I decide to write a post about my favourite Young Adult books. Click below if you want to see the Top 5.
Alright, I was slightly inspired by the poor choices made on this community-voted list, (Twilight, 3rd! Eragon, 16th? both were DNF’s (Did Not Finish) for me although I did get through Eragon once when I was younger), so I decided to put forward my own Top 5. Remember to let me know what you think.
5 – Pantomime by Laura Lam
R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimeras is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.
Reason: I absolutely loved this book. Whilst it didn’t quite get a five star in my review, it was certainly a damn fine debut. Picking Spot 5 was a very hard choice, as Lam was competing with tough competition – Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series & Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak series, with JKR’s Harry Potter just behind (mainly due to the fact that books 5-7 weren’t that strong and I hated the ending. Seriously, who gives all the best characters off-screen deaths?) But Pantomime scrapes Number 5.
4 – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.
In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
May the odds be ever in your favour.
Reason: Holy cow, for a young adult book, The Hunger Games was incredible. Then again, all of these five novels in this list are. I loved the fast pace, the perfect flowing of the novel and the strong cast. I also enjoyed the film adaption, thinking it is probably one of the best film-to-book adaptions out there. It’s only a pity that Book 2 turned out to be a massive let down, and one of the worst novels that I read in 2012.
3 – Coraline by Neil Gaiman
My Review | Goodreads
Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.
Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what’s what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we’re hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book’s eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.
Reason: I first read this book as an assignment in School and I really enjoyed it. Neil Gaiman is a really strong author and Coraline proves to me that he can handle a book in pretty much any setting and I eagerly wait for his upcoming novel. His American Gods was amazing, Coraline was likewise awesome, & The Doctor’s Wife, his contribution to Doctor Who, remains in my Top 5 Who episodes to date. (Along with Blink, The Girl Who Waited, Dalek & The Eleventh Hour.)
2 – The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
My Review | Goodreads
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.
Reason: It’s Tolkien. That should be reason enough.
1 – Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
Review | Goodreads
When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, (pronounced ‘demon’) Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies – and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.
Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her – something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights…
Reason: This was (If I remember correctly) one of the novels that got me into SFF as a genre. I really, really loved Northern Lights and its sequels. The characters are awesome, the plot is strong and Pullman writes like the novel should be an adult book. It’s unpredictable, it’s awesome, and seriously – If you haven’t read this book, I highly suggest you go ahead and read it now. It’s a shame that the movie adaption wasn’t anywhere near as good as this, and it felt like they left out the ending from the book. Also, I wish they’d have kept the title as Northern Lights, and not changed it to The Golden Compass. I plan on revisiting this trilogy as a whole sometime this year and when I do will be doing my utmost to review it. But Pullman is my favourite YA author and it will take something spectacular to shift the likes of him, Gaiman and Tolkien from the top two spots.
So, there we have it. What’s your favourite young adult novels and why?