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Courier Article by Erika Qualls
Sunday, September 27, 2009

Publishers Finally Tune In to Young Adult Readers

During my years in high school, going to the library was difficult because there didn’t seem to be books someone my age wanted to read.  Being a young adult made finding a good book difficult to find since most books published were for kids or adults.

Luckily for teens  today, young adult literature has taken off!  Publishers are rushing to get books out that will appeal to teens.  They finally realized the untapped audience and figured out what young people  wanted to read.  New books are coming out all the time for young adults.  Below are some newer releases that I have read and recommend.

If I Stay…by Gayle Forman.  The last moment that Mia remembers is riding in the car with her parents and younger brother.  Next thing she knows, Mia is floating over the accident and sees her parents dead and her brother’s body and her own being rushed away in ambulances.  As Mia’s family and friends rush to her side, Mia hovers over each scene trying to decide if she wants to stay without her family or let go.  Flashbacks to her life before the accident allow the reader to see what Mia’s life was like and how hard her decision to stay really is. 

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers.  Parker had the perfect life.  She was head cheerleader, straight-A student, Winter Ball Queen, and had a great boyfriend.  At an end -of -the -year party, however, Parker decides to tell her best friend, Jessica, that her boyfriend was kissing another girl.  The next morning, Jessica is missing and Parker feels like it was her fault.  Parker then begins a downward spiral as she skips school, fails her classes, and pushes everyone away.   Parker doesn’t know if she can handle the fact that she might have been able to stop what happened to Jessica. 

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison.  Madison Avery’s prom was killer…literally.  After learning that her cute date only asked her because their dads work together, Madison takes off with a mysterious stranger.  When their car ends up in ravine, Madison is lucky to be alive, but it turns out the mysterious stranger is a dark timekeeper determined to kill her.  For reasons unknown to most, Madison dies in the attack, but she still walks among the living.  Now there is a battle between light and dark, and Madison isn’t sure exactly where she stands among them.    

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.  A year ago, Anna and her best friend’s brother, Matt, fell in love and started a brief, secret relationship.  Matt kept promising to tell his sister, Frankie, about the two of them, but as the three drove home one day, Matt’s heart stopped and the car they were riding in crashed.  It is a year later, but Anna can’t get over the death of her first love and Frankie is becoming a wild child.  On a beach vacation with Frankie’s family, Anna meets sweet and sensitive Sam.  Will she be able to overcome the guilt of moving on to find happiness again? 
Happy reading!

Erika Qualls is the Popular Materials Center Supervisor at Central Library.