When I made my previous post about books that I would like to re-read if I had the time, I left out all of my favorite YA books. That’s a problem because while the majority of my shelves are no longer filled up with YA novels, I still do read them and love them. But as I went back to my previous list, there wasn’t enough space for all the books I wanted to include. To remedy this problem I decided to make a second list made up of just YA novels completely to itself. I suggest you go read these right away.
These are in no particular order
- Percy Jackson Series
When I started these books I was indeed still considered a young adult, but not quite the age range specified for these particular novels (I was in either 11th or 12th grade). Despite some people believing I was too old for these stories, I knew that if I had indeed been my 7th or 8th grade self at the time you would never have been able to pry these books from my hands. They were everything I had been looking for while growing up: myths, adventure, comedy, cutesy romance! I don’t care how old I get the Percy Jackson series will forever hold a place in my heart!
- The Book Thief
I never thought I would so attached to a book that was narrated by Death, especially when that book takes place during WWII. If this book does not become a classic then there is no justice in the world. I still remember reaching the end of the book, and my dad walking into my room to see tears running down my face and sobs shaking my body. He immediately jumped into panic mode and asked what was wrong and I held up my copy of the book. When he saw that I was just being my crazy book-loving self he rolled his eyes and walked out the door. Who knows if I’ll be better off the next time I pick up this masterpiece.
- Wildwood Dancing
One of my favorite genres to read is fractured fairy tales (aka retellings of classic fairy tales, generally with a twist). Wildwood Dancing is by far the best retelling I have EVER read. It is actually a combination of several fairy tales, but mainly focusing on “The Twelve Dancing Princess” and “The Frog Prince.” The imagery conjured up by the poetic language and mysterious turns of events had me turning through the pages until the very end. I can remember the dreamy haze that I entered in while reading. It was so sad to wake up at the end.
- The Fault in Our Stars
This one shocked me. I usually don’t enjoy realistic fiction and yet when I reached the end of this beautiful book I found myself so completely attached to the story and the characters that I wondered if I would ever be truly happy again. I was a bit older when I read this one though, probably around 21, so maybe I had just learned to appreciate different types of genres. For a story that was about learning to let go, I was unwilling to do just that.
- The Airborne Trilogy
I read these books just a couple years ago, but man did I wish that they had come into my life so much sooner! Like Percy Jackson, these books were everything I was looking for in novels when I was growing up (I really liked good adventure stories). While not strictly steampunk per say, these stories do take place around the end of the century in an alternate reality where instead of steamships and trains, the main mode of transportation was airships.
- His Dark Materials
Phillip Pullman is a freaking genius! If you have not read these books make sure you do so very soon! I even recommend listening to the audiobook versions. They are a full-cast audio and some of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. I found them to be perfect winter reads when I was cuddled up under big blankets and with snow swirling outside my window.
- L.O.S.T Trilogy
I would be surprised if anyone had heard of these books. I discovered them when I was about 15 years-old. That summer my life was dedicated to these stories. If you haven’t caught on yet, I loved (and still do) fantasy fiction. I was also your typical 15 year-old girl who loved endearing romance stories. These books were a perfect balance of just that. I still remember the summer that I read these books to be one of the best summer readings ever! Even when I had long since finished the books I often returned to favorite passages (the closest I have ever come to re-reading) and lived with my head in the clouds.
- The Thief Lord
We read this book in 6th grade Reading Class and I still remember the hold it held over me and my classmates. The fact that it was read in school, and the fact that I don’t remember any tests or quizzes given on it (although I’m sure there were plenty), but only the excitement of reading together as a class, shows how much this book stuck out to me. I know for a fact that I will revisit this book someday-either on my own, to my own future children, or to my students. The Thief Lord will be read once again in my life.
- Hear the Wind Blow
Let me just start off by saying that Mary Hahn Downing’s books were my life between the ages of 9-12. I loved all of her books and the library had to keep ordering in more for me. That being said Hear the Wind Blow was a very special one for me. All of her other books were ghost stories (that’s literally all I read at that stage in my life), but this one was purely historical fiction. I still remember my librarian coming to me and telling me that this was a different from all her other stuff that I had read, but she thought I would like it all the same. When she told me that it was historical fiction I remember being very hesitant, but I trusted her and gave it a shot anyway. I am so glad that I did! This is the book that got me interested in historical fiction and history in general, specifically the Civil War. From that time forward, I was on the constant prowl for more historical fiction that would lead me into another time and place.
- The House Next Door
Speaking of those ghosts I was reading during that time, this one happened to be one of my favorites. This was the first book I remember reading that had such a beautiful love story that I actually wept. Up until that point I had never cried at a book before. The injustice of it all and the raw ache that I felt inside gave my pre-teen heart something to hope for, to dream about. I’m not making the claim that this book was any great masterpiece. Rather it happened to come into my life at the exactly the right time, and touch me in exactly the right way that I knew I would never ever forget it. I still even remember the smell of the pages…
So there you have it, my list of books that I would like very much to revisit someday. I could probably add a few more onto the list but these ones made the biggest impact in my life. Thanks to these books, my childhood was full of imagination and fun. Thank you to all the authors who wrote these books and allowed to me to become the dreamer that I am today.
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