It's official. I'm hooked on YA books. This is a big deal because a) my book budget is already stretched to the max, and b) I made the mistake of thinking about my brutal teenage years and believed reading about more teen angst would irritate me. May I say I've been happily proven wrong on that erroroneous assumption. As for the other, well, like any good book addict, I make it work. *grins*
I finally (yes, FINALLY) started The Hunger Games. I can't remember the last time I was sucked into a story so fast. I devoured the first book in a few hours and rushed out to get the second. I love the message Suzanne Collins is conveying, and the authenticity of her characters and world-building. Pure awesomeness.
I also recently read Fateful by Claudia Gray and Supernaturally by Kiersten White--both awesome paranormal reads with very different tones, but equally engaging. I enjoyed them for the same reason I've avoided them for so long--the teen perspective. It's so different from what I'm used to reading. The problems aren't less dramatic or painful, but teen characters approach these issues differently. Apparently I'm old enough to now appreciate the youthful ideals and melodrama in a way I couldn't when I was experiencing it as a teen. (feel free to insert an old joke here)
The best part is knowing I can share these books with my oldest daughter in a couple of years. We already read middle grade books and discuss them. Being able to talk to her about the issues YA writers present in their books is a golden opportunity to introduce difficult topics in a way I might have struggled to otherwise (thank you YA writers!) Ah, the power of books...
So here's my dilemma. I need recommendations so I can delve deeper into the world of YA. I have no idea what to try next, but I know that die hard YA fans can point me in the right direction. I'd love to know--what is the best YA book or series you've read and why?