Let’s be honest, during the holidays, I’m too easily distracted by turkeys, big balloons, holiday lights, and snowmen to be much of an effective writer. One thing I am good at is making myself a cup of hot cocoa and curling up with a good book to read. Thus, today I’m bringing you my suggestions for three great YA Books to read over the holidays…
#1: Wool, by Hugh Howey. Actually, Wool is a story that’s been broken down into a series of smaller books, each published separately. If you want to read them as one, buy the Omnibus Edition.
Wool was another one of those free Kindle books I’d downloaded and forgotten about. Then, one day, I started reading it and couldn’t put it down. I’m currently reading the fourth book in the series. Each book is short, so reading the Omnibus edition is like reading one normal length book.
What makes Wool so special is the writing. It’s a dystopian, sci-fi, which reads like a literary novel. Howey’s characters, no matter how short of time they inhabit his story, are distinct and fully developed. They feel like real people.
In addition, the plot keeps you on edge wondering how all these people came to be living where they are. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give away the plot. (Plus I’m only on book 4) Just read it!
#2: Open Minds, by Susan Kaye Quinn. In her Mindjack Trilogy, Susan Kaye Quinn has imagined a world where most people have evolved (or mutated…I not sure which) into communicating by reading each other’s minds. She takes it a step further, though, and makes life infinitely more complicated by having some people evolve into mindjackers, or people who can control other people’s minds.
What I really liked about Open Minds is that the teenage heroine, while gifted, behaves like a real teenager. She makes decisions that don’t always please my adult mindset, and I could easily imagine her as the neighborhood babysitter. (Maybe that’s because the setting for Open Minds is Gurnee, IL—the town I live in!)
Open Minds is a fun, YA read, which will definitely leave you wanting to read the rest of the books in the series.
#3 Divergent, by Veronica Roth. (I saved my favorite for last!) I was on a road trip with my husband and had already listened to eighteen chapters of Divergent when I decided to start the book over so he could listen along with me. It was a great decision. My husband loves Divergent as much as I do and is now listening to Insurgent, book two, on his iPhone.
The tension in Divergent is absolutely heart pounding. Honestly, Veronica Roth should give a master class on writing tension. I am in awe of the main character, Tris, and sick with jealousy over how Veronica Roth could create such a complicated, intriguing character. Tris’ love interest, Four, is pretty spectacular too. And before I forget, the world they live in—a not so pleasant Chicago, IL of the future, where everyone is divided into factions based on the virtues of honesty, selflessness, peacefulness, intelligence, and bravery—is not only interesting, but leaves you thinking about just what faction you’d fall into. By the way, if you’ve read the book, my husband says I’m definitely Candor. He’s right!
If you’re going to read Divergent, I highly recommend the audio version read by Emma Galvin. She’s so talented a reader, I almost wonder if I’d be as gaga over the book without her.
So there you are — three great YA books for your holiday reading pleasure. Enjoy!