If you mention young adult literature to a member of the general public, a few series will probably come to mind their mind. Hopefully, they’ll think of Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, and even though they might know the novels from the movies or Entertainment Weekly covers, at least they’ll associate young adult literature with strong, resourceful heroines and rich, detailed fantasy worlds. They might also think of Twilight. Sparkling, whining Twilight, casting a dark Edward-shaped shadow on the world of YA in the public consciousness. If you step beyond the wall of Bella bookmarks and Jacob travel mugs in your local Barnes and Nobel teen section, however, you’ll see that YA has so much more to offer than live-sucking fetuses and werewolf abs. Click through to read about ten YA books from the last ten years that totally make up for Twilight, and let us know your own favorites in the comments.
Gingerbread, by Rachel Cohn
Cyd Charisse is a complete teenage badass who’s so cool that she can still rock an old rag doll trailing behind her. Gingerbread is written in a voice similar to Francesca Lia Block’s classic YA novel Weetzie Bat, with a little less optimism and a little more snark. Making up her own vocabulary (burr-ito = cold) and hanging out with her tarot card reading senior citizen friend, Cyd is the perfect YA protagonist: confident and independent, but still full of questions she can’t answer herself.