Next year, ONE MILLION books are being handed out for free as part of World Book Night 2012 – and you can help to choose which books they are! Visit www.worldbooknight.org to get involved. To inspire you, our authors have been thinking hard about which YA books they'd love everyone to have the chance to read.
Here, Malinda Lo, author of Huntress, has chosen some absolutely brilliant titles…we'd love to know what you think of them!
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
I first read this novel when I was 12 or 13, and I've reread it countless times since then. I was entranced from the get-go by McKinley's descriptions of the desert, and the golden-eyed king with the beautiful horses. Harry Crewe, too, is one of my favorite heroines of all time because she is truly brave, and she gets to have a great training montage! I love a good training montage. Also, I love Corlath. He's so very kingly.
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
I also read this novel when I was a teen, and it has so much to say about life and death and faith. It's about Vicky Austin, who at 15 spends a summer at her grandfather's house while he is dying of leukemia. Vicky is a wonderful girl: curious and serious and sincere. Also, she gets to swim with dolphins and fall in love with Adam Eddington, who is awesome.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I was totally floored by this book when I first read it, and I was floored again the second and third times, too. Collins does so many things well in this novel: the first person present-tense narrative is perfect for this story; the plot is structured so finely around the competition itself; the made-for-TV love triangle is advanced with incredible finesse. All of these are things I admire from a writerly perspective, but from a reader's perspective, I love the fact that this book is a thrill-ride that also involves cultural critique of the media. All my geek buttons get pushed at once!
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
The first time I read this book I remember being breathless with excitement as Lyra traveled across the north on the back of the polar bear. It was so thrilling and different, and the world was so intricately drawn. That's what amazes me the most about the whole His Dark Materials trilogy: the worldbuilding is incredible. And the love story that blossoms over the course of the trilogy is just heartbreaking. I don't know if I will ever be able to read the third book again because I basically cried for half an hour at the end of it. But that's the sign of a great book, right?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
I love Goblet of Fire the most out of the seven books in the Harry Potter series, probably because I'm a sucker for stories centered on a competition. I also love it because it's when the characters start to really come into their adolescence, and teen love in the Harry Potter series is hilarious (in a good way). Rowling is so adept at working with her giant cast and making each one seem fully fleshed out, even if they play only minor parts.