I’m back for another round up of non-speculative Young Adults fiction, and it seems that participants have been mining my to-read pile . . . or adding to it!
After recently rereading a bunch of Robin Klein books, it was fantastic to read Orange Pekoe’s review of Klein’s People Might Hear You, the story of a girl suddenly thrown into an isolated world where she is constantly told to keep quiet. It was a novel she was obsessed with when she was younger and she was surprised how much of it came back to her on this reread – though it was noticeably different from more recent books:
From the first page I was also amazed at how old fashioned the writing sounded and how challenging some of the vocabulary is compared to most of the current YA selections I come across. Did I really not notice this as a teenager?
Natalia Clara tackled Zac and Mia (by A. J. Betts) – an alternate point of view novel of two teenagers who meet each other during their cancer treatments.
Betts never shies away from presenting to us the grim realities of life with cancer, nor does she sentimentalise the plight of its sufferers. Instead, we are treated to an insight into the minds of modern day teenagers . . . The characters are true to life and easily recognisable to anybody who has ever been searching to find their place in the world. I absolutely took the characters of Zac and Mia into my heart, and didn’t want to let them go when the story ended.
It’s always wonderful to have an insight into books which become more than books to their readers. Chiara from Books for a Delicate Eternity wrote a beautiful review of Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe and it was obvious that this is a really special book. From the review we can tell that it’s a book about life, death, love, garden gnomes and lobster related adventures, but we can also see that it’s a lot more:
Girl Saves Boy is one of those non-novel novels. Those ones that are more than just a story, more than words on a page, more than fiction. It’s one of those stories that is so full of heart and it grabs your heart in its clutches and refuses to let it go.
Some other fantastic reviews include Lauredhel’s review of Finding Home by Lauren K McKellar about a girl thrown into the last part of high school after three years of home schooling; A Strong Belief in Wicker’s review of The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky which manages to mix polio, red shoes and an obsession with news into a book about Australian childhood; and Cait’s review of Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley – another book where the reviewer absolutely fell in love with the writing:
The writing is poetic. Downright gorgeous. It should be illegal to write this well, (because I can’t get much done when I’m binge-reading the entire book in, say, 3 hours). Now, I’d read ANYTHING by Cath Crowely. Not only is the author Australian (thumbs up for our sunburnt land) she’s freaking amazing.
YA novels were my ticket to ‘coolness’ in high school, when my speed reading led to an invitation to choose new books for the school library. I continued reading children’s and YA books long after I was supposed to ‘grow up’ – something which served me very well when I became a teacher and was known all over the school as ‘the teacher with the books’. I’m currently on maternity leave, enjoying the rich world of picture books with my toddler and sporadically blogging over at Adventures of a Subversive Reader