A Handful of YA Novels

Young adult novels are often for adults as much as young adults – here are a few that have been on my nightstand lately, many of them advanced reading copies picked up at the ALA conference…


Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines is so angsty and “omigod I can’t live without you”, it got to be a bit much. She is a functional mute new to school after witnessing a murder, he is big man on campus who is watching his father die of cancer. Naturally, they connect “despite the odds” and can’t live without each other. Angsty, unrealistic (of course) and a bit repetitive, this is definitely for older teen readers (LOTS of references to graphic sex and alcohol use).

This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp deals with a school shooting head on – with difficult-to-read passages and the ripple effect of one action affecting many. Detailing almost minute by minute the 54 minutes after a harrowing school shooting, this is told from many points of view with characters related and intersecting all over the place. At times hard to read, this is an interesting “teen” take on a horrifying school shooting.

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit is just…strange. Anna’s father is taken by the Nazis from Krakow in 1939, and Anna, utterly alone in the world, falls in step with the Swallow Man. He is mysterious, talented, multi-lingual and eventually, protective of Anna, as they struggle to survive in the wilderness of Nazi-era Poland. Combining a bit of magical realism, dangerous situations, moral decisions, and a whole big bunch of weirdness, this novel at times didn’t feel at all like a young adult novel. Read for yourself and let me know what you think….

I also checked out The Duff by Kody Keplinger, so I could read it before watching the movie. Though truly rare for me, I liked the movie better! Gasp!

I read Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (who writes the Shopaholic series for adults) and thought it was really sweet and charming. A great teen read for girls!

I read The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe, and despite the great reviews it was getting, I was…underwhelmed. 😦

Love on the Lifts by Jill Santopolo is LITERALLY a “choose your own adventure” novel, but formed as a young adult romance. How fun is that?!

I also reread this little book called Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – maybe you’ve heard of it? 😉

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