Reading Highlights 2017 Part One | Young Adult & Junior Fiction

Dear bloggers and book lovers, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!  I know this time of year can be both relaxing and stressful, so I hope you are practicing good self-care.  One of my favourite things about the holiday season is reflecting on the books I’ve read.  I covered YA + junior fiction and adult fiction + nonfiction in two separate posts, since I simply had too many favourites this year!

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Young Adult Fiction Highlights

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

parttimeindian-jacketpbPUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE: September 12, 2007
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, Own Voices
PAGE COUNT:
230
Add on Goodreads | Read My Review

While illuminating aspects of Spokane Indian culture, Junior’s story will resonate with people from countless walks of life; grief, friendship, and bullying are universal experiences.  This is a story for when you feel like a loser, or when life is weighing you down.  It may even help you find your tribe where you least expect…


The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

81B9us5xfuLPUBLISHER: Penguin Books
RELEASE DATE: 1974
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT
: 267
Add on Goodreads Read My Review

Think it’s easy to tell the ‘good guys’ from the ‘bad guys’?  If you turn a blind eye to a bad system, are you part of the problem?  The Chocolate War is a nail-biting adventure into a world of psychological warfare and anarchy… high school.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

19547856PUBLISHER: Penguin
RELEASE DATE: 
April 7, 2015
GENRE
Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT:
 303
Add on Goodreads | Read My Review

Simon vs. is adorable and entertaining at the same time as emotionally impacting.  The characters are well-written and empathetic, inviting readers into their minds and lives.  This is a gorgeous book for new readers of YA fiction.


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

b1bf85a95c0addc6e918dd8033966616

PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
RELEASE DATE: 
April 11, 2017
GENRE
Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT:
 336
Add on Goodreads

The second book by the author of Simon vs. is equally heartwarming and life-affirming.  This is my new favourite YA book for many reasons, but most importantly it captures the complexity of being a teenage girl and represents diverse races, gender identities, body types, and religions with accuracy and awareness.  This book is a gift to all.


History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

img_0003PUBLISHER: Soho Teen
RELEASE DATE
: January 17, 2017
GENRE
: Young Adult Fiction, LGBTQIA, Own Voices
PAGE COUNT
: 320
Add on Goodreads | My Review

History Is All You Left Me is a challenging, emotionally-charged book.  This story forced me to face many difficult topics, especially how people view themselves and each other through a narrow lens.  This is a difficult yet rewarding read due to its heavy subject matter and emotional impact.


I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

23203744PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE: 
September 22, 2015
GENRE: 
Young Adult, Magical Realism
PAGE COUNT:
 336
Add on Goodreads

From the first sentences where I instantly fell into step with the pared back and candid voice, to the final pages where the surreal imagery delivers its hard-hitting emotional message, I enjoyed every second of this book.


Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

secondsPUBLISHER: Ballantine Books
RELEASE DATE: 
July 15, 2014
GENRE: 
Graphic Novel, Sci-fi
PAGE COUNT:
 323
Add on Goodreads

From the creator of Scott Pilgrim, Seconds is a mind-boggling “Groundhog Day” story.  The art is a real highlight, designed with obvious mastery.  This is a ten-out-of-ten graphic novel for readers of all ages.


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

b6970f1399fe9eef55b36fe02446d712PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
RELEASE DATE: 
June 27, 2017
GENRE: 
Young Adult, Historical Fiction
PAGE COUNT:
 513
Add on Goodreads

This is not a book I expected to enjoy, but I was rewarded for venturing outside of my comfort zone.  I was hooked from the first paragraph by Monty’s devil-may-care attitude, and his veiled desire for his best friend.  The historical context paints the themes of race and homosexuality in an eye-opening new light.  The emotional climax tugged at my heartstrings.

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Junior Fiction Highlights

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

18263530PUBLISHER: Nancy Paulsen Books
RELEASE DATE
: May 1, 2014
GENRE
: Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT:
320
Add on Goodreads | Read My Review

Delivered in flowing verse, A Time to Dance reframes disability and gives insight into Indian culture and religion.  The result is a story for all ages that celebrates the beauty in all things.  Its uplifting message has resonated with me long after reading, and impacted my perspectives on disability and religion.


All the Wrong Questions series by Lemony Snicket

who-could-that-be-at-this-hour-cover-imagePUBLISHER: Little, Brown
RELEASE DATE: 
2012 – 2015
GENRE: 
Junior Fiction, Mystery
Add on Goodreads

With airtight pacing and comedic timing, hilarious running gags, and memorable characters, I was engrossed from start to finish.  Like A Series of Unfortunate Events, this series pits children and grown ups against each other in a battle of good and bad, crime and justice.


Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

9615347PUBLISHER: First Second
RELEASE DATE: 
June 7, 2011
GENRE:
Junior Graphic Novel
PAGE COUNT:
 221
Add on Goodreads

With a palpable creepy-cool vibe and cuteness to boot, Anya’s Ghost is a YA graphic novel that validates the struggles of immigrants trying to fit in with their new American community.  Memorable, adorable, and the right amount of freaky.

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Are any of these books your favourites?  If not, I hope I inspired you to add them to your 2018 reading list.  I would love to hear your highlights from 2017.  Please share in the comments or link me to a post on your blog.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

cup-on-books

 

 

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