The YA challenge & some recent YA reads

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In January when I blogged about my 2012 Goals, I briefly mentioned I wanted to take part in something called the YA Challenge, and try to read 40 teen-lit books this year. In January and February I had a lot of trouble getting into books and finishing them at my usual quick speed, but since coming home from Florida I’ve been doing SO much better. I’m getting out of my reading rut and I’m excited to get back on track to read not only 40 YA novels, but hit my goal of 60 for the year. Time to catch up!

So far, I’ve read 6 YA books, one of which got a full review last month. I thought it would be fun to take some time to write about a few of the other ones I’ve read because you guys? They’ve been AMAZING. All of them. I have high hopes for the rest of the teen novels I plan on reading this year & can’t wait to share them with you all.

1. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

In Book One of the Chaos Walking series, readers are introduced to young Todd & his very peculiar life in Prentisstown. In Todd’s world, women have died from disease & men can hear all of each other’s thoughts through something they simply call NOISE. Todd is just one month away from being the last boy to become a ‘man’ in his town, but when his guardians force him out of the house for fear of his life, Todd learns that the world he’s grown up in is not all that it seems.

It took me a good chunk of this book to really get into it, but by the second half of the book I was rooting for Todd, his faithful dog Manchee and his new found companion that he meets along the way. Todd goes on a life changing adventure and I was there with him right up to the explosive ending that left me wanting to read Book Two ASAP! The major downside for me was how LONG the book was and how long it took me to get really interested, but I do understand that Ness was setting up his characters for the rest of his trilogy. I’ve heard amazing things about it, so I’m anxious to pick up The Ask and the Answer soon and see where Todd goes next!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

2. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

In Oliver’s second book following the acclaimed ‘Delirium‘, readers are reunited with heroine Lena, who has just escaped into the Wilds on her own. Lena must not only learn to survive in a new place without Alex, who she lost at the border of her city, but she has to reinvent herself & decide which side she is on. You follow her adventures as she joins a group of teenagers who also live freely and as they infiltrate New York City in the hopes of figuring out how to break apart a government that has taken away peoples’ freedom by taking away their ability to love.

I think that in all of the series I’ve read and followed, this is the second time that I adore the second book even MORE than the first. The last time this happened is when I read Catching fire almost 3 years ago- and that book is still one of my top 5 all time favorite novels EVER. Pandemonium started off pretty good, but it quickly became one of those books that I was frantically reading to find out what happens. I was on the edge of my seat right up until the ending when it basically exploded with crazyness. I legitimately do not know what I’m going to do while I wait for the final book in this trilogy in a year. I finished Pandemonium last week and have still thought about it every single day. What an ending!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

The first book in the Chemical Garden trilogy gets you from page one. In a world where genetic engineering has cut women’s life span at 20 years and men’s at 25, young girls are constantly kidnapped and forced into polygamous weddings to have children, continue the population, and hope that a future generation will be able to find an antidote. Rhine is a sixteen year old girl who is kidnapped from her home where she lives with her twin brother & forced into marriage to the incredibly wealthy Linden Ashby. You follow her adventure with her two sister wives Jenna & Cecily, as well as her nightmarish father-in-law Vaughn as she attempts to survive in this new world.

I can’t believe it took me this long to pick up Wither. From Chapter One I was COMPLETELY in love with this book. I actually heard lots of mixed reviews about it but honestly? It was, in one word, unputdownable. Yes, I made that word up just for Wither. All of the characters are beautifully written and Rhine’s world is so incredibly believable, it’s almost haunting to think of a future existing like this one. I can’t recommend this book enough, especially if you love good dystopian novels. I plan on reading book two, Fever, by next week!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What great books have you read recently? Any good YA to recommend?!

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7 responses »

  1. I have heard good things about Lauren Oliver’s books, I will have to check those out eventually. I have never been a huge YA person, but I’ve read some good ones recently (Book Thief and Divergent) and I am currently reading The Fault in Our Stars. I don’t seek out YA books, but when they come highly recommended by friends, I can’t resist checking them out!

    • I totally know what you mean! You’ve read some really fantastic ones though. I realize YA isn’t for everyone, but I’ve gotten really into it in the last 2 years or so.

  2. I’ve only recently gotten into YA novels but they can be some of the best books I’ve read! You must read a book by Sarah Dessen. She is one of the best, imo. I’ve only read three but would recommend all three: Someone Like You, What Happened to Goodbye, and The Truth About Forever (probably my favorite of the three!) I still need to work my way through all her other novels.

    (Also, for some reason, I had to sign in with my Twitter account to post this comment. For some reason, WordPress isn’t letting me sign in with my email. I don’t know WHAT’s going on. It’s very weird.)

    • I REALLY need to pick up a Sarah Dessen book- I keep putting her off! I really want to read Truth about Forever… I’ll try and get to that one ASAP just for you! 🙂

  3. I enjoy a good YA read from time to time. Have you ever read 13 reasons (13 reasons why or something like that). I really liked it. I will have to add some of these to my TBR list. They sound really good. A few years ago, I shamefully fell into the Pretty Little Liars series. I may have also liked them. I blame my teenage cousin.

    • I haven’t read 13 Reasons Why yet, but I’ve been meaning to for some time now. You’re not the first person who tells me how great it is, but now that you’ve reminded me I’ll try and read it really soon!

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