Last night, for the first time after a long while, I opened my Goodreads account. How time flies… This is where I used to keep a real-time update on my reading progress before.
Now, it remains a quiet place of dusty virtual bookshelves.
In my boredom, I found delight in skimming my old posts — especially reading my thoughts on contemporary YAs. It brought me back to the time when I was most hopeless romantic. Still is (though a little older now). I’m grateful for these books for filling the gap in my lack of experience on love and heartaches. For inspiring some of my poems and short stories. For making my young hear flutter.
Hence, I’ve decided to share them here in WordPress. Perhaps, some people here needs a little extra cheese or a quick read. Hope this helps.
- The Awaken series by Katie Kackvisnky – A dystopia rather than a love story. This is how I would describe the Awaken series. It is set in 2060, a not-so-distant future, where human interaction is almost nonexistent due to the fact that everything can be done online. Kids attend digital school, friends and families get together virtually, shopping are done by the touch of a keypad, etc. These are imagined scenes that are slowly turning into reality in today’s world. A must-read in this digital era.
“Life should be a risk. It’s more than a straight line that you can see clearly from one point to the other. It dips and curves and you never know what’s around the bend sometimes until you get there. That scares a lot of people. But that’s the beauty of it.” ―Awaken
“Hope works like that. It hinds and blends in, only to pop out when you least expect it. It’s always a surprise, something you step on, trip over, or stumble on by accident. It hides in the divots of our lives. in the loneliest valleys. It’s like a child, always playing hide and seek to keep our lives unpredictable. Just when we’re about to give up, hope turns on, like light, to guide out way.” ―Middle Ground
“Every decision we make in life, every new relationship, every job, every change, is a free fall. And it’s not the dive that will kill us. It’s the fear of taking the jump that hurts the most. The secret is to believe we are all capable of flight.” ―Still Point
2. Stargirl series – Why fit in when you’re born to stand out? This is the heart of Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl. Talk about living in a world of conformity, this YA series is a breath of fresh air.
“The earth is speaking to us, but we can’t hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then – maybe – the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper.” —Stargirl
“Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.” —Love, Stargirl
3. Anna and the French Kiss series – Stephanie Perkins definitely knows how to serve cheesy love stories. This trilogy can be read as standalone novels but it starts with Anna and the French Kiss by default. Anna and Etienne — two characters who once made me made me dream of standing at the Kilometer Zero of every place I visit. Lola and Isla’s love stories are cute too. In summary, these books will show you the funny, awkward and adventurous side of a budding relationship.
“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” —Anna and the French Kiss
“And I hold my head high toward my big entrance, hand in hand with the boy who gave me the moon and the stars.” —Lola and the Boy Next Door
“What are you working on?” I ask.
“The last page.” He gestures towards the table, where a penciled sketch is being turned into inked brushstrokes.
I smile up at him “It’s beautiful. But what comes next?”
“The best part.” And he pulls me back into his arms. “The happily ever after.” —Isla and the Happily Ever After
4. First Comes Love series – Opposites attract. Do they, really? My fascination for Awaken series made me want to read more of Katie Kacvinsky which, in time, led me to this trilogy. The books explore the intricacies of human relationships through the lives of Dylan and Gray. From budding friendships to the adrenaline rush of falling in love, to the complexities of commitment. It’s a common YA plot but still an enjoyable quick read.
“Live a little,” she tells me. “You’re never going to experience anything if you wait around for perfect conditions.” —First Comes Love
“You need to fall apart once in a while before you understand how you best fit together.” ―Second Chance
“Maybe being alike isn’t what’s best. It’s bringing out the best in each other that matters.” ―Finally, Forever
5. John Green – One of the well-known American authors for YA, John Green uses the genre as an avenue for young readers to explore their questions about love, heartaches, meaning and purpose without feeling embarrassed. His coming-of-age novels tend to get movie adaptations which prove how successful Green is in reaching his target audience.
“If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless.” ―Looking for Alaska
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” ―The Fault in Our Stars
“She loved mysteries so much that she became one.” ―Paper Towns
6. Rainbow Rowell – “Sometimes she writes about adults. Sometimes she writes about teenagers. But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.” Copied and pasted this description from Rowell’s Author page because I could not have described better this YA author. Hehe
She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” ―Eleanor & Park
“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.” ―Fangirl
“There are moments when you can’t believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with knowing absolutely that something wonderful is happening.” ―Attachments
7. Jennifer E. Smith – I think it’s obvious what pushed me to read these books back then. The titles. Smith’s stories might be a little too cheesy, unrealistic and slightly sappy at times, but for my young hopeless romantic heart, they were sweet and cute. Plus, there were lots of sigh-inducing and poetry-instigating lines in each books.
“Exactly. How can you know it makes you happy if you’ve never experienced it?”
“There are different kinds of happy,” she said. “Some kinds don’t need any proof.” ―This Is What Happy Looks Like
“It’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity.” ―The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
“When there was nothing but space between you, everything felt like a leap.” ―The Geography of You and Me
8. Jess Rothenberg – Dying of a broken heart. At first, I was hesitant about the plot. Her heart LITERALLY broke in half when the guy she likes told her he doesn’t love her. The next thing she knew, she’s dead. It’s a lighthearted story that took me with Brie through the stages of moving on. It’s a decent book, although I find the twist at the end weird.
“No matter how much you think you know a person—no matter how pretty they act, or how popular they seem, you can never know what their lives are really like.” ―The Catastrophic History of You and Me