Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

2009: YA Reads


I read fewer young adult novels than middle grade this year, but really loved several of them. I have Steph to thank — she recommended three of these, and I spent almost a week raiding her bookshelves when I visited her in May. Again, these are in no particular order.

Graceling 13 Little Blue Envelopes Jumping Off Swings

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
This book contains one of my favorite things — an already-empowered female main character. Katsa is not only an amazing fighter, she’s a Graceling, a human gifted with a super-human affinity for a particular skill. That doesn’t mean that Katsa doesn’t have a journey to travel, though, and oh, how I enjoyed making that trek with her! I also read Cashore’s Fire which I enjoyed, just not quite as much as Graceling.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
I love the premise of this book — that Aunt Peg, recently deceased, sends her niece on a scavenger hunt of sorts using a series of prewritten clues. It was especially fun to read this while I was on my own adventure in England. After devouring this book, I read Girl At Sea which I also loved. I’ll definitely be reading more of Johnson’s books next year.

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
I usually shy away from more serious YA reads, but this book was brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever read more authentic YA voices before. I read this in one sitting (through a lot of tears).

Just Listen Speak Evil Genius

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Another book I stole from Stephanie’s shelves. Dessen mixes quirkiness and great writing with interesting characters and a lot of heart. Owen is one of my favorite male characters in this genre, and I eagerly read and enjoyed Dessen’s This Lullaby afterwards. 2010 will definitely bring a few more of this author’s books to my shelves.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Yeah, okay, I’m coming really late to this party, but I loved this book. Here’s what I said in February when I read it.

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Thirteen-year-old Cadel has been raised as an evil genius. I love the premise, and I really enjoyed Cadel’s refreshingly different voice. The plot takes lots of twists and turns, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. The sequel, Genius Squad, is currently taunting me from my to-read pile. (I put this is in my middle grade reads, but for some reason Amazon lists it as young adult. I’m not sure why, but I’m going with it.)

That’s my list for 2009. Hit me with your favorites, please!

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Jenn Reese

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By Jenn Reese
Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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