A good dose of teen literature

I’m way behind on my book posts and since today is Support Teen Lit Day, it’s the perfect time for me to share some old reviews of mine. One summer in high school, I read around 100 books and most of those were young adult. A couple years later I got obsessed with the weRead application on Facebook. I wrote a good many reviews of books and today I’ve picked out some of the young adult reviews. Here are a few short (and not so short) reviews of some of the best. I’ve left these the way I wrote them years ago so forgive me for the writing style, but I feel that they were best to leave as-is, showing the raw feeling I had at the time.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
This book is amazing, magical, and completely enchanting. It has become one of my top favorite books. It has a lovely story about true love. I could completely relate to Jena when she thought of true love and wanting it for herself. Although I predicted a few things before they occurred, many parts of the book were completely shocking and unpredictable. It’s a bit dark so I understand why it is listed as a young adult book and not a children’s book. It is surprising that this book was written in 2007 because it was very similar to classic fairy tales from long ago. I could barely put it down and when I reached the middle, I kept on till the very last page. [Reviewed: 16, January 2008]

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
This has got to be my favorite book of this kind (teen-real life experience). I absolutely love animals so I thought the connection with the elephants really made the book. I was learning things while enjoying a fictional novel. The book was so real and I found myself laughing and smiling when Jade was happy and at the end I had tears (whether of joy or anger, I’ll let you read and figure it out yourself). At the beginning, I thought the mother-daughter relationship was fantastic. Like the Gilmore Girls, but much more realistic. This book covered so much. It even mentioned how a teenager realizes that his/her parents are real people and have a life outside of their own. Even the title was great – it tied in with the book perfectly! I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to read more of Deb Caletti’s work (although, I don’t think there’ll be another quite like this one). [Reviewed: 1, December 2007]

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
I really, really liked this book. It was something very different and unique. It had a completely different view on fairies and was a present day novel. The book was very refreshing and new. At the end, I found the epilogue lacking…I wanted to know so much more (especially about a particular season) and have a better feeling of completion. Even so, it was great. Throughout the day when I wasn’t reading, I felt a pull to go back and finish it! [Reviewed: 5, October 2007]

Girlwood by Claire Dean
I absolutely loved this book! It was so different compared to other books I’ve read. It was about nature and environmentalism. It was about having faith and not giving up; having hope. And it was about magic and enchantment. It had so much that I was interested in and I can’t wait to read more of Claire Dean’s work! [Reviewed: 5, August 2008]

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Wow…this book is depressing! It made me super depressed. I even cried during the book and I’m not a big crier when it comes to books. It made me think how much worse others have it so what reason do I have to be depressed? It starts out with this girl’s older sister leaving with her boyfriend with just a note and a birthday present to her sister, a dream journal. The family tries to cope with that and then Caitlin joins the cheerleading squad and feels ashamed of it. Everything she does she wonders what her sister would think of her and how she wants to be different from her sister. She starts dating this cool guy. His dad hits him (for a while now) and soon her boyfriend starts taking it out on Caitlin, the main character.  She doesn’t tell anyone and doesn’t leave him because she loves him and he still has his good moments. The only thing I didn’t like is that at the end we don’t really find out what happened to Rogerson, her boyfriend. If they ever meet again or what… But the book was so well written …it’s Sarah Dessen after all. It was a good story but it just made me so sad. [Reviewed: 18, February 2010]

Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
I had checked this out from the library and after reading so many bad, too-fluffy teen chick lit books, I put this back in my library bag to return, but after reading some good reviews on it I decided to give it a shot – and I’m so glad I did! This was one of the best teen chick lit books I’ve ever read! There’s some foul language, but that was needed to make the characters believable. I loved how uncensored this book was. The guys in the book reminded me of guys I knew in high school. At times I forgot I was reading a book written by a female – the parts where Jordan is the narrator sound so much like a guy. I laughed out loud so much while reading this book and was cheering for both main characters all the way through the book. My faith in teen fiction has been restored because of this book. [Reviewed: 3, August, 2008]

Jinx by Meg Cabot
This book was very unpredictable and unexpected from Meg Cabot. The love story was there, but everything else was unlike her usual books. I loved how she wrote about a topic that isn’t written about a lot in teen fiction: witchcraft. I was so wrapped into it that I stayed up through the night and read it all in one sitting. This book definitely goes on my list of favorite books from Meg Cabot. [Reviewed: 12, October 2007]

Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot
I love Meg Cabot’s books and this one was one of my favorites – it was a lot better than I expected! It’s a great book to read when you just need a laugh and you’ve got some extra time. It even had a really good message. [Reviewed: 19, September 2007]

Angels on Sunset Boulevard by Melissa de la Cruz
I actually really liked this book. I think it “tapped” into what’s popular now with websites like Facebook and Myspace and it really showed how one little thing can get carried away and everyone can get deceived by what they see online. I wish the book was a little longer and, rather than having it be the first of a series, I would have just liked to have sat down with a Melissa de la Cruz book and read the story from start to finish. Just as I was finding out some much needed information, the book ended. I didn’t even know this was one of a series, but after that ending, I sure hope so! [Reviewed: 30, August 2007]

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What are some of your favorite young adult books?

(Images in order from left to right, top to bottom: The Blurb, Bibliokrick, Wikipedia, Claire Dean, Fanpop, GoodReads, Literary Livewire, Meg Cabot, Fantastic Fiction)


14 April 2011 - 8:06 pm

wow lady, thanks for these amazing reviews! teen lit is so good, I do not mind reading it at all. I recently read ‘looking for alaska’ and it was really good, check it out!

14 April 2011 - 8:13 pm

Krystal – I have and I loved it! Really great book! I wish I had saved my thoughts on it somewhere to have posted it here. You are most welcome and thank YOU for your awesome comment! : )

14 April 2011 - 8:14 pm

i haven’t heard of any of these books! i can’t remember what i read when i was teenager actually… i think it was mostly classic literature for my classes, and outside of that i didn’t have much time to read for fun. i worked three jobs during my teen years so i could put myself through private school. i think i have some reading to make up for. 🙂

Gabriella {sensiblyluxe}
14 April 2011 - 8:29 pm

YA Lit remains one of my favorite genres. I grew up imagining multiple worlds other than the tiny tropic urban bubble I lived in because of books. I can’t wait to read your recommendations.

14 April 2011 - 9:33 pm

Happy YA Lit Day!!!
I’m so happy you blogged about this. The future librarian in me is thrilled you have an interest in teen lit and are sharing it. 🙂

14 April 2011 - 9:38 pm

I had no idea there was a YA Lit Day!!
That’s pretty cool. I read maybe tons of ‘Babysitters Club’ books, and ‘Sweet Valley High’ books as a teen. And I loved the ‘Alice’ series of books, by Phyllis Reynolds Taylor. I never did finish those books…would love to know how Alice turned out!

Kayla @ Exquisite Banana
15 April 2011 - 1:54 am

I have a soft spot for teen lit because I taught Sixth and Seventh grade English my first year teaching and was always on the hunt for quality books that my kids would actually like, and thus, read. I was also a voracious reader as a youngster and try to recapture some of that magic for my students now. It’s one of the reasons I write for children; essentially, my two great loves combined…kids and books!

Brandi {not your average ordinary}
15 April 2011 - 4:42 pm

Eva, I love you! I’m such a geek when it comes to books and love my teen lit. It just reminds me what it was like to be young (in my heart, I still am very young). And honestly, after a long week of dealing with philosophy stuff, I want something easy and fun to read. I’m definitely checking some of these out!

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16 April 2011 - 2:52 am

[…] life that is waiting for us First, I want to thank you for your awesome comments on my A good dose of teen literature post. I wasn’t expecting so many positive comments, especially about books labeled […]

16 April 2011 - 11:22 am

I never knew there was a Support Teen Lit Day! How cool. 🙂
I love YA lit, good YA lit that is. ;P I plan to read a LOT more of it in the near future.
As you know, I LOVED The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti, and I would also recommend it to your readers. I need to reread that book sometime…
I didn’t know you’d read Jinx! I haven’t yet, but I’ve seen it around on the bargain bookstore website I get a lot of my books from. I wasn’t sure whether to get it or not before, but after reading this, I just might. 😉
(They have Pants on Fire, too, as a matter of fact)
Meg Cabot writes good paranormal YA. I’ve read 3 books of The Mediator series (somehow never got around to reading the other half of it), and while a bit formulaic, was pretty good and interesting. (It’s about a girl who can communicate with ghosts)
I just might have to take you up on some of these recommendations here! Wildwood Dancing, Girlwood, and Two-Way Street sound good; well, all of them do, really. :p
I recently bought (for cheap! :D) An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, and Across the Universe by Beth Revis, and I have the first book in the Vampire Academy series laying around in my room waiting to be read, so there will be YA reading in my future~ ^_^

Here are some good book websites/blogs for your readers:
(The last two deal with YA specifically!)

Please write a comment: I'd love to hear your thoughts!