My List for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy Teen Lit
This list provides some of the best books for teen sci-fi/fantasy girls growing up in the early 2000's-present
"A Great and Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray
Anyone who's read this knows it to be true. This book gets into your heart. It takes your soul! Strong-female character, Gemma Doyle and her friends spend time at their school of "grace, charm and beauty," and get into a bunch of trouble when Gemma starts having visions. Why, do you ask? Well I'll leave that for you to find out yourself. All I can say about this book is that I've read it more than 15 times, I reminisce the experiences/lessons/strength I've earned from enduring author, Libba Bray's, journey and I truly, honestly and whole-heartedly will be mystified by this piece of work for a long time to come. Needless to say...read the book.
"Bone" by Jeff Smith
This is also another book that you should read. It is more on the fantasy side and has one trait that you might not expect (if you haven't already heard of the giant epic): it's a comic book. While this might already have you veering away from the very idea of looking into this beautiful book, I have to redeem it by saying that it is unlike any other comic book I've ever read. It has some of the strongest female characters, one of which is quite unique and definitely a heroin of mine in literature. Honestly, this book is so worth checking out that I will tell you to read it over and over again for 5 years until you pick up the book. (My best friend contests to this. She's a woman who does not read comic books. She loves it.)
"The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer
You know those times when you're perusing through a bookstore or the library and you come across some book that seems to have a million awards on the back and front and how sometimes it can make a book seem like even LESS of a promising read because the praises seem almost too over-dramatic somehow? Well this is one of those books that actually lives up to all of its fancy awards. "The House of the Scorpion," blew my mind. It's about this boy who learns that he has: "not been born. He has been harvested." He is the clone of this old man who essentially wants eternal life and is using younger versions of himself to stay alive. It is twisted. It is heartwrenching and sometimes it is so cruel you just want to punch the fictional characters in the face, but it is a worthwhile read.
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
This book is something I found getting dusty in the back of a bookshelf in the library. It was a small yellow novel with some strange looking pig on the front and for some weird reason it was missing the back cover so I couldn't tell what it was about. When I took it home, though, I was astonished to find one of the most amazing stories I've read. A strange tale about a couple of boys who learn come to know their strange neighbor and learn more about themselves than they ever knew before. When he dies, the only thing of that they can think to do is tell the old man's story. It's such a strange book, but I've always liked strange. It's so well-written too. Go read it. Just try and get back to me. Maybe your life will be changed by the Pigman's too...
Feed by M.T. Anderson
I read this book while taking a road trip up with my dad. For some weird reason, he didn't want to listen to music and had me pick out a book that I'd gotten from the library and just read aloud. The first thing we both noticed about this book was the language! It was so crude in certain ways that we were a little thrown back, but still intrigued about this "flight to the moon" that was no big deal and these welts that seemed to be the "cool" thing at the time in the novel. It was so well-set up and relatable yet truly did seem to come from some place in the future. I was baffled. I was taken back. "This is what a science fiction novel SHOULD be like!" I don't want to spoil anything. I don't want to give anything away. All I can say is that Anderson's writing, characters and humour blew. me. away.
Read the book.
"Flipped" Wendelin Van Draanan
Okay so this book isn't a teen book. This book is an EVERYBODY book. This is one the only little romance books that I can say really seems to relate to everyone I've ever introduced it to. No. It's not like Bone. Bone is a whole other animal. This book is about love in such a real way. It starts with friendship (okay so it really starts with a playdate initiated by the parents) but it turns into something powerful. Writes from two POV's and you both end up truly understanding both sides in the end from childhood and quite a bit older.
Winter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is one of my top books for several reasons. It is a work of art. It is beautifully written. It made me gasp with its wonderful poetic nature and yet also writhe inside from the emotions of the character. Anderson writes about one of the most popular topics in female teen fiction: eating disorders. Yet there is something different about this book. It is still dark. It still tears your soul apart. It MIGHT not be for everyone, but my goodness is it a good novel. I highly suggest it.
"Being" by Kevin Brooks, "Black Rabbit Summer" by Kevin Brooks...ANYTHING BY KEVIN BROOKS!
Kevin Brooks novels are all good. They ALL are good. He writes sci-fi with some heart-wrenching tales. Like what if you found out you weren't entirely human after being taken in for a medical exam? Look. His writing is strange. The subject matter may be a little strange. Maybe my favorite books have similar themes. But MAYBE a little more Brooks in your life would be an amazing thing and you'd thank me when you finished this book....maybe.
The best in the list has got to be, "A Great and Terrible Beauty," by Libba Bray. It has so many different characters and strong women in this novel. It is a teen novel, most certainly, but with it's amazing plot and storyline, unforgettable characters, gritty lessons, dark truths and a touch of romance honestly makes for a wonderful journey. I hope you enjoyed my list and will gain and try out a few of my suggestions. I promise that you will not be disappointed.