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Good summer teenage fiction?


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Initial post: 27 Jun 2012 18:18:26 BDT
PeggyP says:
I am 13 and really enjoy reading romances...I especially love paranormal romance and also period romance (eg Pride and Prejudice). I also enjoy books about relevant issues/profound moral messages. At the same time though, I like light, funny and slightly romantic 'chick lit' such as the Princess Diaries series.
Can anyone recommend any good books that I can read this summer? I will be reading a lot on the aeroplane so need real page-turners that I can get lost in! Thanks!!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 19:41:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jul 2012 15:56:52 BDT
LEP says:
If you like Jane Austen, try the great Georgette Heyer, the queen of Regency romance. She's witty and funny and her books are well researched to the period. Try The Grand Sophie for starters.

The Pellinor series - Alison Croggon (Book 1: The Naming, also called The Gift). This is a good series. I didn't realise it was YA when I read it. Adventure, magic, a bit of romance.

Poison Study - M Snyder

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 20:13:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 18:10:05 BDT
LEP says:
For classics try;
Wuthering Heights & also Jane Eyre - Bronte
Rebecca; Frenchman's Creek; Jamaica Inn - Daphne Du Maurier
Little Women & also Good Wives - Louisa May Alcott
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables + others in the series (takes Anne right up to adulthood and marriage) - L Montgomery
Lorna Doone - R D Blackmore (very romantic)

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 20:48:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 12:23:33 BDT
LEP says:
The Princess Bride - William Goldman
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
Across the Nightingale Floor - Lian Hearn
The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart series) - Philip Pullman
Eva Ibbotson's young adult books e.g. The Magic Flutes etc.

Posted on 27 Jun 2012 21:41:35 BDT
HannV says:
I agree with previous posts, but would also suggest you try Lauren Oliver's Delirium series if you would like to try something contemporary. I left my teen years quite some time ago, but have begun to look for good teen books for my daughter who will be shortly hitting this age group. I thought these book were very romantic but also just very exciting and hard to put down! I assume you'll already have read the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials series which was outstanding. Have a great holiday!

Posted on 27 Jun 2012 23:51:45 BDT
Same as HannV, I have been buying for my daughter. You could try Anna Godbersen for something contemporary/historical/paranormal, e.g. The Luxe. She also Joss Stirling's new series starting with Finding Sky. She's recently been catching up with some Sarah Dessen books she's missed like Last Chance.

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 07:47:43 BDT
ML Jensen says:
Ann Turnbull's trilogy No Shame No Fear
Forged in the Fire
and Seeking Eden are all beautiful teen historical romances.

I also write teen historical romance: The Girl in the Mask
The Lady in the Tower
Daughter of Fire and Ice etc

Happy reading, whatever you choose.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 11:56:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 12:10:54 BDT
LEP says:
Mary Stewart's - The Moonspinners; This Rough Magic; My Brother Michael; Airs Above the Ground (the first 3 are set in Greece and her islands, the last is Austria, I think - long time since I read them - romance and adventure/suspense)

Rosmary Sutcliffe - history

Phillipa Carr - Daughters of England series

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 12:05:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 12:09:37 BDT
LEP says:
The Ingo Chronicles : Ingo book 1 - Helen Dunmore

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 12:16:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 12:37:35 BDT
LEP says:
The One Dollar Horse - Lauren St.John

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 - Sue Townsend

Uglies - Scott Westerfield

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 12:49:32 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 28 Jun 2012 12:51:34 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 12:51:19 BDT
LEP says:
If nothing we've suggested appeals try:

www.freewebs.com/greatteenreads/

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 12:58:15 BDT
LEP says:
Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 18:09:25 BDT
LEP says:
Northern Lights trilogy - Philip Pulman

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 20:24:30 BDT
Agree with most previous, and second the M.V Snyder vote every time.
The 'likes' component that doesn't seem to be directly addressed is the moral issues. If you read Unwind by Neal Shusterman you will find a novel that takes someone's definition of a utopia and turns it into someone else's dystopia in a similar manner to Huxley's Brave new world, except this book is targeted at teens and so is pacey; has younger characters; realistic teen romance and it presents the issues very differently. Not a sun-lounger read by most standards but will make a 3hour flight pass unnoticed.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 20:32:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 20:33:14 BDT
LEP says:
The Ann Turnbull books may rectify that, Sadie.They are about Quakers.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 20:36:24 BDT
LEP says:
Witch Child - Celia Rees

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 20:41:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 20:47:03 BDT
LEP says:
Holly Starcross - by Berlie Doherty

Have you read any Maggie Stiefvater's books?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 21:03:27 BDT
LEP says:
Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones (funny)

Posted on 29 Jun 2012 16:53:47 BDT
Jen Errik says:
I'm not sure if this counts as paranormal or fantasy, but I enjoyed Leigh Bardugo's 'Shadow and Bone' aka 'The Gathering Dark' very much. Story sounds a bit same old, same old - girl suddenly discovers she has a rare magical ability that may be able to save her country: but I'm always happy to read the same story well retold. It's what you decribed as 'slightly romantic'. The other two YA series I really like at the moment are Patricia Wrede's Frontier Magic series (girl on the frontier suddenly discovers...) and Maureen Johnson's Shades of London (american girl at boarding school in London suddenly discovers...). Those last two are less overtly romantic - because they're series, it's more like there are possible romances being set up for later books. The Johnson probably counts as paranormal.
And, while I'm talking YA, I've read good reviews for Stephanie Perkins 'Anna and the French Kiss' and 'Lola and the boy next door' which I think are more straight romances, but I haven't read either yet. I mention them just because the first sounds like it ought to be great holiday reading.

And I agree with LEP that Mary Stewart is great holiday reading - she has a lovely sense of place in her books. I'd start with 'The Moonspinners' but 'Madam, will you talk?' is probably my favourite. Georgette Heyer is great, but I've seen people say that they found the language hard at first. I think they mean that she uses a lot of regency terminology - more than Austen does, really - but once you read on for a bit you just get used to it.
The Grand Sophy is a good book, but there is a scene with a Jewish moneylender which has engendered debate. You could also try 'Arabella' or 'Venetia'.

Enjoy your holiday!

Posted on 29 Jun 2012 17:36:44 BDT
I. Dack says:
Darklands Darklands by Emma Woodcock. She's a new author but the book is really good.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2012 18:23:58 BDT
LEP says:
I don't remember the money lender scene in the Grand Sophy, Jen. However, I did read all of Heyer's books in my teens, many many moons and dinners ago now LOL. Mind you the books were written in the 1920/30's and if we are all to go pc, then there would be a ban of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Her books do use althentic Regency terminology and formal speech, but you soon get into it.

Funnily enough, I loved Georgette Heyer and had no problem with the formal language, yet when I tried to read Jane Austen I just couldn't get on with them. Yet I love to see Austen filmed.

The main reason I recommended both Heyer and Stewart is because both are innocent compared to probably both modern YA books and certainly adult books. There was no such thing as YA books when I was a teen, at the age of 12 we jumped straight onto to adult novels, admitedly they weren't quite as full of sex and violence and bad language as they are now. Especially if you read "classics".

Posted on 30 Jun 2012 10:51:39 BDT
Michelle says:
When I was a teen there wasn't any teenage books (which is why I LOVE them now I think). At 15 I was reading all the original Virgina Andrews books - Flowers in the attic etc

Posted on 30 Jun 2012 11:18:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jun 2012 11:19:01 BDT
Jen Errik says:
@LEP - Yes, I more or less agree. And, in a way, that's one of the values of older books, that you discover what attitudes were commonplace at different times. I read Grand Sophy as a teenager, and never thought particularly about the scene. As you say, that sort of characterisation was pretty commonplace in books from the 20s and 30s. But I did look at the publication date when the online discussion took place, and was quite shocked to realise Heyer wrote the book in the 1950s. However, it's a short scene, and from what I remember of the comments at the time, while some people found it wildly offensive, others weren't really bothered. But I think it's worth mentioning when recommending the book. (I looked, and you can still read the discussion if you're interested. If you google 'SBTB The Grand Sophy' it comes up as the first result. The reviewer quotes from the text, so you can see what she found problematic.)

@PeggyP - Mentioning 'Anna and the French Kiss' made me remember I'd wanted to read it. So, because I've no restraint about books, I downloaded it and it kept me up until 2am. So I'm now happy to thoroughly recommend it.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012 12:32:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jul 2012 13:22:37 BDT
LEP says:
I at last found the description of Goldhanger in The Grand Sophy, Jen. It's a stereotype of course as is Fagin in Oliver Twist etc. Very un-pc now. However, when reading any book not written now, we are going to come up against ideas/characterisation that we may now find offensive, but was acceptable in the period that they were written or portrayed e.g. Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer has racial undertones now not acceptable, but of course they were then.

I think that when we read such books we have to realise that that type of thinking was acceptable in that period, but not now.

Although The Grand Sophy was first published in 1950 (I don't know when it was actually written), Heyer was a product of her class. Also, unfortunately throughout history, money lenders often were Jewish, both despised and resented by those who borrowed money off them.

I don't think that the description of Goldhanger is a reason not to read the book. You just have to be aware that we don't think that way now.
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Total posts:  52
Initial post:  27 Jun 2012
Latest post:  16 Nov 2012

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