Teenagers like black covers.
Today is an exciting day, my friends. The Book-Scout Autumn Reading List comes to a close with one last and final hurrah. Or shrug. Or roll of the eyes. They are books for teenagers, after all. Part three is all about the books you might attempt to sneak out of your teen's bedroom and read in secret under the covers at night, or slip covertly into your shopping basket at the bookstore buried under a pile of Tolstoy. Because you're classy like that. Whether you love Y.A. or loathe it, one thing is very, very certain: this genre, more than any other at this moment in time, is where plot and dialogue LIVE. Remember this article? Seriously. Plot and dialogue throw wild dance parties up in this piece. And on some future autumn evening, after exhausting your supply of Austen or Eliot or old Mr. Dickens and you're looking for something totally imaginative, these books will be your best friend. Your BFFs, if you will.
It was by far the hardest list for me to compile, simply because most Y.A. books don't to speak to a particular season. As a rule, the story-lines are far more experimental than linear. There are a few exceptions. John Greene's mesmerizing, Looking for Alaska, is very much a first-semester narrative, and Paula Morris' haunting, New Orleans ghost-story, Ruined, is equally dependent on the swirl of autumn leaves. So I had to ask myself a question about all those books that were near and dear to me. When would I most like to read them? If the answer was, "in a hammock on a summer afternoon," it was a no-go. Many ended up on the chopping block simply because I felt they were better suited to the dead of winter or the tumult of spring. My beloved Graceling almost didn't make the cut, because it works well in pretty much every season. The end result is a list that (I hope) will keep you perfect company this coming October. The chill in the air. The dark and stormy night. Samhain. Homecoming. You know. Stuff like that.
The Book-Scout Autumn Reading List:
The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak
The Year of Secret Assignments, by Jaclyn Moriarty
Once a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Ruined, by Paula Morris
November Blues, by Sharon Draper
The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller
City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexi
Graceling, Kristin Cashore
Incarceron, Catherine Fisher
A Certain Slant of Light, by Laura Whitcomb
A Seperate Peace, by John Knowles
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
I've had such a great time putting these lists together for you and hearing about your own favorites and suggestions. Thank you all for making this little experiment so much fun. I've already got plans up my sleeve for winter, because I have no self control. Once again, feel free to make suggestions in the comments section, using the criteria above. I hope to have everything updated in the next few days. I will leave you with one final question as we draw things to a close: what book are you most looking forward to reading this fall? Would you believe, mine is a book written for grown-ups? I know. SHOCKING.
Happy Autumn, and Happy Reading!