Sometime during the Christmas season, you’ll probably be shopping for a young adult in your life (or if you’re like my husband, shopping for your wife who still acts like a young adult). You might be scratching your head at what to get someone between the ages of 13-19, but have no fear, Jamie is here! I scanned my Goodreads log and picked out 12 YA books I read across the genres this year, ones that I would for sure recommend to anyone age 13 and up!
On the 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . A Fractured Fairy Tale.
Alice in Zombieland and Through the Zombie Glass
This is a great modern-day twist on a beloved story! You can’t buy one without buying the other because you’ll want to read the sequel right away!
On the 11th, 10th, and 9th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Historical Fiction.
A few picks on this one:
The Book Thief (World War II-era story . . . yeah, you’ve heard the story, but not from Death’s POV)
The Red Umbrella (Cuban politics and history . . . I know it sounds boring, but it’s totally not! EVERYONE should read this!)
The Infernal Devices (England during the Victorian era–this is an admixture of the real history and the unreal since it features paranormal elements. This trilogy is a prequel to The Mortal Instruments books, which if you didn’t read, you might’ve seen the movie this year!)
On the 8th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Paranormal Romance.
Ever and Evade are another two-for-one deal in the same series. Get your pot of coffee ready when reading this one because you’ll want to pull an all nighter, but so much more fun than studying for exams!
On the 7th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Inspirational Romance.
KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh. This book was put out by my publisher this year, and it was one of my favorite reads. It could also fall under historical fiction. What a fun way to learn! Book #2, KIYA: Mother of a King is sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read over my Christmas vacation!
On the 6th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Mythological Fiction.
Tangled Tides. Love the tag line: Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters–until she becomes one. This book is so good, seriously one of my 13yo favs!
On the 5th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Magical Realism/Adventure Fiction.
Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game. Of course, if you’re feeling like winning the title, “Aunt of the Year” then go ahead and buy all 5 books in the series for your tween/teen, but all of the stories can also stand alone. Who doesn’t love the idea of Disney characters coming to life, no matter what age you are!
One the 4th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Fantasy Fiction.
Core. This is the debut novel by a talented writer and friend who attends the same church as me. I have one word for ya: Dragons. Really, what more do you need?
On the 3rd Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . . Sci-Fi/Dystopian Fiction.
Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night. Yep, another two-for-one deal here. Can’t recommend these books enough. Out of 5 stars, I’d give them 10! If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, this is a must read! And since it’s told through dual narrative, the hero and heroine’s POV, it offers broad appeal.
On the 2nd and 1st Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Contemporary Coming of Age Fiction.
The Moon and More. I’m in love with Sarah Dessen. She is my literary girl crush. I could read nothing but her books for the rest of my life, and I’d be in heaven!
18 Things. I may be biased here, but this is one heck of a book! Hahaha . . . could also fit under Inspirational and Paranormal Romance, but the overall arc of the series is definitely first and foremost a coming of age tale.
I could go on and on . . . why did the song have to be the 12 Days of Christmas?! So many books, so little time. Some other honorable mentions are the 4 novels I’m reading with my Language Arts classes right now: The Girl Who Threw Butterflies, Legend, Janitors, and Cinder.
*What about you? What books would you recommend buying as gifts for the holiday season, YA or otherwise? Read any of these books? Yay or Nay to my picks?
The Book Thief was a big ole DNF for me, for reasons way too numerous to get into here. (I skimmed the rest, and knew the ending anyway from the constant parade of spoilers.) My negative experience just confirmed my feelings about avoiding books with massive amounts of hype. For a YA historical about ordinary Germans during WWII, I’d recommend Paul Dowswell’s The Ausländer, which I read last year for my final project in my YA Literature class. Even though it’s under 300 pages, something that normally gives me pause in a historical, it never felt short or insubstantial at all.
I’ve been wanting to read The Red Umbrella, in part because the Latin American experience isn’t very well represented in historical fiction. It’s probably embarrassing that the vast majority of historicals I’ve read are set in North America, Europe, and sometimes Japan or Israel.
Another historical I’d recommend is Allan Wolf’s The Watch That Ends the Night, a novel in verse about Titanic. He did an excellent job at giving all of his numerous POV characters their own unique voice, even a rat. It felt like 1912 all through the book.
That was very clever, Jamie! Can’t think of any books offhand. I have so many occupying my iPad…
Jamie, unless they have the book “A Partridge in a Pear Tree” on kindle, I am at a loss. So many books, so hard to pick only 12 🙂
Love this blog! Love giving books as gifts!
I’ve heard good things about The Book Thief. KIYA also sounds like an interesting read too.