[This post was originally written in August 2012, I’m moving it from my old blog to this one]
This list is inspired by The Lady Survey that was going around YouTube.
1. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin.
When Liz is killed by a hit-and-run driver her ‘life’ takes an unexpected turn. But in Elsewhere all things carry on almost as they did on earth expect that the inhabitants get younger, new relationships are formed and old ones, which had been sadly interrupted, are renewed.
Elsewhere has been a favourite of mine since I first read it back when I was about 14. I love Liz and her relationships with the people around her as she tries to fit into and accept the new place/ situation that she is in.
This book is a new and well written take on what happens after we die. I highly recommend that you read it.
2. Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins.
Jazz Gardner is heading off to India during the monsoon season to help out at an orphanage, more specifically the orphanage her mother grew up in. But going to India isn’t Jazz’s idea of a great summer holiday as she doesn’t want to leave behind her best friend Steve and the business they own together. Only when she befriends Danita, a girl who cooks for her family, does Jazz begin to see just how much she can make a difference.
This book is another of my favourites. When the book starts Jazz is independent but also quite insecure. Over the course of the book she grows a lot as a character.
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boy and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When 16 year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sisters place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
The hunger Games is one of those books that is impossible to put down once you start reading it. Katniss is a well written character who cares more about her family than anything else. One of the things I like most about her is that she isn’t particularly interested in or happy about the love triangle (wow I really hate those words) that forms around her over the course of the trilogy. There’s a quote I like from Mockingjay which shows this … ‘The very notion that I’m devoting any thought to who I want presented as my lover, given our current circumstances, is demeaning.’
4. Feed by Mira Grant.
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one unstoppable command: FEED.
Now, twenty years after the rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives – the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.
Feed is an awesome combination of post-apocalyptic zombie story and political thriller. Georgia (the protagonist) is a badass but what I love most about her is that she doesn’t fit any of the standard YA clichés. She’s 23, has a job and parents and isn’t involved in any love triangles.
5. Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler.
Mara Valentine is in control. She’s a straight A student and strict vegan, she’s heading to a top university in the fall and even has her remaining months in Brockport all planned out. Mara’s plan does not involve having V, her slutty, weed-smoking 16 year old niece – yes niece – coming to live with the family. Before Mara knows it, things are spinning wildly out of control.
6. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
Unlike the other books on this list Beauty Queens has not one but a dozen female protagonists, each with their own individual story and issues. Beauty queens is quite light hearted and sometimes a little bit silly but it manages to tackle some serious issues like the objectification and exploitation of women and being comfortable with your sexuality.