Marie Claire's Best YA of 2019
It's winter, half the country is covered in snow, and it's time to snuggle up with a fleece blanket and a mug of hot tea and dive into your next favorite YA novel. The genre is perfect for winter hibernation—my favorite YA books are equal parts sincere, heartbreaking, and unflinchingly honest. The kind you can zip through in an afternoon or two...
YA has never shied away from reflecting reality in all its beauty and brutality. Think contemporary classics like The Outsiders, Speak, or The Hate You Give. These books give us the mirrors and windows we need to see and understand the world. What’s less obvious is how YA fantasy worlds are eerie reflections of reality too. I started noticing this when I first read the Hunger Games. At the time I was working in Africa, interviewing refugees who had fled from Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo, Eritrea. I was like, Hunger Games isn’t fiction! It’s Ethiopia! District 12 is just Oromia and the Capital is Addis Ababa! (I was told to get some rest and maybe lay off the fantasy novels)...