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My YA Shopping List for the Entire Family

Yep, pretty much everyone is completely immersed in their holiday shopping by now, and if you aren’t, well…get on it!  I’m deep into the shopping fray, and this week I’m looking forward to making my favorite purchases of the year. The vast majority of my extended family loves to read, and as such, books are a pretty safe gift choice for the people I spend the holidays with. I will be buying several this year–no different from years past except for the fact that I will have to drive a little farther to do it (ahem…still waiting for the rich tech titan to open an independent book store in my town…).

Anyway, 2012 has been a good year in YA lit for me. When my friends ask me if I enjoy reading for StorySnoops, what they are really saying is, “don’t you miss reading grown up books?”. I can honestly say that no, I don’t miss it (that much). I’m sure some I would have really enjoyed some of the books I hear my friends talking about, but I am finding some real gems in the YA genres too, and I am excited to share them with the people on my gift list this year (granted, a couple of these people are the folks for whom the books were intended, but not everyone).

Pretty sure my kids don’t hang out on this blog, so it is safe to say here what I intend to buy them for Christmas :-)

For my reluctant reader middle school son who always asks me which books I would recommend (even though he then completely disregards pretty much every suggestion I make), I need a no-brainer, sure-thing, go-to quick read that he will finish before he even has time to think about it. What could be better than Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7? There is a new release this holiday season, and it will for sure be under our tree.  

On the other end of the spectrum, I have a high school daughter who is a voracious reader, and reads most of what I suggest, when she has time outside of her assigned school reading. She enjoys many different genres, but her particular favorite is dystopian, for which I have a little hankering myself. So my choice for her is easy–my favorite dystopian read of the year, Under the Never Sky. This book will appeal to fans of sci-fi, dystopian, and romance–what more could you ask for? It’s a page-turner extraordinaire, and the best news for anyone who reads it in December is that the sequel, Through the Ever Night, is due out in early January!

For my mother, who loves an intelligent, well-crafted mystery as much as I do, there is no question–I’m going with Code Name Verity. This remarkable piece of smart historical fiction is one with an ending that will make you want to go back and read it again, just to figure out if you could have “seen it coming”. Based on the ages of the main characters (early 20′s) this one blurs the line between adult fiction and YA fiction, so if you want a book for someone who perhaps would be better off not knowing they are reading YA, this one is your pick!

For my husband with ride-ranging literary tastes, I am debating between two books (or maybe he’ll just get both). He and I have both loved Harlan Coban for years (along with fellow StorySnoop Tiffany), and needless to say, I was giddy when I found out Mr. Coban was starting a YA series based on a young relative of one of his recurring adult characters, Myron Bolitar. Tiffany drew the long straw and reviewed Shelter, so maybe this can do double-duty as a gift for my husband and for me :-) The other one I’m considering for him is more cerebral, but I have no doubt he will love it. He’s a true fan of the written word and the over-riding themes of an all-time favorite, The Book Thief, are the power of words and the power of reading. It is a must-read for anyone who loves literature simply for the beauty of the craft.

All told, the gift of reading is one of my favorites! Anything book-related on your shopping list this year?

Happy Holidays!

-Eden, StorySnoop

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