By Bella Crysler –
March Break is almost at an end but there is still plenty of time to dive into a great teen read (or maybe two)! Whether you’re hanging out on your couch, the beach, or in a chalet this break, here are some YA titles both new and old that should definitely be on your radar.
Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli
This bestselling novel is to be released as a major motion picture on March 16, and everyone knows you always have to read the book before seeing the movie! Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda follows the main character, Simon, through the trials and tribulations of going through his junior year without telling anyone he is gay. Simon will face manipulation, question loyalties, and ultimately have to face his fear of coming out. Want romance, humor, and even a little bit of mystery? Put Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda on hold now!
The Carlingwood Library is throwing a Love, Simon movie release party that everyone is invited to whether or not they have had the chance to read the book. There’s more info at biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/event/love-simon-movie-release-party. Grab a couple of friends and head over on Tuesday March 20 from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. for games, friendly competition, and LOADS of Oreos!
Turtles All The Way Down, by John Green
It’s no secret that John Green is one of the best teen authors ever to walk the earth, so fans were a little worried when he didn’t publish a book for five years after The Fault in Our Stars in 2012. I don’t blame him. It’s hard to follow up a book as monumental and heart-wrenching as The Fault in Our Stars. However, in 2017 Green announced the release of Turtles All The Way Down, and let’s just say it was totally worth the wait. With beautifully quirky and human characters, classic John Green humor, and even some twists and turns that’ll tug on your heartstrings (just make sure you’ve fully recovered from The Fault in Our Stars), Turtles All The Way Down may be the best John Green book yet. Whether you’ve been a John Green fan from day one or not, I recommend you add this one to your reading list.
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1, text by Ta-nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze
If you’ve already seen the new Black Panther movie and want more, or if you haven’t made it into the theatres yet and want more background before you go, this graphic novel is just what you need. Those looking to get lost in the action-packed world of an iconic superhero this break should add this one to the list.
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
You may have to split your time evenly between the library and the movie theatre this break with so many amazing stories being transformed to the big screen. A Wrinkle in Time is a timeless story about a gang of young kids’ dangerous journey to save a scientist father who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. With mind-bending technology and interplanetary travel, this book will have you hooked from page one. A little bonus, the movie stars big names such as Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and more!
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give is an eye-opening novel that mirrors the ugly truths of the racism that exists in society today. When 16-year-old Starr Carter’s unarmed friend is shot and killed by a police officer, her world is thrown into a frenzy by the aftermath. Living through a challenging period of chaos, Starr is forced to face the scary reality of the stereotypes we live by, and the power of the media. Looking for a book that will increase your awareness and understanding of a social issue? Pick up The Hate U Give.
the sun and her flower, by Rupi Kaur
At this point in my life if I could sit down to lunch with one person in the whole wide world, it would be Rupi Kaur. In her second book after the award-winning milk and honey, Kaur gifts us with more poetry and illustrations that tackle tough truths and harsh topics with unmatched elegance and grace. If you haven’t yet read milk and honey, add it and the sun and her flowers to your reading list. Even if you don’t usually choose to read poetry, I urge you to give this book a try over the break. Like me, I’m sure it will have you snapping out loud as you turn the pages.
The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert
Who doesn’t love getting lost in a whole new world of fantasy? This new release by Melissa Albert follows young Alice’s life on the road alongside her mother. They are only a few steps ahead of bad luck and are never sure they’ll end up tomorrow. After Alice’s estranged grandmother dies – the writer of a series of dark fairy tales – the truth behind her “crazy fans” starts to unravel the true origin of her tales is revealed and the line between reality and fairytale becomes more and more blurred.
Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
I’m adding this one to the list because it is one of my favourite fantasy series of all time, and I think this list needs a little more fantasy and romance on it. Shiver is the first book in a trilogy that tells the story of a supernatural love story between a teenage girl and a boy who turns into a wolf each winter. Follow Grace and Sam as they battle against time and fate to be together. If you liked Twilight or just want a good dose of romance over the break, this series is PERFECT!
Bella Crysler is one of Carlingwood Library’s Teen Advisory Group members and the Ottawa Public Library’s Teen Blogger in Residence.