Need a crash course in YA? Here are a few recommendations from yours truly to get you started. Click below the summary to hear me read my favorite quote from each book.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Popular Sam Kingston and her three best friends basically run their high school. Every day is great - until she's in a fatal car accident. Upon waking up the next morning, Kingston realizes she has a chance to do the day over. And over. And over. At first, she takes advantage of the chance - hooking up with her math teacher, for example - but soon realizes she's still alive for a reason.
Looking For Alaska by John Green
When Miles Halter moves to a boarding school in Alabama, he doesn't expect the heat, the pranks or the friends he'll make. He certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with the self-loathing but beautiful Alaska Young, who seems to like him back but has a boyfriend. When things with her go horribly wrong, Halter must put himself back together, learning who she was and who he is in the process.
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Leo broke Stargirl's heart in Arizona, so she moved to Pennsylvania with her family and pet rat, Cinnamon. This book is a collection of the letters she writes him, full of rhetorical questions and ones she doesn't want to know the answer to. Stargirl writes of the people she meets - like Dootsie and Betty Lou - and the new boy who's captivated her attention. Will Leo respond? Well, did she actually send the letters?
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Macy is messed up. She's held in the grief over her father's death for years and has instead reacted by trying to create the perfect life. Then, by fate, she lands a job at Wish Catering, a company at which noone ever seems in control. At Wish Catering is Wes, the tattooed, silent guy withholding feelings of his own. As they grow closer over the summer, the two learn to find a happy medium, which leads the reader to ponder his or her own meaning of 'forever.'
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green
Two boys in one city with the same name - what could possibly happen? How about a goliath homosexual writing his own musical, a (fake) internet relationship breaking into pieces, depression getting worse and romance becoming even more confusing? Yeah, all of that - and more - does in this matchmaking, view-changing novel.