How to Select Your Next YA Read
How to Select Your Next YA Read
After I finish a spectacular book, I can’t even think about picking up a new one. . While reading YA books, the book hangovers can be REAL. There are all of these fantastic storylines and characters that you just connect with, and when you finish those stories, it feels like you’ve closed the book on a little piece of your heart. Like me, you might find yourself curled up on the floor in the fetal position contemplating how your favourite author could kill off your book boyfriend like that! The audacity. But, we’re readers, and we need to move on to that new story that will take over our hearts once again. And to do that, I have created a step-by-step process on how you can pick your next YA read! You can thank me later.
Step One: What Genre Do You Want Your Next Read To Be?
Are you a fantasy buff? Sci-fi nerd? Romance junkie? Well, lucky for us YA readers, there’s all of those plus more! The beautiful thing about YA is that you can find a mix of different genres within it. You have your YA contemporaries, fantasies, dystopian, thrillers; the list goes on! Sure, this can be a little overwhelming with how many options there are, but you know what genre you prefer and the ones you want to try as a reader. If you’re completely lost with what genre you want to try, pick a genre that rarely disappoints. Since you can pry fantasy away from my cold dead hands, my next pick usually falls under that genre!
Step Two: What Kind Of Character?
Do you like the quirky main character? The dark, tortured soul who needs redeeming? Think about characters from past books you’ve really connected with. What were some of their traits and flaws that made them shine through the story? A big thing to keep in mind is who they were at the end of the story and how it satisfied you as a reader. Every character has a different journey, so what was it about their journey that stuck out to you? Maybe it was how they reacted to the challenges they were faced with—something in how they handled it resonated with you. Once you have a solid idea of what kind of character you’re looking for, you can think about the plot!
Step Three: Standalone? Duology? Trilogy? SERIES?
Readers know the commitment it takes to read a series. Once that first book gets you, it’s game over for your social life because that series now owns your entire existence. This isn’t a bad thing! We readers like books consuming our souls! Anyways, think about if you’re ready to dive into a new series. Maybe you’ve just finished an epic story throughout five or six books, and you’re feeling that book hangover. If so, it might be better to find an excellent standalone to give your brain the reset it needs. Or, maybe you are looking to get into a multiple-book story, but you’re not ready for the commitment of a longer series. Try out a fun duology! May I recommend the Fable duology? Check out our reviews of Fable and Namesake on the Journal! A great thing about YA is that it is filled with plenty of amazing stories, whether it’s in a standalone or a series. You just have to think about what kind of commitment you’re ready to make next.
Step Four: Picking Themes And Tropes In Your Next Read
Okay, we’ve picked our genre, the character, and the commitment. Now, what do you actually want to read in the story? As readers, we know what we like, and we know what makes a story worth reading. Maybe you’re looking for an intense enemies to lovers dynamic, or a high-stakes magic system. Heck, you could be looking for a Twilight-Esque love triangle or a bickering bromance. The possibilities are endless! You’re also probably thinking about what kind of themes would resonate more with you. Perhaps you’ve read a book where dealing with loss helped you in your own life. Or maybe you enjoy books where self-discovery is a big theme in the story, and you can see yourself in that main character. Just, make sure you don’t let the dark side win like some characters do (I’m looking at you, Adelina Amouteru). Nevertheless, you know what you like, so make sure whatever that may be is in your next read. Now with that critical information in mind, that brings us to our final step.
Step Five: Read (Non-Spoiler) Reviews!
By now, you’ve probably looked up some titles that have everything you’re looking for with help from the first four steps. Maybe you only have one title, or perhaps you’re trying to narrow down different choices. Either way, looking up reviews for your options will help settle the deal. Great reviews can help you determine if they think the story is an excellent fit for their next choice. The review can help you figure out if it has the characters, themes, and tropes you’re looking for. But, I can’t stress enough you make sure these reviews are non-spoiler. There’s nothing worse than looking up a review and finding out the best friend dies in the end before you have a chance to open the book. Many great reviewers will write that it is a non-spoiler review and, some will take the time to say that there are spoilers in their review. Avoid those at all costs, and always be wary while reading any reviews.
Some people may not understand that picking your next read, especially after reading a spectacular book, is no easy feat, especially when we have hundreds of books on our TBR list. In fact, I don’t have a TBR shelf. I have a TBR bookcase. Let me live. Anyhow, you can always start with what is already on your TBR list and then follow the steps from there to make it a little easier! There’s a lot of remarkable books out there just waiting to be read by you. They shouldn’t worry though; you’ll get to them using these helpful steps! It can be hard saying goodbye to one book when you finally get to that last page. But, as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. And your next adventure is waiting for you.
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Brittany Amalfi is a 20- something- year- old developmental specialist living in Massachusetts where she loves all things New England. Brittany is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing, and working on her young adult fantasy novel. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, working with awesome kiddos, and spending time with friends and family.