So I just voted for my top ten favorite young adult books on Persnickety Snark. After submitting my votes, which I used Goodreads to help me out, I realized I completely left out some of my favorite books o' my youth.
Which brings me to a very important question: How can I even begin to choose my favorite books?
Most of the books that have meant the most to me/stuck with me/made me giddy with glee are books I read when I was younger. Granted, I was reading books above my reading level at a young age, so books that are considered Young Adult (about 13 yrs or older), I read before I qualified as one such Young'n. In fact, I had to look up what books are considered Young Adult and it all seems very vague to me, because Twilight, Maniac McGee and Catcher in the Rye all fall under the category of YA. Really, they should be grouped as such: Suckfest of terribly bungled writing of a semi-interesting concept but really has no redeeming qualities; middle school book that was kind of cool; AMAZING.
Seriously, what constitutes young adult? Is Chuck Palahniuk's work considered YA? What about Watchmen? I NEED ANSWERS, PEOPLE.
Most of the books considered YA are written for younger kids, yes, but the good ones (i.e. Catcher) are the ones that are timeless. That you re-read and still relate to. I just recently re-read The Phantom Tollbooth, which is unarguably one of my top three favorite books of all time. It's the perfect book for people like me who revel in words and language and the use (and misuse) of it all.
One of my favorite lines (I love a good play on words):
"Oh dear, all those words again," thought Milo as he climbed into the wagon with Tock and the cabinet members. "How are you going to make it move? It doesn't have a--"
"Be very quiet," advised the duke, "for it goes without saying."
Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, The Little Prince, Great Gatsby and Brave New World are all books I try to read again every once in a while. They really aren't just for "young adults," after all. Alice particularly has always resonated with me no matter how old I am when I read it. Other childhood (young adulthood? That just sounds gross) favorites included The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and the Narnia books. Yeah, I loved me some fiction.
After all that, here's the list I submitted, which totally isn't comprehensive or even really what I would have put if I'd given it more thought. After No. 2, they aren't in any particular order (because I can't remember what order I put them in on the survey). Among other things, I'd take Mixed-Up Files off, although it's still my ultimate fantasy to get locked inside the Met, and maybe add James and the Giant Peach and Alice in Wonderland. And Brave New World, which I am ashamed I forgot about. Oh, and Heart of Darkness. THERE IS NO WAY TO CHOOSE JUST TEN.
1. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
2. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
3. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
5. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
9. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
10. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Man, this post is a jumble of thoughts.
What would you guys list as your fave YA books?