December 21, 2012

Casual Friday: YA Books for the Holidays

It's that time of year again. Holiday carols are flooding the malls, Christmas lights are shining in homes, and the new year is just around the corner. And hopefully, with all of these things, comes more time to relax by the fireplace and read.

Provided the apocalypse didn't occur and you guys are all looking for more books to read (as we always are), here are some books to spend your holidays with:

1.) Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson

In 2008, three fantastic writers John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson teamed up to write three stories about new love in unexpected, snowy circumstances, cheerleader-questing gone (thankfully) wrong, and pet pigs. The book is heart-warming without being cheesy and I recommend it to anyone looking to read holiday-themed stories (especially if you're familiar with at least one of these writers.)

2.) The Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

If supernatural romances are your thing (or maybe even if they're not) and you somehow haven't read Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Linger, and Forever, I highly recommend you read them. Maggie Stiefvater's writing is absolutely gorgeous and Shiver especially is appropriate for this time of year because her descriptions of the snowy landscape and cold air are vivid enough so that I could clearly picture and feel the wintery world she crafts in this book (even though I live in Texas, where it is many degrees warmer than in Minnesota.)

3.) Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
I admit that the book itself has little or nothing to do with the holiday season but its highly distinguishable cover was excuse enough for me to include this book on this list. Elsewhere provides a Benjamin Button-esque take on the afterlife, where fifteen-year-old Liz wakes up after her death to a place where souls age backwards before returning back to Earth so they can be born into their new lives. Elsewhere is honestly one of my favorite YA books, and Gabrielle Zevin's writing is so good that this book is bound to remain in your thoughts long after you read it.

4.) Ice by Sarah Durst
If you're a fan of fairy tales (esp winter-themed ones like The Nutcracker and The Snow Queen), I recommend Ice by Sarah Durst, which is about an eighteen-year-old girl who has to travel across the brutal Arctic to marry a Polar Bear King (one that can turn into a human, by the way) in order to save her mother's life. I haven't had the chance to read this book but I've always wanted to since I've heard really great things about it. Please feel to read this book and let me know what you think of it.

5.) Snow in Love by Claire Ray
If you're looking for a cute teen winter romance, this book is for you. Jess Whitman, lives in Alaska, where she can only see her boyfriend of three years in person when he visits for the winter break. One winter, however, her boyfriend brings along another girl that claims to be his girlfriend and chaos ensues. 

6.) East by Edith Pattou
Based on the fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, East is an icy, haunting tale of the medieval northern lands. Rich in fairy tales and Nordic mythology, East is about Nymah Rose, who lives in a rural village of Norway where the is an ancient belief that children take the personality traits of the direction in which they are born. Since North-born babies are believed to be wild and adventurous, Rose's mother lies to her about her direction so that Rose grows up thinking that she is a placid East-born baby until a mysterious white bear comes to take her away on an epic adventure. It was optioned for a movie this summer by producers who describe it as Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings so you might want to keep an eye on this one.

"End-of-the-world" Bonus:
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Since today is 12/21/12, I couldn't resist mentioning Warm Bodies 
by Isaac Marion, which is my favorite "zombie-apocalypse" book. Although I'm currently reading this book and am in the first few pages, it's already pulled me in with its smart writing, highly imaginative world-building, and great characterization. Even though I'm not a huge fan of zombies and when I first heard about the book (zombie romance...what), I had my doubts but so far, it's been a fantastic read.

So, Misfiteers, what are your "holiday reads" for this year? Do you have any recommendations? Have you read any of the above books? Feel free to leave a comment below. Happy holidays!


Ru said...

I re-read WHAT CHILD IS THIS? by Caroline B. Cooney every Christmas. Total tear jerker, and who didn't LOVE Caroline B. Cooney as a kid?

Caitlin R. O'Connell said...

I LOVE EAST IT IS SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK AND THAT COVER. I love that cover design beyond all things.

Also... it's nothing like Game of Thrones. So... that's weird. Still, I'd see that movie!

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