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Parents Hooked on YA

April 18, 2016
By Misty Teasdale , OVParent

"Young Adult" in literature refers to books for the 12-18 age range. I've always been an avid reader, but other than a few Lois Duncan books, I somehow missed most of the phenomenal books for teens. I went straight to Sidney Sheldon from Nancy Drew. Thankfully, an adolescent literature class introduced me to classics like S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" and Robert Cormier's "The Chocolate War." I've been hooked on YA books since.

In the last decade, I have noticed that I am not alone. Thanks to authors like JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and John Green, novels aimed at teens are now front and center of popular fiction. Teens love these books, but according to a 2012 study, not as much as adults. Fifty-five percent of YA?buyers are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44. And 78 percent of the time they are purchasing the books for themselves.

The books below are some of my favorite YA books that are not part of a series.

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"We Were Liars"

by E. Lockhart

I love to read actual books, but as a working mom, it's hard to find the time. The problem is if I really like a book, I will devour it, and I'm not inclined to do much else until I'm done. Luckily, I am an audio book junkie. I commute 45 minutes to work each way, which helps feed my addiction. I can testify that a book playing in the background makes laundry and other household tasks so much more interesting. I won't even attempt to fall asleep without one. I'm telling you this so you understand that I go through A LOT of books in a year. This book was, hands down, the best book I read in 2015.

"We Were Liars" is told through the voice of 18-year-old Cadence Sinclair Easton. She comes from an old money family who summer every year on their private island near Cape Cod. Since the age of 8, Cadence's cousins, Johnny and Mirren have been bringing their friend Gat to the island with them. The group of four friends call themselves The Liars.

Over the years, Cadence finds herself falling in love with Gat. During their 15th summer, she suffers a mysterious accident. Cadence spends the next two years and the course of the book suffering from debilitating migraines, a painkiller addiction and amnesia. She is slowly healing and tries to piece together exactly what happened when she returns to the island for the first time since the accident.

"We Were Liars" touches on issues of class, race, romance and family drama until the shocking ending.

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"Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher

This compelling story is about a girl named Hannah Baker. It is told from the perspective of Clay, a boy who had a crush on Hannah but never told her. Clay will never get to confess his crush to Hannah because she committed suicide. Before she took her own life, Hannah made seven cassette tapes. These tapes tell the story of 13 people and events that they were involved in that led Hannah to believe suicide was her only option. Clay receives the tapes in the mail with instructions to listen to them and forward them to the next person on the list. What Clay hears on the tapes disturbs him and drastically changes his view of himself and the world.

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"Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver

Mean Girl meets Groundhog Day is one way to describe this book. Except you won't be laughing. With this novel, Lauren Oliver delivers a serious and often brutal look at high school social circles and the careless bullying that occurs on a daily basis. Beautiful and popular Samantha Kingston is not a nice person. She is, however, at the top of her school's social pyramid. At least she is until the night she dies in a terrible accident. The next day, she wakes up in the morning and gets a chance to relive the last day of her life. In fact, she gets to do her last day over six more times. Will six days be enough to right some wrongs and redeem herself?

Misty Teasdale is the children's services coordinator for the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County. She lives in West Wheeling with her husband and 11-year-old daughter.

 
 

 

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