Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 2: The Perks of the 13 Reasons Why Rats Saw God

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.) 

7. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

ThirteenReasonsWhy

13 Reasons Why is one of the few books on this list that I’ve read in the last couple years.

What made me admire this book was how it captures the hopelessness that many teens experience. So much so that they take their own lives.

Besides that, what really drew me in was how different it was from most Young Adult novels. The novel creates this mystery surrounding the death of  Hannah Baker. And with every new tape, you anxiously wait to see how and why it all happened. What you come to realize is that what’s most tragic about this story is how easily it could happen. The novel makes readers question how they treat themselves and others. It makes them see how any little incident can have a bigger effect on someone’s life. 13 Reasons Why haunts readers long after they are done.

For that, it creates an unforgettable experience uncommon in many YA books.

6.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Perksofbeingwallflower1

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the second book on this list that has been read in the last couple years. My enjoyment of this book both ranks with nostalgia and technique.

Perks reminded me a lot of my teen years. Not exactly the events but more like the emotions I felt being somewhat of an outsider, a wallflower.  Charlie is me as a freshman. A bit lost, hurt and hopeful about the possibilities of this new beginning.

The technical aspects of The Perks of Being a Wallflower that impressed me most were the creation of interesting minor characters. Most YA novels focus solely on the main character and the minor ones feel like an after-thought. If anything, Wallflower’s minor characters were almost more interesting than the main one. This really helped establish the idea of being a wallflower. Charlie’s storyline revolves around how he sees the world and the people in it. Therefore, they are more the stars of his story than him.

You also grow attached to Sam and Patrick as much as Charlie.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower creates characters you want to know, and grow to love.

5. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

RatsSaw9781442459762

Rats Saw God is the last book on the list that I read very recently. It quickly zoomed up to one of my favorites.  Personally, this book reminded me most of Looking for Alaska by John Green. But I enjoyed it a lot moreMainly because the problem with LFA, for me, was the characters. They didn’t quite feel real. Rats Saw God created situations and characters that were believable.

Another way it differed and improved on the concepts in Looking for Alaska is the issue of depression. Rats Saw God captures how depressing high school life can become. The novel also manages to remain hopeful by showing that slow recovery of depression is possible.

This theme came across with subtle cleverness.

Other Parts

Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 1: Ghosts, Sloppy Firsts and Traveling Pants

Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 3:  The Dark-Times of Young Adult Novels

Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 4: Silent Pains and Rewritten History

Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 1: Ghosts, Sloppy Firsts and Traveling Pants

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.) 

10. Haunted (Mediator #6) by Meg Cabot

Haunted by Meg Cabot

As a preteen and teen, Meg Cabot was my queen. Any and every book she published, I needed to own. Despite my worshipping of Cabot, I  discovered later in life that she wrote in various pseudonyms, and wrote more book series than I could ever read.

Possibly my discovering of Cabot’s literary history came after I read Haunted. Upon beginning Haunted, I realized this was one in a book series. When I bought the book I thought it was a stand alone one.

Though I remain curious about the rest of the books in the series, Haunted is the only one I read. Why? Not quite sure. Possibly because she hasn’t written one after this book yet. It could also be because Haunted was so perfect that I don’t need to know more. JK. The real reason is because I outgrew Cabot’s YA series even before I left my teens.

So I have never felt the need to read the entire series. However, recently Cabot announced she was working on the next book in it. I cannot deny a spark of curiosity grew.  It developed because of all the Meg Cabot books I’ve read as a teen, Haunted created the most fascinating characters.

In particularly, Paul grabbed me and made me want to know more about him. He was a darker character than I was used to with Cabot, but also a lot more intriguing one than previous male figures. He walked the fence of hero and villain. Haunted became the first book where I rooted for the ‘bad guy.’

Now as a writer and fiction fan, I’m more drawn to characters like Paul. Part of me believes this character helped shaped that perspective. So for that, Paul and Haunted always has a special place in my heart.

9. The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants (Book 1) by Ann Brashares

Sisterhood1Book

I own every Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  book in the series, but the first one. This is the one I want to own the most. I own every hardcover 1st-print edition. Therefore, I refuse to buy the first book until I find that copy.  A task not easy to accomplish.

As you can tell, after I read the first one, I became addicted to these books. I pre-ordered each of them and read them within a couple days. However, none of them matched the first Sisterhood book. The first one worked so well because it created varying degrees of woman.

None of them were better than the other. They were just different. Every girl could find one they related to. It was also rare for me to find a YA book more about the bonds of these girls than anything else. They underwent their own adventures but in the end, it was about how their friendship kept them whole.  A strong message that more books need to teach, to empower the bonds of sisterhood.

8. Sloppy First and Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

51z43pKFiILSecond-Helpings

Freshman year of high school, I read Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings right after one another. What sold me on this book was Jessica Darling and Marcus Flute.  Their love story just captivated me. It felt genuine and honest. What made their love story work better than other young adult novel ones is that readers read them falling in love.

Many YA novels start with one of the people already madly in love. Then the other one later revealing that they felt the same. With this one, both Marcus and Jessica grew to love one another. It was a complicated, selfless love.  Truly a love story better than Twilight.

The book series went on to include three other books. I have yet to read the other three. Not because I want to preserve the magic of the first two. But more so, I want to relive it. I refuse to read the other books until I am able to read the first two again. Then I will continue the Marcus and Jessica journey.

A challenging journey of first love.

Other Parts

Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 2:  The Perks of the 13 Reasons Why Rats Saw God

Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 3:  The Dark-Times of Young Adult Novels

Top Ten Favorite Young Adult Books Part 4: Silent Pains and Rewritten History