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Need help picking out YA book(s)!


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Showing 1-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 24, 2012 6:25:23 PM PST
I have been charged with buying a book/books for a 13 year-old girl about whom I know.... pretty much nothing. Having been a bookish type kid (who grew into a bookish type adult), I was initially quite eager... until I remembered that I hardly knew what was was cool in the world of 13 year-olds back when I was one, never mind today. Hence, I come here begging for help (while simultaneously screaming at the top of my lungs "IF YOU SELF-PROMOTE, SO HELP ME GOUDA, I WILL... DO... something *mumble mumble*... SO THERE!!!")

Barring the obvious selections like Hunger Games and Twilight (Meyer, I spit in your general direction *phtooh*) since I assume any self-respecting teen who puts "books" on her Christmas wishlist has already read them, can anyone suggest selections from the YA section most likely to please?

(Not to put any pressure on here, but, just FYI, if I panic due to sheer lack of options, and the poor girl ends up with some third-hand Nancy Drew, I will hold you all personally responsible.)

Posted on Nov 24, 2012 10:43:16 PM PST
Kribu says:
I don't suppose you have ANY idea at all what sort of things the girl might like, even as vague as supernatural/not supernatural/with a hint of romance/no romance/adventure/more quiet stuff?

It's very difficult to suggest anything otherwise, and 13 is the sort of tricky age, too, where she might think middle grade books beneath her (although there's a lot of excellent stuff out there among it for readers of all ages) while some YA might be a bit much, depending on her upbringing. And yes, if she wants "books", it's likely that she's read/owns some of the more obvious choices.

Hmm... Divergent by Veronica Roth? Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan?

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 8:01:08 AM PST
Iowegian says:
Angela,

Erin Hunter has a series that most kids love about a society of cats. Warriors Box Set: Volumes 1 to 6. My kids loved these. I'd also recommend the Graceling series Graceling which is a fantasy adventure. I agree that Rick Riordan's series reccomended above is really good Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3).

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 8:24:42 AM PST
Kate Milford The Boneshaker. The lead is a 13 year old. The book has a Something Wicked This Way Comes vibe for me.

Sarwat Chadda The Savage Fortress. Along the lines of Percy Jackson action-wise, but dealing with Indian mythology.

Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy. Its a few years old but very good.

Lea Nolan's Conjure. A mid school/YA crossover that will get darker as the series progresses. Magic and a little bit of romance, but not too heavy.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 4:19:43 PM PST
Hm, let's see...

Fantasy:
Harry Potter
A Wrinkle in Time (potentially the new graphic novel version, if you want to be "cool")
Uglies (series)
THE BLUE SWORD and THE HERO AND THE CROWN by Robin McKinley

Contemporary:
ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
GRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley
GUITAR NOTES by Mary Amato

Classic:
Anne of Green Gables

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 5:57:15 PM PST
Agnes says:
Hmmm. This is tough without knowing what she enjoys reading...

If she likes fairy tales, I highly recommend Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.
The Island and the Ring by Laura C. Stevenson (fantasy/romance)
The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley (fantasy/romance)

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman (contemporary/romance)
Holes by Louis Sachar (contemporary)
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (historical fiction/some romance)

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 1:03:51 AM PST
K. Knight says:
I would agree with Graceling and Divergent (also its sequel, Insurgent).

Also, maybe try

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Under the Nevery Sky by Veronica Rossi

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 3:02:15 AM PST
W. Small says:
Well, I love Nancy Drew as well, but here are some HF books with strong teen female characters:

"Holdfast" and "Campion Towers" by John and Patricia Beatty
"The Gentle Falcon" by Hilda Lewis

And Agnes is spot on with her suggestion of "The Witch of Blackbird Pond".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012 4:29:50 AM PST
boots says:
My own bookish 11 yr old has thoroughly enjoyed Ally Condie's Matched series, similar to the Hunger games dystopian fiction. I love that you asked this question because I now have a lovely list of possible titles for under our Christmas tree. Thanks!

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 7:24:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 9:58:05 AM PST
Sarah Marie says:
Well, if you are looking for something similar to Twilight and Hunger Games (modern/popular YA), then I second Divergent. I wont recommend Under The Never Sky, even though it was one of my absolute favorite reads this year, because it has a sex scene in it. Although I know she's 13, and let's not fool ourselves 13 year olds are already way too knowledgable about that stuff and probably will not even flinch reading about it, it will probably be weird for you to give a book with a sex scene in it to someone you hardly know, let alone someone who's a young teen. Amiright?

On that note, I recommend Cinder. It's a fairytale retelling (of Cinderella, obviously) so it's already got innocence points, but it is written for teens and young adults, so it's not super froo-froo, fluff, and sparkles either, which a 13 year old would be immensely bored with. I just read it a week ago or so and I think a 13 year old will heavily enjoy it. AND THERE'S NO SEX... in this book anyway. I think Cinder would be the best choice for you.

*Update* By the way, what I also mean by "something similar to Hunger Games and Twilight" is something that is highly popular with a largefan base. Most of the other stuff suggested here, while some of it is good, is not as popular as Cinder is this year. I suspect a 13 year old will want something faddish, and Cinder fits the bill I think.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 3:01:35 PM PST
I always buy my daughter a box set/book series of some sort for Christmas (she is now 16). In past years, the gift has included:

Tamora Pierce (Immortals series)
Garth Nix (Sabriel series)
Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls)
Madeleine L'Engle (Time Quintet)
Patricia Wrede (Enchanted Forest Chronicles)

I would definitely recommend that you go to a books & mortar store in her neighborhood & buy her something there and give it to her with a gift receipt. You will pay a wee bit more, but she will be able to easily exchange it for something that she really wants to read if you miss the mark.

Speaking of which, must go wander about and find something for my girl . . .

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 7:45:57 PM PST
I have a 12yr old daughter and try to read everything before I allow her to read it. Luckily, we both love to read! Have you considered a book themed Amazon gift card? Then she could pick out what she likes. Does she have a kindle?

The most recent books my daughter & I have read are the Archers of Avalon series...very good! Also, The Ever series is good, too. BTW, we liked Twilight, so if she's a fan she'd probably enjoy both of the ones I recommended.

Good luck! & Happy Holidays!

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 1:43:32 PM PST
just an fyi....GRACELING does contain sexual themes. Make sure that's okay. THE SWEETEST SPELL is a beautiful fantasy. I loved it.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 6:58:23 AM PST
Christine H. says:
The Outsiders
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Discussion in:  Young Adult forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Nov 24, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 17, 2012

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