You know, you know, YA fiction is super popular right now. But surely it's not for you ... I mean, why would you want to remember high school? And I hear you, I do. I don't particularly revel in recalling my wallflower years either. But the great thing about YA is that you can delve into that high school world again, and experience all those dramatic feelings: the crushes, the heartbreak, the drama (oh, the drama!) and then close the book and poof! You're an adult again! No homework for you! So to help orient you into this most angsty of genres, I've detailed three outstanding selections that I think will help you understand what the YA craze is all about. You can even read past your bedtime. I won't tell, promise.
1. Impossible by Nancy Werlin. Oh my is this a gorgeous story. Just divine. Werlin weaves a modern-day fable around the song "Scarborough Fair," to wondrous results. You'll get lost in her rich world as you root for Lucy and her adopted family to solve the riddle and beat the bad guy before it's too late, and the same terrible fate befalls Lucy as did her mother, 17 years before.
2. Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford. I was always a little sad that I never had a sister, and this book helps encapsulate just why. In Standiford's capable hands, her hometown city of Baltimore comes alive. You'll giggle and cringe as each Sullivan sister pens a letter to the family's matriarch, Almighty Lou, detailing their recent exploits. Because Almighty Lou's been offended, and if she doesn't receive a written confession apologizing for the unknown insult, she'll cut off the whole Sullivan family from her considerable financial resources. What results from this potentially convoluted setup is a wonderful look at sisterhood and family, and it's a whole lot of fun.
3. Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast. All right, this should be an easier sell, because you might have already read and loved P.C. Cast's adult paranormal romances. And, oh, her House of Night series, which she pens with her daughter Kristin, is just excellent. Cast has said she came up with the idea for her series when she heard the phrase "vampire finishing school" and that's just how things start out. I think you'll only need the set-up to be hooked: 16-year-old Zoey Redbird is a normal teen, until she's marked as a vampire, and shipped off to the House of Night, leaving her best friend, her boyfriend and her jerky stepdad behind. Only not everyone who's marked survives the transition to full-fledged vampire ...
- Elissa Petruzzi
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