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Author Topic: What is your favorite YA book?  (Read 30437 times)

danooli

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on: January 10, 2016, 03:57:26 PM
While Harry Potter and his friends are certainly giants in the YA fiction world, there's plenty more to love!

What are your favorite books, series, and/or stories?



Alasdair5000

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Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 08:03:11 PM
This last year I really enjoyed The 5th Wave and Zeroboxer. 5th Wave's movie adaptation is coming in a few months and the trailer looks pretty good. Especially as it doesn't blow, from what I remember, any of the major reveals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmxLybfGNC4

All time favorites? John Christopher's magnificently grim Tripods series and Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones. The first remains one of the best bits of post apocalyptic fiction I've ever read and the second is just flat out weird and magnificent:)



alexisonpaper

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Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 11:36:45 PM
I've always loved/reread/fondled adoringly Garth Nix's The Old Kingdom series. Haven't read the newest yet but it's on my TBR list.
The plot may not always make a ton of sense, but I love the magic system and super identified with Lirael as a young girl.

Haven't heard of any of the ones Alisdair mentioned, which means I must have some catching up to do! :)




danooli

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Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 11:49:29 PM
One that I've been reading with my nephew, and on the recommendation of kibitzer, is the Cherub series by Robert Muchamore. It's about a secret program in Great Britain that recruits kids and trains them as spies. It's a lot of fun. Sort of as if Harry Potter had gotten a spy kit instead of a Hogwarts letter...



danooli

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Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 11:52:14 PM
I've always loved/reread/fondled adoringly Garth Nix's The Old Kingdom series. Haven't read the newest yet but it's on my TBR list.
The plot may not always make a ton of sense, but I love the magic system and super identified with Lirael as a young girl.

Haven't heard of any of the ones Alisdair mentioned, which means I must have some catching up to do! :)



I love the Garth Nix stuff that's been on PodCastle! Sir Hereward and Mr. Fitz Go To War Again was fantastic!



lowky

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Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 01:59:21 AM
Recently really enjoyed Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children series.  Also like the house of night series.  a bit too much teen drama at times, but overall...


Fenrix

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Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 11:24:45 PM
Back in the day, I enjoyed teen mysteries a lot. The Three Investigators was always the best, followed by Trixie Belden. The others got read but were never quite as satisfying. I think the characters are more compelling and less bland. I need to go back as an adult and check to see how they hold up.

The best YA book I read last year was Windhaven by Lisa Tuttle and GRR Martin. Graeme recommended it to me. It's awesome YA SF/F with a complex female protagonist. I'll repost from my Goodreads review:

This is set on a planet with a crashed seed ship. It’s resource poor so society has technologically devolved. The solar sail that brought them here has been taken apart and built into one-person wings. The open seas are dangerous (Here There Be Dragons) so flyers using the wings are the best method to keep the scattered islands connected.

The story follows Maris, who wants to be able to keep flying and not have to pass the wings to her younger brother once he comes of age. This is effectively three connected novlettes from different periods of her life that focus on pivotal societal changes and aftershocks, some of which take decades to manifest.

There are several points where the story could have been turned easily to make it more narratively convenient, and those paths were rarely taken. Misery escalates without being overbearing. Change happens, but everything has consequences, and nothing ends cleanly.

I picked up a copy for my teenaged niece. I was pleasantly surprised that she started reading it right away and didn't put it down for a couple hours. I met Lisa Tuttle at World Horror Con and had her sign the book before gifting it. Incredibly nice author. Chatting with her was a highlight of the convention.

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lowky

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Reply #7 on: January 13, 2016, 12:02:33 AM
Back in the day, I enjoyed teen mysteries a lot. The Three Investigators was always the best, followed by Trixie Belden. The others got read but were never quite as satisfying. I think the characters are more compelling and less bland. I need to go back as an adult and check to see how they hold up.
I remember Trixie Belden, I thought of it more as a children's book, but then again I was reading Frankenstein and Dracula for light reading in elementary school.  I want to say around 4th grade, I was pretty much graduating to "adult" fiction vs children's/YA fiction.  Not to say I don't enjoy some good YA now even at 45 and 364/365


Fenrix

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Reply #8 on: January 13, 2016, 04:09:24 AM
Back in the day, I enjoyed teen mysteries a lot. The Three Investigators was always the best, followed by Trixie Belden. The others got read but were never quite as satisfying. I think the characters are more compelling and less bland. I need to go back as an adult and check to see how they hold up.
I remember Trixie Belden, I thought of it more as a children's book, but then again I was reading Frankenstein and Dracula for light reading in elementary school.  I want to say around 4th grade, I was pretty much graduating to "adult" fiction vs children's/YA fiction.  Not to say I don't enjoy some good YA now even at 45 and 364/365

I have a difficult time gauging YA zones. I recall hitting The Hobbit in 5th Grade and it showed up later in 9th Grade English class. But Trixie Belden is the same reading zone as Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. I figured they were YA, whereas Encyclopedia Brown was juvenile fiction.

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lowky

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Reply #9 on: January 14, 2016, 01:08:48 PM
I too have trouble gauging, as I was reading those at such a young age.  I read encyclopedia brown in 1st grade when I had classmates struggling with dr seuss.


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Reply #10 on: January 14, 2016, 08:14:00 PM
Definitely Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising Sequence.  I also love Garth Nix's stories.

I picked up a copy of Windhaven late last year, but it hasn't made it to the top of my TBR pile yet. *moves it up a few books*

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lowky

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Reply #11 on: January 15, 2016, 12:43:08 AM
I'm really enjoying holly black's Tithe right now. 


Witchlander

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Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 05:59:28 PM
Some of my all-time favs:

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
he Abhorsen Trilogy, especially Sabriel and Lirael by Garth Nix
The Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Also I've recently discovered a really astonishing author who's probably more middle-grade, Frances Hardinge. She won the British Fantasy Award last year for Cuckoo Song, which is amazing, and my favourite--probably on my list of all-time favourites for any age--is A Face Like Glass.  One of the most inventive books I've ever read. It has semi-sentient cheese!



lowky

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Reply #13 on: January 18, 2016, 04:42:26 AM
Some of my all-time favs:

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
he Abhorsen Trilogy, especially Sabriel and Lirael by Garth Nix
The Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Also I've recently discovered a really astonishing author who's probably more middle-grade, Frances Hardinge. She won the British Fantasy Award last year for Cuckoo Song, which is amazing, and my favourite--probably on my list of all-time favourites for any age--is A Face Like Glass.  One of the most inventive books I've ever read. It has semi-sentient cheese!
Never thought of the Earthsea books as YA, but it truly is isn't it


Witchlander

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Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 12:59:26 PM
Some of my all-time favs:

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
he Abhorsen Trilogy, especially Sabriel and Lirael by Garth Nix
The Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Also I've recently discovered a really astonishing author who's probably more middle-grade, Frances Hardinge. She won the British Fantasy Award last year for Cuckoo Song, which is amazing, and my favourite--probably on my list of all-time favourites for any age--is A Face Like Glass.  One of the most inventive books I've ever read. It has semi-sentient cheese!
Never thought of the Earthsea books as YA, but it truly is isn't it


I think so, although I read them when I was younger. Sometimes YA is really just a marketing category.




Fenrix

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Reply #15 on: January 24, 2016, 06:28:25 PM
I also devoured a ton of humorous fantasy. I should go back and see how well it holds up. Robert Asprin's Myth series, Craig Shaw Gardener's Wuntvor novels, Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series. Piers Anthony was my gateway author to them and he hasn't held up as well.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


danooli

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Reply #16 on: January 24, 2016, 10:44:43 PM
Piers Anthony was my gateway author to them and he hasn't held up as well.

Mine too. I was lent "A Spell For Chameleon" at camp and it changed my life. I am more than a little sad and disturbed looking back at it and his bibliography as a whole.



Fenrix

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Reply #17 on: January 25, 2016, 04:07:54 AM
Does Zelazny's Amber count as YA? I stole Mom's books and still haven't returned them. I re-read them last year and still enjoyed them. There's a little creakiness, but they have held up well over the years.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


stePH

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Reply #18 on: January 27, 2016, 04:53:20 PM
A Wrinkle in Time always holds a special value for me, as it was possibly the first SF novel I ever read. The sequels were okay too, but not at the level of the first (still haven't read Many Waters)

Does Zelazny's Amber count as YA?

Despite the age at which I read them (preteen) I don't think so.

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Witchlander

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Reply #19 on: January 28, 2016, 02:43:08 AM

Also I've recently discovered a really astonishing author who's probably more middle-grade, Frances Hardinge. She won the British Fantasy Award last year for Cuckoo Song, which is amazing, and my favourite--probably on my list of all-time favourites for any age--is A Face Like Glass.  One of the most inventive books I've ever read. It has semi-sentient cheese!

The Lie Tree by this author has just been named Outstanding Book of the Year by the Costa Book Awards, only the second time a children's novel has won. (First was Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.)



Not-a-Robot

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Reply #20 on: January 31, 2016, 09:34:07 PM
Momo or the Strange Story of the Time Thieves and of the Child That Returned the People's Stolen Time by Micheal Ende (normally just called Momo) is more of a children's novel, but it's great for all ages.  Unfortunately, it's very hard to find a translation...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 09:38:23 PM by Not-a-Robot »



BraxLimbo

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Reply #21 on: February 02, 2016, 08:24:10 AM
The Selection series by Keira Cass - i've been hooked
and is Rick Riordan's books considered as YA?? LOL I think they're more into fantasy tho



Fenrix

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Reply #22 on: February 04, 2016, 04:36:25 AM
How could I forget?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe, and Everything

I would stop at these three for YA. I actually went out of my way to find a collection for my niece that only included the first three books. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish is better appreciated as a mid-life existential crisis, and not as a teen. Hated it back in the day. Really appreciate it as an adult. The fifth book just makes me grumpy.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


SpareInch

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Reply #23 on: February 08, 2016, 07:13:06 PM
I have never really had a solid grip on what is or is not YA, But some time in the latter half of the 80s, probably after pulling the, "I don't want to be entertained! I'm BORED!" thing once too often, I was marched into a book store and ordered to buy something. The assistant produced 2 paperbacks. One had cover art showing jeeps and helicopters and burning buildings, and whatever it was called, it didn't appeal. The other one had an awe inspiring picture of an aircraft flying over a rocky monochrome desert, and looked so delightfully desolate, I bought it first and read the title later.

For those who don't have an encyclopaedic knowledge of cover art, it was Cloud Warrior, the first volume of Patrick Tilley's Amtrak Wars series. And I saved up to buy all the other books, including the separate volume glossary. (Yes, you had a special dictionary to help keep track of everything.) That series was the story that let me know that there was a reason to read novels that went beyond writing an essay to prove you've read it. (I'm still sore about the poor grade I got for my analysis of the character and motivations of Atticus in To Kill A Mocking Bird.)

Later, I read a book belonging to my mother called Emergence, by, if I remember rightly, David R Palmer. That was a great book about a 12 year old girl and her faithful pet macaw who survive the apocalypse, only to discover that the girl is not a Homo Sapiens after all, but a member of a new species, the next evolution of man. She sets off alone, apart from the bird, to find the rest of her race and ends up crossing the US, going into orbit, and almost killing herself several times along the way.

It was full of developing self confidence, solving problems, first love, being taken seriously by real live adults, and all those other classic YA coming of age themes. I read it several times in my teens and early 20s.

Oh, and let's not forget A Hat Full Of Sky :D

BTW. Before I went blind, I really did buy books and records just because I liked the cover art. And I was rarely disappointed. Just goes to show, you can judge a book by its cover. But only if you're awesome. :P

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Not-a-Robot

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Reply #24 on: February 08, 2016, 07:22:51 PM
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the obvious Watership Down.

What's with that?  It's not my favorite book, but if you haven't read it, it's well worth a read.