When Entertainment Weekly made their announcement about an upcoming showdown of the best young adult books, I scowled. EW’s history with these bracket contest usually boils down to which fandom is craziest. They are less about the actual best of anything.
This almost guarantees a Twilight or John Green book victory.
Young adult books remain one of my favorite genres. Their effects have decreased since I have reached adulthood. However, a good book is a good book no matter what genre it falls.
After EW’s contest announcement, a friend asked me what books would I place as the best.
After pondering this question, I constructed my own list of the books that are my favorite Young Adult books.
Here is my list (May Contain Spoilers. Read with caution.)
4. The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey
The Torn Skirt, in many ways, is a tribute to Go Ask Alice by Anonymous. I read these books right after one another. So the similarities glared at me. However, Sara’s journey to find out more about Justine created a grittier story. It almost becomes a crime drama by the end of it. This makes The Torn Skirt the most unusual young adult novel I’ve read, but also more memorable than many other ones.
Many social, emotional and global issues were addressed in this short book. Everything from date rape to drug addiction to parental neglect. So much was in it that it really needs multiple readings to unpack all of it.
The Torn Skirt has an “interesting” ending. After my first reading of it, I was disappointed. However, the ending is one of those things you appreciate more with age.
The novel remains one of the few books that I think could have been better with a couple sequels. So many things were left open ended. The Torn Skirt could have even developed into a whole series on street life.
Sometimes being a young adult means dealing with dark, soul-crushing situations. And sometimes people need to read them to truly understand broken souls. The Torn Skirt gets that.
3. Crooked by Laura Mcneal and Tom Mcneal
Amos and Clara probably rank really high on a list of my ultimate favorite fictional couples. They were so cute! They also represented teen insecurities at their most meditative. Neither character signified the ideal teenager. Amos was dumb at times, typical young boy . And Clara was just weird.
Like 13 Reasons Why and The Torn Skirt, this is a darker teen novel. By the end of Crooked, it almost becomes a horror/suspense story. You’re scared for Amos and Clara. But you also have faith in these characters growth to save themselves.
Also, once again like The Torn Skirt, Crooked is one of the few books I would love a sequel. I don’t know how a sequel would work, but I want more Clara and Amos stories.