Young Adult Novels: Top 10 List
Top 10 List , Young Adult / October 16, 2016

Young adult literature is particularly interesting because it is often difficult to label.  Other than the age of the protagonist, some young adult literature could easily be mistaken for “adult” literature. There are so many excellent books in this genre that adults would really enjoy if they gave them a chance. Just as with graphic novels, young adult novels should not be viewed as something for “kids.” I am sure that you will be able to find your next favorite book, or several favorites that you have already read, on this list. Let us begin! 10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: The first Hunger Games novel is unique and does a decent job of world-building. It also manages to be a dystopian novel that does not involve zombies and instead uses government as the real threat to humanity. Hopefully, this series can act as a gateway to dystopian masterpieces like 1984 and Brave New World. Although, I must point out that I still question whether The Hunger Games actually needed to be a trilogy. The first novel is gripping, but Catching Fire reads like a sequel that ran out of new ideas fairly quickly and Mockingjay features a forced and unsatisfying conclusion. The original novel is the one that is really worth reading. 9. Looking for Alaska by…

The Book Thief: Book Review
Fantasy , Historical Fiction , Young Adult / October 16, 2016

Title: The Book Thief Author: Markus Zusak Published: 2005 Genre: Young Adult Lit, Historical Fiction, Fantasy Pages: 584 The Book Thief is Markus Zusak’s tale of a young girl living in Germany during World War II. Despite the fact that this book is classified as a young adult book, Zusak tackles adult themes involving ignorance and the senseless destruction of war. Zusak does not sugar-coat this tale, and it is definitely the sort of young adult book that should only be read by a truly mature reader (regardless of age). Oh, and did I mention that the book is narrated by Death? Liesel Meminger, the protagonist of the tale, is living with her foster family and develops an incredibly close bond with her foster father, Hans Hubermann. The tale revolves around Liesel’s life in a German town against the foreboding backdrop of the impending German defeat in WWII. With the looming danger of war always on the horizon, Liesel goes about her life in the town and develops a strong relationship (maybe even romantic?) with a young boy named Rudy. A Jewish man also comes to the Hubermann family for help, so the very real historical situation of a German family trying to hide…

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Book Review
Fantasy , Horror , Young Adult / October 15, 2016

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Author: Ransom Riggs Published: 2011 Genre: Young Adult Lit, Fantasy, Horror, Historical Fiction  Pages: 353 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a young adult novel that embraces elements of fantasy, horror, and a touch of historical fiction for good measure. The story revolves around our protagonist, the sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman, and his quest to solve the mystery surrounding his grandfather’s unbelievable past. As Jacob travels across the Atlantic to revisit the childhood orphanage of his grandfather, Jacob finds himself grappling with his family’s past in very real terms as he also struggles to decide his own future. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is artistic, atmospheric, and awash with unique and fascinating characters. There is a general sense of impending disaster that hovers over the novel from the very beginning thanks to skillful foreshadowing on the part of the author. The gloomy and foreboding settings pair exquisitely with the incredibly unsettling photographs that litter the novel. To be clear, the black and white photographs that are copied with the pages of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children are all completely authentic. Ransom Riggs artfully inserts the photographs in the appropriate places to support and punctuate the novel’s plot and characterizations while…