Yes, this is totally off-topic. Well, sort of. (At work, I am very interested in books and kids. YA novels bring those things together, but just not for the age group I work with.)
For the last year and a half or so, I have been going nuts reading young adult novels. Sometimes I read one in a day. I used to be embarrassed about it — I don’t know any other women in my “real” life who read YA books. But now I’ve got no shame. My book club knows about it, and they think it’s one of my many amusing quirks. Online there are many women who read them, so I know I’m not actually nuts. (I wrote about this once here.)
I think it started some years ago when I picked up A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray on a display table at Borders, and didn’t realize until I was halfway through that it was a young adult novel. I enjoyed the book, and I suppose that opened my mind to the possibility of reading other YA novels. Not long after, I came across Twilight, and thought it sounded good. I read it on a family vacation, and devoured every page. When I got to the last page, I did something I had not done since childhood: I went back to page 1 and read the whole book again. (I’d like to add that this was 2006, when the paperback had just been released, and the whole Twilight phenomenon had not yet begun.)
About a year and a half ago I started noticing the YA book reviews on one of my favorite children’s book blogs, and began requesting them from my library. Things just sort of spiraled out of control from there.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites, in case you decide to join me:
Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta
Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater
The Mortal Instruments series, Cassandra Clare
The Body Finder, Kimberly Derting
Just Listen, Sarah Dessen
His Dark Materials series, Philip Pullman
An Abundance of Katherines and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green
and my all-time favorite:
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
It actually sounds like a good idea to read the books that your students are reading. I haven’t read any YA novels since I was, well, YA-aged. But I’m dying to read “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.
Yes, well, my students are reading Pigs Make Me Sneeze and the Very Hungry Caterpillar. But the Hunger Games is very good, and you should definitely check it out.
oohh…I thought I was the only one…I too love YA!!! Sara Sheppard and also liked Avalon High….36 years old and it all started with Twilight once upon a time while I was home on medical leave and my then 13 year old niece left it for me to read to stay busy!