As someone who loves being out in the world shopping, exploring new places around the city with friends, and munching on stale bagels whilst laying on a red checkered picnic blanket next to Jamaica Pond, life has been difficult during the quarantine. This isolation certainly put a damper on my plans for the summer, and possibly even my last year in Boston and with my high school friends before I head off to college.
While this has definitely been a disappointing senior year, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to do everything I can to make it the year that I’ve always dreamed of…
…which is why I turned to books. (Books are my solution to everything.) If you’re an explorer who misses the outdoors or you’re someone who longs for the comfort of real friends for once during this isolated time, these six YA reads should be at the top of your list!
6. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. Mandel
“Survival is insufficient.”
You might be thinking that reading a book about a global pandemic during a global pandemic is a little meta … and you wouldn’t be wrong. But it doesn’t take away from the power of this story. “Station Eleven” is a beautiful tale from start to finish, because it hits so close to home in today’s circumstances. I think it’s the perfect time for everybody to pick up this book.
5. “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
This book is one of the ones that I know is on a lot of people’s lists, and for good reason! Angie Thomas does not falter in writing the voice of Starr Carter, the fiery and voracious protagonist of “The Hate U Give.” The reader will experience all ups and downs that come with growing up as a person of color. While many moments are sensitive and difficult to recount, this story is incredibly relevant and an important one to read.
4. “They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera
“I’ve spent years living safely to secure a longer life, and look where that’s gotten me. I’m at the finish line but I never ran the race.”
What would you do if someone told you you were dying today? The premise of this story shook me from the start. “What’s the point of reading the story if you already know the ending?” I asked myself. Everything else. Everything else matters. The characters, the journey, the development. Even if it seems that the ending is known, is it really? Although “They Both Die in the End” is a downer at heart, this story brings up so many beautiful themes about friendship, life, and what happens when you finish the race.
3. “Skyhunter” by Marie Lu
“Conquering people is easy. You break past their defenses, seize their cities, burn their world to the ground. To annihilate us, though, is impossible. A seed will survive. I am not done. I will not forget.”
Marie Lu’s latest release is about believing in the best of others, loving found family, and most of all, the path to resistance. If you’re looking for a story that’s packed with fight scenes, emotional turmoil, the kind of conflict that arises from following the path that’s been set out for you, or running into the unknown to find your own, this book is the one for you!
2. “Renegades” by Marissa Meyer
“Heroism wasn’t about what you could do, it was about what you did. It was about who you saved when they needed saving.”
This book is the definition of escapism. From the concept, a school dedicated to training the next generation of superheroes, to conflict between good and evil, to the idea of found family, this story is one you’ll remember. This book is the first installment of a trilogy, though I will say that I flew through these books in a matter of days.
1. “Radio Silence” by Alice Oseman
“I wonder – if nobody is listening to my voice, am I making any sound at all?”
Completing “Radio Silence” is like walking out of the movie theater after a screening and realizing that the world will never be the same. Although Alice Oseman is a relatively new writer, she definitely does not disappoint. “Radio Silence” is about growing up, the future’s pressures and what it means to have a forever friend. Even from the growing list of 40 books I’ve read this year, it’s easy to say that “Radio Silence” is one of the best coming-of-age novels of our generation. Thank you for reading my article, and I hope it helped you find some books you’re excited to read! Reading is education, entertainment, and a form of escapism all in one neat package. Take advantage of these stories at your fingertips!