Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lariat Adult Fiction-YA Recommendations

This year I began a two-year appointment on the Lariat Adult Fiction Committee of the Texas Library Association. It's a great, albeit challenging assignment. While the free books (much needed for my library) are an incentive, it's also intellectually rewarding to read and process so many diverse literary works. While not all my votes for selections, positive or negative were on the winning side, I nevertheless believe that the book list we generated is very good.

Since I serve a Young Adult population, I thought it would be helpful to create a list of Lariat books from this year's list that would also be suitable and interesting for teen readers. The full Lariat Fiction list for the Winter 2013 will soon be published on the TLA Website.

My list of recommendation for teens appears below:

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
This coming-of-age Fantasy saga has enough action to engage fans of the Hunger Games. Sure to appeal to fans of Tamora Pierce and other YA fantasy writers.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Based on a true story of a condemned woman, Agnes, sentence to death and sent to live her last days on an isolated farm. Young readers will be moved by the plight of Agnes who must pay the ultimate price for a youthful mistake.

Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
This madcap detective caper written by J K Rowling under a male pen name has the same playful prose that made Harry Potter a smashing success. Set in present-day London with host of colorful and dysfunctional celebrity characters, savvy teens are sure to recognize parallels to our own media-saturated reality.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Also a TAYSHAS selection for teen readers, this story of a first-year college student is guaranteed to appeal to teens who read and write fan fiction.  It’s also a story full of warmth and humor with enough wisdom to recommend it to any college-bound high school girl.

Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh
An epic historical romance set in early colonial South Africa. Ambitious female readers will find the adventures of main character Frances compelling. The gritty and morally complicated landscape of the S. African Diamond mines provides a vivid backdrop for the story.

House Girl by Tara Conklin
A dual-period story set in the present day and Antebellum Virginia. It’s a story of slavery and prospects for intergenerational justice. Idealistic teens that are interested in legal careers will find this story especially compelling and those interested in African-American history via stories such as The Help and The Butler will surely enjoy this one.

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neal Gaiman
Neal Gaiaman’s work is popular with teens and this fantastic fable will not disappoint his fans.

Murder as Fine Art by David Morrell
Reminiscent of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, this book has many shocking and sensational plot elements that will appeal to teens. Thomas De Qunicey, author of Confessions of an Opium Eater appears as a compelling drug-addicted anti-hero and the plot is sufficiently fast-paced and suspenseful to keep even reluctant teen readers turning the pages.

Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
An unreliable narrator working as a typist for the interrogation unit of the New York Police Department of the prohibition era provides a fascinating look at a time period of interest to many teens. The story is one of many plot twists and mystery to keep readers hooked.

Taken by Michael Totten
A slender volume with plenty of plot-twists and suspense, this story will appeal to even reluctant teen-readers. The scenario of the author imagining his own kidnapping and escape also explores historical topics that will interest teens, including the abduction of Patty Hearst and the September 11th attacks.

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes

Teen fans of Nicholas Sparks and Lurlene McDaniel and other stories of love laced with tragedy and loss ill enjoy this story of romance between Will, once a passionately athletic young man, but now severely paralyzed and his nurse Louisa.

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