Help?

Feb. 5th, 2009 02:04 pm
squirrelhaven: extreme close-up of a red flower (Default)
[personal profile] squirrelhaven
My niece is turning 14 this weekend. I have only just now remembered this. With amazon prime, I can order something this afternoon and it will arrive on (or near enough) her birthday that I won't feel like the deadbeat aunt. She loves to read, so surely a couple books would fit the bill. Yet I am drawing a total blank on what the classic young adult novels are.

For reference, I know she loved the Twilight books, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I gave her brother a pile of Neil Gaiman books last year, so I can't do that again. I know that there are YA books I've read that would be perfect for her, and yet I cannot think of any; I've got a total deer-in-the-headlights problem with this oncoming birthday. Suggestions?


ETA: Thanks, everybody! I'm all set now -- purchase made, headlights averted. Phew.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lightgetsin.livejournal.com
I'm currently reading Sorcery and Cecilia, which while not specifically YA is totally accessible and fun.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kassrachel.livejournal.com
How about the Golden Compass books? They are sophisticated, but given their adolescent-girl protagonist, they might make good reading for a kid her age.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kcobweb.livejournal.com
You might try this site - enter titles you know she liked, and see what it comes up with?

http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/search

You'd think, with all the YA I've been reading lately, I could come up with something. But I've been reading more on the younger end of the YA scale..... (as well as the fantasy-ish end). But I just saw a YA reading list in some class stuff. Be right back.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kcobweb.livejournal.com
Okay - this is from a library science YA course (I am thinking about taking this class eventually).

Classics:
The Outsiders (SE Hinton)
Weetzie-Bat (F L Block) (???? I don't think I've ever heard of this one, though the author's name is vaguely familiar)
Forever (J Blume)
MC Higgins the Great (V Hamilton)
Go Ask Alice (Anon) v. depressing; not a good birthday gift

It also has categories of Horror (Twilight), Fantasy (The Giver), Science Fiction (Wrinkle in Time), GLBTZ (Annie on My Mind), Historical Fiction (The Braid), Realistic/Issues (Speak by L H Anderson), Graphic Novels (Rapunzel's Revenge, which I just read and is Awesome!), Multicultural (Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), and Biography/Non-fiction (Diary of Anne Frank). I can give you more ideas in any of those categories, if you wish.

YA novels.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mika-uriah.livejournal.com
I love how you won't recommend GO ASK ALICE as a birthday gift because its too depressing, but you'll recommend DIARY OR ANNE FRANK. HELLO?! can't get more depressing then that.

Re: YA novels.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kcobweb.livejournal.com
o.O Personally, I found Go Ask Alice very traumatizing when I read it as a teen, even so more than Diary of Anne Frank. Everything that happens to Alice, she does to herself; Anne is acted upon by outside forces. So as a matter of fact, you *can* get more depressing than that. Just my opinion.

Re: YA novels.

Date: 2009-02-05 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mika-uriah.livejournal.com
I just found it funny that you opted out recommending one book for another equally depressing book. that's all

Re: YA novels.

Date: 2009-02-05 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kouredios.livejournal.com
Except that she didn't. She was listing categories of YA and examples thereof.

Date: 2009-02-05 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirrelhaven.livejournal.com
Ooh, that is a very nifty site. I'll definitely be playing with that.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bayleaf.livejournal.com
If she enjoys reading fantasy novels, she might enjoy Mercedes Lackey. (Terrible, terrible writing but I ate that shit up with a spoon when I was 14 & 15. Particularly the Arrows series.)

Date: 2009-02-05 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bayleaf.livejournal.com
Oh, and I recently read several of the Marked (http://www.amazon.com/Marked-House-Night-Book-1/dp/0312360266/ref=pd_bbs_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233861862&sr=8-7) series and enjoyed it.

Date: 2009-02-05 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirrelhaven.livejournal.com
Have just read the amazon blurb. With the vampyres, and the Goddess Nyx. This novel brought to you by the letter Y! And yet it still looks trashily delicious. Or rather, trashyly dylycious.

Date: 2009-02-05 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirrelhaven.livejournal.com
Terrible, terrible writing

Uh, that's kind of a dealbreaker for me. Not that I object to guilty pleasures, of which badly written books can certainly rate. But somehow I don't feel that I, the writer, can give my niece a book when the only thing I know about it is that someone whose opinion I respect uses these words to describe it.

That said, I appreciate the honesty. ;-)

Your Niece's birthday =)

Date: 2009-02-05 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mika-uriah.livejournal.com
Hello Squirrel,
I just read your Question (and don't worry, I'm sure you aren't a deadbeat aunt this one time won't kill you :D) but HUZZAH for Amazon!

some books your niece might like:

1) any of the TTFN books (TTFN, l8r g8r, TTYL..and there is another book that I can't remember right now - its about four girls who go through there year of high school and what have you..but the story is COMPLETELY told through internet speak and through MSN like conversations.)it is Very Original and quite a good book on friendship; much like S.H.O.T.T.P

2) also CATHY'S BOOK IF FOUND CALL: 650-266-8233 - Its about a teenager, a little older than your niece, who finds out that her 'perfect boyfriend' ends up being immortal.
There is also a secret to this called CATHY'S KEY IF FOUND CALL: 650-266-8233; but I'm not sure if Cathy's Key is out yet.

3)13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES by Maureen Johnson - ok I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I am 23, and I STILL love this book. It came out a few years ago. its about this girl named Ginny who gets an email from her recently dead aunt named Peg to follow these four really strict rules and to get on a plane to london with nothing more than what can fit in a backpack (I believe that is one of the rules, actually) And when she gets to London she finds out that her Aunt Peg made basically a scavenger hunt for her ALL OVER EUROPE - its a book about finding yourself, finding love, all mixed with great adventure.

Those are three great choices, I hope I helped you with them.
I'm sure if I think of anymore I will let you know.
Mika.

Re: Your Niece's birthday =)

Date: 2009-02-05 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirrelhaven.livejournal.com
Thanks for the suggestions. If you don't mind my asking, how did you happen upon my journal?

Re: Your Niece's birthday =)

Date: 2009-02-06 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mika-uriah.livejournal.com
I am not quite sure how I found your journal to be honest.
I'm quite new at this livejournal bit, and clicked on random things and found it.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woobat.livejournal.com
If she's at all open to fantasy, I have to pimp my all time favorite book, "The Hero and the Crown" by Robin McKinley. Also decent YA fantasy is Anne McCaffery's Harper Hall series (Dragon Song, Dragon Singer, Dragon Drums).

Date: 2009-02-05 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bayleaf.livejournal.com
Oh oh, yes! I second the rec for McKinley.

Date: 2009-02-05 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirrelhaven.livejournal.com
I gave her the first Temeraire book last year, though. So I've kind of played the dragon card already. I'll look into McKinley, though -- thank you.

your niece's birthday

Date: 2009-02-05 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mika-uriah.livejournal.com
Sorry Squirrel, one more thing although I know this is a little late and you might not get this by her birthday, but if you buy ANY books that Maureen Johnson wrote (i.e 13 little blue envelopes, girl at sea
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Sorry Squirrel, one more thing although I know this is a little late and you might not get this by her birthday, but if you buy ANY books that Maureen Johnson wrote (i.e 13 little blue envelopes, girl at sea <which isn't out yet>) etc..you can send her an email @ maureen@maureenjohnsonbooks.com Maureen will sign the book - either with a personal message OR just her signature. As well, as Maureen also has a facebook account where she is CONSTANTLY talking to people as well as a myspace if your niece has anyone of those. Just an idea for Christman (maybe) *shrug* sorry thought I'd share that.
Mika.

Shamless plug for:

Date: 2009-02-05 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spyscribe.livejournal.com
Middleman: The Collected Series Indispensability.

http://www.amazon.com/Middleman-Collected-Indispensability-Javier-Grillo-marxuach/dp/0980238544/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233863774&sr=1-1

Volume 1 was named a top YA graphic novel of the year by the ALA. Just sayin' :)

Re: Shamless plug for:

Date: 2009-02-05 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spyscribe.livejournal.com
Hmm...except apparently Amazon is out of stock. Even I will allow that $150 is a bit steep.

Re: Shamless plug for:

Date: 2009-02-05 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirrelhaven.livejournal.com
Damn! Because otherwise, that would actually have been a great idea.

Maybe for Hanukkah...

Re: Shamless plug for:

Date: 2009-02-05 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spyscribe.livejournal.com
Cool! It might be available at the Viper Comics website, when you're not in a time crunch. :)

Date: 2009-02-05 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cybersattva.livejournal.com
I think I would have loved Spiral Hunt as much at 14 as I'm enjoying it now. Just sayin. :)

Date: 2009-02-05 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kouredios.livejournal.com
Hrm. I'm trying to think of what I read when I was 14, and how that tracks with liking Twilight. Maybe some twisted Grimms? Tanith Lee (http://www.amazon.com/Red-Blood-Tales-Sisters-Grimmer/dp/0879977906) has a good one. There's some Stephen King that I was reading at that age and that might be sister-approved. Eyes of the Dragon, maybe?

Date: 2009-02-05 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bayleaf.livejournal.com
Oh, I loved the Garth Nix's Abhorsen series (http://www.amazon.com/Abhorsen-Trilogy-Box-Set/dp/0060734191/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233864585&sr=1-2). And Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series. And the Black Caldron series. Holly Black has some great YA urban fantasy stuff (although there's a theme of disaffected teens with shitty parents, so YMMV on how much that bothers you...)

I absolutely *adored* Tamora Pierce's Alanna series (which is where I got the pseudonym I use today!). Of this set of recommendations, can I just say that the Abhorsen trilogy and Tamora Pierce's series both feature female protagonists who are strong, independent, and in unusual leadership roles. Highly recommended.

Date: 2009-02-05 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ltlbird.livejournal.com
Tamora Pierce is a super author for a teen girl who likes fantasy. I liked the Protector of the Small series a ton. And [livejournal.com profile] bayleaf is right that Pierce does a marvelous job of creating heroines that are strong, likable, and complex.

Date: 2009-02-05 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirrelhaven.livejournal.com
I'm pretty sure we gave her the Susan Cooper books at some point in the past. The others are definitely things I'll check out, though, since there will always be more presents to buy, and I don't imagine she'll stop loving books anytime soon. Thank you!

Date: 2009-02-05 09:12 pm (UTC)
ext_3579: I'm still not watching supernatural. (Default)
From: [identity profile] the-star-fish.livejournal.com
Man, I wish I could remember that far back. *g* But I'm not a typical reader - I did a lot of my "classic" YA reading in college. Back in my 'teens I think I was going through Agatha Christies as fast as I could get them home from the library. Of course, I also re-read my Anne of Green Gables books eleventy-million times.

Oh! The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)! I wonder if that's still in print ... Yes! (http://www.amazon.com/Mysterious-Disappearance-Leon-Mean-Noel/dp/0525355405/ref=sr_oe_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233868159&sr=1-1) Wow, I may have to order this. I adored this book. It played with words! And the illustrations were all made of words! And it was a mystery!

Dude. I am having a flashback now ... I know exactly where that book was kept in the Dalton Library. Maybe I'll stop in and see if they still have it.

Date: 2009-02-05 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chimosa.livejournal.com
if she likes vamp books LJ Smith is a great YA writer that i loooooooved at her age
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