Thursday, September 19, 2013

Looking for a few good YA reads?

In Christian fiction, YA selections are slim. New Adult is virtually unheard of because, well, a lot of folks haven't heard of it since the category began in 2009 and those who have associate it with sexed up YA lit, which many Christian readers understandably shy away from.

Despite this, I have discovered a few gems in the past year, some of them in the Christian and secular mainstream publishing worlds and some in the indie/e-book realm. Here are three that you should immediately download Amazon's free samples onto your Kindle! (After reading the rest of this post, naturally).

My Hands Came Away Red: E-book. Oh. My. Word. This was the book I wanted to write ten years ago coming off of my own missions trip experience. I still probably will write that book, but it'll look different. :) Lisa McKay, the author, did a tremendous job of crafting believable characters with REAL faith. You know, the kind we all have--a faith that isn't wrapped up in a neat bow at the end of the story (because the end of the story is really just the beginning of another). Genre: Adventure. Mini-synopsis: Teenage summer missions experience to Southeast Asia goes wrong when the village they're working with is attacked, forcing the teens to seek refuge in the jungle on their own.

Divergent: Paperback. Published in the "secular" fiction world a couple of years ago, and written by a Christian. While reading the story, I suspected the author, Veronica Roth, might be a Christian, but didn't know for sure until I read the first line of her Acknowledgements page at the back of the novel. She gave her first kudos to Jesus. :) Anyway, Roth's faith isn't what makes the book good, as we all know. But I was SUPER excited to see this type of book being written by a Christian. Genre: Dystopian. Mini-synopsis: Girl chooses to be brave and break the mold in a futuristic society that forces people into one of five categories for life. First person POV with an engaging, fast-paced storyline, the perfect amount of action and romance, and a very relatable main character. Loved the book so much it got me working on my perpetually languishing YA sci-fi story, Scapegoat, again. At least for a little while. First in a trilogy, of which the third will be released next month. Movie based on Divergent comes out in March 2014.

Glass Girl: E-book. (Christian). Ok, so I haven't read this one all the way through--only about 3 chapters on my Kindle and it was enough that I immediately purchased the book (even though I'm technically on a "book buying fast" until Mr. Amazing Dude gets a new job. :) (He knows I cheat on this for very special circumstances). Genre: Contemporary/Coming of Age. Mini-synopsis: After the death of her brother, a girl finds out how to live again in a small Wyoming town. This book seems like one of my exceptions. I was totally hooked on the main character, Meg within the first few paragraphs. In some ways, she reminds me of my character, Meghan in After Her Death. While they are very different stories, I think both books are written to the same audience. I can't wait to finish reading Glass Girl--hopefully this weekend!

Read any YA novels recently that really grabbed you?

6 comments:

  1. I haven't read any new ones, but I have been re-exploring some old favorites, as well as some new ones by favorite authors, such as Meindert deJong, Madeline L'Engle, and Marguerite deAngeli. I have also been reading through Narnia and some Winnie the Pooh with my little boys. There is something reassuring about the familiar words, but I am glad that you have recommended some new books, because I was wanting some, but didn't even know where to start looking for some good ones.

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    1. I've never read deJong or deAngeli. What do they write? What about them do you enjoy?

      I do have a soft spot for L'Engle. She had a big impact on me along with the Narnia Chronicles when I was a young teen.

      Mr. Amazing Dude sometimes reads me Winne the Pooh at night. It's calming. :)

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  2. Love this post! I absolutely love "Glass Girl". Have you heard of Playlist YA fiction? They feature both YA and new adult books (see Laura L. Smith's college series).

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Tessa! :) I just discovered Playlist a week ago and have samples for all of them downloaded to my Kindle--including yours. Congrats, by the way!! :) I'm really excited for you (and for the general Christian YA readership--more books is always a good thing!)

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  3. Both deJong (Wheel on the School) and deAngeli (Door in the Wall) are Newberry authors. They are "old fashioned" authors, but wrote about so many different types of characters. Every time I finish reading one of their books, I feel like I know another person and it helps me listen to the stories of the people around me.

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    1. I just checked them out on Amazon--they remind me of some of my favorite reads as a kid like Lois Lenski and Elizabeth George Speare. :) Thanks for the recommendation! Hopefully my library has them because I don't think they've quite made it to Kindle.

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