The YA Gift-Giving Guide

Frequently at work (yes, I work at a bookstore, and yes, it is glorious) I meet parents, adults, teens, and kids all wandering through the teen department with wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights expressions. When I approach them, the conversation usually goes something like this…

Customer: “I/my child/my friend just read [insert bestselling teen book here, usually turned into a movie] and loved it. I wanted to find something like it, but holy crap, there’s so many teen books! What else is good?”

Me: “Well, what kind of things do you/your child/your friend like to read? Fantasy, sci-fi, romance, contemporary fiction?”

Customer: “I don’t know. I just really loved [insert same book].”

Me: “Okay… Let me show you some similar books.”

From these conversations, as well as my own reading experience, I’ve learned to have certain fail-safe titles I can recommend that customers almost always go for. With the holidays quickly approaching (is that jingle bells I hear? …nope, just the sound of desperate, sometimes grouchy customers), I’ve put my mental guide on digital paper in the hopes that it’ll help someone at a loss for a gift or in need of a new series to start. And I’m well aware that not all of these suggestions are very original, but I’m recommending them anyway and you can’t stop me! [Insert maniacal cackling]

Emotional stories dealing with real-life issues, such as:

 Humorous, real-life stories with witty characters, such as:
Action-packed stories set in dystopian worlds, such as:
 Realistic and dark stories of post-apocalyptic worlds, such as:
 Alternate universe retellings of familiar stories, such as: 
 Fantasy and magic-filled stories with strong heroines, such as:
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