What YA I’m Reading: Jellicoe Road and The Hunger Games

A few months ago, I asked several YA authors for their suggestions of what I should read in the young adult fiction world. I got a ton of great recommendations. For that post, click here. I also asked on Facebook for a young adult series that I should read. I love series. Ever since I first got hooked on Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, The Baby-sitters Club, Sleepover Friends (no one but me seems to remember this series), I have loved books in serial form.

So thanks to those authors, I read JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta. All I can say is WOW. It’s a heartbreaking story of 17-year-old Taylor Markham who is thrust to the head of her house and must fight a territory war against the Cadets and Townies to keep her house safe. But the real mystery begins when Taylor tries to understand a manuscript left behind my her mentor and her mother’s disappearance when she dumped Taylor at a 7-11. The resulting past/present story is beautifully told with humor and seriousness that I haven’t read in awhile. Taylor Markham with her bitter anger, street smarts, and ability to hold her against tough boys is one of the best female protagonists, along with Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games series.


I’m just starting to read The Hunger Games, which several trusted readers recommended to me. Katniss, the heroine of the novels, is a bad ass hunter chick who is just as tough as Taylor Markham and then some. Since I’m only halfway through the first book, I don’t know what’s going to happen, all I know is that I’m hooked. What a premise. Basically North America is gone and 13 districts formed in its place. When the districts rose up against the Capitol, they were severely punished and District 13 wiped out completely. To remind their colonies who knows best, the Capital decrees an annual lottery where one boy and one girl from each district is chosen to fight against the other children — to the death — in a televised event called the Hunger Games. So Lord of the Flies meets reality TV meets the movie District 9. I’d be fascinated to know what the movie will look like, because I can’t imagine how they’d film a bunch of kids trying to kill each other.

So if you’re looking for some great female leads and you want to get hooked, Jellicoe Road and The Hunger Games will give you that and more.

Keep the suggestions coming! I’d love to read another series. Leave me a comment with what I should read next.

4 Comments on “What YA I’m Reading: Jellicoe Road and The Hunger Games

  1. Thanks for these reviews! I loved Hunger Games, and I just bought Jellicoe Road (finally!) so have that to look forward to. πŸ™‚

    Some excellent stand-alone contemporary YAs I’ve recently read are Jandy Nelson’s THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE and Meg Rosoff’s JUST IN CASE. I also loved Valerie O Patterson’s THE OTHER SIDE OF BLUE and Heidi R Kling’s SEA.

    • Thanks for the suggestions Shari. Jellicoe Road is so wonderful. I almost cried several times. Taylor Markham is one of the best female protagonists I’ve read in awhile. Let me know what you think. I can’t wait to finish Hunger Games, but at the same time I want to savor it!

  2. Twilight! Just kidding. LOL. πŸ™‚

    Although I heard the Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a very good novel. It’s on my summer reading list after the Bhagavad Gita, which is probably young adult reading for Hindus.

    Oh yeah, and you have an award waiting for you on my blog. Congrats! πŸ™‚

  3. Ollin, I actually like the Twilight series. It’s a lot of fun. I’m a sucker for serial novels. Thanks for your suggestions, and double thanks for giving me an award on my blog! Wow. How nice. I really appreciate you showcasing me on your blog.

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