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young adult suggestions please

32 replies

cilldara · 19/07/2012 11:14

Hi all. DD is 14 and loves to read but we have hit a bit of a wall in finding books she will enjoy. She is not interested in the vampire/ dystopian future/paranormal stuff anymore. The young adult sections in the bookshops are full of these.

She has read a few adult books including Catcher in the Rye and The Help.
She also enjoyed Siobhan Dowd's books A Swift Pure Cry and Bog Child. She has just finished I Capture the Castle which she loved.

We would appreciate any suggestions.

OP posts:
BlueChampagne · 19/07/2012 13:19

How about Brontes (esp Jane Eyre) and Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek)?

Leeds2 · 19/07/2012 18:58

My DD is 14, and on her school's recommended reading list was Room, by Emma Donoghue. I had been given this for my last birthday. Told DD I didn't think it was suitable for her age group, and I was going to complain to the school (for the avoidance of doubt, I had no intention of so doing!). DD had read it within the day, and we had many an interesting discussion!

She might also ike My Sister Lives On The Mantlepiece, which is aimed at her age group.

cilldara · 19/07/2012 20:14

She has read Jane Eyre but Daphne Du Maurier would be right up her street I think.
Room is an interesting one. I have it here but haven't read it myself. Is it very harrowing?
I have seen My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece and thought it looked like a good one so will definitely get that.

OP posts:
MissM · 19/07/2012 22:24

Try anything by David Almond, especially Skellig and My Name is Mina. Or A Monster Calls, which is spellbinding. Anything by Sophie Mackenzie, Sally Nicholls, Sharon Creech, Jenny Valentine. Or how about classics like Charlotte Sometimes, Little Women, What Katy Did etc. etc?

MissM · 19/07/2012 22:25

Or what about the Flambards books?

chicaguapa · 19/07/2012 22:38

Room is not as harrowing as you expect. I approached it with a bit of trepidation but really enjoyed it.

Has she read Marjorie Blackman or are they too young? The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman has a similar audience to the Bog Child.

jongleuse · 19/07/2012 23:48

She has excellent taste, Siobhan Dowd was such a beautiful writer. I see MSLITM has been recommended, would also suggest Trash, Andy Mulligan and Between Shades of Grey, Ruta Sepytys as others on the Carnegie shortlist.

Does she like historical fiction? Celia Rees, Sally Nichols, Michelle Lovric and Jennifer Donnelly are all good if so.
I read all the Nancy Mitfords at her age and loved them, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate especially, she may like these if she liked ICTC.
Hilary Mckay's Casson family series are younger and light going but have a similar feel, maybe good for summer holidays?
Thrillers? Tim Bowler and Anne Cassidy write excellent thriller type books for teens (a lot better than Sophie Mckenzie IMO.)
Fantasy? The Flora trilogy by Yseabeau Wilkes is brilliantly funny and beautifully written with a strong female protagonist. Have heard the Bartimaeus books are also good and of course there is the sublime Terry Pratchett (start with the Witches books.)
All round great writing...Meg Rosoff, Joanne Horniman (an Australian author but can get on A**n), Margaret Mahy
Austen and the Brontes definitely, also Anna Karenina.
Le Grand Meaulnes and The Garden of the Finzi Continis are up there with Catcher as coming-of-age stories IMO. but I would really, really encourage her to browse in the adult library and try out lots of different books for herself.

Can you tell I love questions like this??

Cremolafoam · 20/07/2012 00:11

Dd currently reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shadow of the wind
Presume she's read Phillip Pullman ?
Found this list:

Alameda · 20/07/2012 00:14

maybe she would like between shades of gray (not remotely anything like the other shades of grey), which for some reason I was desperately promoting for a 9 yo last night


MissM · 20/07/2012 08:04

A Monster Calls was conceived as an idea by Siobhan O'Dowd before she died. Patrick Ness has written the most incredible novel from her ideas. Berlie Doherty also writes wonderful books for older children, such as Dear Nobody (about teenage pregnancy, but done so beautifully and sensitively you wish everyone was as understanding of teenagers as she is).

madamehooch · 20/07/2012 08:08

A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
Half Brother - Kenneth Oppal

amck5700 · 20/07/2012 22:23

What about the Jean M Auel books - The clan of the cave bear? - i think i was about that age when I read those. Adrian Mole books?

Cremolafoam · 20/07/2012 22:45

Dd loves Kate Atkinson too.

PomBearWithAnOFRS · 21/07/2012 12:11

Robert Swindells - I think Stone Cold turns up on the school lists sometimes. Abomination is a good one too, and they aren't sci-fi like a lot of his others.

Condensedmilk · 21/07/2012 12:14

The Tomorrow When the War Began series by John Marsden are unputdownable.

SilentMammoth · 23/07/2012 21:42

Omg, the school promoted"room"?

Op, what about se hinton?

BlueChampagne · 27/07/2012 11:04

Remember reading and enjoying "Cider with Rosie" about that age. And how about Gerald Durrell?

DontEatTheVolesKids · 27/07/2012 11:34

The Book Thief
Highest Tide (Jim Lynch)
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
another vote for SE Hinton, and Paul Zindel. Robert Westall if military themes ok.

One thing I like about those is they all have ~14yo protagonists. Sister on the Mantelpiece is simply brilliant, and age appropriate, although protagonists are mostly 10-11.

Dragons of Pern, Doon series. Lots of classic SciFi (Asimov). I got in to Dickens at about that age (I know, WEIRDO alert). And Steinbeck, of course.

KittenMitts3 · 29/07/2012 18:32

My daughter at 14 loved the Erin Hunter books 'Warriors' about different tribes of cats. There are so many in the series that she was into them for weeks!
Also 'Maximum Ride' by James Patterson or 'The Message' by P J McBride, then of course the brilliant Terry Pratchett, especially 'Nation'. My daughter has re-read that many times.

mmmerangue · 30/07/2012 11:23

I found a void at the age of 14-15. Teen books too kiddy and adult books too boring. I too got I Capture the Castle at that age and loved it. Apart from that I read Tolkein, Pullman (his dark materials/ruby in the smoke series). She might enjoy The Lovely Bones? Did enjoy a bit of Robert Westall/ Robin Jarvis/ Adrian Mole; then and now ;).

amck5700 · 30/07/2012 12:45

I think at 14-15 i was really going through a horror phase so was mainly reading Dean Koontz and Stephen King!

Themumsnot · 30/07/2012 18:33

Try John Green - my 14-yr-old has just enjoyed The Fault in our Stars and gone on to read all his others (Paper Towns and a few others that I can't recall the titles of straight off). She also really liked Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. There is a lot of very good American teen/crossover fiction around at the moment, apart from the dystopian/vampiric stuff. Someone upthread mentioned Jennifer Donnelly, may I heartily recommend Revolution. DD read The Perks of Being a Wallflower recently as well and recommends it.

BertieBotts · 30/07/2012 18:37

John Green or anything on the Mark Reads website, if only because the chapter by chapter reviews are such a fun format.
Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials especially but others are good too especially the Victorian London ones if she likes historical stuff.
Malorie Blackman (love her) - writes really hard hitting, real world stuff which makes you think.
Robert Swindells (looking back over these they're a bit meh, but I thought they were great as a teen) - a mix of stuff, there's a post apocalyptic one, but mainly stories about teenagers in extreme situations.
Bali Rai is fab. He writes about Asian youth culture in modern cities and his books are really gritty and pull you right in to the world they're set in.

notcitrus · 30/07/2012 19:25

Cynthia Voigt: Homecoming and others
SE Hinton, Paul Zindel
My Friend Rebecca - Linda Hoy
Dogsbody - Diana Wynne Jones
The later books in the Anne of Green Gables series
The Kingscote school stories by Antonia Forest (and the non school ones with same characters, but those are expensive besides out of print)
Ursula le Guin for wonderful sociologist science fiction

Asimov and Heinlein and John Wyndham might appeal, too.

IamtheSnorkMaiden · 31/07/2012 12:31

I like lots of the above suggestions.

Thinking back, I was loving Stephen King at age 14 and also reading my mum's books - stuff like Danielle Steele, Catherine Cookson and The Thornbirds.

I also tried a few literary things like 1984, The Colour Purple, Of Mice and Men and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich at that age and really liked them.

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