When you’re a young adult, or what most call a teenager, you can almost feel the sense of freedom flowing through your veins. You’re basically old enough to make your own decisions: what you eat, what you wear, who you talk to. And while there are typically some restrictions from parents, mainly you’re becoming your own person. It’s a fun and exciting journey, but then, oh wait, here it is… the feelings! Your hormones are still going crazy over boys, friends, what she’s wearing, what you’re wearing, what someone said, and what party to go to. As we all can recall, it’s basically madness. Enter, Young Adult books (or as we all like to call them, YA).
I decided to revisit the madness and jump back into that time of my life — through books! Luckily for me, I intern here at BookTrib and I have access to the best new releases in town! So, I recently picked up a number of Young Adult books from the stacks, and now my emotions are spinning around like crazy from all the teen drama and angst. When every little occurrence at 17 can make you feel like the world is ending, taking hit after hit from a book can definitely drain a person.
The Wonder of Us (Point, April 25, 2017) by Kim Culbertson is the story of two best friends the summer before their senior year of high school, who go on a Eurotrip after spending a year apart. Abby, the quiet and quirky history nerd, and Riya, the beautiful and flirtatious adventurer, have been best friends for so long they can’t even remember when they weren’t. But after a year apart, when Riya’s mother’s job moved them to Berlin for a year, the two girls found themselves keeping secrets from one another, and ultimately drifting apart. Between divorce, boys and the surprising choices that may continue to drag them down separate paths, can these two girls really mend their friendship on a backpacking trip?
The Baby (Chicken House, October 25, 2016) by Lisa Drakeford is a quick read about one party that changes the lives of five friends forever. Olivia is celebrating her 17th birthday at her house with her friends, when they get the shock of their lives: her best friend Nicola gives birth to a surprise baby on the bathroom floor. The mystery is… who is the father? And how will all of these friends manage to carry on from here, dealing with responsibilities far beyond their day-to-day life?
Vigilante (Harlequin Teen, March 28, 2017) by Kady Cross is the girl power revenge tale of high school senior Hadley. She starts off her senior year without her best friend, Magda, by her side. Why? Because only a few short months earlier, Magda committed suicide following months of bullying for being gang-raped at a party by four popular boys from school. After all four boys are let off without any sentencing, Hadley can’t find it in herself to stand idly by and let them get away with it. Alas, she finds an old pink ski mask Magda bought for her, covers her face, and seeks revenge on her own…
These three novels seem to have little to nothing in common… except the age range of the characters. It seems that though all of these characters are going down different paths — becoming a young parent, seeking raw, butt-kicking justice, or just trying to patch up a profound relationship — they all are experiencing life and young adulthood to the max. The world will end if you can’t make up with your best friend; the stakes are much higher when deciding on the job you take after school when you have a baby to support; and deep down in your gut one must know that if you can’t stand up for your best friend, everything else is pointless.
With all these do-or-die emotions running through my head lately, I can’t tell if I’ll be emotionally exhausted or excited to crack open The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir.
I keep thinking that the next book I read won’t be listed under YA, but maybe not. Sometimes, it’s just fun to go back to those feels.
Read any Young Adult books lately? Let us know which ones in the comments below.