students have also loved the rich writing and tone of this novel.

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green (*)
Funny, heartbreaking, so well written it makes me want to cry. For the Catcher in the Rye fan in your life.

6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
My friend and I were talking yesterday about the single literary relationship that defined our childhoods…Gil and Anne. Hands down. I will never stop loving these books.

7. I Was A Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block(*)
Wild, interesting writing. Great characterization. Block’s books are for the edgy reader in your life who is still, deeply, a romantic.

8. Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel (*)
Alyson is one of the nicest writers I know. Her books are great and your teenage girls
should be reading them. Romantic and fast-paced, this is what you should be buying instead of Gossip Girl.

9. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
For the sweet middle school reader in your life (and those of us who love those stories). This is a story of breaking free of conformity and also a story of love. Doesn’t get better than that.

10. Sabriel by Garth Nix
If you’ve got a fantasy lover on your hands and he or she hasn’t read this (and the two that follow), this is a wonderful journey with a strong female lead.

Kim Culbertson, author
"Songs for a Teenage Nomad"







message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna | 47 comments Thanks for sharing your list. My daughter alternates between drama and fantasy. Is How I Live Now--Science Fiction or just set in the future?


message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim | 47 comments It's not really science fiction...more realistic fiction set in the future. Uglies is great for sci-fi, I think...but I'm not much of a sci-fi reader.


message 4: by Stefani (new)

Stefani (stefanileming) | 3 comments My sister is 16 and a voracious reader. Her friends trade books all of the time, so my librarian self forgives her for actually buying the books. So for Christmas, I got her a stack of reading. I admit, I did pick a few vampire books to fulfill the post-Twilight void.

1. Companions of the Night, by Vivivan Van de Velde
2. Blue Bloods, by Melissa De la Cruz
3. Life as We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
4. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
5. Dairy Queen, by Catherine Murdock
6. The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary Pearson
7. The Silver Kiss, by Annette Curtis Klause

I know there were a couple more, but I can't remember! So far, I've heard rave reviews from TTYL and Dairy Queen.


message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim | 47 comments cool list! Thanks!


message 6: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Stiefvater (maggie_stiefvater) DAIRY QUEEN is very good, I thought -- great characterization. And while I love Scott Westerfield's writing, I could never get into UGLIES -- I always recommend PEEPS. That one is just brilliant!


message 7: by Holly (new)

Holly (hharvey) I love Robin McKinley's Blue Sword and Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
For newer titles, I would recommened
Schooled by Gordan Korman
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Uprising by Maragert Peterson Haddix
Climbing the stairs by Padma Venkatraman

A fun mystery series for the younger end of YA is Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer. The first one is The Case of the Missing Marquess


message 8: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 236 comments Stefani wrote: "My sister is 16 and a voracious reader. Her friends trade books all of the time, so my librarian self forgives her for actually buying the books. So for Christmas, I got her a stack of reading. I a..."




message 9: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 236 comments Dairy Queen is awesome and the sequel The Off Season is even better---I love the main character DJ Schwenk and she doesn't disappoint in #2. And Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It was one I couldn't put down either!


message 10: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Stiefvater (maggie_stiefvater) Is THE OFF SEASON good? Phew -- I had been resisting picking it up because someone had told me it was not as good as THE DAIRY QUEEN. But I loved DJ, so I'll pick it up.


message 11: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 236 comments Yes, DJ continues and there is alot of drama, family drama and yes, Brian Nelson is involved too- so pick it up and enjoy!


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