Catherine Linka shares her picks for …

Young Adult Fiction

Publishers just announced that the biggest readers of young adult fiction are adults. This doesn’t surprise me, because I read YA constantly. YA fiction offers the adventure and excitement lacking from many adult novels. YA emphasizes “story” over “form” and offers a faster pace than many adult novels. Finally, YA characters tend to change and grow through a story, and even tough, edgy stories end with at least a sliver of hope.

Many adult readers are familiar with YA fantasy and dystopian titles, but some of the best YA writing right now is historical fiction. I encourage you to check out these novels. They have bold characters, perfectly crafted settings and stories that are anything but boring.

BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY ($8.99, Penguin paperback; ages 12+) by Ruta Sepetys.

The only WW2 novel to tell the story of the Soviets taking Lithuanians to concentration camps in Siberia. An amazing story of will and survival. Winner of numerous awards. Ironically, BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY is sometimes confused with another best-selling series.

GILT ($17.99, Viking Juvenile, Ages 12+) by Katherine Longshore.

Fans of “The Tudors” will love this unabashedly sexy novel about Catherine Howard whose secret affairs cost her her life. Told from the point of view of Kitty Tylney, her best friend, the terrific writing and perilous intrigue will keep you enthralled.

GRAVE MERCY ($16.99, Houghton Mifflin,  Ages 14+) by Robin LaFevers.

Chosen by independent booksellers as one of the best YA novels this year. Ismae escapes an arranged marriage and hides among nuns who train her to be an assassin for the God of Death. Sent to kill a traitor at court, she must choose between love and country. Dynamic character, perfectly crafted prose and a historically accurate medieval French setting.

OUT OF THE EASY ($17.99, Philomel/Penguin, ages 14+) by Ruta Sepetys

How could I not read this book when the first line is “My mother’s a prostitute.” Set in New Orleans’ French Quarter in 1950. Josie is a pragmatic girl and hard working student who wants nothing of her mother’s lifestyle and bad choices in men. When her mother is linked to a murder, Josie has to figure out not just her future after high school, but how to stay alive. (Coming in February!)

Please visit the Flintridge Bookstore today to pick up your copy of these great books, buy gifts, enjoy their extensive selection of other great reads  and relax over a great cup of coffee.  Also visit the website at www.flintridgebooks.com to keep up-to-date with story times, author events and other exciting special events.

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