YA love

So, based on my TBR Thursday posts (which I promise to bring back in the near future), you may have noticed that I read a lot of YA literature.  Even though I’m technically a grown-up, I love the emotions, the humor, and the drama that accompany books about teenagers.  Here are some reasons I love YA (and you should, too):

1. There are happy endings.  Sometimes, it’s nice to know that even though problems occur, things work themselves out in the end.  Books like Just Listen, Perfect Chemistry, or Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares make me happy because the characters end up happy.

2. There are not so happy endings.  Unfortunately, life isn’t always perfect.  We don’t always get the happy endings we want, and it’s sometimes nice to read fiction that depicts the imperfect aspects of life.  Books like Stay With Me, How to Say Goodbye in Robot, and The Fault in Our Stars keep it real.

3. You can escape the real world for a bit.  Let’s face it: life sucks sometimes, whether you’re a teen or a grown-up.  So why not spend some time in a completely different world?  You can enter faraway kingdoms in fantasies like The Girl of Fire and Thorns, live on a spaceship in the future in Glow, or experience a dystopian society in Divergent.

4. You can find people or things to relate to.  Maybe you don’t want to escape when life gets hard; maybe you just want to know someone out there has gone through the same things as you.  There are YA books for that.  Second Chance Summer, The Truth About Forever, Keep Holding On, Speak, Split, and many others are great reads that deal with tough topics.

5. In the end, teenagers are still teenagers.  Teens still have the same problems and care about the same things, even if they’re fictional and live in made-up worlds.  They still want to find love, even in a society that tries to decide everything for them (Matched), or to hang out with their friends, even if the future of the wizarding world is on their shoulders (Harry Potter).  I find this refreshing.

There are tons of great books in the world, and not all of them fall into the YA category.  But people who spurn YA simply because the books are about teenagers are missing out on a LOT of wonderful books.  So do me a favor: try a YA book the next time you’re at the library or bookstore.  If you hate it, that’s fine; we all have different tastes.  But you just might discover something amazing.

Note: This post was written as part of a contest sponsored by YA author Beth Revis.  You can enter the contest here.

TBR Thursday: Debut Authors

Well hello, readers.  I hope everyone on the east coast is staying safe in the aftermath of Sandy.  We didn’t get hit too badly here in Syracuse, but I did use my “hurrication” to do some much-needed reading (Once and The Crown of Embers are no longer on my TBR List!).

The TBR list has no end, though.  2012 has been a big year for first-time authors, so here are some debut novels I’m looking forward to reading.

1. Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

A YA fantasy novel set in a land based on Russia and inspired by Russian folklore?  You guys, this book is a combination of ALL OF THE THINGS I LOVE.  When I first read the summary, I was a little creeped out by the flesh-eating monsters, but I’m choosing to look past that because, like I said, ALL OF THE THINGS.

2. Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi

This is the first book in yet another trilogy.  What can I say, good things come in threes.  Anyway, this is the classic girl meets boy-from-wrong-side-of-tracks story…except in a futuristic dystopian society, with crazy technology, a protected dome, and a wild wasteland.  What obstacles could they possibly face?

3. Reunited, by Hilary Weisman Graham

On the list of things I love: road trips and boy bands (we can discuss boy band allegiance at a later date, but just know that there IS A RIGHT ANSWER).  Anyway, enough with the tangents. Since this book is about 3 former bffs who put aside their current warring ways to travel to their former favorite boy band’s one-time-only reunion show, I predict love at first read.

4. Send Me a Sign, by Tiffany Schmidt

Girl with cancer hides her disease from everyone while searching for signs she’ll live (and, from the sounds of it, falls in love with her boy best friend).  I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked books that in some way involve terminal illnesses (no, I will not apologize for my former love of Lurlene McDaniel!).  I’m going to go ahead and guess that there will be a lot of crying involved when I read this one.

5. Time Between Us, by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time travel!  And romance!  And teenagers!  It sounds like that movie The Lake House, but SO MUCH BETTER.

What debut novels are you in a rush to read?  Let me know what I need to add to my list!

TBR Thursday: Sequels/Series

Happy Thursday, friends. This week I’m going to share with you a few books I can’t wait to read because they’re continuations of some stories I already love. All of these books are sequels or the next book in a series, and I’m DYING to find out what happens next!

1. Once, by Anna Carey

Once is the second book in the Eve trilogy.  In this dystopian world, girls are told they’re going to college, but instead a much worse fate awaits them when they leave school (I know I’m being vague, but I don’t want to give too much away!).  When Eve finds out about what’s going to happen to her, she decides to escape; The first book chronicles her attempts to find a safe place to stay, and as the book ends, it appears she’s finally found that place…but there’s a twist!  I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next for Eve and her companions.

2. Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor

Angels and chimera and humans, oh my!  This is another second book in a trilogy; the first book is called Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  At the end of the first book, the main character, Karou had to decide whether to stay with the love of her life or avenge those to whom she was closest…book two promises love, war, heartbreak, secrets, and hard choices.  It comes out in November, and I’m counting down the days.

3. Reached, by Ally Condie

Final book in the Matched trilogy, also coming out in November.  We’ll finally find out if anything can take down the Society, and if Cassia and Ky will end up together.  Side note: I also like these books because of their subtle commentary on censorship.

4. The Crown of Embers, by Rae Carson

Clearly I have a problem: I am addicted to trilogies.  This is the second book in the The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy.  I actually thought The Girl of Fire and Thorns was a standalone when I first read it, so I was thrilled to find out there would be more to Elisa’s story.  Elisa became so strong and accomplished a great deal in the first book, but she also dealt with so much tragedy; I hope there is more happiness for her in this book (though, since it is a trilogy, I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up!).

5. Requiem, by Lauren Oliver

I did not want to read this series.  Love as a disease?  I was not into it, and though I love dystopias, this one just didn’t appeal to me.  Then I finally broke down and read Delirium, the first book in the (you guessed it) trilogy.  Lauren Oliver did a great job, and my mind was changed completely.  I recently read Pandemonium, the second book, which featured several pretty big twists, and now I’m a little sad that I have to wait until MARCH to get my hands on this final book in the trilogy.

Are there any book series or trilogies you’re loving right now?  Tell me if there’s anything I should add to my list!