Wednesday, June 8, 2011

If You Like...

In light of the most recent article criticizing the “dark” matter found within YA books, I decided to dedicate this week’s “If you like…” series to highlight “issue” books. These books have nothing in common other than the fact that they all deal with subjects that are not the most comfortable or widely accepted.

If you like…

Reading books with “dark” issues.

Then you might like…

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether.

After by Amy Efaw

Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

Shooter by Walter Dean Myers
Cameron: "Deep inside, you know that whoever gets up in your face gets there because he knows you're nothing, and he knows that you know it too."

Carla: "What I'm trying to do is to get by—not even get over, just get by."

Leonard: "I have bought a gaw-juss weapon. It lies beneath my bed like a secret lover, quiet, powerful, waiting to work my magic."

Statement of Fact: 17-year-old white male found dead in the aftermath of a shooting incident at Madison High School in Harrison County.

Conclusion: Death by self-inflicted wound.

Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Fifteen-year-old Regan's life, which has always revolved around keeping her older brother Liam's transsexuality a secret, changes when Liam decides to start the process of "transitioning" by first telling his family and friends that he is a girl who was born in a boy's body.

Harmless by Dana Reinhardt

Best friends Emma, Anna, and Mariah are out doing something they shouldn't. They make up a story so they won't get in trouble at home. It seems like the easy way out. What happens next challenges their friendship, their community, their relationships with their families, and their sense of themselves.

What do you think? What books have "issues" that may be considered "dark," but awesome?


Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

the first one looks cool

Marquita Hockaday said...

Yeah...I obviously like to read darker books b/c I have read both Wintergirls and Shooter (Shooter actually appears in my MFA thesis paper), and After has been sitting in my TBR pile for like months now. I must read it :) I really like these posts--keep 'em coming!

Pam Harris said...

Ooh, great suggestions! I definitely love reading darker fare, so you just gave me a ton of new books to add to my TBR pile. :)

blueeyedadri said...

Thanks Michelle! Like Pam, my TBR pile is getting out of control, thanks for the tips.

Callie Kingston said...

Another gritty dark YA novel: Almost Home by Jessica Blank.

Michelle Julian said...

Thanks for the suggestion Callie, I'll have to check that one out.