So I need a book recommendation

Yeah, I need something to read. (If you’re just here for the contest, skip all this crap and scroll to the bottom of the post.)

But the problem is, I’m pretty picky. I always cringe when people buy me a book as a gift, because … well, it’s just weird. It’s like getting lingerie from a casual acquaintance. A book is going to be intimate. I’m going to spend long hours of the night engrossed in it. It’s going to speak to something inside of me. I need to have a connection to read a book.

My husband learned this the hard way. He once bought me a book, before we were married. I still haven’t read it.

Someone gave me A Million Little Pieces or whatever it’s called, the James Frey book, for Christmas a few years ago, because they thought I would like an Oprah book. (I have never in my life watched one minute of the Oprah Winfrey show. I have nothing against it, at all. It’s just that my mother never watched, and I’ve been working full time since I was 18.)

Suffice it to say, Oprah’s stamp on a book means nothing to me. (Though I really did like The Deep End of the Ocean. Oh, and that other one, Where the Heart Is. But for both of them, I saw the movie, then read the book.)

Anyway, I need something to read. I do listen to book recommendations, and I do read reviews. So help me out here, guys.

Here’s what I like:

Right now I’m reading a lot of YA. I love YA books about boys — but if the author is a woman, the voice has to be right on. I read the book Beautiful Creatures, and though the writing was great (there’s a reason it’s a bestseller, and you should check it out), I just kept thinking that it was written the way a middle aged woman thought her son would think/speak, not the way he actually would.

(So, hi, I’m clearly addicted to italics in this blog post.)

Yeah, like I said, I love YA books about boys and how they interrelate with each other, with girls, with adults, with authority figures. I loved The Things a Brother Knows (a guy comes home from the military, and is nothing like the charismatic idol his younger brother remembers), and Right Behind You (an eight-year-old boy sets his next door neighbor on fire and spends seven years in a juvenile facility, only to be released into the real world in time to start high school), and Breathing Underwater (told in the first person POV of an abusive boyfriend).

I’m also a fan of paranormal YA, but I’ve gotten really picky here. I can’t think of the last truly amazing paranormal YA I’ve read, which is saying something. Wait, yes I can. Hex Hall. Here’s the funny thing about Hex Hall. I picked it up at the library. For me to check something out of the library, I basically have to be pretty sure I’m not going to like it — because I buy a metric ton of crap on my Kindle. I was kind of over the witch boarding school thing, but so many people kept liking this book that I was like, “OMFG, FINE. I will try it.”

And I loved it. Read it.

Wait, I keep recommending books. I need you guys to recommend some to me.

I love dark books, but it can’t be hopeless from the get-go. You know what worked about Living Dead Girl? (A book about a girl who was kidnapped by a pedophile when she was ten, and kept by him for years. The book opens when she’s 15.) The book starts when she sees a glimmer of hope at escape. The book doesn’t start with the kidnapping, when she’s got years of despair and hopelessness ahead of her. It opens when there’s the bare hope for escape. That’s what makes this deeply moving book so un-put-down-able. I read the entire thing in almost one sitting because I had to know if she was going to succeed in getting away from the most horrifying situation ever.

I’ve discovered I love romantic suspense, like Pamela Clare’s stuff. (I’ve loved every book of hers I’ve read.) I need more of that. Any recs?

I love adult urban fantasy, but seriously, if there’s a half naked girl with a weapon on the cover, I’m going to be hard pressed to pick it up.Β  I need a little femininity. (This is not a bash to the genre. Like I said, I love it. I think I own every Laurell K Hamilton and Kim Harrison book ever written. This is just me explaining what I’m looking for now.)

Paranormalcy Like Paranormalcy. You know what I love about the Paranormalcy cover? It’s perfectly feminine. You can tell she’s going to be a girl. But in the first chapter, she’s bagging a vampire with a taser. I mean, come on. That’s awesome.

I’m a little over dystopian. I have nothing against it in general, but I’ve read about four dystopian books back-to-back over the last few weeks, and I’m kind of done for a while.

Look, I said I was picky.

That’s what I’ve got. Any recommendations?

Hey, let’s make this a contest! If you can convincingly recommend a book to me and I choose to buy it, I’ll buy you one book I’ve mentioned in this blog post, or any other book of your choice, up to $15.Β 

You have until midnight Friday, and I’ll pick two winners. You have to convince me to buy it from your comment — no cheating and giving me a link to the Amazon page. It doesn’t need to be a full review either. Something like, “Two hot brothers are in a fight for the crown. The dialogue is awesome. No girls say the F word.” And I’m likely sold.


Ready, set, recommend!

35 thoughts on “So I need a book recommendation

  1. You know I do book reviews all the time, but, after reading over your likes and dislikes, I don’t think we have much the same taste (other than I, too, am sick to death of dystopias).
    My favorite recent discoveries don’t seem to be anything you’d like, so I’ll just wish you luck in your endeavor. πŸ™‚

  2. I am totally into Virginia Kantra’s Children of the Sea series right now. I’m re-reading Sea Witch for the third time. The writing is amazing and the premise is a unique twist on the old mermaid legends. Given that I am not a person who usually enjoys paranormal, I’m stunned that I can’t put these books down. Drop dead sexy plus gritty realism…not the kind of thing you expect to hear about mermaids.

    Plus, Kantra is an amazing writer, no matter what the genre. One of my heroes. You can learn from her.

  3. I have recently read and loved “The Hunger Games” and “Matched”. Also, I recommend “13 Little Blue Envelopes”, and “Paper Towns”. Well, anything by John Green, really, but Paper Towns was my favorite.

    πŸ™‚ I love YA.

  4. I’m a little nervous to recommend anything but I will take a stab at it.

    Freefall by Mindi Scott is from the male POV and…um…the guys are hot and one character is referred to as “flip flops.” πŸ™‚

  5. Hmm a Book Recommendation huh? I’d be happy to! hehe. A book you should SO read is “Swoon” by Nina Malkin. Talk about centuries old, hot guy back from the dead taking revenge on your town, friends, and family but at the same time, makin it look good and harmless. LOL.
    Another book you should read is The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong, its actually a series, 3 books so far. But it’s basically teens in a “crazy” house but not really a crazy house, who are convinced they have disorders. LOL. Talk about exciting yeah? Its a paranormal romance book if your wondering. πŸ™‚ Hope you like my recommendations!

    β™₯Cathy:)

  6. this is my recommendation: house rules by jodi picoult. just a suggestion. not sure if thats what you like but i enjoyed it.

  7. Ahhhh, recommendations! I am totally the same way when it comes to book-giving – I try to say GIFT CARDS, but my parents and boyfriend dislike the idea!

    BOYS:
    1) My Life, The Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff It is about a boy who is still in the grieving process over his dad’s death and trying to find closure while doing techie stuff for the high school theater. It’s fun, not too deep. Doesn’t release until May though.

    2) Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater Lament is the Book 1 – IMO I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to read it first. Ballad is about the boy who doesn’t get the girl he’s wanted since forever – and I thought Maggie handled ill-fated love from a boy’s perspective quite beautifully. In my mind, Ballad > Lament.

    3) Curse Worker series by Holly Black is narrated by a boy. If you love con games and Veronica Mars, this series may fit your needs πŸ™‚

    DARK BOOK:
    Shine by Lauren Myracle will be AMAZING when it comes out. About a girl who is searching for answers after a hate crime occurs that involves her best guy friend.

    PARANORMAL YA:
    1) Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton – I’ve seen mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it! It satisfied my itch for Buffy – almost as well as Paranormalcy did!

    RANDOMS:
    1) Raine Benares series by Lisa Shearin is fun fantasy. Not quite urban, but more modern catchphrases than you’d expect. Lisa wields her words with great skill – I would say you’d enjoy yourself if you are a fan of Hex Hall πŸ™‚

    2) The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger – another fantasy, but of a steampunk persuasion. Don’t know if you’re a fan, but this is THE series to try if you are going to try it. Delightful, witty, and funny!

    3) The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron – yep, another fantasy. Not modern or steampunk, but really unique magic system. Book 1 is hilarious; the rest is all right but a bit more toned-down. I’d compare it to Howl’s Moving Castle as far as the main character goes.

    Ha, can you tell I like fantasy? Mostly of the fun sort, so I think they’ll appeal to anyone who likes to laugh and appreciates playful writing.

    …And I know I went long.

    Good luck with your search for the next great read! πŸ™‚

  8. I recently finished Sweethearts by Sara Zarr and LOVED. IT.

    Anything book Courtney Summers, but my favorite is Fall for Anything.

    If you haven’t read Forest of Hands and Teeth and its sequels, you must do so.

    Adult rec’s: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and The Last Time I Was Me.

  9. OK – here’s a brief list. I’ve got more, but I figured I’d get obnoxious quickly. I tend to avoid fantasy and anything involving vampires much more than you do, so this may be a list of books you shouldn’t read. I’ll create my own genres –

    TIME-TRAVELING
    Kindred by Octavia Butler. A well-educated well-respected modern black woman finds herself unpredictably traveling through time (think, Time-Traveler’s Wife). In the past she is a slave. I don’t want to spoil anything, but she struggles with her identity as a strong confident woman and the necessities of survival as a slave. One of my all-time favorite books.

    GETTING READY FOR THE LAST HARRY POTTER MOVIE GENRE
    Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is definitely an enjoyable read. Basically Harry Potter meets the regular teenage issues of sex and drinking. Until reading this I had never in my life wanted to be a goose or a wolf!

    A BOOK YOU COULD READ ALOUD TO YOUR GRANDMOTHER
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. On an isolated island in the UK during the war, books bring together an unlikely group of friends and get them through the war. A writer researching a book about the war discovers herself as she researches the group. Could I make that sound cheesier? Everybody I’ve talked to who has read this book has used the word “charming” at some point while describing it. Cheesey, but somehow awesome!

    GAY TEEN SUPERHERO NOVEL
    Hero by Perry Moore. The genre about sums it up. Think Will Grayson, Will Grayson plus superpowers.

    THE BOOK THAT GOT ME HOOKED ON JOHN GREEN
    Looking for Alaska by, you guesses it, John Green. I’m a sucker for novels set in boarding schools and this one is great. Real characters, real problems. Warning – if you read this, you will find yourself obsessed with famous people’s last words. The first chapter is titled “one hundred thirty-six days before”. What could be more compelling than that?

    BOARDING SCHOOL MYSTERY WITH A COMPELLING NARRATOR
    Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris. Again – I’m a sucker for boarding school books. One of the few books where I was truly surprised when I got to the big twist. I didn’t know to expect a big twist, though, so I probably just spoiled it! I love a good first-person narrator, and this was one of my favorites.

    BOOKS I WILL READ AGAIN AND AGAIN
    I’ll include 3 here. The Sparrow and A Thread of Grace, both by Mary Doria Russell. I love MDR. We’ve corresponded over e-mail multiple times and her writing seems to work in any genre. The Sparrow is the best science fiction novel I have ever read. Definitely thought-provoking, and one of the only books that has made me so angry while reading it that I threw it across the room in the middle of reading. A Thread of Grace is historical fiction telling a very different story of World War II. It is complex and confusing and I definitely had to refer to the “cast of characters” at the front many times, but it is also took me on one of the biggest emotional roller coasters of any book I’ve ever read. The only book that has literally left me breathless at the end of a chapter.

    Finally, I don’t necessarily recommend the entire book, but the Introduction to Robert R. McCammon’s Boy’s Life is one of my favorite things I’ve ever read. Twice I given speeches based on it (once the weekend I got fired from MdS!). I enjoy the book, but it’s just fine. The Intro is something I go back and re-read whenever I’m feeling a little lost in life and need to refocus myself.

    At this point, if you’ve read this entire post, I should win because you pretty much just read an entire novel!

  10. I will try to come back tomorrow with some good recommendations. It’s after midnight (just got home from work) and my mind is blank right now.

    Also, I’m not in it for the contest. *g* I just love to push good books.

  11. MISTWOOD by Leah Cypess was. Just. Sooo good. One of the best books I’ve read in the past few years… I suck at describing books though. Really. I work at B&N, and when I try to upsell my “passion item”. Well. I suck at it, even though I love my item (Howl’s moving castle. Book and movie are looove).

    But yeah. So, ok I’ll try. Mistwood. It’s about a girl who’s the shifter. And there’s a (hot) prince who needs her help. And the prince’s sister is a biatch, but it’s because she cares(?). And maybe there’s danger. And who is the shifter.

    Wow. So I suck.

    But trust me. It’s good.

    Oh! I was looking for a sample chapter, and tadaaaa!

    http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061956997

    So go ahead and read a little, see if it sounds interesting?

    btw, I’m not recommending to win a book (though I love them so). It’s just. Such a good book. Everyone should get a chance to know that. πŸ™‚

  12. Sleep is a marvelous thing.

    Book recs.

    This is hard, because what I thought was good might leave you cold, but here goes.

    Have you read Robin McKinley? Try Sunshine, Chalice, Deerskin, and Spindle’s End.

    Anything by Ilona Andrews Magic Bites, Magic Burns, etc. That entire series is great.

    Kat Richardson has a series of books, the Greywalker series. I’ve read four out of six now and they all rock.

    The Native Star by M. K. Hobson. Best new book I’ve read in years.

    Followed closely by Elfland by Freda Warrington.

    I could list more, but that’s a start.

  13. I just read CHIME and loved it. About a girl who injured her stepmother and her sister in a witchy rage and tries to hate herself for it like her stepmother taught her to, but can’t always manage it. She’s clever & strong & funny, and there’s bantering with a boy and bargaining with old swamp creatures.

    I also second the rec for FREEFALL. The voice was spot-on & reminded me of the guys I grew up with.

  14. I’d recommend WITHER by Lauren Destefano. I’m not even halfway through it and I’m hooked – I can’t put it down. It’s urban fantasy and no, there’s not a half naked girl holding a weapon on the cover – it’s darkly feminine.

  15. You might like these…

    LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green (or anything by him. I personally think he does an awesome job in nailing the voice of a young adult male.)

    UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand (a YA paranormal romance with a strong heroine, realistic relationships, and great writing.)

    LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor (gorgeous writing. Three urban fantasy/paranormal romance short stories.)

  16. Recommendation – YA
    The Iron King by Julie Kagawa is an amazing book. There’s a love triangle of course, but the two love interests are very hot and you’re going to love them both. The main girl is strong and you’ll like her. She’s always going on an adventure.This book is hilarious, mysterious, epic, emotional and fantastic and it’ll leave you wanting more.

  17. There are 3 books out currently by Alan Bradley, that I can’t tell if they’re YA or crossover. But I don’t quibble, because they’re really good.

    The series is about Flavia de Luce, an amateur detective of sorts. She would take strong exception to the amateur label, but could an 11-year-old truly go pro?

    The first title is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the second is The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, and the 3rd is A Red Herring without Mustard. I felt like the author lost a little momentum in the 2nd book, but got it back in the 3rd.

    I recommend you at least sample them on your kindle.

  18. Hey, I thought you said over on twitter your contest was easy but you’re even pickier than my middle kid who used to *hate* books:
    1. without dogs and
    2. with too many females, the misogynist.

    Have you done the Bartimaeous trilogy yet? That’s excellent.

  19. @Angelica – I just finished Sweetness and can definitely see how these books might lose focus and momentum, but I ended up really enjoying the first. If I skip the second and go straight to the third, will I miss anything important?

    @Brigid – Don’t ever let this post get deleted. I’ll be using these recommendations for years!

  20. The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. Yes, it’s a series, and it’s unlike anything out there. (I think, but you wait and see and judge for yourself.)

    One: adult characters. It’s YA, yes, and I’m a teen, yet I’m sold on this. It’s REALLY well-done.
    Two: real-live fantasy. Not the kind that relies on mystical creatures (there are no dragons until the fourth book), the kind that has stellar world-building (a la HP) and multiple dimensions involving time AND space! It’s like the best of sci-fi mixed into fantasy!
    Three: the plot threads weave together SO well you’ll want a pencil and paper to go back and see how they intersected right under your nose while you weren’t paying attention!

    Sold? πŸ˜‰

  21. Okay, I have two recommendations for you. These are my go-to recommendations for people in reading ruts. I hope you like them! πŸ™‚

    Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
    So technically this one is classified as a science fiction/fantasy book, but it is amazing to read. The magic system is completely unique (brilliant, if I might add), and it’s easy to get caught up in the story. The protagonist is a girl, but she’s not your average cliche heroine. The book is slightly dark, but definitely hopeful. πŸ™‚

    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    This is a time-travel historical fiction novel for adults (the main character is in her 30s or 40s, I can’t remember which), set in the Scotland. It is a suspenseful romance, that is smart, adventurous, and humorous. There are some sex scenes in it, though, so be warned (not sure what your reading preferences are).

    I wish I had a few books with male protagonists to recommend, but I am just becoming aware of how very few of those I read. In fact, I think I have only read four, and three of them were from The Lord of the Rings trilogy! Lol. If you haven’t read LOTR, though, I highly suggest you do. πŸ™‚

    Good luck!

  22. I need male protagonists from a female writer to be like that, too. One of my WIPs that will probably never get published is like this and I fretted so much over my voice!

    I’m like you–I didn’t expect to like Hex Hall. OMG, I loved it and had to read Demonglass the *moment* it came out. And that cliffhanger? OMG, sign me up for 2012 already!

    Because of this, I think you might really like Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. I received an ARC of this last year and didn’t read it until after the book came out in January. I just…didn’t want to. I’m over the whole paranormal thing and roll my eyes–especially at the new “it” being–angels. I haven’t overly enjoyed a single angel book. Why should Unearthly be any different? But how wrong I was! I am OBSESSED with this book and need to read the second one in the triology, like, yesterday. The characterization is so well-done. There’s a love-triangle, and I’m really rooting for one guy in particular. I’m seriously in love with him and want one in my life. On top of that, there’s SUCH a good family unit. Why does most YA ignore the family factor or have parents/siblings who don’t care these days? By the end of the book, I wanted to know more about the MC’s mother and brother…and the characterization is so good, I even want to know more about the best friend. It’s NOT just about the love story. Plus, Hand creates so much mythology and I love the pace. (http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/2011/01/unearthly-by-cynthia-hand-debut-author.html) was my review on my webpage. It’s hard to think it’s her debut novel!

  23. Unearthly was the one to convince you, but if you like high fantasy, I have some other recommendations I’ve loved this year:

    If you like high fantasy, try out Cindy Pon if you haven’t already. I finished re-reading Silver Phoenix yesterday, and today, I finished her new book, Fury of the Phoenix. It was so heartbreakingly good and I wish the book never came to an end. I haven’t reviewed it yet. I did, however, review Warped by Maurissa Guibord (http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/2011/01/warped-by-maurissa-guibord-debut-author.html), which is another high fantasy (from a debut author!) that I loved this year. It has a gorgeous romance and UNICORNS. Cool stuff!

    And b/c I’ve already written too much and should be brief…I know you’re over Dystopians, but if Delirim by Lauren Oliver (http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/2011/02/delirium-by-lauren-oliver.html) wasn’t one of the books you just read back to back…well, it’s GORGEOUS. Perhaps my favorite book of the year so far! Absolutely stunning. I need the other books already!

  24. I would definitely rec “City of Beasts” by Isabel Allende. It’s about a 15-year old boy (Alex) who’s mother has cancer. So while his parents go to Canada for treatment, he goes to the Amazon with his tough, no-nonsense Grandmother (who is a writer for a magazine called International Geographic). She is doing a story on the legendary Beast. The story is set in the modern world but the mystical elements added are believable.
    It is translated from Spanish, so the voice is different but not at all unpleasant! Allende really has a way with word as well. And if aaaall of that doesn’t tempt you, maybe this will: there’s El Dorado, sloth-like immortals, and a brilliant portrayal of Amazon Indians.
    I really hope you pick this up regardless of the contest, because it really is an amazing adventure and great story!

  25. I have been reading a lot of YA lately but the story that really spoke to me was Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s written in multiple POV focusing mostly on Sam, a teenaged werewolf and Grace, the girl obsessed with the wolf in the forest behind her house. Sam saves Grace from being killed by his werewolf pack when they are both very young and haven’t been able to stay away from each other since. The twist is, he is human during warm months but a wolf during cold months.

    Also, I recetly grabbed a book by Sherman Alexi called Flight, also a YA told in first person by a teenage native american, orphan, delinquent. A series of events leads the boy to a moment in time where he is about to open fire on a bank full of people, only to be sucked back into time and into another person. He continues to jump in time from person to person feeling their feelings and living their experiences until landing back in himself at the bank. It is a beautiful story that made me laugh and cry.

    Since you love urban fantasy I can only assume you’ve read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series and if you haven’t then you’ve been mean to yourself. Along the same vein as “the Sookies” as I like to call them, Nicole Peeler has a series starting with “Tempest Rising” about half-human, half-selkie Jane True. I love this series because, like Harris, Peeler takes some pretty dark themes and adds a bunch of humor and a dash of sexy. Plus, her characters are all quirky and engaging.

  26. I’m going to recommend Leviathan + Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld as I think you’ll like it. It’s in the steampunk genre and is an alternate history of World War I. It folllows two characters; Deryn (Dylan) and Alek. Alek is a prince and Deryn disguises herself as a boy to join the British Air Service. They’re both hiding their true identities. There is a lot of action/adventure. It’s funny too.

    I would also recommend The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver. I thought this series was fantastic. It’s set in ancient times. It’s about a boy called Torak who’s father dies when he is about thirteen. This is the story of how he finds a ‘wolf brother’ and how he must fight the evils that reside in the forest he lives in whilst trying to be accepted by his clan.

  27. *cracks knuckles*

    Oh, I have been WAITING for this contest. Let’s see, what are some lesser-known lovlies?

    Rise of Renegade X, Chelsea Campbell.
    The MC has his life all planned out. He’s going to be a super-villain, like his mom and grandparents. Only on his 17th birthday he finds out that his long-long dad was actually the leading super HERO in the city, and now the hypocritical jerk wants dual custody. Also, the love triangle is a mad scientist and a super villain- and the guy with the custody battle.

    Dark Life, Kat Falls.
    It’s a YA western, only the frontier we’re talking about is under the ocean. Outlaws are cutting supply lines and harassing the local govt, and just when the govt has given settlers an ultimatum- find us those outlaws or you starve- a mainland girl appears in town looking for her missing brother.

    Plain Kate, Erin Bow
    This is a haunting, stunningly beautiful fantasy about family, loss, and revenge. It’s also a YA debut written by a canadian poet, based off of Russian folklore. And it’s beautiful.
    Kate is a carver whose skill with a knife has earned her the title of “witchblade.” This is a dangerous name in a place where witches are burned in public squares. And now a mysterious fever is killing people, and one of the first to die is her only living family.
    P.S. She sells her shadow.

    Farsala Trilogy, Hilari Bell
    Fantasy based loosely off the roman invasion of persia. There’s a traitor as a hero. Tattoos are important. A magic system that is both comprehensible and very HARD, and AUGH i love this so much I talk about it poorly.

    Flash Burnout, L.K. Madigan
    I don’t usually like YA Contemp, but this one grabbed me by the throat. The narrator is such a BOY. A funny, class-clown, trying-his-best, caught-in-a-no-win-situation boy. Every character in this is fully realized and I loved them all, including parents and older siblings.
    Okay, I’m tired, I nearly cried just remembering this book.

  28. Ooh, I love recommending books for people! Okay, here goes my picks for you:

    BOY YA: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Incredible voice,razor sharp dialogue, witty yet sweet at the same time. It’s about a boy who winds up in a mental ward after having a nervous breakdown.

    BOY YA: If you haven’t read Simone Elkeles yet (Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, etc…)–do. She shift between two POVs, male and female, and does a pretty decent job at it, too. Kind of: Gang-banger boy meets Preppie girl ala West Side Story or even Grease. Good kissing scenes!

    BOY YA: K.L. Going won the Printz award for Fat Kid Rules the World, and I would say it’s a gold standard of boy POV. But my personal favorite of hers is Saint Iggy~Boy with druggie dad and mom finds himself. Really good.

    I know you said that you don’t like dystopian, but give Delirious by Lauren Olivier a try. About a girl who lives in a world where love is outlawed. Beautiful, incredible voice,and she’s just an amazing writer. Good romance, too.

    ROMANTIC SUSPENSE: Okay, I’m going retro/old school on you. Try Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier–so suspensful, so romantic–about a girl who marries an older man and goes to live in his manor, only the ghost of his dead wife lingers…or does she? AND…Jane Eyre. Romance? Suspense? You can’t beat ’em.

    Good luck with your choices!

  29. Hmm…most of the Boy YA I’ve read recently has been dystopian, but if you can stand one more, Unwind by Neal Shusterman was a good read. Oh, and there’s Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes, if you haven’t read that already. I don’t read too much outside of the SF/F/H genres, but this one is really good (as long as you haven’t read too much of her other work, because she does recycle a few themes here). Don’t let the NYT Best-Seller status turn you off; this one actually probably deserves it.

    Good luck in your hunt!

    (Oh, and I’m here via Jaime Lee Moyer’s Twitter feed.)

  30. Plain Kate by Erin Bow! It’s a beautifully written YA fantasy about a girl who can wood-carve and doesn’t take bull-shit from awesome hot magician guys. Also, Russian folklore.

  31. @A Paperback Writer My friends and I just got done reading the ebook Foolish Games by Leah Spiegel. We are seniors and juniors and loved the book. It is about a girl, Joey, who gets persuaded by her friends to go on a road trip and follow a band around. Joey and the lead singer have this love hate relationship and there is this stocker guy who goes after the girls. My friends and I read the book by the pool in three days! My friend, Marley, doesn’t like to read books. . .just magazines and she couldn’t put it down. So it is a great book for magazine lovers too.

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