Jul 2014
Lauren Florea

The Magic of Young Adult Novels


“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Beautiful Chaos, by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

My summer reading has consisted almost entirely of young adult novels. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green has graced that list, and so has The Diviners by Libba Bray. I know most novels that are considered “young adult” are actually books about teenagers, written for teens. But I can’t help it; a part of me still feels like a teenager and no part of me feels anything close to full adult status, so I feel completely validated in my need to continue reading these books.

My latest conquest has been the Beautiful Creatures novels. And when I say conquest, I mean I requested all four books in the series from the library at the same time, giving me a three week time limit to read them before I have to return them. I don’t take reading lightly. I’m the person who can carve a week out of my life and sit down to read all seven Harry Potter books in those seven days. So four books in 21 days? Not a problem. (It’s day 11, I’ve already started the third book. No sweat.)

Beautiful Creatures follows the stories of Ethan and Lena, two teens living in Gatlin, South Carolina. One is mortal, one is a caster, and yes, obviously they fall in love and their worlds collide. But it’s more than just a love story. It’s a look into the darkness and light, it’s about discovering one’s true nature, and it’s about sacrifice for the one’s we love. It’s also a magical world with light and dark casters, incubuses, sheers, vexes, seers, and a network of tunnels underneath the world we know that houses more than we could possibly imagine.

Basically, these books have been a portal to another place for me this summer and sometimes that’s all you can ask from a book. To take you to a different world, to show you a world that is an escape from the one we live in. To remind us that no matter how cracked or broken things may seem, there is also light. And I will continue to read young adult books because these are the kind of worlds I want to continue to immerse myself in.

Do you have any young adult book suggestions that I should add to my summer reading list? Tweet at me: @LaurenFlorea