Persnicketysnark.com which first of all, has the most amazing blog name ever, did a badass list of the best Young Adult novels ever. So sweet life. So here is my take on it, because I, no joke, majored in young adult literature (or...creative writing, but I read a lot of books geared towards 13 year-olds).
Here is the first half because I'm only at book 50 and its 11:04 at night and I need to pack.
Anyway - here we go:
1 - The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins. While I don't necessarily know if this would be at the top of my all-time list, I am pretty obsessed with this book. I read it in about 5 hours. It is so gripping and suspenseful, and since its YA - you're fairly confident there is going to be a "happy" ending, but its a little dicey sometimes. I audibly gasped while reading this book. I am so jazzed for Mockingjay to come out tomorrow
2- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling. Well, DUH. This book was so amazing the first time I read it, and it has not ever disappointed, even in four or five rereads. The first one only scratches the surface of the potential these books had, and the rest do not disappoint.
3- To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee. I read this book as an assignment in 10th grade and was obviously, totally drawn to Scout, because I was once a curious little girl who asked questions, but recently I've read a lot of stuff about how that book, that seems so racially sensitive is actually incredibly racist. Which is a fairly valid point, and makes me want to read it again.
4- Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson
5- Northern Lights - Philip Pullman. This is known as The Golden Compass in America and also known as one of my personal top 5 books in the world. I don't like the other 2 books in the series nearly as much, but that didn't stop me from writing my thesis on The Amber Spyglass because it gave me an opportunity to use The Golden Compass as a source.
6- The Truth About Forever - Sarah Dessen
7- The Book Thief - Markus Zusak. Its on my to-read list.
8- The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton. I think this is one of those books that I was supposed to read in high school or maybe even middle school but I never did. From what I know about it, I'm okay with that.
9- Twilight - Stephenie Meyer. I get the big whoop about these books. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I get it. Steph got the formula so right, its kind of amazing. I personally, found my eyes rolling like every third or fourth sentence and really - I could write a whole blog on why these books make me so angry but what it boils down to is - Bella is such a whiny, pathetic girl...and she has horrible taste in men, even for a 15 year old.
10- This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen
11- Looking for Alaska - John Green
12- Just Listen - Sarah Dessen
13- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling. I find it super interesting that the first and last books of this series are the top two on the list. But I also totally agree with it. When I reread this book earlier this year, there were moments when I had to shut the book because I felt terrified and I Already Knew What happened (also its Fiction). So amazing. The last 10 pages make me grouchy but they are to be expected, I suppose...it was better than the alternative.
14- Little Women- Louisa May Alcott. Of course. Please. I just realized I don't own it, or maybe its at my Mom's house? I feel like I need a copy for when I have the flu and its cold and rainy.
15- City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
16- On the Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta
17- The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger. I know this is heresy to some people, but I only got through the first 25 pages of this before I gave up on it. I hate Holden Caufield. So hard. Ugh. Maybe if I had tried to read it in high school or college I would have *gotten* it. But at the age of 24, there were US Weekly's that held my attention for longer.
18- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling. Oh Sirius Black. I heart you.
19- The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky. How did I not read this book yet? Its going to the top of the list. Well, near the top.
20- Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen
21- Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
22- Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
23- Graceling - Kristin Cashore
24- Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
25- Sloppy Firsts - Megan McCafferty
26- The Lord of the Rings- J.R.R. Tolkien - yeah, I know, I should read this or at least see the movie, but I am afraid its possible the moment has passed.
27- Alanna: The First Adventure - Tamora Pierce. First of all, these books are WAY more scandalous than I think a 13-year old is ready for. I mean, there is a substantial amount of boning in this book and she's what, 17 year and goes on birth control?! However, its all very chaste and totally enjoyable and wonderful and I think the fact that she gets around sends a message about confidence to girls which I support more than Miss Bella Swann.
28- Ender's Game- Orson Scott Card
29- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price - J.K. Rowling. Delores Umbridge might be the best written/most awful/awesome character I've ever read.
30- Uglies- Scott Westerfeld. I got this for C-bomb a few years ago and never managed to steal it back to read. Bear has it too. No excuses for this one.
31- A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray
32- Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden
33- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart
34- Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen. Wow, is this really YA? Awesome. Same as Little Women, I need a copy for a day when I want to be on the couch for 6-8 hours.
35- The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
36- Paper Towns - John Green
37- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling. Cedric Diggory...mmm.
38- Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins. Oh man, again - I read this book in what felt like seconds. I left work early because it was just sitting in my bookbag and I knew I wasn't going to actually get any work done until I finished it. Katniss, again, an awesome strong female protagonist that will use men to her advantage but doesn't need them to get up in the morning.
39- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith. Again, I am so sad I haven't read this...I feel like a failure sometimes.
40- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian - Sherman Alexie
41- Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen
42- The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman. For real people, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on this book and I got an A. I love this trilogy but I won't ever see the movies because of the whole taking out the anti-religion piece. It would be like making "Paradise Lost" a romantic comedy. This book gets really slow towards the end, but the world she discovers in this book is so magical and wonderful.
43- Evernight - Claudia Gray
44- Sabriel - Garth Nix
45- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling. Is this the first one where Harry makes out with a girl? That is always so uncomfortable for me.
46- Beautiful Creatures- Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
47- Forever - Judy Blume
48- I Captured the Castle - Dodie Smith. The most perfect vacation book ever. This book will always remind me of Nantucket, because that's the first porch I read it on, but it deserves others. The girl who narrates is so wonderful and secretly who I spent my whole childhood (and most of adulthood) wanting to be.
49- Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine. I don't think I knew this was a book. But okay. I did not see the movie because of my aversion to Anne Hathaway, but I've heard its better than I expect...I am not holding my breath.
50- The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot. Again - Anne Hathaway makes me itchy. And I could never read these books without thinking of her.
The Hunger Games is the first? That is awesome! Though I don’t know I would put it before HP1…it is, no doubt, a better book, but has not had the same kind of cultural impact. And I only excuse all the Meyer-ness on this list because of cultural impact. I don’t feel like TKAM counts as YA. I want to read Speak. I loved all of the Dark Materials trilogy and did you know I wanted to write my thesis on it but there was pretty much no secondary source material available at the time, because I am so much older than you, which is why I wrote about Narnia. True story. The Book Thief is AMAZING. There is a hella lotta Dessen on this list. See Target reference in last post. I like Little Men better than Little Women. And I feel LW and Catcher in the Rye are also not YA. They are just classics. Ditto on Wallflower. Read 13 reasons why…I am advocating that for RHS bookclub this year. Tamora Pierce needs to be further up on the list. YOU HAVENT READ UGLIES? I THOUGHT THAT IS WHY YOU GAVE IT TO ME. Fix this, please. Read A Great and Terrible Beauty. Pride and Prejudice is NOT YA. This list is stupid. Yay Westing Game! I capture the castle is one of my favorite books of all time.
I agree with the end of your second post on the subject. This list is incorrectly billed. The majority of it is far too recent to really encompass the best YA novels EVER unless you are really looking at the title YA novel as a fairly recent (let’s say last twenty years) marketing tool, and then Little Women, TKAM, etc. REALLY don’t belong. I kind of hate this list and want to give Persnickety a stern talking to. That was all the L’engle? That was all the McKinley? What about Lloyd Alexander? Shannon Hale? Zilpha Keatley Snyder? Cynthia freakin’ Voight. LAME. That being said, it was awfully fun to read. And now I am late for work.
Post a Comment