They say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. While some characters in young adult novels definitely have to worry about the first (I keep hearing about this book called The Hungry Games? Or was it The Hunger Names? Have you guys heard about it?), most teen chacters only have to worry about the second. Lots of teens in young adult novels work in movie theatres or at restaurants. These characters, all featured in books that came out in 2011, will have something a little more unusual to put on their 1040s:
Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan
When Eleanor Crowe gets pregnant, it makes her life more complicated. Way more complicated: she’s only 16 years old, her parents are getting ready to ship back off to Kenya to perform missionary work, and she tells her parents in the heat of an arugement that her boyfriend has asked her to marry him (he hasn’t). Somehow, she finds herself 8 months pregnant, living in a cabin at her husband’s parents’ fat camp and working as a counselor. Which sucks because she doesn’t like her in-laws, she doesn’t particularly like kids, and she’s not even sure she likes her husband.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
At school, the thing most people would notice as being the weirdest about Karou is that she has bright blue hair and tattoos on the palms of both hands. They might notice that she’s always drawing in her packed-to-the-brim sketchbook, or that she often is missing from school for mysterious “errands,” but they would probably never guess just how odd her life is. Raised by beings that are half-human and half-beast, she’s grown up in a world where the fantastical is pretty much the norm. One of the oddest parts of her life, though, is when she uses magical doorways to fetch goods from every corner of the world. Although every trade is different (some are dangerous, some are as easy as walking up to a counter and paying), she’s always retrieving the same thing: teeth. What her otherwordly guardian does with the teeth is a mystery–all she knows is that she is paid handsomely in wishes for her work. That is, until she meets (what else!) a dreamy guy that sends the world as she knows it spinning off its axis.
Stay by Deb Caletti
Clara is on the run–metaphorically and literally. When a relationship with her ex, Christian, went from passionate and intense to obsessive and possessive, her father decides that a summer in Bishop Rock, Washington is just what they need. They pack themselves up and take off, escaping from all the pressures of their normal lives. Clara knows that she needs to get away–except getting away from all her friends and family leaves her feeling empty and adrift. To fill her time, she decides to apply for work at the local historic lighthouse. Somehow she manages to charm the grumpy but beautiful lighthouse keeper and ends up filling her days giving tours of the lighthouse and selling themed souviniers in the store. But even Clara knows that leaving behind the people who cause you pain doesn’t mean leaving the pain itself behind–will helping to take care of the lighthouse help her take care of the wounds Christian left?
Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
Alice’s mom is kind of a big deal: she’s Belinda Amorous, the Queen of Romance. Thanks to her best-selling romance novels, things have been going so well lately. But when her mom is hospitalized after a nervous breakdown, things start to fall apart. Alice is doing her best to stay afloat on her own, and things aren’t that bad–that is, until the publishing company that gave her mom a fat advance on her next book starts calling. Alice has plenty on her plate when she meets a boy named Errol, who claims to be Cupid himself–not just a heartbreaker, but a famed mythological creature! Is Errol crazy? Or is he the muse Alice needs to write her mom’s next big hit?
— Ariel Cummins, currently reading Salvage the Bones for YALSA’s Best of the Best Reading Challenge!