Crossover Appeal #10

Crossover Appeal is a weekly feature that challenges the idea that you have to choose a side between YA and adult fiction. Each week we’ll feature a book that has been marketed as YA and a book that has been marketed as adult and tell you why everyone should be reading them, no matter what happens to be your comfort zone.

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YA Books for Adult Lit Readers

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

When I started reading this book, I never expected that I would be suggesting it on Crossover Appeal. It’s a Groundhog Day-esque tale of a teenage girl who dies in a car accident in the first few pages. Except instead of waking up in Heaven/Hell/Limbo, she wakes up in her bed on the same exact morning. Samantha gets to relive the day of her death seven times and each time it ends up a little bit different, but each morning she wakes up again and has to start all over. Samantha is kind of a mean girl, even if she doesn’t always intend to be, and that makes for a fascinating protagonist. Your skin will crawl with some of the things she says, but her voice is perfect.

Why You’ll Love It

I think this is the kind of book most people who don’t regularly read YA steer clear of, but I thought it was very well-written. Samantha’s voice is so realistic. You’ll certainly recognize her as the almost-nice, used-to-be-unpopular mean girl, someone you surely knew yourself in high school. Most of all, I liked that Samantha reacted exactly as you’d expect a teenager to react knowing that the day would simply start over the next day. Eventually she has to figure out a way to stop the day from repeating itself and I think you’ll be satisfied with the ending.

 

Adult Books for YA Lit Readers 

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

1950s London is an exciting and confusing place. Penelope lives in a huge manor house, but her family has little to no money and her father died in the war. Her beautiful mother, constantly stressed about maintaining Magna, their home, and keeping her family afloat, is emotionally unstable and almost reclusive. Her brother would rather play rock music than attend school. So Penelope does everything she can to keep her family together, by attending classes and working a part time job. When she meets the mysterious Charlotte one afternoon, her life changes in an instant. Charlotte is exciting and talented, a perfect new friend, and her mysterious cousin Harry is even more interesting.

Why You’ll Love It

I went into The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets with some reservations. The opening was very cheesy and unbelievable, but once I got past this I thoroughly enjoyed this period drama. The narrator is refreshing, the dialogue feels very realistic, and the time period was endlessly fascinating. The ending to this novel is satisfying, even if the “secrets” touted in the title feel a bit predictable and underwhelming.  I think fans of YA literature will adore The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, especially when it comes to the love triangle.

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