Friday, 30 January 2015

Need a Laugh? Check Out These YA Titles

Winter can be long...and dark...and cold.

And I've got the cure!

Grab a steaming mug of hot chocolate and your favourite lap blanket. Then curl up in the squishy chair by the window and prepare to spit your drink across the room because these titles will have you guffawing faster than the Prancercise lady video.

Firecracker by David Iserson

Not just another fish out of water scenario. Our heroine is superbly flawed, and while you cringe at her seemingly uncaring actions and comments, you'll find yourself cheering for her.

Being Astrid Krieger is absolutely all it's cracked up to be.

She lives in a rocket ship in the backyard of her parents' estate.

She was kicked out of the elite Bristol Academy and she's intent on her own special kind of revenge to whomever betrayed her.

She only loves her grandfather, an incredibly rich politician who makes his money building nuclear warheads.

It's all good until...

"We think you should go to the public school," Dad said.
This was just a horrible, mean thing to say. Just hearing the words "public school" out loud made my mouth taste like urine (which, not coincidentally, is exactly how the public school smells).

Will Astrid finally meet her match in the form of public school? Will she find out who betrayed her and got her expelled from Bristol? Is Noah, the sweet and awkward boy she just met, hiding something?

Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller

This is the first book in the Midvale Academy series. And is a perfect mash-up of Facts of Life meets Pretty Little Liars. 

What if you could get inside the head of the boy you love? Hear his every thought...? Know his every dream...? Listen in on his every fantasy...?

The narrator of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn can, and she tells us the story of her beloved Gid, an adorably clueless boy who flukes his way into one of the fanciest New England prep schools. 

Gideon's more than a little out of his league at Midvale, especially compared to Cullen and Nicholas, his charming but morally ambiguous roommates. They terrorize Gideon as they initiate him with a bet over Gid's borderline virginity, and the feisty, sexy Molly McGarry. Gideon is torn--he wants to prove himself, but he also wants Pilar Benitez-Jones, the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.

Hooking up with Molly might be possible, but winning Pilar would be legendary. On the other hand, Gideon actually likes Molly. It's all incredibly confusing and intoxicating. And one hysterically funny girl is savoring Gideon's every thought. But who is she?

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

A mystery of a missing woman akin to Gone Girl, but without all the murder and narcissistic sociopaths.  

This was marketed as adult fiction but the story is narrated by the teen daughter of spectacularly stuck up and eccentric, Bernadette, Bee so YA can easily claim this.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Swamplandia by Karen Russell

This book could have been the love child of Charles Dickens and Neil Gaiman.

The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline — think Buddenbrooks set in the Florida Everglades — and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a sophisticated competitor known as the World of Darkness.

Ava, a resourceful but terrified twelve year old, must manage seventy gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief. Her mother, Swamplandia!’s legendary headliner, has just died; her sister is having an affair with a ghost called the Dredgeman; her brother has secretly defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their sinking family afloat; and her father, Chief Bigtree, is AWOL.

To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a perilous part of the swamp called the Underworld, a harrowing odyssey from which she emerges a true heroine.

Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Monty Python meets Meatballs.

The humour is crass, but spot on for teen boys. Great pick for reluctant readers. You'll want to check out the other two books in this series, Beat the Band and Call the Shots.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time — quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date.

But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt's other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team.

Hey, let me know what you think. What are your favourite funny YA novels?

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