Vacation YA

An old friend messaged me and asked for some great YA to read over vacation. She mentioned that she’d really enjoyed Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, and John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars.

She wanted to know: what’s next?

I was happy to answer–and then someone else wanted the list and someone else and pretty soon I thought I might as well make a list.

So first off, everything else by Jandy Nelson, Rainbow Rowell, and John Green is good. My top Green pic is Looking for Alaska and my top Rowell pick is Fangirl (though I loved Landline and Attachments and Carry On and her short story In My True Love Gave To Me and…you get the picture).

But what about after that? Here’s some of what I’ve read in the last two years that might make a great ‘next read.’

If you loved the swoon:

  • Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertelli
  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
  • The Boy In the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
  • My True Love Gave To Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins

If you loved the smart snark

  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E Lockhart
  • Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa (great read-alike for fans of Perks of Being a Wallflower)

If you loved the love with a bit of sadness

  • All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If you loved the characters grappling with serious issues

  • Exit, Pursued By a Bear by E.K. Johnston
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

If you loved the can’t-put-it-down-ness

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (which is two books in one. The “can’t put it down” book is the one with the black pages)

Or, if you’re looking to try some magical realism

  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Or, if you’re looking to try fantasy

  • Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas (I pitch this to my students as a feminist retelling of Cinderella that starts in the fairy godmother’s sweatshop)
  • The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  • The Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Or, if you’re looking for a departure into gorgeous novels written in verse

  • One by Sarah Crossan
  • Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermen
  • House Arrest by K.A. Holt

Or if you’re looking for some great dystopia-influenced stuff

  • Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King
  • Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neil


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