Best of 2011: Young Adult Books

The days when so called ‘grown-ups’ who loved Young Adult books had to hide them in shame behind the covers of Oprah’s latest book pick just to avoid ridicule is over. The world has embraced YA, realized that regardless of who a book is targeted at the things that make a book interesting transcend designated age groupings. If you haven’t tried a YA novel yet, see what all the rage is about by trying one of these, my favorite YA releases of 2011. Check out our Teen Blog for the reviews and trailers for them all in the coming weeks.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor  Prepare to be sucked into the beautifully crafted world of Karou. Covered in tattoos with hair that grows blue straight out of her head, Karou’s friends in Prague think that the drawings of monsters and angels in her sketch book are imaginary, but really, they’re her family. Good luck figuring out who is good and who is evil in this fantastic offering from National Book Award finalist Taylor. Regular teenaged life is mixed with beautifully described otherworldly beings in a book you’ll be surprised to find yourself still reading at 3 A.M.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs With the eclectic dark appeal of a Tim Burton movie, this book combines delicious, spooky fiction with strange vintage photographs to tell the story of mysterious island off the coast of Wales. Terrifying, fascinating and delightful Rigg’s debut work will suck you in.

Divergent by Veronica Roth When Beatrice Prior makes the shocking choice to give up her life with family as member of Abnegation she doesn’t realize how hard she’ll have to fight for her place as one of the Dauntless. A fast paced novel of survival against all odds, Divergent is a great choice for fans on The Hunger Games.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater My best pick for fans of The Hunger Games who are longing for something new to read. Fast paced action is matched with a slow building relationship all rolled together around beautiful, ocean swept language. I don’t want to give it away but there are teens, a deadly contest and mythical Celtic water horses. AWESOME.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty After a virus makes everyone over the age of 18 infertile teens become the most prized members of society. Contracted out to conceive children, teenage girls are treated as celebrities. Bumped is a light hearted romp, but hidden behind the likeable characters, mistaken identify twin crisis, compelling love story and interesting, bubbly take on the dystopian future Bumped offers a stark view of where our social media and sex appeal obsessed culture is headed.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray What do you get when you mix Lost and the Miss America pagent? An island full of stranded teen Beauty Queens. In a book that is hilarious (No, really, it’s laugh-out-loud-so-much-your-roommates-shoot-you-dirty-looks-funny), but also full of intrigue and mystery, Printz award winner Libba Bray dishes up hi-jinks in a tiara.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis  Full of mystery, romance and dystopain awesomeness, this sci-fi gem proves that finally, the Space Opera is getting the attention it deserves! With chapters that alternate point of view between Amy, a girl stuck in the past and Elder, a unwilling leader in training of the giant ship, Revis will suck you into this strange, scary future.

Ashfall by Mike Mullin Ok, I’m not going to lie, I haven’t started this one yet…. But it  appeared on several of the Best of 2011 lists, and it is the title I’m most excited about reading this month. The CCPL catalog gives this description: After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, fifteen-year-old Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister, trying to survive in a transformed landscape and a new society in which all the old rules of living have vanished.

Leave a Reply