Books for Young Adults and Teens 2014 Review
Top Rated Books for Young Adults 2013
Even as adults despair about the popularity of texting and video games, there are more young adult books to choose from than ever before.
These authors know how to connect with this demographic by not "writing down" to them, and they understand the issues young adults face in today's world. These novels are all popular for good reason; they are well-written, with compelling, interesting plots and exciting characters.
Popular Young Adult Books for 2013
Bestsellers: Books for Young Adults
The Hunger Games Trilogy
These three books were written and released in 2009 and 2010, but they took the publishing world by storm this year. Suzanne Collins has come up with a concept that is popular with kids and adults. In the post-apocalyptic world of these novels, the United States is gone and the country of Panem is in its place. Panem is a country that has seen violence -- a failed civil war against the Capitol has left the twelve districts helpless against its thirst for violence. Each year, every district must send one teenaged boy and one girl to the Capitol to participate in the Hunger Games -- publicly viewed games that only end once all the players except one are dead.
In "The Hunger Games," readers are introduced to Katniss Everdeen, who takes her sister's place when she is chosen to represent her district. Katniss is determined to survive at any cost, but throughout her journey, she encounters competitors who challenge her cold-hearted stance, and becomes more and more compassionate, even as she has more to lose.
"Catching Fire" brings readers back to the arena when Katniss and friends are required to participate in a special edition of the Hunger Games. In this novel, Katniss grows and develops even more, and readers are introduced to the intricacies of additional Capitol politics.
"Mockingjay" is the last book in the Hunger Games triology. As Katniss faces life after her victory, she finds that the Capitol and President Snow want her dead due to the unrest she's caused. Now Katniss has a completely different battle for her life. Scholastic Press publishes all three books in the trilogy.
The Book Thief
A must-read for anyone who truly thinks he can't live without books. "The Book Thief" tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in the countryside outside of Munich during World War II. Liesel comes to her foster family toting her very first stolen book, which her foster father reads to her at night before bed. She meets a host of interesting characters in her small neighborhood, including a Jewish man that her foster family hides in the basement. Liesel has no money and little food, but the one thing she finds she can't go without is books... so she steals them. This book explores the many roles of books in people's lives. "The Book Thief" was published in 2005 and has won countless book awards. It continues to top the best-selling lists for children, young adults and adults. Published by Alfred A. Knopf.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs
An Amazon Best Book of the Month in June, 2001, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" is a spine-chilling novel that will haunt readers of any age. The main character, Jacob, learns from his grandfather about Miss Peregrine's Home and is fascinated by stories of children who can levitate, or are invisible. When his grandfather dies and leaves him a cryptic message, Jacob travels to a small island off the coast of Wales, where he finds Miss Peregrine's Home and all the children, still alive, though it was thought that they had died decades before. The book is interspersed with vintage-style photographs of strange children; the reader is introduced to the photos along with narrator Jacob. This book has interesting, unexpected twists and turns and will surprise, delight and confound every reader. By Quirk Books.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Native American Sherman Alexie has been writing memoir-style books for young adults for years, and they are always popular. His ability to bring the Native American experience into the homes of kids from other cultures, while relating and connecting to the shared experience of the teen and young adult years, makes Alexie's books continual best-sellers.
In "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," Alexie relates true stories from his own past by using the fictional character of Arnold Spirit, a fourteen-year-old Spokane Indian who transfers out of the reservation school and into a nearby public school. Though he worries about fitting in, he achieves a measure of popularity at the new school. Going back and forth between two cultures, Arnold must come to terms with his heritage, his family and friends from both worlds, and what it means to be a Native American. An uplifting story for readers, and a unique look into the world of the reservation and the people who live there. Published by Little, Brown Books.
I am Number Four
Released by Harper Collins in 2010, "I Am Number Four" was made into a movie in 2011, generating renewed interest in this super hero story with a twist. The new kid in town, John Smith, might seem like a normal kid, but in reality he is one of nine children who escaped from their planet, Lorien, and came to Earth. The Mogadorians aren't satisfied to let the children be, and begin killing them, one by one, in numerical order. Three children have already been killed, and John is number four. He is still waiting for his super powers to come to light when he gets the news that he is next on the hit list. Now, he must develop his powers and use them to save himself, his fellow Lorians, and his new friends on Earth. "I Am Number Four" is slated to be the first book in a series of six, so fans can look forward to many more stories about John.