Teen Books that Don’t Really Make Me Me But That I Love Anyway – Becca

It’s been about…ooh…two weeks since we last had a books post, so in our book (see what I did there), that means it’s high time we had another. 

I think some of you feel pressure sometimes to write your BTMMM posts about literary masterpieces and classics. Becca’s piece just throws that out of the window (much as Mahj’s piece did recently), and that’s why we love it. We’re not pretentious, or stuck-up here at AOW. We love a good classic, but we’re equally just as at home curled up on the sofa with some cheap wine and a piece of chick-lit.

Or, as it happens, Teen fiction…

So when I started to write this I had Pride and Prejudice at the top of my list. Followed by Little Women. And Bridget Jones’ Diary. Bit of a walking-talking-almost 30 year old-female’s cliché list isn’t it? And it’s actually, if I’m honest, not really true.

Since starting work in London I hadn’t read a book. I went from reading three or four books a week (I’m a really fast skim reader and then I go back and re-read books over and over again) to reading nothing. I just couldn’t think when I got home, all I could do was crawl onto the sofa, drink tea, eat biscuits and watch the West Wing over and over and over and over again. Which there is nothing wrong with and I love Joshua Lyman as much as the next woman, but it’s really not the same as reading is it? Getting so wrapped up in a book you smile to yourself in the supermarket because really….he loves her but he doesn’t know it yet but you do? Or miss your train because you are so wrapped up in the words, the smell of the fresh pages?

Then I got my mojo back. Mahj wrote Why I love Young-Adult Fiction now. If you haven’t read it, go and read it. Start with those. And then read my list. I had already read Twilight and seen it ruined by the film. I’d read the Hunger Games because I’d seen it at the cinema. I’d worn my hair in a plait for weeks after that. I needed to be Katniss Everdeen but purely so she could pick #teamGale.

So it started with Divergent. What.a.read. I ended up recommending it to someone at work or their holiday and soon an entire office of smart sassy 30 year old lawyers were discussing Four rather than the latest case law (note: this is a good thing).

So, to add to Mahji’s post (otherwise The Hunger Games and Divergent would be on my list too), here is my teen fiction list.

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Claire


My friend told me to read this. I read the blurb and thought it sounded like an awful version of Twilight. It’s not. The first few pages set the scene with our heroine Clary in a club called Pandemonium. You love it already right? She sees a man die and disappear and in seconds she’s involved in a world of Shadow Hunters, Moon Children, Vampires and Valentine. You will want to marry Jace after you read these books. I promise.

Ignore Amazon who only rate it 4 stars. They know nothing.

2, Mortal Instruments also by Cassandra Claire

After the City of Bones series, I thought I’d read the Mortal Instruments series. Because some of the characters in City of Bones are immortal (obviously), there are references in City of Bones to mysterious past events. This series sets out those events but the books aren’t obviously linked and can be read independently. These two books (but there need to be more) are set in London. The story focuses on Tessa, a shape shifter, who lives with the Shadowhunters.

The problem with these books is that you will have serious discussions with your fellow fans about who you would shag, marry and avoid. Avoid is easy. Who to marry out of Will and Jace is currently subject to some debate.

3. The China Garden – Liz Berry


One from my childhood, I went to the library every day until I went to University to see if this had been added to the old children’s books they sell off for 20p. I never found it. Ten years later I found out that my Aunt thought it was an adults book and had bought it for 50p (those pesky librarians). I stole it and read it regularly. It’s about a girl called Clare who goes to live with her mother where her mother grew up. There is an old maze which holds secrets. And there is a man with a motorbike with a leather jacket. I defy you to read this book and then not try and open the maze by dancing swirlily (not even a word) in your living room. That is all I’m telling you.

4. Delirium Trilogy – Lauren Oliver

Imagine there is a world where you are cured of love when you turn 18. And then you fall in love.

I just started this book but I need to add it to my list because so far, it’s made me miss my train twice because I was sat on a bench completely involved.

When I tell people that I’m reading teen fiction they roll their eyes and make faces. But it’s so undervalued as a genre of literature. So lets have it people. Are you #TeamJace or #TeamWill. You can be both. I am.

Categories: Books, Books That Made Me Me
7 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Rose
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad it’s not just me who loves young adult fiction- my husband thinks I’m mad! Thanks for the recommendations, there’s a few there that look new to me so I’m looking forward to giving them a go.

  2. Cally
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I ended up reading the Hunger Games series, Divergent and Delirium series all while on holiday this year. My other half couldn’t understand why I was so drawn to teen-fiction.

    Then I challenged him to read them! I didn’t hear him speak for hours at a time! Bliss!

    “I needed to be Katniss Everdeen but purely so she could pick #teamGale” – agree completely. She was completely stupid not to pick him! And I’m not just saying that because I have a thing for the Hemsworth brothers!

  3. Mahj
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Ack! I can’t believe ive only just seen this! I’ll be adding your recs to my Amazon wishlist at lunchtime. Which is taking on a life of its own at the mo with all the great book recs I get on here!

    Teen Fiction 4 Eva!!


  4. Roz
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I need to read City of Bones erm like now! I love teen fiction too. Only yesterday I was trying to explain to a guy I work with why – he had the nerve to question why adults wanted to read the Harry Potter books! I have been trying to read Divergent since Mahj’s post, by trying I mean trying to get someone on readitswapit to swap with me, and failing miserably. Think I might have to bite the bullet and buy it! xxx

    ps I think that everyone who adds a comment on book posts should randomly add the name of the book that they are reading at the moment. Purely because I can’t get enough of books….so here’s mine: To Kill a Mockingbird. And I’ve never read it before.

  5. Peabody_Bites
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I have been running to the Hunger Games (on Book 2 now and loving it) and have just been starting to worry about what I will run to next – dystopian/fantasy teen fiction is perfect to run to, because it is very engaging but also quite plot driven. So I am grateful not only for this, but for the link to Mahj’s original post. Between you, that should keep me running through the dark days of winter.

    Roz’s idea is a brilliant one, so here is my current read: To the End of the Land, by David Grossman. Intriguing novel about an Israeli woman whose son is in fighting in the IDF.

  6. Becca
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Mine is You Before Me by Jojo Moyes. I can tell I’m going to send up sobbing on a train.

    • Lara Blue
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      That’s a great book. I just read it a couple of months ago. Also “The last letter from your lover” by her is excellent, beautifully written and subtly evocative of the past but combined with a contemporary story too. I’m finally reading “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel.
      Recently, I really enjoyed reading the Scott Lynch series which starts with “The Lies of Locke Lamora” and would probably fall into the genre of teen-fiction…very entertaining and funny with rather clever plots. Although you may hate me for this recommendation as the series is unfinished! Another teen fiction writer (sorry for pigeon-holing!) I also enjoy is Kristin Cashore. I’m sure there’s others that haven’t been mentioned but I have post-honeymoon-fuzzy-brain syndrome and can’t think of them right now!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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