Books Adults or Teens Will Love: A Guest Post by Our Adult Colleague
Today, we have a treat for you: a guest post written by one of our adult colleagues, Liz. She shares some of her recent adult favorites that will appeal to teens, adult readers of young adult fiction, or just book lovers looking for new, terrific reads. If you want to read more from Liz, check out her blog.
First, who am I? I was a buyer at BookPeople in Austin, Texas, for a decade and then accepted a sales rep job with Random House in 2007. I sell adult books in five states, driving most of that distance, and we’re not talking about New England-sized states either. We’re talking Texas. Houston to Amarillo. It’s a haul. I’m a consummate book nerd, though, and when I’m not driving or selling books, I’m reading. I don’t have children unless one can claim a morbidly obese cat as a dependent, and so when Kate, Erin, and Sarah asked me to write a guest blog about young adult crossover books from the world of adult reading, my first thought was “Challenge!”…followed shortly thereafter by “What the heck do young adults read?” I don’t know the answer to that question, so I basically picked books that either my best friend in high school Jon or I would have liked.
Just out in paperback, HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE is a novel to send all geeks to the geeky equivalent of a Double Stuff Oreo-induced sugar coma. It’s pure bliss in the form of a time machine repair guy who chooses to live in between time with only his onboard computer (a female voiced system with self-esteem issues) and a holographic dog rather than confront his troubled relationship with his father. Time travel and cool gadgetry and some Lost-esque physics to blow your mind—good times.
Texas author Sarah Bird is a celebrity in the Austin area and a new book from her is always a reason to celebrate. Her latest, THE GAP YEAR , is also her most personal. It’s the story of a mother and daughter approaching the empty nest that’s supposed to come with college enrollment. Set over the course of daughter Aubrey’s senior year of high school, the story follows Aubrey’s burgeoning friendship with football star Tyler Moldenhauer and simultaneously starts resisting her mother Cam’s attempts to prod her about college. It’s a mother/daughter relationship akin to Lorelai and Rory Gilmore with some Texas sass that both mothers and daughters can share.
VACLAV & LENA are two Russian immigrant children growing up in New York and dreaming of magic. Vaclav will be the great magician and Lena his lovely assistant, and they construct elaborate shows at Vaclav’s house after school even as Lena tries to align herself with the more popular girls in class. Their friendship is shattered, though, when Lena is taken away one day. The two never forget each other, though, and as Vaclav still dreams of magic in high school, he also dreams of his lost friend. It’s a wonderful, charming, moving book from first time author Haley Tanner.
Coming out in August, READY PLAYER ONE is generating a lot of bookseller buzz for its 80’s nostalgia, and author Ernie Cline lives his love—he bought a Delorean (the car from Back to the Future) with his advance. Even though young adult readers don’t have the first hand experience of that decade, I still think that this video game loving, adventure quest novel will appeal…and perhaps spark a Brat Pack renaissance?
Looking forward to the fall season, in my few years as a rep I’ve never seen a book as universally loved as Erin Morgenstern’s THE NIGHT CIRCUS . There is magic here—two dueling magicians, a circus the pops up overnight and is only open at night, a rich cast of characters charmed by the circus’s incredible sites. Celia is the daughter of a magician, Marco an orphan raised by the rival man in the gray suit. The selected venue for their duel is a circus—one they control with their magic, trying to best the other even as guests are amazed by ice gardens and cloud mazes. Even as the two discover each other’s identities and grow closer, the duel still must be played out to the end. I love this book. Check out the book trailer here.