3 Teen Novels for Adult Readers

Today’s post is from Leah Pohlman, a guest blogger from the Dalhousie School of Information Management

With an increasing number of adults reading teen books, I thought I would share three of the most recent young adult books that I have enjoyed.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (M)
by Ransom Riggs

Sixteen year old Jacob Portman has long given up believing in the fantastical stories his grandfather told him about life at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. With tales of an invisible boy, siblings who could lift boulders, and a girl able to create fire with her hands, Jacob knows that these stories couldn’t possibly be true. But when he finds his grandfather near death, Jacob suddenly wonders if, perhaps, the stories, and the children in them, weren’t as imaginary as he thought. Setting out to Clairnholm Island, off the coast of Wales, Jacob is determined to uncover the truth behind Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and the death of his father. With intriguing characters, creepy monsters, and fascinating  photographs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a story unlike any other.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was unlike anything I had ever read before: Not quite fantasy, not quite horror, and not quite historical, the genres blend together to create something uncannily realistic. Author Ransom Riggs does an excellent job of ensuring equal parts action, character development, and scene setting. I was able to envision each scene, and felt as though I understood the very distinct personalities of every character. The book includes beautiful and mysterious photographs that simply add to the realism of the story, and it was certainly an impressive touch.

Variant (M)
by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher knew something was wrong at Maxfield Academy the minute he stepped onto the grounds. With no teachers, no classes, and rules that, when broken, spell instant death, it is clear that this is no ordinary school. As Benson uncovers the dark secrets of the school, and those in charge, he realizes that escape is near impossible. Fans of The Hunger Games or Divergent should certainly give this one a try. An action packed, suspense filled novel, Variant will have you racing to the library for its sequel.

(C) Green Hills Photography

Variant was a book that was recommended to me based on my love of teen dystopian novels. And, I must say, it did not disappoint. Variant is a fast paced, action packed novel that I couldn’t put down. With almost daily games of paintball (much cooler than it sounds), and warring gangs with too much power, Variant does not shy away from the action scenes. The relationships between the characters were fascinating, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the interactions between the different gangs. Although the big secret was one that I certainly did not see coming, it was not one that I found overly original. Without giving too much away, I felt as though it was a fairly typical science fiction plot twist. Despite this, I had to keep reading; I needed to find out who else was involved in the twist, and I was shocked to learn who was and who wasn’t. This book certainly did not disappoint when it came to action or surprises, and, despite certain points of unoriginality, I thought that, overall, Variant was a great quick read for action or suspense fans.

Matched (M)
by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society. They know what is best for the citizens of Oria Province in terms of food, entertainment, and even love. And when the Society chooses her best friend, Xander, as her match, Cassia couldn’t be happier. But when, for an instant, outcast Ky Markham’s face flashes on her Match screen, Cassia begins to wonder if the Society finally made a mistake. With the help of her grandfather, Cassia fights against all she knows for the chance at freedom and true love. A character-driven story, Matched is a thought-provoking, dystopian romance that will intrigue fans of both The Giver and Delirium.

The cover of Matched states that it is a romance book with some totalitarian government, and I was worried that this book would focus too much on the love story and not enough on the dystopian aspects. However, I was pleasantly surprised: Author Ally Condie devotes much of the book to the exploration of a government that oversees and implements all decisions for its people, allowing me to better understand the mentality and motivation of the citizens of Oria Province. The love triangle between Cassia, Ky, and Xander unfolded nicely, with equal parts, confusion, frustration, and love. I appreciated that Cassia expressed her feelings of uncertainty and did not too quickly declare her love for Ky, as often happens in teen romance novels. Despite my initial reservations, I very much enjoyed Matched and look forward to reading the other books in the trilogy.

post by Leah Pohlman

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