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Top Ten Gateway Books
I thought long and hard about this category, but I read so much that I don't really have any gateway books. So instead, here are the ten books that I recommend to people who are strangers to YA and are interested in a particular genre. Because then it's their gateway. See? Yeah, okay, I'm bad at this.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I've been recommending this book to people since I read it almost ten years ago. It was one of my favourite books as a teenager, and I still often think about Tally, Shay, David and, my favourite, Zane. The second book, Pretties, is my actual favourite, but for obvious reasons I tell people to start with this one. I also tell them to stop after the third book and pretend the fourth one doesn't exist.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
This is probably the book I recommend more than any other, and people are finally starting to listen to me about it! I'm not generally a fan of high fantasy, there's something about it that always seems to put me off, even though I don't know what that is. But I am so glad I overlooked that and read this book. It's already one of my top five of all time.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I'm not a hundred per cent sure this belongs in the fantasy section - I don't know where else I'd put it, but it feels wrong - but this is another book that surprised me. Again, I'm not totally sure what convinced me to pick it up, seeing as I've never been a Peter Pan fan, but I'm really glad I did. It's a beautiful book, so simple but heartbreaking. Recommended to anyone that likes Peter Pan and also anyone who doesn't. So, everyone, basically.
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
I've never been a huge fan of contemporary novels, I read as a form of escapism and contemporary doesn't often fit that category for me, but I've really developed a love for them in the past year or so. This is probably the one that won me over (or the next book on the list, I don't remember which of them I read first) and I frequently recommend it to people that like the TV shows Revenge, Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill.
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Courtney Summers' novels should be required reading for all people, basically, and this one is my absolute favourite. I've lent my copy out so many times that I can't remember the last time it was actually in my possession for more than a week or two. Which is infuriating for two reasons - it's worth other people actually buying instead of borrowing, and I want to reread it but it's never here!
In Sarah's Shadow by Karen McCombie
I'm not sure anyone else in the world has read this book, which is a shame because it means so much to me. And also probably a good thing, because it means so much to me. It might be kind of terrifying if someone I know read it. Still, it hasn't stopped me from recommending it to anyone with even a passing interest in books.
Pure Dead series by Debi Gliori
Sometimes people ask me for something light and fun, and I automatically go to one of my middle grade favourites, because my young adult ones tend to be neither light or fun. Again, I literally don't know anybody who has read this brilliant series - it's starting to feel like people don't actually listen to my recommendations - but you all should because it's excellent. In fact, I'm going to reread them soon, I've just decided.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
I know people who've read this one! It's really good, but I always recommend it with a warning about the second book, which I think is dire. The series improves from there - the second book is the only weak link in the chain, except for the one that came out most recently, which I'm still not happy about. But the others are great. Unfortunately, though, for plot reasons you will have to suffer through book two. I'm sorry.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
I wanted to include a horror category on this list, but I don't actually read horror. Occasionally I'll be chatting about books and someone will ask if I've read any good horror recently - apparently my fondness for dark and twisted makes people assume I read horror - and I hedge and offer this book up. It's genuinely creepy, which I prefer to flat-out gore, and I have a feeling that the third instalment in the series is going to up the creep-factor even more!
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
If I'm being totally honest, the dystopian I recommend most often is The Hunger Games, or Uglies but I see that as more sci-fi, but at this point who hasn't read The Hunger Games? I have a feeling this book will be one I hotly recommend.
So, that's my list. What books do you find yourself recommending over and over to people? Shout out in the comments or leave me a link to your own Top Ten - I love reading them and adding more books to my to-read list (though my wallet isn't such a fan!)