Friday, 18 March 2011

Before Blogging: How I Fell in Love with YA

I was thinking the other day how much my reading styles and patterns have changed since I began blogging. I read differently now: priority presides over whim with choosing a book; I read to review and constantly think about things I can write about and I look for things I’ve read about in other blogger’s reviews. This led me to try and remember what books that made me fall in love with reading, and specifically YA. And here are the books that smacked me in the face with their awesomeness:
How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff
This book took my breath away. It’s written in a style that’s truly individual and one I’d never seen, and haven’t since. I thought I might struggle with the lack of chapters, direct speech and traditional structure, but for me, it made it all the more special. Meg Rosoff has continued to deliver something new with every book and I never know what to expect from her.

Roxy’s Baby – Catherine MacPhail
Roxy’s Baby shocked me. It’s dark, chilling and utterly compelling. There is a tension and an overriding sense of fear throughout the novel that glues you to the pages. I remember being so involved in Roxy’s story that I took it everywhere with me for the day or two that it took me to read it. And then I read that it’s based on a true story that Catherine MacPhail had heard on the radio and it kind of imploded my world view a little bit.

Soul Love – Lynda Waterhouse
I went through a phase of reading all of the lesser-known UK author’s YA romance that I could find in my school library and this was one of the ones that captured me most. I began it again as soon as I’d finished it and proceeded to check it out again and again and again until I finally bought my own copy. Which I then read over and over again. It has a shocking plot twist that took my breath away as I’d never had this subject broached in a book before. It’s beautiful.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison
I don't think that this series really needs much in the way of an introduction. It’s brilliantly funny, utterly ridiculous and dangerous to read on the bus. I used my pocket money every Saturday to buy the first four books and then waited on tenterhooks for the next instalment every year after that. Georgia became a part of my tween/teen years in such a way that now the final instalment has been and gone, I genuinely miss her.

Diary of a Crush: French Kiss – Sarra Manning
This chance find in my local library began a love affair with Sarra Manning’s books that’s still with me around seven years later. I wanted to be Edie with her amazing fashion sense and general adorableness, I fell head over heels with the king of the toxic boys, Dylan, and I dreamt of an epic road trip across America. My copies are battered and well-loved (as well as signed!) and showcase just how many times I’ve devoured Edie and Dylan’s story.

Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
Just Listen is another book that began a love affair. Sarah Dessen pulled me in with her complex, damaged heroine, Annabel, and her beautifully involving writing. There really is no going back once you read a Sarah Dessen novel. She writes the most amazing guys, real girls and actual stories that could happen to anyone of us. She’s kind of my hero really.

I’ve put a link to each book’s Goodreads page so you can check them out and fall in love too. Let me know in the comments which books made you fall in love with YA pre-blogging. If you want to do your own post, feel free! Just make sure you link back to me.



  1. Brilliant post! All of these books sound good, I have read Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging and loved it ;)

  2. I'm definitely going to write my own version of this post, it's fantastic! I read YA when I was in my early-to-mid teens, then stopped for a few years. I think the Diary of a Crush trilogy helped get me back into it, I originally followed the series in J-17, and was over the moon when the books came out so I could see where it all began!

  3. I did enjoy How I Live Now. It was a brilliantly written book. I haven't read the others but will definitley look them up.

  4. What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing with us :D

  5. They are some of my favourite YA books... I love Lynda Waterhouse sooo much! I really like this type of post that you publish (loved the Sarah Dessen one you did a little while ago)!!

  6. Great post! This is an excellent idea for a post!

  7. The Sarra Manning book would be on my list, definitely. Also lots of books by Meg Cabot and Rachel Vail. I loved reading this post. Thank you for writing it!

  8. I've read How I Live Now and completely fell in love with it. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging is absolutely hilarious as well.
    Brilliant post!

  9. I don't think I have read or heard of any of those authors (well obviously the movie, angus, snogging etc). However not really sure how many books in the past few years I have read have been YA.


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