Rose blogs about books and is now writing them – her debut Hello World, an adult sci-fi novel, will release later this year. She loves magical girls, morally grey stories, and is eagerly waiting her Starfleet uniform, which she’s certain got lost in the mail, just like many Hogwarts letters.
Today, she shares five YA books that shaped her life and her writing.
I’m really rubbish at listing my favorite anything. I don’t know if it’s a weird book fear of commitment or if I worry the books not listed might know somehow. So I decided to list four YA books that embody my own young adult years, and one I wish had then.
The book that shaped my YA years the most was A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. It was so beautifully written that it watered the seeds of “I want to writer.” So rarely do I pause while reading to daydream about the book itself. Having a confused and amazing female protagonist that learns about life, loss, and magic certainly makes for A+ young adult material.
Crossed by Allie Condie
What Crossed by Ally Condie subtly said is what made it important to me. It’s one of the few books I remember needing to run out right away to buy the sequels. As a young adult myself, the messages of following society or following your heart are a classic. Even better, Crossed asks what if what you would have picked is what society pre-suggested for you. It think that’s a really interesting question about fate, free will, and sincerity following stereotypes that you wish to break at the same time.
All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
I think we all have a book that we borrowed and didn’t give back to someone for whatever reason. For me that book is All-American Girl by Meg Cabot. It also is one of the few books that I’ve read more than once. I was a fan the Princess Diaries, and the style made it a perfect fit for reading between (or during) classes.
Still to this day, All American Girl whispers “read me again.”
The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
The Maximum Ride series has so many books now, in so many different forms, that I almost have concerns about adding it to this list because there are so many I haven’t read. But unlike other books, I remember when I first found it: by flipping through a magazine and finding an ad with a girl with friends while in art class. I remember drawing and re-drawing those wings. I still have the carefully torn out page.
By playing around in a world like Maximum Ride, I found my first characters. Looking back the books are kind-of everything and the kitchen sink, but for fostering a ‘write anything, be anything’ feeling they are perfect.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Last on the list is a recent YA read that I wish I had as a kid. I don’t know when I started reading John Green, but I know I wish I had Will Grayson, Will Grayson far before it’s release in 2010. It’s a YA book high school me could have used. It mentions sexualities beyond what a young me thought was possible, and shows depression without demonizing it. I think older me could have avoided many hardships if something as honest as John Green’s and David Levithan’s has been around.
Do you share any favorites with Tiffany? Sound off in the comments below!