My birthday is coming up later this month. I happen to share the date with two big authors: Mary Higgins Clark and Stephenie Meyer. I’ve always loved having my birthday near Christmas, but as a kid it made it hard to host birthday parties. They could never be on my actual birthday. I wouldn’t change the date of my birthday for the world, but I like reading about more normal birthdays. Here’s a look at several YA books featuring birthdays.
In order to learn more about what my birth date says about me, I turn to The Secret Languages of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers. The teen edition of this book gives you a brief summary of what makes you unique. It might mention your ideal job, best hobby, style inspiration, best accessory, power color, star match, best date, theme song, or your strengths and weaknesses.
Immediately, I turn to my birthday to see what it says about me. I’m visionary, dramatic, and emotional. “You are just like a dog swimming in the ocean: No matter how rough the waves get, you always keep your head above water.” I’m also quick to react. I sweat the small stuff. I take joy in life’s little pleasures. I may be super smart but I don’t learn from my mistakes. My star match is Stephenie Meyer (no surprise there, same birthday). My best date is seeing a play. (Nope that would be wrong.) I really love going to a book store and then a chocolate store. My theme song is “Breathe” by Anna Nalick. My love match is a Scorpio (I married a Cancer) and my friend match is a Libra (none of my besties fall into that category). In some of these “truths,” I can see myself, in others, the book gets them wrong. While it’s not completely accurate, it’s just fun.
Party Games by Whitney Lyes
Sara doesn’t want a huge party for her sweet sixteen. She can barely handle the drama from planning Dakota’s birthday party. Sara’s mom owns a party planning business, and Sara wants to show her mom that she can handle anything. Unfortunately, Dakota’s a spoiled brat: she’s always demanding something. Now she wants Sara to guarantee her a date for the party. The boy she wants as a date just happens to be the boy Sara’s crushing over herself. Is the business worth more than Sara’s own happiness?
Masquerade by Jessica Burkhart
Lauren turns thirteen on Halloween, her favorite holiday. Her friends throw her a masquerade. Lauren helps with some of the details, but most of the party is a complete surprise. She can’t wait to celebrate with her friends, especially after all the homework and horse training. Still, she’s in for a night of surprises, both good and bad.
Leap Day by Wendy Mass
Technically, because she’s a leap year baby and Josie’s birthday only rolls around once every four years, it’s her fourth birthday. In reality, Josie’s celebrating her sweet sixteen. Her day includes taking the test for her driver’s license, trying out for a school play, and going through an initiation party at the lake. The book takes place all in one day with Josie narrating the main story, and chapters follow from other characters sharing their side of the events.
Sweet Sixteen Princess by Meg Cabot
Mia doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to parties, so for her sweet sixteen, she wants a low-key night. Her ideal night would include a romantic evening with her boyfriend, Michael. However, Grandmere has a completely different idea. She wants to film Mia and her friends taking a private jet to Genovia. Mia needs to stop this party without hurting anyone’s feelings and try to achieve the night of her dreams.
Sweet Sixteen by Kate Brian
Teagan wants the biggest, best, and sweetest sixteenth birthday party the world has ever seen. She plans everything perfectly, but the night itself is a disaster. Teagan falls down the stairs and awakes with a strange woman looking down on her. The woman takes her through her life, forcing her to watch herself make terrible decisions, which turn her into the person she’s become. Can Teagan see the light and change, making her birthday and herself happy?
Other books include:
- You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
- Bittersweet 16 by Jill Kargman and Carrie Karasyov
- Girls We Love by J. Minter
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
— Jennifer Rummel, currently reading Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder