Christmas wishlist – young adult fiction

Bookshops are open in Melbourne again, and it’s time to go Christmas shopping! This week, we can think about the teens in our lives – let’s show them inspiring characters, humorous situations, tender romantic relationships, strong friendships and everything else that affects our young adults.

Miss 14 is here to give you some of her favourites, many of them are on my to-be-read pile. When choosing books, readers usually like to read about a character a year or two older than them – teen reading is aspirational.

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas – Feyre and her family’s survival counts on her ability to hunt. So when she goes into the woods and kills a Faerie for food her world is changed. She is taken and forced to live with the Faeries. This is the first book in a series of four with a new instalment coming out next year.

A Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas – This story follows Celaena Sardothien, a teenage assassin living in a corrupt kingdom with a tyrannical king. Celaena is forced to participate in a competition to become the King’s Champion. If she wins she will serve him for five years before being freed from her sentence at the caves of Endovier. There are seven books in this series.

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston – Red, White & Royal Blue is a book about the first son Alex Clarment-Diaz and his rivalry with Prince Henry. After a mishap at a royal wedding the two are forced to pretend to be friends, they grow to enjoy each other’s company and that turns into something more than friendship. But there are complications that stop them from being together in the public eye.

After Series – Anna Todd – Tessa has just moved into her dorm room at college, when she meets Hardin, a boy with an attitude and facial piercings and tattoos. He is everything that Tessa doesn’t like and besides she has Noah, her high school boyfriend. So why can’t she stop thinking about him, and why does he always show up at the right time? This is one of five books.

Crave Series – Tracy Wolff – After her parents die in a car accident, Grace moves to her Uncle’s academy in Alaska. Her life changes when she steps into that academy, nothing in there is what it seems. Everyone is hiding something from her and there is Jaxon Vega. A vampire who is hiding dark secrets of his own, Jaxon’s walls begin to crumble once he gets to know Grace. This is the first in a trilogy. 

The Selection Series – Keira Cass – Thirty five girls are selected to win over the love of Prince Maxon. America Singer doesn’t want to go because she already loves someone, Aspen, but she must go because her family is a Five and they need any money that they can get. When America meets Maxon she starts to question her feelings for Aspen and the plans that she has made for herself. There are four main books in this series and six books in the novella series.

Bring Me Their Hearts – Sara Wolf – Zera is a Heartless, her heart belongs to the witch Nightsinger. She is immortal and bound to the Nightsinger. The witch sends Zera to steal the heart of the prince, with one catch. If she gets caught, in a town where they hate and torture witches, she will destroy her heart which will destroy her. The prince, Lucien, hates the court as much as it loves him. Everyone loves him and lets him get away with everything, until the arrival of Lady Zera. This begins a game between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all. Bring Me Their Hearts is the first book in a series of three.

These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner – Everything is running smoothly until the Icarus, a massive luxury spaceliner, is pulled out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the richest man in the universe, and Tarver Menderson, a young war hero, survive the crash and are the sole survivors. Stranded on an abandoned planet they must learn to tolerate each other to survive.

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie – 10 strangers were summoned to a private island for a weekend getaway by an eccentric millionaire who is unknown to them. All of the guests have a wicked past that they are unwilling to share and a secret that will seal their fate. A nursery rhyme is framed in every room. 

“Ten little boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there then there were seven. Seven little boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in half and then there were six. Six little boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.”

They soon realise that the murders are occurring exactly as described in the nursery rhyme. Before the weekend ends there will be none.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice is a coming of age, historical and romance novel. It focuses on the conflicts of marrying for love and marrying for economic reasons. Mr Bennet has five daughters and none of them can inherit his estate therefore they are pressured to find security in a good marriage. The oldest sisters Jane and Elizabeth struggle to marry because of their lack of aristocrat status.

Thank you, Miss 14! I hope you find something to read in this eclectic mix of fiction – historical, crime, fantasy, contemporary and dystopian.

Happy book shopping!

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