Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Top Ten All Time Favourite Books in YA-genre

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I hemmed and hummed over which genre I should pick for this week and I think in the end, the YA-genre triumphed over the fantasy genre. Mostly because I read extensively back in high school and I really needed this meme to remind me of some of my old-time favourites. It's been a while so I had to resort skimming through GoodReads to remind me of the books I read back in high school. So without further ado, here are my top ten all time favourite novels from the Young Adult section.

10. Letters from the Inside by John Marsden

Most people know John Marsden for his series Tomorrow When the War Began, which I think got made into a movie adaptation a few years back too. And yes, I really enjoyed that series too. Never got around to finishing it because towards the end, the volumes all seemed a bit repetitive to hold the attention span of a teenage girl in the midst of her final year exams. So I decided to pick another one of his works that I really enjoyed, Letters from the Inside. It is a weird format as it consists entirely of letters written back and forth between two pen pals but despite that, the story unfolds smoothly.

9. Jacko Moran Sniper by Ken Catran

This is sadly a relatively unknown novel that I picked up on a whim from the library back when I was in high school. I think it's out of print at the moment as well, which is a real shame as I really enjoyed this novel. It  isn't the type of thing I'd normally read but something about the story just stuck with me, even years after I read it. There's a quote that even now I remember, perhaps not the exact wording, but it goes something like this:
War didn't kill me. But peace did.
I'd really like to get my hands on a copy of this now but sadly, as I mentioned before, I can't seem to find it anywhere :(

8. Holes by Louis Sachar

I read this in class in primary school, I think, back before the movie adaptation came out. I remember being really frustrated as I didn't quite grasp the concept of the alternating between the present and the past. But then when the plot was revealed and everything clicked together, I was like, wow, this is awesome.

A few years later, our high school class went to watch a movie together. I initially started off thinking this plot seems strangely familiar and it wasn't until halfway through the film I realized this was a movie adaptation of a book I'd forgotten I'd read long ago.

7. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

I absolutely adored this book. Just thinking about it brings back fond memories. While admittedly, I initially picked up this book due to my obsession with horses, this story is really timeless and it is much more than just a story about a horse. Through the eyes of Black Beauty as he weather various jobs and lives, the reader was given a beautiful clear imagery of turn-of-the-century London.

6. The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques

No one does epic fantasy sagas for children better than Brian Jacques. I grew up with the Redwall series. While some outshine the others a little bit (Salamandastron, Triss, Lord Brocktree to name just a few), each one of them holds a special place in my heart. Admittedly, they are not for everyone and the beginning tends to be quite slow in terms of pacing, but for anyone looking for a good story to chase out the winter chill, these are fabulous.

5. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

I think Looking for Alibrandi may be Melina Marchetta's better known novel as that was made into a film back in 2000 (wow, that long ago?!) but I always enjoyed Saving Francesca just that little bit more. In this story, Francesca is attending a high school that has recently just turned co-ed (by that, it meant the school put in a female bathroom and that's it). If that wasn't enough for her to deal with, her mother has had a breakdown and spends most of the day curled up in her bed. This is just a really good empowering coming-of-age book.

4. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Consisting of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. Oh man, stumbling onto this on GoodReads makes me wonder how on earth I could have forgotten about this series. If you haven't heard of this series, please, whatever you do, do not watch the movie! The books are much better.

3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I picked up this series purely because a friend of mine mentioned the beginnings are funny. And she was right. I have yet to come across another series of books which start by trying to dissuade readers from continuing on with the book. These tales are funny, engaging and just an overall enjoyable read. I must admit I did fall off the band wagon at volume 9 and have yet to complete the series. But the earlier volumes remain some of my favourites and one day, when I get the chance, I'll definitely come back and finish this series.

2. Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

I only started reading Rick Riordan this year and already, his works are some of my all-time favourites. I loved the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and again, you should avoid watching the movie adaptations. They took everything that was good out of the books and threw it all onto the ground. I feel like the only thing they took was Percy Jackson's name and uhm... that's about it.

I'm part way through The Heroes of Olympus series and I can't wait for the final volume to come out this year.

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I don't think any YA-fiction list can be complete without J.K. Rowling's magical Harry Potter series. These books literally were the bookends my childhood. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was one of the first that was read out aloud in class by my primary school teacher, back when I was still a recent migrant from China and had no idea what she was reading. And the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out in the middle of my final year in high school. It was a stressful year but we all made time to read the book (I ended up reading till 4AM to avoid getting spoiled by anyone).

So there you go, these are my 10 picks from the YA-genre. What are some of your favourites? Or perhaps you picked a different genre to highlight this week. Either way, leave a comment/link down below and I'll be sure to check it out!


  1. Oh great picks! I love Harry Potter so much!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Thanks :) yes, Harry Potter will probably be a key feature in a lot of book bloggers' list this week :)

  2. The Percy Jackson books have been my favorites since I was eleven and my love for the only grows! And I totally agree about the movies I was so disappointed when the first one came out. Great list!

    1. Thanks :) I haven't watched the second movie yet. The first one's still lingering in my head. :(

  3. Great topic and list! I loves Black Beauty!
    My TTT

    1. Me too! I almost completely forgot about it until I stumbled across it on Goodreads

  4. Your list includes some of my favorite series, like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Plus, I love how you included A Series of Unfortunate Events - it seems to often be overlooked, but that series was so hilarious and terrifying at the same time.

    1. Thanks :) Though I haven't finished the series, I really do enjoy them and it still comes highly recommended :)

  5. Holes is such a great book -- I just sent it to one of my friends who is in jail. Here's my Top 10

    1. Thanks for dropping by Keri :) Not sure what your friend is doing in jail but I hope s/he is doing okay :(

  6. I agree with you on the Lemony Snicket books I liked them and then it off the rails a bit. Harry Potter is wonderful and Percy Jackson is on my list of books to get to one day. Great list!

  7. Ahh a Redwall fan! And you picked my favourite book for the cover too :). I seriously inhaled the Redwall series as a kid. My brother and I used to have knock out, drag down fights over who would get to read the newest ones haha (I won a lot more for the earlier ones. Then he got big.)