This week's topic is about the books we'd recommend or give to people who'd never read anything from a particular genre before. This list, I should add, isn't my "OMG THESE YA BOOKS ARE AMAZING YOU HAVE TO READ THEM" list. Because if people haven't read anything from a particular genre, the chances are they'll be a little reluctant to try it. So instead, this is my list of gateway books. Like a gateway drug only not.
1. Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
One of those books that's technically young adult when you consider the age of the protagonist, but which REALLY doesn't read like YA. It's a gut-wrenching historical fiction, while also being the story of an adorable friendship. An excellent starting point for those who love historical fiction.
2 and 3. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green, The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
I know a few people who would deny wholeheartedly that they enjoy young adult books, but they'll happily go out and watch The Hunger Games or The Fault in Our Stars or Divergent at the movies. And once they've seen the movie and are interested in the story, you can say "Oh, have you read the book?". BOOM.
4. Sabriel - Garth Nix
This series feels a lot more like fantasy than it does young adult. It's a brilliantly developed world filled with characters who are moving into adulthood. So for those who love paranormal/high fantasy books, this is an excellent transition into the world of young adult fantasy books.
5. Pointe - Brandy Colbert
Much like Code Name Verity, this is a YA book that I'd be hesitant to hand to anyone younger than sixteen. It's the story of a teenaged ballet dancer with a big fat secret in her past. The secret emerges slowly over the course of the book, and I had knots in my stomach trying to finish it.
6. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
This book seems to polarise people quite a lot. Personally, I adored it. Considering it's a book about a young girl, the choice of narrator is REALLY interesting. And my mum - who's all "Pff, YA" most of the time (HI MUM) - loved it too.
7. Saving Francesca - Melina Marchetta
This book is feels-tastic, and yes, it's kind of the epitome of teenage girl problems. BUT. It's also an excellent insight into how the actions of adults and the events that are happening at home can impact on the lives of children and teenagers and affect them in unexpected ways.
8. Dodger - Terry Pratchett
A delightful retelling featuring classic characters that we know and love. Filled with historically accurate awesomeness and an excellent gateway book for lovers of historical fiction AND classic novels.
9. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
Technically more of a middle grade book, this is such a powerful story that it can be enjoyed (in as much as one can enjoy such a cry-tastic book) by practically all ages. Plus, it's really short, so it's pretty easy to convince people who are reluctant to give it a try!
10. Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden
Full of action and adventure and wartime sabotage and I don't even know what else. Yes, the characters are teenagers. But when it comes to books set during a war, the age of the protagonists is kind of irrelevant.
What books would you give to people reluctant to read YA?