Even the criticism that is often leveled against "bad writing" or "clichè tropes" is disproportionately brought down on things young women more typically like. Take the heroine with the choice of two hot guys–how often does a dude with two hot women go unremarked upon? Or heroines with some kind of "chosen one" power? Because that never happens to men in fiction. Even our own "Worst Page-Turner" poll had more than its fair share of titles from that particular niche.
So this month's poll is the best fiction marketed to young women. To avoid a quagmire of gender essentialism the conditions for "marketed" will simply be this: a YA novel where the main protagonist is a woman. (That's the MAIN protagonist: Hermione might be very important, but the series is named Harry Potter.)
You may nominate TWO (2) books. Obviously the fifteen books you love can't all be the best you've ever read. Any nominations you give me beyond your first two will be ignored because I'm a despot. (Though I will count them as "seconds" if someone else nominates the same book.)
As usual, I leave up to you what "best" means. But I do want to stress that if you nominate Divergent it should be because you think Divergent is really good, and I wouldn't mind finding a lot of good fiction in this genre that isn't a bit on the formulaic side.
I'm also going to leave it up to you what "YA" means. You may have to make a case for your suggestion in order to get anyone to go along with giving you a second, but genre policing is a big waste of energy.
You may, and SHOULD, "second" as many of the existing nominations as you wish. Nothing will go on to our poll if it doesn't have a second, and sometimes, in the interest of keeping a poll to one month (like a HALLOWEEN POLL...nudge nudge), instead of running semifinals, I may limit the final poll to every title that got three or more "seconds." SO PLEASE SECOND STUFF YOU WANT TO SEE ON THE POLL!
While I technically take nominations from anywhere, you should make a comment to this post. Comments left on social media where I cross post (like my Facebook page) don't tend to get seconded there because they are so quickly buried beneath ever spewing content.
The Will of the Empress, by Tamora PierceReplyDelete
The Sweet Far Thing, by Linnaeus Bray
Seconding The Will of the EmpressDelete
Also seconding The Will of the EmpressDelete
Wee Free Men, by Terry PratchettReplyDelete
A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
Second a Wrinkle in Time.Delete
Seconding Wee Free MenDelete
Another second for Wrinkle in TimeDelete
Third Wee Free MenDelete
Second Wrinkle in TimeDelete
Alanna by Tamora PierceReplyDelete
Mairelon the Magician, Patricia Wrede
Second Mairelon the Magician.Delete
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede.ReplyDelete
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.
Second Dealing with DragonsDelete
Third Dealing with DragonsDelete
Fourth Dealing With DragonsDelete
Second Pippi LongstockingDelete
Third Pippi LongstockingDelete
Slayers- by C.J. HillReplyDelete
Mistborn- by Branden Sanderson
Fourth for Mistborn!Delete
I got a thing for Martian ChicksReplyDelete
Arabella of Mars by David Levine
Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein
So two books huh?ReplyDelete
Angel's Blade-Elizabeth M. Azzinaro (not marketed to girls directly but it does have a great female protagonist that has the spirit of a true hero)
Catching fire-Suzanne Collins
Second for Catching FireDelete
Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan StroudReplyDelete
Demon Road series by Derek Landy
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasReplyDelete
Seconding Throne of Glass series.Delete
Thirding Throne of GlassDelete
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryReplyDelete
Second Anne...she's lovely!Delete
Seconding Anne ... spelled with an "e"!Delete
There was my first suggestion! Enthusiastically seconding (thirding? fourthing?) Anne!Delete
(One from me, one from a friend)ReplyDelete
Tamora Pierce - Protector of the Small (I dunno, pick one)
Robin McKinley - The Blue Sword
Second Blue SwordDelete
Thirding Blue SwordDelete
fourthing Blue SwordDelete
The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)ReplyDelete
The Host (Stephanie Meyer)
Second The Host!Delete
Third The HostDelete
The entire Old Kingdom series - Sabriel, Lirael, by Garth Nix. They're fantasy, but kind of fit the YA troupe? Either way, they're fantastic books with excellent female characters.ReplyDelete
Lauren Oliver's Delirium series is fantastic as well, and definitely YA.
Seconding the Old Kingdom series, it's really good.Delete
Seconding Old Kingdom *and* DeliriumDelete
The Lunar Chronicles are probably the best YA I have ever read. Clever retelling of classic fairy tales in sci-fi setting - gotta love that! Also, every book of the series has a different, interesting heroine and all of them are likable (which is often not the case in this genre for me.)ReplyDelete
second Lunar Chronicles. Though I've only actually read the first two.Delete
Fourth Lunar ChroniclesDelete
Fifth Lunar ChroniclesDelete
The Harper Hall Trilogy - Anne McCaffreyReplyDelete
Second for Harper HallDelete
A Wrinkle in TimeReplyDelete
The Mists of Avalon
Second A Wrinkle in Time...also...ReplyDelete
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
How I Live Now - Meg RosoffReplyDelete
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Second How I Live Now. Also one of the few books turned into movies that I felt did the book justice!Delete
Anything at all by Tamora Pierce. As a young girl, her writing was the first thing I ever encountered that showed strong women who were being strong for themselves, not just for a man to watch being strong. Her characters had the first, true, adult relationships I had ever seen. She was the first to introduce me to anything outside of my closed off religious upbringing, and for me that was incredibly growing. And, of course, her worlds were well thought out and her magic always intrigued me. She remains one of my biggest inspirations and will forever be my first book suggestion for any young girl.ReplyDelete
Because you want two books, these are book #1 in my two favorite series from her.
Alanna: The First Adventure, Tamora Pierce
Terrier, Tamora Pierce
The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterReplyDelete
I'll second the Raven BoysDelete
"In the Forests of the Night" by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.ReplyDelete
"Glass Houses" (first of the Morganville Vampire Series) by Rachel Caine.
Second Glass HousesDelete
Both "Illuminae" and "Gemina" from Illuminae files by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffReplyDelete
Afterworlds, by Scott WesterfeldReplyDelete
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
"Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" by Fannie Flagg,ReplyDelete
Submitted by Christie (his better half)
The Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip PullmanReplyDelete
Second the Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (that one changed my life when I was about 12)
Second Ruby in the SmokeDelete
The Seventh, by SD Wasley. Excellent writing. So good in fact that it's easy to forget that it's YA.ReplyDelete
Can't remember anything else, too long ago!
I Am Princess X, by Cherie Priest. Possibly the best YA I've read in half a lifetime. Bonus points for not needing romantic subplots at ALL.ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle.ReplyDelete
Second Harper Hall trilogy
Second A Ring of Endless LightDelete
Second Ring of Endless LightDelete
The Joy Luck Club by Amy TanReplyDelete
Nancy Drew series
Seconding Nancy Drew.Delete
second Nancy DrewDelete
MZB was a child abuser and child r*pist. I argue that should disqualify her from any poll wver, but especially one about the class of children she victimized, even of her books were YA, which they aren't and were never market as.ReplyDelete
Was the author you commented on removed?Delete
Goodnight stories for rebel girls by Elena FavilliReplyDelete
Not sure if that's considered YA but it's an AMAZING book definitely marketed to females!
#2 The fault in our stars by John Green
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
Priestess of the White - Trudi CanavanReplyDelete
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
I'll second GracelingDelete
The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley.ReplyDelete
Kindred, by Octavia Butler. (Or any of her others, really.)
Snow Queen, by Joan Vinge.
War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull.
Jack of Kinrowan, by Charles de Lint.
Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones.
The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire.
The Prudence novels by Gail Carriger.
Second October Daye and Prudence, though I think the Finishing School series is more YA as wellDelete
Second Prudence novels (but for YA, Etiquette and Espionage is closer)ReplyDelete
Second War for the Oaks, and October Daye, although I'm not sure either of them really count as YA, either.
The Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger (Etiquette & Espionage, etc.)ReplyDelete
Second Finishing School seriesDelete
Seconding Throne of Glass series...ReplyDelete
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Seconding Throne of Glass series..ReplyDelete
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Sara Pascoe - AnimalReplyDelete
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman (It does come published as one book, so that counts, right?). Or if we want to just say one of the books, Golden Compass.ReplyDelete
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (really any of her books, but this one in particular!)ReplyDelete
A Ring of Endless Light - Madeline L'EngleReplyDelete
Jacob Have I Loved - Katharine Patterson
Runners up - All of the Madeline L'Engle books I've read - especially the entire series featuring Vicky Austin, A House Like a Lotus, Young Unicorns and of course A Wrinkle in Time.
Second Jacob Have I LovedReplyDelete
Seconding Lunar ChroniclesReplyDelete
Second Wrinkle in Time
Since A Wrinkle in Time has already been nominated,ReplyDelete
Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace and
Borderline by Mishell Baker
Hmm, I'm surprised no one's mentioned Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series. I guess you could debate whether they're technically Young Adult, but the "Arrows of the Queen" trilogy follows many of the YA genre conventions. If Tamora Pierce is YA, I think Mercedes Lackey is, too. So yeah, my nominations:ReplyDelete
"Arrows of the Queen" trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
"Flowers in the Attic" by VC Andrews
OK, I'm gonna defend my second choice, here: "Flowers in the Attic" may not necessarily be the deepest or most well-written book, but there *is* a reason that most women I've met (most *American* women, I should clarify) read the book in their early-to-mid teens, with many of us developing a fascination with it, and often V.C. Andrews novels more generally. Teen girls tend to find the story extremely compelling, and for some reason, it appeals to a wide variety of young women. You could argue that the appeal comes from the sexual situations...but compared to a lot of other novels (YA or otherwise), the sexual stuff takes up a relatively small part of the overall novel, and certainly isn't as explicit as some. Women I've talked to often seem to have an emotional connection to the book(s), look back on them with fondness (if some embarrassment), a sense of camaraderie that sometimes arises, even among strangers, when reminiscing about them -- aspects that aren't shared with many other YA novels, even other popular or sexually explicit/transgressive YA novels.
Honestly, I think the book itself is more successful functioning as a coming of age story for real, actual human girls, than it is at telling a coming of age story within the pages of the novel. There are generations of girls for whom finding "Flowers in the Attic" is a rite of passage. It's certainly not *universal*, but it's widespread. There's a reason my friends and I snuck copies of the book home with us, and there's a reason Middle School students today continue passing it around...even if I'm not entirely sure what that reason is. But I think the book has both a personal *and* a cultural importance greater than its own (admittedly overwrought, ham-fisted) prose.
(And also, Young Erin would've pitched a fit if I failed to at least nominate it.)
I have to nominate a classic: Jane Eyre. Loved it when I was young, and let's represent some of the older stuff!ReplyDelete
Also, I love Holly Black - but I'm not sure which of her books to choose!Delete
Seconding Throne of Glass series...ReplyDelete
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