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.