My top 10 picks for your YA reader this holiday

There are so many good YA books out there that I’ve read
(and PLENTY that I haven’t), it’s hard to pick just ten. But I’m going to try.
Here’s a list of my top ten YA books (in no particular order) and why I liked
them so much. They’ll look great wrapped and under the tree for the book
lover(s) in your life (or yourself!)

  1.     .    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein A
    historical fiction piece about the bonds of love and friendship set during
    World War II, this book reaches down deep to wrench out your heart. The writing
    is superb and the voice is sharp and fresh. An all around good book.
    Rating: PG-13 for scenes of mild
    torture. Find my review, here.
  2. 2.       The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
    Dystopia, kick ass girls, great writing, and vampires. PERFECT COMBO. I’m a fan
    of Julie Kagawa and this is the book that got me membership. Vampires rule the
    cities and keep humans like cattle. Everyone is registered or you don’t eat.
    Which is why Allison is on the verge of death, refuses to do so and ends up
    becoming what she hates the most. The writing is sharp, engaging, witty, and
    captivating. If you’re a fan of dystopians and vampires, go there.
    Rating: PG for some awesome violence.
    Find my review, here.
  3. 3.       Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard This book
    made me want to sell everything I own, leave everything behind and have
    adventures while traveling the world (if I were 18, that is). Almost poetic in
    the way she writes, Kristen paints pictures and creates such an enticing
    experience for the reader.
    PG. Read the full review, here.
  4. 4.       The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
    Do you all REALLY need me telling you AGAIN how much I loved this book? It
    really is a coming of age story about a girl who finds out who she really is
    and what she wants to become after her sister dies. It’s about love, and death,
    and living. And the writing is absolutely beautiful.
    Rating: PG-13 for some sexuality. See the review, here.
  5. 5.       Divergent (and the sequel, Insurgent) by
    Veronica Roth
    Another Dystopian, the author creates a completely creative
    and unique world where everyone lives in factions according to the values they
    want to live by (information, selflessness, bravery, truth, etc). But when Tris
    Prior picks a faction other than the one she’s lived in her entire life, her
    whole world is turned upside down. This book really does have it all, action,
    risk, love, humor.
    Rating: PG See
    the entire review, here.
  6. 6.       Vixen by Jillian Larkin (Book 1 in the
    Flapper Series)
    The whole series is good, but this one was the first and
    best, in my opinion. Set in 1920’s Chicago, the book follows Gloria as she
    struggles with falling in love with a black piano player from the local
    speakeasy while she’s engaged to another man. The book is told from three
    different, but connected, points of view; filled with love, jealousy, secrets,
    and revenge. I really loved this book.
    PG-13 some strong sexuality. Read my review, here.
  7. 7.       Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to GettingGirls by Tallulah Darling This book is more on the risqué side because it
    deals with sex. Lots of sex - but in a surprisingly non-vulgar way. Which might
    be hard to believe.  Sam and Ally are
    best friends. Sam’s a player and Ally’s been dumped. She has her best friend
    teach her how to get in and get out without being committed. But everything
    backfires for everybody. This book is hilariously funny, but definitely for
    mature audiences and the older YA reader. 
    Rating: R for strong
    language, drinking, euphemisms, and lots of “bow chicka wow wow”. See the full
    review, here.
  8. 8.       Blood Red Road by Moira Young This was
    the first dystopian book that I read. It was hard to get into at first, but
    after I got used to the voice, I ended up loving this book. Full of action,
    drama, cage fighting, love, and reluctant rescuing, Saba’s journey is addicting.
    The second book in the series, Rebel Heart, is available in stores and online. Rating: PG for some violence
  9. 9.       Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers Contemporary
    fiction written by an English author about a young man, Karl, and his older
    mentor (unnamed) who tries to help him win his girlfriend over. It’s not
    outstandingly prolific, but the changes that happen in the lives of Karl and
    the narrator are moving. A good, deeper read. Rating: PG
  10. 10.   The Book of Blood & Shadows by Robin
    Oh, wow. This book has it all: mystery, suspense, a little bit of
    love, betrayal, revenge, conspiracies, mysterious religious organizations,
    codes, clues, travel, EVERYTHING! It’s long (450 pages) but it goes by so
    quickly. Especially with a storyteller like Wasserman. Rating: For some mild violence