Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA: My Favorite Middle Grade/Young Adult Books

For our final BEA topic, we're talking about books for the younger crowd! For the most part, these aren't genres I read much anymore, so I'll be writing about some old favorites. Young adult to middle grade books are kinda having a moment right now, aren't they?

Unpopular opinion: I hate (most) young adult books.

If that's what gets you reading, then by all means please continue. I personally can't stand it. Obviously there are exceptions here and there, but as a whole...it's not for me. Even when I was a "young adult" I wasn't into it, really. Too much angst. Anyway, it's not like I went straight from reading Bob Books to adult fiction, so here's what kept me busy in between.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - I love Lemony Snicket, I did back then and I still do now. Last year I re-read this series, and I might have enjoyed it even more than I did the first time. Some people complain that the adventures of the Baudelaire orphans are too dreary. I don't see it that way, as it has just the right amount of dry humor (my favorite kind) to balance things out. Look, Tim Curry is also a huge fan!




Tuck Everlasting by Natalie BabbitWhen I was a kid, this was my favorite book for a very long time. If you haven't read it yet, I recommend it, no matter how old you are! It's not long, and if you're a fast reader you might even finish it within the day. Surprisingly, I think the movie adaption Disney made in 2002 turned out pretty good, too. The book and movie have their differences, and Alexis Bledel was way too old to play Winnie (who is supposed to be 10), but I let that part slide.

Tuck Everlasting


The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily by Dino Buzzati - This is still one of my favorite books. I've lost count on how many times I've read it! It's an Italian children's book, but I appreciate it more as I get older. There's a hefty amount of killing involved, too - so I'm not sure if I'd actually give it to really young children. It's mostly written in regular novel format, but there is also lots of poetry and illustrations sprinkled throughout. The poetry describing the scenes are my favorite part. The illustrations are very simple, but I find them charming in a way. This is the only children's book written by Dino Buzzati. I've been meaning to read his other works, but they are a little hard to come by, and some aren't even translated into English! Ah, well. Someday :)

The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily


Pretty much anything by John Green - John Green is a pretty big name in YA fiction right now. The first of his books I read was An Abundance of Katherines. I later read Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. After that I started to lose interest. Since all of his books are about teenagers, it was probably all the angst that got to me (like I said, I have reading about teen angst). I still think John Green himself is a really cool guy. He has lots of side projects (hey Nerdfghters!), loves donating to charities/fundraisers, and is really interactive with his fans. I still read his newer books at some point (like The Fault in our Stars), for nostalgia I guess, and his writing can be funny, but I seem to enjoy them less as each one comes out. I don't blame it on him though, and I'm still find of the ones I did enjoy.

Looking for Alaska



Thanks for reading! This is the last of the Armchair BEA blog topics, but I think I'll do a little afterthoughts/recap post when everything's wrapped up. I had so much fun participating in this for the first time. I learned about it last summer, right after it had ended, so I've been looking forward to it since then to see what it's really all about. I know I haven't discussed it much yet, but it's more than us all just writing about the same topic every day. There is really a sense of community, and we're encouraged to interact with each other all the time. There were Twitter parties every day (which I didn't attend because I can still barely figure out Twitter, but that's not the point), a daily Instagram challenge (I won one of them!), BEA "cheerleaders" to keep us all motivated, LOTS of giveaways, author interviews, learning opportunities, and so much more. Am I still bummed that I couldn't go to the actual BEA in New York? Maybe a little, but this had its own benefits that I wouldn't trade for any of that. 

16 comments:

  1. I haven't read a Lemony Snickett book but the series travelled through my class last year, hooking in girls who weren't that into reading, so I was very grateful for them! Glad you enjoyed the Armchair BEA, it has been fun.

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    1. Awe! It's always great when someone finds something that makes them WANT to read :)

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  2. Bears invading Sicily...now II'm curious

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  3. I read very little YA, and I think the angst factor has a lot to do with it. When I was a teenager, so was John Green, so his books weren't around yet, but Sarah Dessen was just getting her start. I read the first few of her books, and a couple of other romances, but otherwise, I went from the Baby-sitters Club to adult mysteries pretty quickly. I remember being upset by Tuck Everlasting in 6th grade; it might be time for a re-read to see if I like it better now!

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    1. I've tried reading Sarah Dessen and couldn't really get into it! Romances aren't usually my thing, so that + teens is probably what deterred me. Luckily I was a pretty good reader for my age, so skipping YA to read adult fiction was pretty easy! Why didn't you like Tuck Everlasting? I felt like the ending was very bittersweet, but otherwise I really enjoyed it! :)

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  4. Even though I am a die hard YA fan, I totally get where you're coming from. Sometimes I have to step away and revisit some of my favorites meant for an older audience. But the books you found to fill the awkward time between the younger years and older reading is a great mix! It definitely brought back some memories.

    Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages

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    1. Thanks! While YA isn't for me, I'm still happy that it has become so popular. Some of my friends didn't care for reading until things like Twilight came out. Any reading is good reading, if that's what you enjoy :)

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  5. I just don't like first person. It urks me, and reminds me of reading the Dick & Jane books a zillion years ago..."See Dick run." Cringe.

    But I don't mind the angst or the sparkly vampires or the alternate worlds where children are robbed of their childhoods. It's just first person.

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    1. Hahah! That's one I haven't heard before. We all have something we can't stand! For the most part I don't mind first person. I've read some books that go back and forth between first person and third, didn't like that!

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  6. I love Lemony Snicket too! Tuck Everlasting was too sad for me and I haven't read either of the others. Although I generally love YA, I agree that many authors overdo the angst!

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    1. Other people are saying it was too sad, too. Maybe I just like sad books, I guess. Hahah!

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  7. I haven't read any John Green books. I also want to read the Lemony Snicket books. They seem like fun short reads. I do read YA, but the thing that gets me is all the love triangles.

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    1. John Green is a MUST if you're into YA! Looking for Alaska has a minor love triangle (sorta), but none of his other books do.

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  8. Thank you for sharing these titles! This is one more reminder that I need need need to pick up a John Green book and just read.

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    1. Sometimes I need reminders and motivation to read things, too. Then I start them and I'm like, "Why didn't I read this sooner?!" Hahah :)

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