Tag Archives: young adult

Top 10 Tuesday: Important Books for Teens


Top 10 Sites I Visit that AREN'T About Books

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ from  The Broke and the Bookish is back today, this week is a ‘back to school’ freebit

When I went to my most recent bookclub meet-up one of the women there said she wanted to give the book we were reading (The Power) to the first teenage girl she saw, so I decided to do Top 10 Important Books For Teens, these books are books which would teach a lesson, but hopefully in a fun way. They are not all designed for teenagers, but I think they would generally be appropriate. I also tried to pick books which would appeal to a wide range of teenagers not just ones with certain issues

As always, in no particular order

How to Build a Girl- Caitlin Moran

This one for teenage girls (most of them probably are as I was one once). It’s a bit like How to be a Woman but in fiction form. So a good feminist novel which teaches things you might not learn in school. I would probably like to introduce girls to How to be a Woman too, but this is probably more accessible.

Eleanor & Park- Rainbow Rowell

It’s a fairly decent representation of a relationship, not perfect and about accepting people for who they are, and thinking of others before yourself

The Storyteller- Jodi Picoult

A good one to learn about the holocaust, but also about forgiveness and remorse, and how it still has an impact on people today.

Look Who’s Back- Timur Vermes

A comic story, but with a serious message about how history can repeat itself, probably best read after learning about Hitler

 

Animal- Sara Pascoe

Teaches about feminism and sex ed in a way that school won’t and contains some really important information. As soon as I read this I wanted to share it with every teenage girl


Furiously Happy- Jenny Lawson

A somewhat comic look at depression which is good for showing that mental health is important and should be talked about


The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Summers of the Sisterhood)- Ann Brashares

The first one on my list that I read as a teenager. About the importance of friends, and growing up. When I read it there was only one book in the series but I did read the second (and I think the third too). The first is probably the best but there is a lot of important emotional stuff in the second.

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret- Judy Blume

I think Judy Blume’s teenage books are pretty much essential reading for teenage girls. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret is probably the best place to start. The issues are fairly ordinary issues for most teenage girls and deal with becoming a woman.


Anything by Paula Danziger

Like Judy Blume Paula Danziger writes about typical teenage issues. If amazon is anything to go by not many of her books are still being published which is sad, they were one of my teenage staples. The photo is one of the few I could find new from amazon, and it’s aimed at boys(!)

Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging- Louise Rennison

Another typical teenager book, but one which is set in the UK. Not always the most serious of topics but it is good in terms of talking about independence and dating

Special mentions: The Girl’s Series- Jacqueline Wilson, Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson, Noughts and Crosses- Malorie Blackman

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Filed under general, Memes, Top 10 Tuesday

4 to 16 Characters- Kelly Hourihan



Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Told exclusively in online content – instant messages, social media posts, e-mails, fanfiction, and more – 4 to 16 Characters examines the role that online friends, fandom, and fantasy play in helping one teenage girl to survive unbearable realities. When fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s mother died and her father turned to drinking, Jane had to find a way to escape. So she devised a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. Together with her involvement in the online fan circle for her favorite TV show, Look to Tomorrow, Jane thought she’d found the perfect way to cope forever. But as she draws closer to her online friends, she struggles to find a way to maintain real friendships with people who don’t even know her real name. Soon Jane is forced to begin to sift through her issues… but that involves taking a hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.

Review

I started this review months ago but it kept getting overtaken by reviews for books which were out sooner, or already, then NaNoWriMo happened. So my memories of this book are a little hazy. I think I should remember enough for at least some sort of review though.

I did enjoy this novel. I liked the way it was written with all the different voices against Jane’s own diary. In a way I could understand the escapism of the internet too. Sometimes it is easier to type than to talk.

It was easy to read, but a lot of the type that was more because of style than substance. In a way I actually felt sometimes the author had added extra elements just because she didn’t feel she could spread the current one enough. I am sure there are people with that many issues but it did feel a bit much. Just what was involved in Jane’s life rather than herself would have been enough I think.

It was an interesting concept, and it did work well, generally.

3/5

Buy it:
Kindle (£3.14)
Paperback (£9.00)

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here.

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Filed under Fiction review, YA

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares- Rachel Cohn and David Levithan


Disclaimer: This book was given to me free of charge via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from Amazon)

I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favourite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

Review.

I haven’t read a book this quickly in an age. Or stayed up late just to read ‘one more chapter’. It helps that Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is a young adult book. That means it was easy to read, and generally quite plot driven. The chapters were short so it didn’t seem like much to read just one more chapter (although I did that for about 10 chapters in a row).

I’ve been thinking about reading something else by David Levithan since reading A Lover’s Dictionary which I loved. Seeing as most of his other books are YA however I hadn’t rushed out to read another by him. Not because I won’t read YA, it’s just not usually the first thing I would pick up. Those things combined meant that seeing Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares on netgalley gave me the perfect excuse.

I wouldn’t say the book was any great literary genius, but I never expected it to be. I loved the idea of two people meeting through a little red book. It’s the kind of thing you just wish would work in real life (I imagine in real life a shop assistant would have found the book and chucked it into lost property- as often happens with bookcrossing books). I also loved how it seemed to show a love of books too, what more could a literary girl want.

I almost immediately loved Lily as a character when I saw her words in the notebook (the first we hear of her voice. (highlight for spoiler) Although I was rather disappointed to find out those initial words weren’t hers, nor the idea, it made me like her less. She convinced me to like her again by the end however.

It took me longer to warm up to Dash but I probably loved him even more by the end. There was something about Lily which started grating on me (although I still loved her). Dash however had a sarcastic, slightly cynical streak which I took to, and I loved his passion for words.

I enjoyed the fairytale references as well. I suppose in a way the story was a modern fairytale, a little unbelievable, and romantic in the way fairytales often are, but also with a touch of realism which you don’t see in traditional fairy stories.

This book is set during Christmas time. It’s not essential to read it over Christmas but I think I might have enjoyed it more if I read it then (rather than early-September, which is when I did read it).

I wonder now about looking into reading something more by Rachel Cohn seeing as I liked the Lily chapters.But then I think of how much I enjoyed P.S. Longer Letter Later as a teenager, and how disappointed I was to find that Ann M. Martin was the writer of The Babysitters Club (pretty much the last thing I would think to read).

4/5

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dreams is not released until 5th October 2012 in the UK but you can pre-order it now from Amazon

Buy it:

Kindle (£6.99)

Paperback (£5.59)

Other Reviews:

The Perpetual Page Turner

Owl Tell You All About It

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Filed under Fiction review, Romantic, YA

Looking back, teenage reading


I have been meaning to write this post for a while but I seem to be so busy recently I’ve barely had time to even think about it! If it were a few weeks ago I would have written it at the boyfriend’s house but his computer is broken so I left it.

Anyway on topic. Reading and reviewing Million Dollar Mates the other week got me thinking about the books I read when I was a teenager. I mentioned a little in my review about the other books by the author of Million Dollar Mates, Cathy Hopkins, but really the main reason I liked them at the time was that the main character was called Lucy. I do remember quite vividly a scene with an inflatable bra in one of the stories, but I remember little else about them.

Of course most regular readers of my blog will know about my Harry Potter obsession, and that was a big part of my time as a teenager, but I don’t want to talk about that I want to talk about the books aimed at teenagers which I still remember now.

 

Image from Goodreads

Jacqueline Wilson’s ‘Girls’ series

Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite author for a while while I was in Primary school (about aged 9/10) and I read all her books that were out then. I even remember writing to her and getting a lovely handwritten letter in return. I loved Jacqueline Wilson before it was the norm. The first Girls book, Girls in Love was release in paperback my first year in secondary school (11/12) and seemed a bit more mature for me to read as a teenager. I enjoyed it enough to buy the next, Girls Under Pressure, in hardback (which I rarely buy). And I remember liking Girls Out Late best. By the time Girls in Tears came out I had started reading more adult fiction (I think it was the chick-lit years) but my little sister was reading Jacqueline Wilson and she bought it. I couldn’t quite resist finding out what had happened with my 3 favourite girls, although I remember little of the story now. I must admit there is still a small part of my that wants to be Nadine, but I’m certainly more of an Ellie, and happy with that!

 

 

 

Linda Newberry’s Shouting Wind Trilogy

Image from Goodreads

 

 

This series of books were my favourite for years and years. The first book, The Shouting Wind follows a young woman during the second world war. Kay joins the WAAF and most of the book is focussed around what it was like to be a WAAF girl, although ultimately the book is a coming of age story. The next book, The Cliff Path, follows Abigail, Kay’s daughter and the story of her running away from home with her boyfriend. The third and final book, A Fear of Heights, follows Abigail’s daughter Tamsin as she leaves for university. The trilogy is basically a coming of age tale which follows three generations of the same family, while still keeping up with the generations from previous books. My favourite has always been The Shouting Wind, which is a fantastic story set around WW2, which was the main reason I picked it up. Unfortunately the series now seem to be out of print, it’s a real shame as I never had my own copies (I borrowed them from the library) and would love to own them. I read quite a few other Linda Newberry novels after these but never found anything quite as good, although her adult novel Set in Stone is well worth a read.

Image from goodreads

Ann Brashares’ Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series

How much did I love the girls in these series. They seemed to be so much that I was and so much I wanted to be all at the same time. As far as teenage issues these are probably a bit less believable than the Girls series, but that’s ok. I enjoyed all the different issues I could get my teeth into. I remember especially liking Tibby, although it probably helped that her storyline was the most moving. This is another series I finished off when I was too old for it and my sister was reading it which got me wondering. I’ve never seen the film but I would be interested in seeing how the adaptation goes.

 

Image from Amazon

Anything by Paula Danziger or Judy Blume

Image from goodreads

 

Need I say more? Both genii when it comes to teenage fiction. Every possible teenage issue covered. When it came to Judy Blume I started off with the Fudge series (which was made into a TV series when I was a child which I loved). I remember especially loving Deenie because there was so much that spoke to me personally, and Tiger Eyes was the first book made me cry. As for Paula Danziger I loved her books with Anne M. Martin, P.S Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More. I remember being disappointed when I found out that Anne M. Martin was the author of The Babysitter’s Club which I couldn’t imagine reading at all.I also remember really liking The Pistachio Prescription and It’s an Aardvark Eat Turtle World

While writing this I found out Paula Danziger died in 2004. I don’t know how this passed me by for so long. Can honestly say I am shocked. What a sad loss.

 

Image from Goodreads

Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson Series

These books are what I imagined life as a teenager should be (but mine wasn’t). There was a certain element of me living vicariously by reading them. I must admit Georgia could be very annoying, but I also found the books hilarious so I put up with it. I think these are still being written, at the very least lots of them have come out since I stopped reading them, and even since my sister stopped. One of my overuling memories of this book is talking about ‘It’s okay I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers’ with my best friend and laughing when my Mum came in just as we were saying the title. I’ve never seen the film of this one either but I hear it’s not a good adaptation.

Peter Dickinson’s Eva

Image from amazon

When I talk about my love of books that make me think I always mention this one. It’s the first book I can remember that really made me think. Absolutely fantastic book I would recommend to anyone. When Eva is involved in a horrific accident she is saved by having her brain transplanted into a chimp’s body. Inside Eva is the same but outside is completely different. This novel challenges views on animal rights, and scientific progress. How far would anyone go to save the life of a person they love? I can only find a copy of this on The Book Depository so am unsure if it is still in print or not.

 

Special mentions go to The Teenage Worrier Books, Speak, The Point Teen Books (which I can’t find any information on but I read lots of).

 

Where possible the editions I read have been used as images in this post. The books may be avaliable with different covers.

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