Hi everyone! How are you doing? This month is “Jeugdboekenmaand” where I live, a month in which there is more focus on children’s literature. From kindergarteners to middle grade to young adult, all these books are given a spotlight. I myself mainly read YA novels, and sometimes, I discover one that I wish had been there when I was an actual young adult. So let’s take a look at some of those!
Let’s start off with a well-known series. These stories by Marissa Meyer give a new twist to age-old fairytales. What if Cinderella was a cyborg? What if Red Riding Hood has to work together with a guy named Wolf to save her grandmother? I love how creative Marissa Meyer used these fairytales to make her own fantasy/scifi series!
His Fair Assassin trilogy & Courting Darkness
I’ve always had a thing for historical fiction set at medieval courts. If you’re looking for a political minefield, look no further than to what is now France. Throw in a convent of assassin nuns, and you have my full attention. I loved reading about these young women who are sent by their god of death to protect or kill.
I know I’ve talked about this book a lot, so it won’t surprise you that it’s on this list as well. Two young people are chosen to become apprentices to a scythe, someone responsible for keeping population growth under control in a world that has conquered death. This book is funny, but it also raises some great points about our society and human nature. I think teenage me would have loved this!
I’ll be honest with you: I think I would have enjoyed this as a teen, but I’m not 100 percent sure. This story is a slow-burn and you really need to take your time to fully absorb the gorgeous writing. It’s absolutely amazing, and it makes you realize not every book needs to be action-packed.
This book was written for me. Witches, a marriage of convenience, enemies to lovers,… I’ve always been a sucker for these kinds of stories and this is one of the best I’ve read. I also think teenage me would have liked the setting inspired by France and the Church.
Since I practically lived in the library as a kid, I think I would have ADORED this story of grimoires, magical books that could kill you. Add the broody love interest and the demon-that-can-shapeshift-into-a-cat, and you have my full attention.
Yes, another Marissa Meyer book. This one gives us the origin story of Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts. Not only is it an imaginative retelling of the well-known classic (or rather, a prequel to it!). It also makes a – future – villain the main character. I don’t think I ever could have imagined a story around the bad guy/girl, and this would have widened my view to intriguing tales.
The main reason I put this book on my list is the format. Instead of the descriptive text we all know from regular novels, Illuminae is told through all sorts of documents: transcripts of interviews, chat logs, e-mails, and so on. It is a dossier that reconstructs the events. The easter eggs and humour also would have been perfect for younger me.
Back when I was a teen, most books in our library were about white boys and girls. I’ll be honest, back then I didn’t think twice about that. Which comes from a place of privilege of course, since I saw people like me in these books all the time. But ever since I started reading in English, I discovered books with diverse characters, written by diverse authors. And it has definitely expanded my world. An Ember in the Ashes is but one of those books, but I loved it so much. The sequels are at the top of my buy list and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
As a teen, I loved action-packed stories. And I would have adored the heist in Six of Crows! Additionally, the crew consists of a diverse cast of characters. And the leader of the crew is a bit of an antihero. Those are all elements that would have been perfect for my younger self!
Are there any similar events to our Jeugdboekenmaand where you live? Or do you have any books that you wish you had read when you were younger? Let me know in the comments!