YA Books

I keep stumbling on wonderful books and authors I never heard of, and it makes me feel like I must live in a cave not to have known about them before. The latest was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I couldn’t put it down.

Like the equally haunting The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, The Hunger Games is sold as a book for young adults. A lot of not-so-young adults may never hear about either  book, and that’s a shame. Think Kafka. Think Margaret Atwood. Think Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, or Denis Johnson’s Fiskadoro.

The Book Thief is set during World War II and is narrated by Death. The Hunger Games is set in some unnamed post-apocalyptic future and is narrated by a sixteen-year-old girl. Both books illuminate the courage it takes to live with honor, no matter what state of chaos the world is in at the time. Neither book whitewashes reality: death can take the bravest and the best of us, and the majority of the world is at the mercy of idiotic bureaucracies too bloated with self-importance to accomplish anything good. But in both books, the power of decency and love survives even when good people don’t.

If that sounds corny, it’s the fault of my description and not of the books themselves. I highly recommend both books, and from now on I’m going to pay closer attention to the YA section of my bookstore.

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2 thoughts on “YA Books

  1. Talk about stumbling on books and authors I’ve never heard of! I did a search on women detectives, and voila! there you were. HOWEVER (and the reason I’m writing to you), I still almost did not bite, for one reason. The cutesy titles reminded me too much of all the pop books with folksy tales with warmth but not much substance. Was I surprised! I tried one on curiosity, and what a reward. I have now read two, and am looking for more. Far more than an animal lover’s gentle read, your characters have depth, and the plots are well devised and full of suspense, action, drama and humor. (I did think the cell phone in “Daschund” was overdone. It made me crazy by the time it was resolved.)

    The animals, rather than being a cute gimmick, are depicted as the noble creatures they truly are. Even amidst murder and tragedy, I leave feeling uplifted by the experience.

    I am delighted you are on the scene, and look forward to reading every book you write. Thank you for your blessings.

  2. Thanks, Cheryl. I must admit I wasn’t happy with the title either, for the same reason you were apprehensive about it. But the title I’d written it under was probably too dull: “Murder on Siesta Key” isn’t a real grabber.

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