International Youth Day: YA books that are worth a read
Young adult (YA) literature can be great sources of comfort, but they also bring their fresh and unique perspectives on issues concerning identity, love, and friendship, themes that are universal and pertinent to all age-groups. Be it a sweet romance, or a gripping suspense, these stories cover it all.
Marissa Meyer (Feiwel and Friends, 2020)
The story revolves around the life of Prudence, a sophomore who suddenly has the power to cast karma on people around her. Her magic works on everyone except her lab partner, who backfires her power. Centering around an eco-tourism related plot, the book witnesses two enemies slowly fall in love and eventually change the way they see life. This contemporary story, with a tint of magic, is a light and airy read recommended to people from all walks of life.
The Astonishing Color of After
Emily X.R. Pan (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2019)
Written in dual timelines, the book revolves around Leigh, a biracial teen who is looking for her mother. The story addresses themes like mental illness, family, identity through the grief of a daughter. She believes that her mother transformed into a red bird following her suicide and decides to trace her feather until she meets her maternal grandparents. In an attempt to find her mother, she unearths many secrets and begins understanding her family like never before.
A Phở Love Story
Loan Le (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2021)
The story follows two Vietnamese-American teenagers, Linh and Bảo, as they navigate through their aspirations and familial rivalry. Their parents have always been competitive, being owners of restaurants located right across the street from one another. Narrated alternatively by the characters, the book witnesses these enemies developing feelings for each other. This young-adult novel is different from the ideal romances as it presents a diverse set of characters.
Two Can Keep a Secret
Karen M. McManus (Delacorte Press, 2019)
When their mother is sent to rehab, Ellery and Ezra are uprooted from California to live with their grandmother in Vermont-- the town famous for homecoming queens going missing. As they adjust to the new surroundings, a new string of vandalism acts begin, hinting a sequel to the disappearances. Told from dual perspectives, the mystery progresses at an escalating pace, filled with relevant clues and shocking twists.
Instructions for Dancing
Nicola Yoon (Random House Children's Books, 2021)
High school senior Evie's notion of a picture perfect family breaks apart when she finds her father cheating. A series of events brings her to a dance studio run by an older couple who have an attractive grandson, Xavier. Evie and Xavier start practicing to represent the studio in a dance contest and develop a connection beyond dance partners. The protagonists are polar opposites in terms of their nature and the clever dialogue exchanges make this a delightful read.
Maisha Islam Monamee is a medical student who likes reading, scribbling, and blogging. Follow @monameereads on Instagram.