I can’t remember the exact moment when I discovered YA books, but I sure do remember the few books that made me fall in love with YA. I think we can all remember the book that introduced us to something new. For me, that was Introductions by C.L. Stone (ironically enough). Then came the search for more similar books, and later I realized I had a new favorite genre.
This list is mainly romance books as romance books are also my all-time favorites. So, these are the books that stuck with me.
Introductions by C.L. Stone
This book came to me when I was in a bad place. My boyfriend at the time had broken up with me, and I was starting over with a new part-time job and a newly single life. I had a lot of free time on my hands, so I needed an escape. Reading was that escape for me. And that’s when I found Introductions, a free ebook just lying around Amazon. I immediately got hooked on the first chapter. I had never read a teen story with a “reverse harem” before and I was amazed. After reading it, I was hung up on the series and read all of the other books in one sitting.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Though it wasn’t the first YA book I read, Looking for Alaska was the very first one that made me cry. It was also the first John Green book I read. I loved the beautiful metaphors in it and the fact that Miles had a so-called obsession with famous last words. This is what John Green does – he chooses a special and odd characteristic that he gives to his characters and that makes them unique. Basically, this is a coming of age story – and I have a really soft spot for these.
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
I can’t even begin to describe this book. One of my absolute favorites, Hopeless set the bar really high for me. It is not your typical teenage love story, although it may seem that way. I was intrigued from the first moment and could not put the book down for several days after. I mean, this book had so many plot twists, it got me going to bed early just to read more. I was up late at night because I needed answers, not sleep. It had been a long time since a book made me feel so many things at once, and I just loved it.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I actually chose this book for my book club at the time. I was glad that everyone in it enjoyed the book, and it was a success. I remember we all talked about how Starr had her own strong voice that was not child-like or irrelevant. I must say this book was a real eye-opener for me. One thing that got to me was when the protagonist said that her parents had two talks with her when she was little – one about the birds and the bees, and the other about what to do if she was stopped by the police. I think this bit shows us how the world can be so different for other people and how we might not even know it. This book is one of the many that made me fall in love with YA.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
This is one of the most recent YA books I have read, and I had never read a story about two gay boys before. Representation is something we’re seeing more of these days, and I am glad. I was actually a bit apprehensive about it – I did not know if the story would appeal to me or mean anything since it is mainly about death, but it did. If you want something to make you think about life in general, this is a good one.