I was always a reader as a kid. It went front my mom reading me Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to stupid middle grade chick flicks to all kinds of young adult. It probably really started with Twilight… like everything else in my life. (I wish I were kidding. Be prepared for a whole post about it coming soon, I promise.)
Anyway, I wanted to make a separate list of my favorite YA one-offs simply because if I had to choose my absolute favorites, they would all be a part of a series. It’s nothing against one-offs. I just gravitate towards genre fiction more, a.k.a., the types of stories that tend to span multiple books. (Looking at you, entire bookshelf.)
Let’s start things off with the stereotypical pick that I won’t apologize for. (I will never apologize for John Green.)
The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars has become so iconic, but I didn’t pick it up until after the book had begun to gain that status. Even though I was an avid Tumblr user back in the day, I [miraculously] managed to stay away from any spoilers until I opened my collector’s edition of the hardback. Because it was the collector’s edition, it had some sort of Q&A with John Green in it. However, my copy was horribly misprinted. So… like a page into the first chapter, a question referring to the ending to the story was at the top of the page.
Luckily, it didn’t stop me from falling in love it. Thank you, John Green. (I say that too much, yet nowhere near enough.)
Favorite Quote: (you’ve all seen it before.) “I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
Before I Fall
Before I Fall is a masterpiece by one of my favorite authors, Lauren Oliver. On its surface, it’s about a girl who relives her death over and over again. But deeper, it’s about suicide, the shallowness of popularity, and what love should be.
There are quotes galore in all of Lauren’s works, and being addicted to great quotes myself, I can’t go much more than a page without wanting to highlight something. The quote below in particular really resonated with me, as my nostalgia for my childhood and teenager years runs deep.
Favorite Quote: “That’s when I realized that certain moments go on forever. Even after they’re over they still go on, even after you’re dead and buried, those moments are lasting still, backward and forward, on into infinity. They are everything and everywhere all at once. They are the meaning.”
We Were Liars
Finally, is a more recent one. We Were Liars is a story I never thought I would like. Stuff about crazy family backstories with 500 characters I need to remember aren’t my cup of tea. Feels too much like an episode of The Crown or something. (Or what I assume one would be like, I’ve never seen it.)
But it wasn’t like that at all. It’s still about a teenage girl navigating a crazy summer; it’s still about an adorable love story. What it also is about though is mental health, death, and a crazy mystery.
It’s beautifully written with a phenomenal twist ending that really isn’t a twist after all. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
“Now, he was free to go forth and make a name for himself in the wide, wide world.
he’d come back one day,
and burn that
to the ground.”
(Plus, this quote… damn.)