Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

One of my favorite debut novels of 2011, it features gaming, typical teen awkwardness and issues over economic classes.

Everyone lives in virtual reality because reality is just to harsh to accept. The founder of OSASIS, the virtual universe, (think of Bill Gates) left his entire fortune and ownership of OSASIS to anyone who can solve easter eggs sprinkled throughout the virtual universe. Its set in 2044 and all the clues references 1980's games/history. Wade, the main character, is a poor, overweight kid living in a squalor development (called stacks) hoping to be the first to crack the first clue. I can't give anything else away but I LOVED it, I believe it has been optioned for a movie as of 2014.  

Craftivism: The Art and Craft of Activism

Edited by Betsy Greer, she follows crafters/activists around the world who uses art to speak out against the injustices around them. Great for inspiration that anything can be used as a medium for support and dialogue. Some of the crafters highlighted include AIDS activism, community building and personal growth.  

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Celebrated author Rainbow Rowell's first YA novel is considered a classic by a lot of YA enthusiasts.  It follows two 'misfits' who find comfort and love with one another in Omaha, Nebraska in the 1980's. What started as enthusiasm over their love of comic books and cassettes leads to something much deeper. I loved this novel and have yet to met anyone who disagrees with me! 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave, now a major motion picture, is a fantasy/apocalyptic novel and although the story focuses on the main character Cassie it is told from differing perspectives. Aliens called 'the Others' have taken over Earth and intend to kill all of humanity. The Others have created waves (get it) of disorder throughout Earth so by the fifth wave all humans are alone for fear of betrayal. Cassie's goal in the first of the trilogy is to find her little brother who is kept at a training camp created by the aliens. Great for fans of Hunger Games or the Divergent series. 

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Sunday, although not a princess, has all the markings of one, including kissing a frog who turns out to be a prince. It combines a few classic fairy tales and the overall theme of happily ever after into an interesting mix. It is told from different points of view, so if your reader has a hard time following a story this book may be a bit more difficult to follow. That being said I would definitely recommend this to any teen who likes fairytale themed books. 

We are all made of Molecules by Susin Nielson

This is what I consider a nice, cozy YA book, it has all the elements of a story that teaches the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover". Stewart is the nerdy boy in school and Ashley is the Queen Bee, both teens have nothing to do with the other until...their parents decide to move in together. The novel follows the two teens navigating their parents relationship, new living arrangements and prejudgements about each other. 

Weekend Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is now a classic for students and is often on required reading lists or on the other end of the spectrum, banned. The book is a classic bildungsroman (a coming of age story). It follows Junior, a budding cartoonist, navigating high school and is told in a diary style manner. It touches on topics related to teenaged years; bullying, school, and sex. It also deals with issues related to Native Americans on reservations such as prejudices and poverty. A great intersect if looking for a diverse YA novel. 

Halloween Edition: Frankenstein

One of my favorite books! It is a great backdrop for the change to cooler weather and the advent of Halloween. There are many movies, some of which are cinematic classics, but nothing beats reading about Victor Frankenstein's attempts at playing God. If you purchase or loan the book make sure you get one with an introduction. It usually gives information about Mary Shelly and possible influences in writing what began as a contest among her husband and his friends in writing a ghost story. She is the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist writer who is famous for A Vindication on the Rights of Women and William Goodwin, a famous philosopher, which could have possibly had a great influence on the layers of the story including the question of creation and nature.