Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirl

This book is exactly what YA novels should lead into and what the NA genre in general should strive to be. Wow.

Fangirl is the story of Cather, a twin trying to find her own way in her first year of college. Throughout the book, she deals with her dad’s health, her mom’s abandonment, her sister’s rebellion, her first love, and her obvious talent for writing. What I love about Cather, though, is that she’s not your typical book heroine. I mean, she’s strong, but it’s an understated strong. She wouldn’t consider herself strong, but she’s incredible. She knows her passion and goes for it whole-heartedly.

What I love even more than Cather and her writing talent is Levi’s adorable self. There’s something about the way he talks to Cath that is irresistible, and as much as I don’t usually go for country guys, but his sweetness and ever-present flannel are perfect.

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

revenge of the girl

Ever wanted a humorous and realistic view into the heart of the beauty pageant world? This book is for you. In this, Lexli is a tired of seeing her mom waste what little money they have on pageants for her seven year old terror of a sister… that she doesn’t even want to be a part of anymore. She’s tired of seeing the guy she has a crush on go out with the wrong girl. She’s tired of not being listened to, period, and she has a plan.

While it might not seem like your typical comedy, Revenge of the Girl with a Great Personality is a smartly written story that I couldn’t put down!

Pretty Face by Mary Hogan

pretty face

I admit that as a reader I can get caught up in what’s newly released, what’s coming out when, and making sure my review copies actually get reviewed. Sometimes, though, I still make time to just browse the shelves at the library or my favorite book store, which is where I find gems like Mary Hogan’s Pretty Face.

In this story, high school girl Hayley feels “oversized” for the California beach life, causing her to feel awkward and unsure of herself. She’s that girl with the pretty face that nobody wants to date. And while the cover would make you feel like it’s a book all about weight loss or weight obsession, it’s really not. It’s more about one teenage girl’s journey from horribly self-conscious to confidence.

When her parents send her off to Italy for the summer, which would of course be catastrophic to the social lives of most American teenage girls, Hayley finds a refreshing new beginning. I really liked Hayley’s journey in Italy, and as if I didn’t already want to go to Italy bad enough, it definitely made me wish I’d been sent there for a summer in high school!

This is one that’s worth reading if for no other reason than to see the setting jump off the page.

When Books Become Movies…

books into movies 2014 from buzzfeed

I’m really excited about how many of these books are YA titles, and especially excited about three of my favorite books one the big screen this year: The Giver, The Fault In Our Stars, and Divergent. Now go read them before the movies come out!

Also Known As and Going Rogue by Robin Benway

also known as going rogue

I really enjoyed Also Known As earlier in 2013, so when I saw the digital ARC for book 2 pop up on Netgalley I knew I needed to read it. Going Rogue did not disappoint! I will say, though, that if you haven’t read Also Known As, you should definitely read that one first. While Benway does take some time in Going Rogue to recap what happened previously, it’s not really enough to give you the whole feel for the first book.

Maggie is not your typical teenage girl, no matter how much she wants to be, because you just can’t have secret super spy parents and be one of the world’s best safecrackers and consider yourself normal. I appreciate her desire to have a normal life, though, and she gets it to some extent with her best friend, Roux, and her boyfriend, Jesse. It’s just that she also spends hours crammed into tiny crawlspaces in international criminals’ houses. Tiny detail.

What I like about this series is that it’s realistic in its characters, but the circumstances are fantastical. I mean, no… it’s probably not real life-like that these things happen to Maggie and her family and her friends, but their reactions to the situations feel real. That’s what I like in a book – normal people in abnormal circumstances. I like to see how real people react to stuff, and I think there’s a lot here in terms of Maggie’s family and their dedication to doing what’s right. And, side note, I’m also in love with the part of this that takes place in Paris because I want to go live there for a few years!

While the characters are high school aged, this is one I wouldn’t mind seeing in the hands of a middle schooler – fairly clean in the sex and language area. That’s refreshing.

Find both titles at your local bookstore, favorite online retailer, or here at Amazon’s Robin Benway author page.