All tagged E. Lockhart

I Love... YA

One of the titles on my profile is “YA Evangelist.” A few (ok, maybe none) of you might wonder what that means.

The thing is, couple of years ago, I found myself in a bit of a reading funk. I’d been an avid fantasy fan for years because I loved being immersed in these other worlds and cultures, and they made me consider my own world and culture and how they came to be. (Hey, I’ve always claimed to be a nerd, ok?) But I found myself burned out on their tendency to turn into Never Ending Series.

I was also over my pretentious phase that most people go through during college involving meta books by authors such as Richard Bach and James Redfield. And Very Serious Literature, the kind of books I was supposed to be thoughtfully reading as a 30 year old…bored and depressed the freakin’ hell out of me. I settled for random books that I found on my library’s staff recommendation table that spanned all genres, but there was no denying that the volume of my reading had decreased immensely. Instead of reading at least 50 books a year, I was down to 15-20 (of which I liked/loved maybe 5). Which for me was sad and unacceptable.

Around the same time, I joined twitter to see what the whole “social media” craze that I had thus far avoided was all about (I still refuse to join the facebook). I soon found myself following fellow Blazers fan Sarah, due to a hilarious tweet regarding the semantics of the “melodramatic” (see what I did there, basketball fans?) trade that sent superstar Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Eventually, I noticed a frequent tendency of others to ask Sarah for book recommendations. I was all,

“Hey. I can’t seem to find books I like on my own. I may as well read something that a fellow Blazers fan suggests. Since Blazers fans are so well known for their rationality and savvy and all.”

So, against my better judgment upon hearing the weird title, I picked up The Hunger Games at the library. After reading, oh, a chapter or so, I went online and put the other two books in the trilogy on hold.

I Love... YA - On Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

So, I then began scouring Sarah’s timeline for other recs whenever I finished a book. Eventually, I stopped my silly covert searches in favor of proper stalking by actually tweeting her for a personalized list. On that list was Melina Marchetta’s The Piper’s Son, which I adored. A few months later came Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, which made me—ME!—late for work. Twice.

When I reviewed The Sharp Time last week, I mentioned that it would be a great gateway young adult novel for people who avoid the YA category. While it’s debateable whether or not that particular novel is a YA or not, I got to thinking about what would be good gateway YAs—particularly contemporary YA, which is near and dear to my heart.

Here are three suggestions (all Printz honorees, which helps your case for reluctant adult YA readers) for contemporary YAs you can trick your friends into reading, taking both plot and cover artwork into consideration (because let’s admit it, some people will never read a book if the cover screams, “I’m a teen book!!!”)

Looking for Alaska, John Green

John Green’s 2006 debut is one I shove in people’s hands all the time when I hear the words, “There’s no way I’d read a book for kids.” While the boarding school setting may turn a few folks off (because YA characters attend boarding school at a far higher rate than normal kids), the dark, literary-looking cover should cancel out any boarding school phobias. Plus, the main character, last words-obsessed Miles, is a fantastic narrator who’s equally angsty and clever. I’m yet to force anyone to read this one who’s regretted the time spent reading it.