My YA Book Club Recommendations

I was going to do this week's Book Club themed Top Ten Tuesday, but then there was a blizzard, Photobucket went down, and my Wednesday post accidentally popped up on Tuesday. Total #bloggerfail.

So, yes, it's Wednesday, but I am here to offer you Book Club Suggestions from the YA genre.

Here are my criteria for good book club books:

1. Books that are not too long. I mean, we all have good intentions, but then life interferes...
2. Books that will provoke strong opinions and good discussion. 
3. Standalones. Maybe this is just me, but I don't always want to be roped into a new series.

These are all picks that I've read -- click on the cover to get to the book's Goodreads page, and click on the title for my review.

Lies We Tell Ourselves Thin Space This Song Will Save Your Life
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (Harlequin 2014)
This book is historical fiction, set in the 1950s US during school integration, but provides insight into issues that are still relevant today. 

Thin Space by Jodi Casella (Simon Pulse 2013)
A combination of grief book and thriller, this story of a boy mourning the loss of his twin offers a spooky vibe and some very cool plot twists.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (FSG 2013)
Honest and uplifting, this book chronicles the journey of a girl from high school misfit to confident club kid.

Noggin Something Real Dangerous Girls
Noggin by John Corey Whaley (Atheneum 2014)
This book a boy whose head is cryogenically frozen and then used to reanimate him is part sci-fi, part black comedy, part coming-of-age story. If your book group likes literary writing, you might also try Where Things Come Back by the same author.

Something Real by Heather Demetrios (Henry Holt 2014)
If your book group is an eclectic mix of reality TV watchers and PBS highbrows, this book offers something for everyone: a Jon and Kate Plus Eight reality show, probing questions about the nature of reality TV, and an almost-too-perfect YA love interest.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (Simon Pulse 2013)
Is your book group hooked on Pretty Little Liars? This book has a bit of a "ripped from the headlines" feel and a page-turning plot.

The Midnight Dress Please Ignore Vera Dietz Charm & Strange
The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee (Knopf 2013)
Not everyone on Goodreads adored this as much as I did, but it's a mystery with some magical realism and a fantastic (historical) Australian setting.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King (Knopf 2010)
Though I'm not usually a fan of magical realism, I adored this story of a prickly girl, her well-meaning father, and her secret love for her best friend Charlie.

Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn (St Martin's 2013)
It was a toss up for me between this and Kuehn's more recent Complicit. Both feature lovely writing a spooky vibe, and dark secrets. 

If your book group prefers award-winners, both Please Ignore Vera Dietz and Charm & Strange fit the bill. And check out these Mini-reviews of three Printz winning books, including Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

Have you read any of these, or do you have other suggestions? Leave your thoughts in comments!


  1. charm and Strange, Dangerous Girls, Noggin... all great discussion books. Great list.

  2. I loved Something Real and it's definitely a great discussion book! :)

  3. I've heard so many things about Dangerous Girls! Awesome list:)

  4. The Midnight Dress cover looks really cool! Here's my TTT if you want to check it out:

  5. I'd love to read Lies We Tell Ourselves, Dangerous Girls, The Midnight Dress, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz! If you don't mind rereading any of those. I know you said before that I'd probably be a fan of TMD, but then I didn't have the time to read it back then :(. Also, I like your criteria for book club picks especially #3 just because there are SO many series, I feel like I can't avoid them anyway. :)

  6. This Song Will Save Your Life is a great pick. Something Real is on my list after loving her other contemporary. And I still want to read Dangerous Girls. Great picks!

  7. I just finished I'll Meet You There so I would love to try something else by that author!

    TSWSYL was fantastic, I have Lies We Tell Ourselves and keep meaning to read Noggin.

    Great list.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  8. I haven't read anything of these, but several are on my TBR right now. Great list!

  9. I agree with your criteria. Stand Alones are definitely great for book clubs :D I haven't read the Midnight Dress but I Love the cover :D

  10. Awesome recommendations, they are literally all on my TBR pile. I agree that short, standalones are best for book club because if you are like me, you tend to wait until the last minute to read everything :)

  11. Ahhh... I hate it when things get messed up like that! But yay for this post! I love getting recommendations. I have to agree with you, I prefer shorter books these days. It's not that longer books are worse or harder to read but when you don't have as much time, it becomes harder to read one long book when you could be reading two short ones instead :P

    I also wish there were not as many series out there :/ Standalones are niceeee and there need to be more of them (in other genres besides contemporary).

    Anyway, I've heard of most of your suggestions, have some on my list and have read a few! I am so happy to see Lies We Tell Ourselves on your list though since it was one of my favorites of last year and I think it's a book everyone should read and love! :D

    Also YAY for On the Jellicoe Road! That book is an all time favorite and it's just fantastic :)

    Thanks for sharing all these suggestions, Jen! :D

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  12. Your criteria is great! And you've picked a nice selection of books. Charm & Strange was fantastic, so I agree that it'll generate lots of discussion! I hope to read Dangerous Girls and Lives We Tell Ourselves soon.

    Angie @ Pinkindle

  13. I have a YA for adults book club I started at work a few years ago and we read Noggin. Everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for these recs!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  14. I've got a few of these books on my Kindle so I might have to bump a few of these up the list!

  15. Some amazing recommendations! I agree that Dangerous Girls, Lies We Tell Ourselves and This Song Will Save Your Life are amazing!!

    I have Something Real and Charm & Strange in my TBR pile so I hope I can get to them soon!
    The Midnight Dress sounds intriguing, so I'll have to check it out!

  16. Great picks! I would like the read Lies We Tell Ourselves, and the thriller/spooky books your have up there seem pretty good too.

  17. Ooh, I actually think we should read Lies We Tell Ourselves! It seems like a great book to discuss ;) I also agree about the standalones versus series when it comes to book club picks; less of a commitment, if you ask me (not to the club, to the books) ;)

  18. I'm so so so happy I found you blog. I am a college student and a blogger myself and I have been longing to find some great books to read ,to take a break from all the textbooks I spend 95% of my day reading. Really excited to give some of your suggestions a try , especially since spring break is coming up .

  19. Oo the Midnight Dress? I've heard of it, but now I'm extra curious!

    I just got Lies We Tell Ourselves and I can't wait to read it!


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