Look Book: YA releases spark interest

Maddie Davis and Rachel Lock, Features Editor and Entertainment Editor

We know what you’re thinking. After turning to this page, opening it and seeing pictures of books, you’re mentally groaning. You, like most teenagers, probably hate reading. But like most high school students, there is a high probability that you will be assigned an outside reading book for your English class. Take it from two bibliophiles — for the reluctant reader and bookworms alike, here are some novels that remind us “The Hunger Games” isn’t the only book for high school students.


“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

Synopsis: The tale of Liesel Meminger, a young orphaned girl taken in by an old couple in Nazi Germany, reminds us that German citizens were affected by Hitler’s oppressive rule in addition to Jews and other minorities. Her love of books drives this determined girl to risk everything. A heartwarming, riveting tale that gives a whole new perspective to World War II, this novel is sure to please.

Review: This book is well-written, and the perspective, from the point of view of “death,” is very unique. The characters really bring the novel to life and are very relatable. Despite the dismal setting, the novel is captivating and difficult to put down.


“Wake” by Lisa McMann

Synopsis: Following the life of Janie Hannagan, a 17-year-old who inadvertently gets sucked into people’s dreams, this novel combines elements of realism with the supernatural. Of course, the apparent bad boy who is more than meets the eye falls for the independent, aspiring Janie. Filled with action and adventure that are sure to surprise you, this book will allow you to explore the psychological side of peoples’ dreams and realities.

Review: The idea of entering peoples’ dreams adds a unique supernatural element. The trilogy concludes with “Fade” and “Gone,” making this a solid series. These novels are relatively short in length and are quick, exciting reads.


“Unwind” by Neal Shusterman

Synopsis: This novel is set in a futuristic society after the Second Civil War, which was fought over reproductive rights. New laws maintain that human life is inviolable from birth to age 13, but between ages 13 to 18, parents can choose to have their children “unwound” — or, have all of their organs transplanted to different humans so that their lives don’t technically end. The lives of Lev, Risa and Connor are at stake in this spellbinding tale of perseverance and right versus wrong.

Review: “Unwind” is unlike most other current dystopian novels. The teller of the story changes with every few chapters, which keeps the plotline interesting and diverse. Other books in the series include “Unwholly,” “Unsouled” and “Undivided.”


“Proxy” by Alex London

Synopsis: In this society, you’re either a Patron — a wealthy, upper class citizen — or you’re a Patron’s Proxy — pretty much the exact opposite. Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. His Proxy, Syd, is punished whenever Knox does something wrong. Syd has no control over his life whatsoever. Knox could care less about his Proxy, but he soon finds that he doesn’t exactly have control of his life, either. The two find that the only way to beat the system is to save each other.

Review: The modern technology component and the classic privileged vs. unprivileged struggle elevate this YA novel above competing books. “Guardian” is the recently released next installation of the series.