2 sentence book reviews: young adult fiction

yay! this is the week my readers either love or ignore (traffic tells me many are in the latter camp). i have found that writing reviews of the books i read really helps me remember them. and i hope it helps some of you make reading choices (and avoid others). i allow myself two sentences for each review (unless i’ve already written an official endorsement): the first sentence is a summary of the book, and the second sentence is my opinion of it.

here’s the plan for the week!
monday: 8 young adult fiction books
tuesday: 2 fiction books, 2 non-fiction books, and 2 graphic/illustrated books
wednesday: 10 christian living and theology books
thursday: 10 parenting, church and ministry books

Young Adult Fiction

the half life of planetsThe Half-life of Planets, by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
3.5 stars
a teenage girl and a guy with asperger’s wrestle with identity, friendship, and love. halpin’s YA fiction has mostly been way subpar to his otherwise fantastic books, but the voice of this character with asperger’s brings this one up a click or two.

divergentDivergent, by Veronica Roth
4.5 stars
in a dystopian future chicago, a teenage girl is forced to choose a lifetime with one of five personality-driven factions. sure, dystopian future YA faction is getting overplayed, because it provides, as does this book, a magnifying lens into the real internal searches of today’s teenagers.

insurgentInsurgent, by Veronica Roth
4 stars
in part two of the trilogy, our heroine uncovers the plot to overthrow “the way things are.” part two of trilogies are rarely the best slice (but while i haven’t read the third part yet, i’ve rarely seen such vitriol on amazon reviews).

requiemRequiem, by Lauren Oliver
4 stars
part 3 of the Delirium trilogy finds the government’s physiological suppression of love, starting at age 16, blown apart and dismantled. the story wraps up somewhat predictably, but is still satisfying.

after the snowAfter the Snow, by S. D. Crockett
5 stars
yup, another dystopian future–this one told from the perspetive of a teenage boy trying to survive in a chaotic world of almost-perpetual winter. culturally insightful and brilliantly written, this is now one of my top 10 favorite YA fiction books.

ender's gameEnder’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
5 stars
you know: super smart kid is recruited for a space training academy to prepare him to lead an alien battle. one of the many cases where the book is SO MUCH better than the movie.

looking for alaskaLooking for Alaska, by John Green
5 stars
high schoolers at a boarding school bond in the first half, then struggle to find meaning and explanations for pain in the second half. highly recommended, john green’s insight into teenagers and creativity with plot and word proves that young adult fiction doesn’t have to be predictable or cheesy.

somebody up there hates youSomebody Up There Hates You: A Novel, by Hollis Seamon
4 stars
teenage guy in hospice wrestles with who he is and why he’s dying. full of pain and beauty.

13 thoughts on “2 sentence book reviews: young adult fiction”

  1. “To overthrow the way things are…”

    Boom. There’s your internal thoughts of teenagers today… (Or any day?)

  2. Concerning book three of Divergent series; I must be a dissenting voice, but I really liked the ending.

  3. I love this! That’s 3 more on my list to read. Thanks, Marko!
    Also, I second Kurt. Divergent #3 is a great book with a very good ending.

  4. with Kurt and Lena’s push, i’ve just downloaded Allegiant to my Kindle. i don’t read many books that way (i’m a physical book guy); but $6.99 felt like lowering my risk exposure. :)

  5. ….Of course, I read book 3 while sailing the French Riviera on a Yacht, so that may have skewed my feelings. Actually, it wouldn’t have….I was just looking for a reason to brag to everybody that I once sailed the French Riviera on a yacht.

  6. would love to hear your extended thoughts on Ender’s Game (or the rest of them.).
    The second and third books in the Ender saga, Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide are phenomenal. Speaker for the Dead might top my list as one of the best books.

  7. I’m thinking of reading the Divergent series, will start with the first one and see if it is worth reading the rest. I’m pondering whether to watch the film first and then go for the book or the other way around.

Leave a Reply