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Finally got my sis reading - recommendations for 16th birthday please!

(34 Posts)
CakeBeTheFoodOfLove Fri 31-Aug-18 19:14:34

My sister is turning 16 next month and after years of trying to get her into reading it seems she has finally succumbed! She has just read and loved the little beach street bakery after I recommended Jenny Colgan ( I enjoyed some of her books when I was younger but seem to have outgrown them now I'm in my 30s......) I've told her to get the others in the series but I really want to get her something she will love for her birthday. Something a little bit special. Any ideas?

OP’s posts: |
Sadik Fri 31-Aug-18 19:53:30

DD is 16, she really liked The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (out as a film this autumn in the states)

A bit lighter - dd hasn't read it yet but (also before watching the film) has just got Crazy Rich Asians. I've borrowed & read it & it's very entertaining.

Gruach Fri 31-Aug-18 20:04:31

Thérèse Raquin (Emile Zola)

Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys)

Rotten Row (Petina Gappah)

ShalomJackie Fri 31-Aug-18 20:12:06

Anything by Marian Keyes.

Piggywaspushed Sat 01-Sep-18 07:51:09

The Great Gatsby? 16 year olds always seem to like it. Although it's a classic, it's slim. Or possibly Wuthering Heights/ Jane Eyre/ Tess ? Challenging but plot driven. Those might seem a bit more 'special' as gifts.

DancelikeEmmaGoldman Sat 01-Sep-18 13:48:52

Jane Gardam's Bilgewater is an absolute gem of a coming of age book. For someone who might be a bit of a reluctant reader, it's short and not overtly literary, but has lots of depth.

Does she enjoy romance?

Jennifer Crusie is very funny - light, but not throwaway. There's sex, but good, fun sex, which is something 16 year olds should know exists.

Heather Morgan and Jessica Cocks books, Messy, Spolied and The Royal We, are smart, funny YA books with strong, but flawed female characters.

Messy starts with a teenager losing her mother and discovering her father is very famous. The insider stuff about Hollywood is laugh out loud funny.

The Royal We is a totally unbelievable novel about a young American woman who meets, and falls in love with an English prince. I know, could never happen. (Published several years ago). A really fun read.

ABCFamily Sat 01-Sep-18 21:44:02

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Debutantes by Anne Melville
Join Me by Danny Wallace (non-fiction)
Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill
Stone Cold by Robert Swindells
The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
One Day by David Nicholls

Winterfellismyhome Sat 01-Sep-18 21:48:09

The spinster club series by Holly Bourne

The exact opposite of okay (i cant remember the author!)

CakeBeTheFoodOfLove Sat 01-Sep-18 22:38:32

There are some brilliant suggestions here. I've tried her with Jane Eyre/Wuthering Heights but her attention span isn't that great still so she needs a book that will grab and retain her interest from the start. I think she struggles with the style of the classics but I'm hoping she will try and read them one day. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favourites.

OP’s posts: |
ragged Sun 02-Sep-18 09:10:44

DD is 16. I'm finding some of these suggestions mildly ridiculous
Try GoodReads, too.
Here are some YA books that grab the reader instantly:

One
Panic
They Sky is Everywhere

Plus The Hunger Games, Holes & sequel to Holes, Curse Worker series.

My old favourites are The Highest Tide, Pigtopia, My Darling my Hamburger, The Pigman, The Book Thief, but all those could be a bit heavy to someone not used to reading novels.

SergeantPfeffer Sun 02-Sep-18 09:35:15

When I was 16, pretty much every teenage girl I knew was reading Wild Swans! Maybe that shows my age. Authors I loved at that age were:

Michael Kreighton (who wrote Jurassic park)
Stephen King
Patricia Cornwell
The Adrian mole books

Books I have since read and would have enjoyed as a teen:
Valley of the Dolls by Jaqueline Suzanne (bit racey but my 16 year old self would have loved that!)
The joy luck club by Amy tan
I know why the caged bird sings by maya angelou
Into thin air by Jon krakauer
I capture the castle by dodi smith
Rachel’s holiday by Marian Keyes, or any of her books tbh
The call the midwife series of books
My mad fat diary by Rae earl

Some of these books have quite adult themes, some are sad but I lapped that up in my late teens. I had grown out of young adult books by 16 and wanted a flavour of the real world (that I didn’t experience sat in my suburban bedroom grin).

SergeantPfeffer Sun 02-Sep-18 09:36:37

I would have loved the book thief at 16, and also the boy in the striped pyjamas.

Sadik Sun 02-Sep-18 10:53:41

The thing is, I think YA books have really changed. The Hate U Give, just for example, is about a young black girl who becomes an activist after she's the passenger in a car with a friend who's killed in a police shooting. An awful lot of books marketed as YA these days would have been in the general fiction section a few years back, but tending to appeal to younger readers.

MillicentMargaretAmanda Sun 02-Sep-18 11:57:55

Try Emily Here's YA books: The One Memory of Flora Banks and the The Truth and Lies of Ella Black. Not high art, but gripping books that will hopefully keep on stimulating that love of reading :-)

MillicentMargaretAmanda Sun 02-Sep-18 11:58:23

Who is Emily Here??? Emily Barr!!!!

CakeBeTheFoodOfLove Sun 02-Sep-18 12:14:39

The main reason I'm struggling is because the things I was reading when I was 16 would really not be suitable for her - I had finished the YA section in the library by the time I was 12 so was well on my way through the adult section by the time I was 16! She has literally just started to realise that reading is actually quite enjoyable and I want to develop that feeling so need something she won't want to put down but isn't too complex.

OP’s posts: |
MillicentMargaretAmanda Sun 02-Sep-18 12:32:17

Definitely try Emily Barr. As a previous poster has said, YA fiction is way better than it used to be. Another one to try is How We Live Now by Meg Roscoff?

Gruach Sun 02-Sep-18 14:45:41

Oh, yes - Meg Rosoff, definitely! Reading them as an adult I adored How I Live Now and thought What I Was one of the books of my life. Though I have to say the family teen felt they’d read an awful lot of similar-ish YA stuff over about five years.

Like you, OP, I’d read all the ‘suitable’ stuff by the time I was 12/13. (Though there wasn’t any official YA stuff back then, before the invention of the printing press ...) And had probably devoured every extant Mills & Boon by the time I was 15. blush I spent the rest of my mid-teens immersed in Conrad, Dostoyevsky and Turgenev. (Much good it did me ... hmm ) + Every Chalet School volume that Armada published.

Biographies are quite popular with that age group ...

Piggywaspushed Sun 02-Sep-18 18:28:07

Has she read Fault In Our Stars/ Paper Towns?

SergeantPfeffer Sun 02-Sep-18 19:25:44

We were the same, cake, at 16 my best friend had been through all her mums jilly Cooper novels blush. I was plundering my mums shelves for the classics. I did, and still do enjoy a page turner though.

The Marian Keyes books have had the broadest appeal amongst my friends. Trashy but very well written and completely unputdownable.

ABCFamily Sun 02-Sep-18 19:34:00

I asked a friend of mine, who works in a bookshop, and she suggested the following:

One of Us Is Lying (Karen M. McManus)
Trapped (Michael Northrup)
The Potion Diaries (Amy Alward)
Gone (Michael Grant)
The Skulduggery Pleasant series (Derek Landy)
Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)

vintagechick43 Sun 02-Sep-18 19:40:06

I second fault in our stars , my DD 14 has read it and really loved it.
Also maybe girl on a train??
Lisa Jewel books are really good especially her latest ones.

vintagechick43 Sun 02-Sep-18 19:42:04

Oh and Lucy Diamond is very similar to Jenny colgan, have a look at her books.

RhythmNBooze Sun 02-Sep-18 19:45:32

Fault in our stars
Catcher in the rye
To kill a mockingbird
Twilight series

purplegreen99 Tue 04-Sep-18 20:38:01

When We Were Liars - E Lockhart
Brooklyn - Colm Toibin
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Dark Matter - Michele Paver
His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman

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