Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Best YA in the World

Wow, an entire week has gone by without one of my lists. Can you believe it? I'm so overdue! What shall the topic be today? Any requests? Shall it be something chick lit-esque? Or maybe some more pop culture? Or some romance? Let's flip a coin...coin toss in progress...coin falls under chair...find new coin...forget what was heads and what was tails...flip again...and chick lit it is! How about best young adult (YA) series? (aren't all these questions fun? Oh, look--another question!). Well, we better get started:

1) The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

This series has ten full length novels and three novellas. Personally, I think the third and tenth books are the best (they have the best romantic moments) and the ninth is the worst (it has no romantic moments). I have been reading these novels since I ordered the first one from my fourth grade Scholastic Book Order (remember those? They're so retro!). This series has my absolute favourite literary couple--a miss Mia Thermopolis and mister Michael Moscovitz. Oh, how I love Michael Moscovitz (and I hate hate hate JP. Even before the tenth book). I love the song in book 1, the dress comment in book 2, the dance in book 3, the car scene in book 4, the birthday dinner in book 5, the pizza place in book 6, and, of course, the entirety of the tenth book (and, really, anyone who just got all those references deserves a giant round of applause, I must say). Anyone not familiar with the books probably knows the two films of the same name. The films are a tirade for another day. But I will say that this scene was FANTASTIC. And that all of the stuff in the second film didn't happen in the books. Like Michael and Mia would ever break up! (well, not in the second book at least). I feel like I'm not doing these books justice. Well, just watch this video and you'll understand why I love this series.

2) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

You'll see that the picture I've selected only has the first three books. That was not a mistake. I love the first three books in this series, but I absolutely hated the last book, so I prefer to think of this a trio of books instead of a quartet. Yes, the first three books were great--the third one especially (Girls in Pants). I love these books for a few reasons. First of all, I love the four girls. Lena, the one who doesn't want to be beautiful. Carmen, the passionate, loving one. Bridget, the daredevil one. And Tibby, the individual. I love them all for their quirks. They're unique characters and well-developed characters. The second thing I love is their friendship. I wish I had friends like these. And third thing I love is, of course, the romance. I love love love love love love (this could go on for a while) Bridget and Eric (who, by the by, get back together in the books, unlike the movies). But I also adore Tibby and Brian, in their own way. I'm not that much of a Kostos fan, though he is cute in the second book, until the whole pregnancy thing. The first three books are all great. Read them. Now.

3) The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty

Jessica Darling is the most hilarious character of all time. No lie. And Marcus Flutie is bad-ass. And all the other characters are great as well. I mean, who doesn't love Jessica's university list from book 2? And who doesn't crack up at Jess's dad and the running videos? It's classic stuff, I tell you. And of course, Marcus and Jessica are just about the sweetest couple of all time. The second book and the fifth book are great, just because they are together. I guarantee you're going to love them. You. Yes. You. (There's a little inside joke for all you Jessica fans!).

Wow, are those really the only great YA series? Couldn't be. But, really, I can't think of any others. I already shared my feelings on Harry Potter. And Twilight does not belong on this list. There are some other books, like the Bass Ackwards novels by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, but they're not really a big series, so they don't feel like they belong on this list. What do you think? Are they're any I'm missing?

Well, then, that's it for today folks. If you are a YA fan, you should vote for your favourite book in this contest. Not to influence your choices or anything, but I personally voted for Forever Princess (Princess Diaries series), Girl in Pants (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series), Second Helpings (Jessica Darling series), The Truth About Forever (a great Sarah Dessen, though not in a series), and fifth book I forget. I hope they win! (especially the one I forgot. That one's extra special!)


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