March 25, 2020
If you’re one of the thousands of people in the United States that either has the coronavirus or might have come in contact with it or if you’re practicing responsible social distancing/self-quarantine, you’re going to be spending a lot of time alone at home right now. Books are one of the best ways to escape into a world that isn’t your own for a little while.
With the rise of audiobook services and ways to get ebooks on your phone or other devices, it’s easy to fill your endless hours quarantined away with some good reads. If you’re not really in the mood to read nonfiction right now because real life is a little bit too much, here are seven Young Adult books to read while you’re stuck inside for the next two weeks:
1. “The Lunar Chronicles” series, Marissa Meyer
If you’re looking for a series to get lost in, this is the first one I would recommend. This series is set in a dystopian future where there’s an impending conflict between the Lunar People and the people of what used to be Earth. There are cyborgs, including the main character Cinder. Each book in the series introduces a new character that is a unique, dystopian, almost steampunk approach to the classic fairytale princesses, like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. This series hooked me from the beginning, and I’m definitely planning on finishing the rest of it while I’m home.
2. “Persepolis,” Marjane Satrapi
“Persepolis” is a graphic novel memoir written by Marjane Satrapi. It details her experience living in Iran during the Islamic revolution. This subject was something I had never looked into on my own before reading this book. It was really interesting to see a memoir told through the format of a graphic novel, and it was able to keep my attention much more than a regular book. If you enjoy history and want to increase your knowledge of revolutions in other countries, give this a read.
3. “Ready Player One,” Ernest Cline
Love pop culture, video games and dystopian novels? Look no further than “Ready Player One.” This novel follows Wade Watts as he becomes involved in the search for puzzles left behind by the creator of the virtual reality system, OASIS. OASIS is where most people spend all of their time in this future, and when Watts finds the first clue in a series of quests, he realizes that people are willing to kill, either in the game— or in real life. In order to live, he has to find all of the clues and pass all of the tests to win.
4. “I’ll Give You the Sun,” Jandy Nelson
I know that not everyone is going to want to read a dystopian novel in a time where real life feels like it could be the setting of one. If you’re looking for something heartfelt, beautifully written, but not dystopian, read “I’ll Give You the Sun.” This novel follows the lives of twins Jude and Noah and slowly reveals the stories of their lives. The chapters describing the past are told through Noah’s point of view, and the future chapters are through Jude’s. This novel made me cry a lot, but luckily it was happy tears.
5. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” Sherman Alexie
This novel follows Junior, a Native American teen living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He enjoys drawing cartoons and feels that there’s a life for him outside of the reservation, so he decides to transfer to the all-white school outside of his reservation. The author of this novel, Sherman Alexie, said that it’s based on his own experiences growing up as a Native American in the U.S. This book would be a great read right now if you’re unfamiliar with the struggles of Native Americans in the United States. They’re currently struggling a lot with the spread of coronavirus on reservations, especially because they’re not getting the health care assistance they should be from the government. After reading this, maybe consider donating to a Native American to aid with COVID-19 relief.
6. “Fangirl,” Rainbow Rowell
Here’s another novel that has nothing to do with dystopian futures or the scary reality of not being a white American. This novel is actually about fanfiction, and it’s amazing. It explores two twin sisters that grew a fanbase writing fanfiction about fictional character Simon Snow. Now that they’re at college, Cath wants to continue their writing but Wren distances herself, saying she doesn’t want to live with Cath their freshman year. This book is relatively low-stakes but will still get you in your feels.
7. “Zeroes,” Scott Westerfield
Last but not least, we have “Zeroes.” This book is about six California teens that have superpowers. They’re called Zeroes, and when something goes wrong with one of the teens, the only people that can help are the other Zeroes. That becomes a little difficult when we learn that they’re not very fond of each other anymore. “Zeroes” is full of adventure, action and emotion, and, even as someone that doesn’t always enjoy reading high-stakes action novels, this was an incredibly enjoyable adventure, to say the least.