2014 Young adult summer reading list

2014 More Young Adult books to recommend:

#3 Allegiant by Veronica Roth

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and InsurgentAmazon

 

All the Truth that’s in Me by Julie Berry

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend, Lottie, disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. She is shunned and punished by her community.

Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, The village setting of this novel evokes the rigid religious communities of Colonial times, but Berry cleverly sets her story in an unnamed time and place so the protagonist’s anguish and the town’s mystery are the focus. But it does give you pause on the tyranny of a small community!  Only Judith knows the truth of what happened to Lottie, but her muteness leaves her an outcast in the village, even from her own mother, and the truth stays bottled up inside her. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last. Amazon

 

Bzark by Michael Grant

Set in the near future, BZRK is the story of a war for control of the human mind.  Charles and Benjamin Armstrong, conjoined twins and owners of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, have a goal:  to turn the world into their vision of utopia.  No wars, no conflict, no hunger.  And no free will.  Opposing them is a guerrilla group of teens, code name BZRK, who are fighting to protect the right to be messed up, to be human.  This is no ordinary war, though.  Weapons are deployed on the nano-level. The battleground is the human brain.  And there are no stalemates here:  It’s victory . . . or madness.- Amazon. There is another book in this series- Bzark Reloaded, and Grant has a long list of interesting  young adult books in his collection!

 

Candor by Pam Bachorz

The picture-perfect new town of Candor, Florida, is attracting more and more new families, drawn by its postcard-like small-town feel, with white picket fences, spanking-new but old-fashioned-looking homes, and neighborliness.

But the parents are drawn by something else as well.  They know that in Candor their obstreperous teenagers will somehow become rewired – they’ll learn to respect their elders, to do their chores, and enjoy their homework.  They’ll give up the tattoos, metal music, and partying that have been driving their parents crazy.  They’ll become every parent’s dream.

 

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Does Jerry Renault dare to disturb the universe? You wouldn’t think that his refusal to sell chocolates during his school’s fundraiser would create such a stir, but it does; it’s as if the whole school comes apart at the seams. To some, Jerry is a hero, but to others, he becomes a scapegoat–a target for their pent-up hatred. And Jerry? He’s just trying to stand up for what he believes, but perhaps there is no way for him to escape becoming a pawn in this game of control; students are pitted against other students, fighting for honor–or are they fighting for their lives? In 1974, author Robert Cormier dared to disturb our universe when this book was first published. And now, with a new introduction by the celebrated author, The Chocolate War stands ready to shock a new group of teen readers. –Amazon).

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon

A dog down the street is killed and the neighbor’s son decides to investigate: ‘Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years. Amazon

 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”—John Green, The New York Times Book Review Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.Eleanor is the new girl in town and her wild red hair and patchwork outfits are not helping her blend in. She ends up sitting next to Park on the bus, whose tendencies towards comic books don’t jibe with the rest of his family’s love of sports. They sit in awkward silence every day until Park notices that Eleanor is reading his comics over his shoulder; he begins to slide them closer to her side of the seat and thus begins their love story. Their relationship grows gradually–making each other mixed tapes (it is 1986 after all) and discussing X-Men characters–until they both find themselves looking forward to the bus ride more than any other part of the day. Things aren’t easy: Eleanor is bullied at school and then goes home to a threatening family situation; Park’s parents do not approve of Eleanor’s awkward ways. Ultimately, though, this is a book about two people who just really, really like each other and who believe that they can overcome any obstacle standing in the way of their happiness. It’s a gem of a book. –Caley Anderson

 

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Apocalyptic story about a brother & sister that survive an alien invasion of four attacks, enduring a fifth wave and keeping a promise In this kill or be killed story. ( see review as a post on this site)

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Greenplease see review of this book in an earlier post

Other Books By John Green: all are excellent!:

          Will Grayson, Will Grayson

          Paper Towns

          Looking for Alaska

 

The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R.Carey

The Girl With All the Giftsis a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie is a very special girl….but not going to spoil it, read it – Amazon

 

The Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

“Grasshopper Jungle is a rollicking tale that is simultaneously creepy and hilarious. It’s propulsive plot would be delightful enough on its own, but Smith’s ability to blend teenage drama into a bug invasion is a literary joy to behold… Smith may have intended this novel for young adults, but his technique reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s in “Slaughterhouse Five,” in the best sense.” —New York Times Book Review

 

It is Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini ( teenager who ends up in a psychiatric hospital)

 

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright — sees things differently than the rest of the “train-track thinkers.” So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big…One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting. Repulsive but riveting per the teens I talked to…

Monster by Walter Dean Myers ( teen in juvenile detention)

This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve’s own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.

 

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. Amazon

 

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done. 

Contemporary realistic fiction fans who adore Susane Colasanti and Jenny Han and stories filled with romance and humor will find much to love in this incredible debut Book Browse

 

Tanker 10 by Jonathan Curelop

(Jonathan Curelop, a lifelong baseball fan who was bullied as a child for being overweight, has written a poignant fictional account of a character in search of himself. His debut novel, Tanker 10, is a funny and heart-wrenching coming-of-age journey toward self-acceptance in the wake of trauma. Centered around baseball, the story deals with the serious ramifications of identity and acceptance. Amazon Review)

 

The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

(Great Series, like the hunger games but more intelligent)

             The Testing

             Independent Study

             Graduation Day

 

Book One: The Program &  #2 The Treatment by Suzanne Young

In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program, and those who escape must stop the treatment)

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called “unwinding.” Unwinding ensures that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child’s body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.

With breathtaking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

From School Library Journal…Gr 9 Up—Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an old-money family, headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. Each summer, the extended family gathers at the various houses on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four “Liars”), have been inseparable since age eight. During their fifteenth summer however, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident. She spends the next two years—and the course of the book—in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines, and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened. Lockhart writes in a somewhat sparse style filled with metaphor and jumps from past to present and back again—rather fitting for a main character struggling with a sudden and unexplainable life change. The story, while lightly touching on issues of class and race, more fully focuses on dysfunctional family drama, a heart-wrenching romance between Cadence and Gat, and, ultimately, the suspense of what happened during that fateful summer. The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come.—Jenny Berggren, formerly at New York Public Library

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (In Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith’s exhilarating and heart-wrenching YA debut novel, seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd has big plans for her summer without parents. She intends to devote herself to her music and win the Battle of the Bands with her band mate and best friend, Lukas. Perhaps then, in the excitement of victory, he will finally realize she’s the girl of his dreams. But a phone call from a stranger shatters Kiri’s plans. He says he has her sister Suki’s stuff—her sister Suki, who died five years ago. This call throws Kiri into a spiral of chaos that opens old wounds and new mysteries. Like If I Stay and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Wild Awake explores loss, love, and what it means to be alive. It also examines mental illness, very present in this book.

All summaries are from the book blurbs, Amazon, Goodreads, Independent Book Sense, BookBrowse or by me.

Tracy Novick     tracys2cents@wordpress.com

 

 

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