Thanks to a dear friend who shared some YA titles with me, I read three good YA novels over the past few weeks. I should have read them over Halloween because there was a definite ghost theme. However, I enjoyed them all.
The first one, DARK SOULS by Paula Morris, is slated for ages 12 and up. It would, in my opinion, be eligible the 'younger YA' category (because there's nothing too vile or graphic for middle schoolers), but the historic and literary references add a depth appropriate for older readers. The story is set in York, England where the protagonist and her family are on a short visit due to her parent's jobs. The timing is good because Miranda and her brother, Rob, have recently been involved in a horrible accident that resulted in the loss of Miranda's best friend. Oddly, Miranda also gained something in this accident--the ability to see ghosts--only no one knows it yet. York, England is such a fantastic setting that even if you don't get sucked into this fascinating story of historically relevant ghosts (and you will!), you will find yourself googling York as a future travel destination. While their parents are busy working in York, Rob connects with a local girl and becomes involved in mysterious happenings at her family's historic restaurant. Jenna becomes involved with some local characters, as well, although they are not all so, well, accessible. I truly enjoyed this fascinating read with its historical references, use of John Milton's CAMUS, compelling setting, and fresh premise. It was released last August, and I recommend you pick it up. I *suspect* it may be the first in a series, but it certainly stands alone. CHECK IT OUT!
Next, I read and looooved FRACTURE by Megan Miranda. FRACTURE is set for release TODAY, so I hope you'll run check it out. The protagonist, Delaney, and her long-time friend, Dexter, literally walk on thin ice, Delaney falls in, and after ELEVEN LONG MINUTES, Dexter manages to pull her out. No one survives underwater after eleven minutes intact, except, it seems, the miraculous Delaney. Miranda takes the 'boy next door' relationship to a new level when she adds the complication that 'boy next door' saved the girl and 'boy next door' has a girlfriend, and 'boy next door' is the first one to notice that Delaney may not be so intact after all. Interesting characters, believable well-drawn parents, and a prickly crowd of friends will hold your interest until the last page.
BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf was my last read. Our protag, Allie, recovers from a tragic accident that resulted in the death of her boyfriend, Trip. The incidents and evidence of the accident just don't add up for some people, and the police and Trip's family won't stop asking questions. Unfortunately, Allie just can't remember. Mutual friends turn on Allie, somehow blaming her for Trip's death, and threatening notes appear in her locker--IN TRIP'S HANDWRITING. With the help of her friend, Blake, Allie slowly pieces together a recollection of the evening, but it contains a truth that no one wants to hear. Great read. I highly recommend you pick this one up when it is released in April (and I WILL remind you!).
Have a great week, and hope you have the chance to indulge in one of these great reads. All are suitable for gift-giving for that favorite teen in your life. (and by suitable for gifting, I mean, no extraordinary cursing, graphic sex or detailed violence) All three of these books will be well-worn copies in school libraries.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.