Created by and with thanks to That Artsy Reader! This week’s theme took me back to what I think of as the Golden Age of YA–and all the books I still love from then. I talked about every book on this list last year, when I turned 30 and got nostalgic for all the books that made me who I am; you can read that here, but as I have nothing new to say, every caption from this post is taken from that one!
1. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
I very vividly remember standing in my local library at twelve years old, craving a distraction from the awful orthodontistry I’d just been through, and spotting a book with a green ceramic frog on the cover. That book was The Boyfriend List, and it was my first foray into YA. Thank God for funny, desperate, anxious Roo, and her lists, for giving me YA and changing my reading habits forever.
2. The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
The Princess Diaries is a series I come back to if I’m down, or a bit disillusioned with reading or writing, because it’s got such heart and it’s so joyful. The brilliance of this series is a hill I will die on, waving a Genovian flag as I go down.
3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I was reading Twilight fanfiction and hoarding Harry Potter merch long before I ever heard of the Shadowhunter world, but–maybe because it’s the first book I made a friend through, or the first time I travelled to real-life places to look for fictional characters–this is the series with which I associate fandom. Golden YA indeed.
4. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Not only is The Hunger Games a masterclass in writing–yes, I said it; if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t make people desperate, crying beings who throw their books across the room–but also in trusting your audience to be able to handle powerful, uncomfortable topics. For me, that was never as effective as when it explored grief. This was the book I turned to in order to understand my own, and feel understood in it.
What’s your golden age of YA?