I have an embarrassing confession to make:

Until I started writing a book for Young Adults, I hadn’t acutally read a book for Young Adults, since I was a — you guessed it — very, Young Adult.

As was mentioned in my previous post (which I’ve left up so long just so that it’s the first thing I see when I click over here, so happy am I to be reunited with that beautiful cover…)  there was a time in my life when I DEVOURED books for young readers.  Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, Norma Fox Mazer, Cynthia Voigt — I was obsessed.  There was a corner in my favorite bookstore all the way in the back, near the stairs, where I would sit and flip through the first few pages of the latest RL Stine or Christopher Pike, hurrying to decide which one to beg my dad to let me buy.

But after about the sixth or seventh grade, just about the time when we had to start reading a lot of books in school, I somehow fell off the Y.A. wagon.   And it wasn’t until I started writing Wish that I realized how far and wide (and awesomely) that wagon has traveled.

This year, I’ve read so many amazing YA books.  I am constantly, tirelessly, perhaps borderline obnoxiously, raving about them to my friends.  “You have to read this,” I say.  “You won’t believe it’s YA.”  And — since, what’s the holiday season, really, but a prolonged excuse to force all of the things you love onto all of the people you love — I’ve made a Christmas pledge to myself:

Everyone on my Christmas list will be getting one of my favorite Young Adult titles this year.

Here are a few that I picked up today:

(I can’t tell you how hard it was to not buy anything for myself.)

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

What I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

and…my number one favorite book of this year:

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

If you are a regular reader of Young Adult books, feel free to let me know what I’m missing!

And if you’re not — start with any one of these.  You won’t be sorry.

(But maybe wait until after Christmas — just in case Santa finds you, first! )

xoxo and happy, happy holidays!