The YA market has received a lot of flack lately for being primary focused on female readers. With covers sporting beautiful heroines and elaborate fonts, it is hardly surprising!
I thought the time was nigh to have a boy-focused post on this blog. In fact this post has been a long time coming, as the idea has been bouncing around my brain for a while.
I have read a few books in the past few years that both boys and girls (young and old) will enjoy and here is my shortlist of the best ones.
1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
There isn't much I don't love about The Hunger Games. Katniss is a kickass heroine and there is enough blood and action to keep any guy happy. Not only is it thrilling to read, it offers a valuable message on the value of human life and how we see each other in a social context.
If you have not read this, get the boxed set. Once reading the first installment, you will no doubt want to move directly onto the next book, Catching Fire. The third, Mockingjay, draws the story to a close in a satisfying way.
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Another Dystopian novel, Divergent also has its share of action and gore.
While Tris is a girl, her views are accessible to both genders and the love element of the plot is merely a portion of what Divergent has to offer any reader. This was one of my favorite reads of 2011 by a long shot!
3. Variant by Robson Wells
Variant is an interesting read set in a twisted boarding school in the middle of nowhere. It did remind me a little of James Dashner's Maze Runner, but it cam also stand on its own two feet in terms of being unique in parts and with a brilliant twist.
4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I was not overly enamored with The Maze Runner, but this is simply my opinion and it still stands out for me.
This is definitely an adventurous read that guys and girls will be captivated by.
5. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Because I love it so much, I have opted to use the movie poster rather than the book cover.
Tomorrow, When the War Began is essentially an Australian classic. The setting alone is different, as it captures Australian outback life. One thing to bear in mind is this novel was written before the internet and cellphones became an aspect of everyday life. That adds an interesting element as, in my mind, it brings to light just how dependent on this technology we really are.
6. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
This is the original AUS cover and I love it! I am also blessed that I own this edition of this fantastic book.
Jellicoe Road is the second Australian YA I have thrown in here. I am not too sure what they have in the water that side of the pond, but they do have some fantastic writers! This is an unusual novel in both the setting and story. It is one of those books that one should go into knowing as little as possible about it. I cannot recommend it enough and wish it had more exposure in the South African market.
7. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
I read this one a while back, but it does stand out in my mind as being a "gender neutral" YA. Set in the near future, this addresses societal issues such as abortion and the value of human life. It is a fun, engrossing read. I have yet to explore the sequel, Unwholly, but Unwind is a complete stand-alone novel and can be read and enjoyed from cover to cover.
8. Ashes by Ilse Bick
The cover has the unfortunate effect of making Ashes look girly. It is not! It combines elements of survival, science fiction and the human spirit into an engrossing read. And there are zombies! Horrific, flesh-eating zombies!
And there you have it! Please feel free to add your own thoughts and suggestions in the comments section.
Happy Friday everyone!