TOP 7 YA Summer 2012 Reading List

While it is winter in Australia, the other side of the world is currently enjoying a hot summer – and so am I! I’m currently in the USA and will be travelling to Italy and France in a couple weeks. Holidays are for relaxing and while school sometimes makes it seem like reading is a chore, picking up a book or two while you’re laying on a beach, in a park, on the couch at home can be fun! Here is my list of books that I hope to read in the next few months. I probably won’t get through them all but it’ll give me and everybody else reading this list some choice. Don’t forget to tell us what you’ll be reading this summer in the comments box below!

Dystopian Reality Books (For the dull family moments when you wish the world was a different place)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

“In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

YABR: I still haven’t read Divergent. (Don’t hate me!) But I am very interested to read it and find out what the hype is about. The book covers for Divergent and Insurgent are gorgeous and being entirely vapid about looks when it comes to books I really need to them in my hands and check out the words between the covers.”

The Selection by Kiera Cass 

“For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.”

YABR: The reviews for this book on Goodreads are very contrary. I’d love to know where my opinion will fall. Of course the cover is gorgeous and tantalising. I’m sure 99% of the people who read this picked it up purely because of the cover. With a tv show possibly in the works this one seems like a must-read.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

“Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.”

YABR: I couldn’t tell from researching whether this books is sci-fi or dystopian but I’ll put it up here in dystopian because it seems any sci-fi YA book is being put under the dystopian category whether it should be there or not. (Because it’s hot right now and if you’re a smart publisher you are trying to catch all the Hunger Games readers with the catch word ‘Dystopian’.) Reviews on Goodreads are great, and the play on the traditional Cinderella fairytale sounds like fun.

Contemporary Fiction (Cry your eyes out, break your heart, summer flings, love at first sight)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

“Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.”

YABR: I got half way through this before I had to return the book to the library. It was good, but I think I didn’t get to the part where the emotional roller coaster starts. The reviews for John Green’s books are always stellar (deservedly so), which is why this book is on this list. I am determined to finish it and I am sure I will be bawling by the end. Let’s see what happens!

In Honor by Jessi Kirby

“Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?”

YABR: I’m not usually a fan of contemporary YA, but this one sounds like it has more substance than the usual childhood friends turn teenage romance. Something good to read if you’re tired of the fantasy/dystopian books crowding your YA shelves.

Fantasy Books (My all time favorite category, no limits on imagination)

Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey

“Wilde Island is not at peace. The kingdom mourns the dead Pendragon king and awaits the return of his heir; the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is strained; and the regent is funding a bloodthirsty witch hunt, hoping to rid the island of half-fey maidens.

Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn’t expect to be accused of witchcraft, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. But Garth is the younger prince in disguise and Tess soon learns that her true father was fey, making them the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that will bring about peace between all three races – dragon, human, and fairy.”

YABR: I’m 75% through this book and while it has some pacing issues it is a riveting story about fairies, dragons, humans and witchcraft. A really great read to escape the boredom of summer and original enough to not make you feel like you’re reading yet another book written to cash in on the post Hunger Games market.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman 

“Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina’s tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they’ve turned the final page.”

YABR: This book won’t be out until July 10th but get it as soon as you can because this book is sure to hit the bestseller list. I was fortunate enough to be able to read it via netgalley and boy is it incredible. Well written, original plot, fabulous characters that you can immediately imagine and mystery that will hold you until the very end. Plus it’s all about humans and dragons! What more can you want from a fantasy?


About Josephine Hardy

A 28-year-old writer from Melbourne, Australia currently living with her husband in Fayetteville, Arkansas (USA). Content Marketing Producer at Simply Measured, hobby genealogist, cat lover, and world traveler.

Posted on May 29, 2012, in Featured Lists and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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