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Holiday Gift Guide: For YA Book Lovers

December 12, 2012

Continuing our series on holiday gift giving, see what books we recommend for the teens on your list, or for adults who love to read YA.  Books make great gifts! 

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

If A.S. King started writing in chalk on the sidewalks in her hometown I would travel daily to read what she had written. She writes the novels that I wanted to read when I was a teenager and can still relate to now. (Aren’t we all still insecure 17 year olds occasionally?) Astrid Jones is keeping secrets, sending love to airplane passengers, breaking the mold and discovering real love within herself and others. Perfect for anyone trying to break free from the norms of society, seeking an honest look at the conflicts that teenagers face or just looking for an emotionally gripping read. Recommended for fans of John Green, David Levithan and Ellen Hopkins.

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Basketball, girlfriends, the Irish mob and more basketball. Oh, and a former basketball star that (after suffering a horrible tragedy) only answers to the name Boy21. Boy21, formerly called Russ, just moved to Finley’s neighborhood and Coach has asked Finley to convince Boy21 to join the team. What secrets is Coach keeping for Boy21? What secrets are Finley’s father and grandfather keeping from Finley? Can Finley balance basketball, college prep and his girlfriend? A word of warning – this is a book that will suck you in and force you to read it in one sitting. Keep the tissues close, I cried my way through the last 30 pages. Recommended for fans of Matt de la Pena and Walter Dean Myers.

Under the Bridge by Michael Harmon

Like, A.S. King, Michael Harmon writes the novels I wanted to read as a teen. He just GETS it. The language he uses might make parents cringe, but, let’s be honest, your teen is probably talking that way when you are out of earshot. The situations he puts teens in are also cringe worthy – drugs, gangs, dropping out of high school – but the hope and emotional connections between the characters make every cringe worth it. One of my favorite things about a Michael Harmon novel are the parents, they aren’t perfect Disney parents, they aren’t absent from the story, they are just normal every day parents trying to help make the lives of their children better. They fight, they punish and they congratulate. Skateboard culture may be the centerpiece for this story, but deeper than that is the relationship between the two brothers, Tate and Indy, as they struggle to stay afloat. Recommended for fans of A.S. King, Neal Shusterman and John Green.

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

I’ve been describing this title as “Romeo and Juliet meets the X-Men” and I think that pretty much sums it up! Perfect for the romance reader that likes a little action and adventure in between the lovey-dovey scenes! Aria Rose finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster – but she has no memory of falling in love with him. All Aria knows is that this marriage doesn’t feel right; her family has been feuding with the Foster family for as long as she can remember, what changed? Wondering about the X-Men piece? That is where Hunter comes in! I can’t say much more without giving away key pieces of the book, but I can tell you that the battle scene at the very end is worth every word! Recommended for fans of Lauren Kate, Ally Condie and Veronica Roth.

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