And now, some YA I love so much I still have it on my shelves (or in the case of the last one, “bought the day it came out, fairly recently, and is NOT on my shelf as I have loaned it to a co-worker, but WHATEVER IT COUNTS”):
1. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. An Elizabethan-set retelling of Tam Lin with a no-nonsense heroine, scary but compelling fairies, and a guilt-ridden hero she has to save from paying the fairies’ tithe with his own life.
2. The Gawgon and the Boy by Lloyd Alexander. My favorite of his books (although I love the Westmark books too, and I adore the Vesper Holly series), probably because it feels the most personal. It’s about a boy who is recuperating from a serious illness and has to be tutored by his intimidating elderly relative, a woman who turns out to be awesome and teaches him all kinds of cool stuff.
I think what I love best about this book, though, is that the main character writes Mary Sue fanfiction, among them an on-going Sabatini pastiche called “The Sea-Fox” (his imaginary girlfriend, of course, goes by “the Sea-Vixen”):
“You idiot,” she said, “why did you kick down my door? It was unlatched; I was waiting for you. At least,” she added, “you could have knocked.”
The Sea-Fox nodded acceptance of this gentle reproof. He pointed at the town below, where his loyal crew were guzzling ginger ale and stuffing themselves with mangoes. “Kingston is mine. And yours,” he said.
3. The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death by Daniel Pinkwater. About two high-school boys who sneak out of the house at night to go to midnight old-movie showings, and end up fighting a mad scientist. This book was my lifeline through large parts of high school because it captures with such brilliant parody just how crazy families and high school teachers can be. I used to laugh uncontrollably through the entire first chapter. It’s still pretty damn funny.
4. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. Here’s what I wrote in my Goodreads review: “I adored this! Funny, absorbing, touching story about what it means to love someone, what it means to be a family, oh and also teenagers fighting magicians and demons with knives and guns and one-liners. I cried in the happy way at the end. It’s been a while since I read a story that grabbed me so much I wanted to read it over again as soon as I finished it.” I’ve been following the author’s blog since long before she was published, and she is just a generally awesome and funny person. I would probably read her grocery lists, if she wanted to publish them.
And just to cap it off, a favorite blog: What Claudia Wore, devoted to the fashion of the Baby-Sitters’ Club.
What’s your favorite YA book/series?