Within the last couple of years, I’ve shied away from reading young adult novels because that’s all that I used to read. I wanted to expand my horizons, and also I felt that a lot of the young adult novels were the same. Recently, I read one of the best young adult novels that I’ve ever come across, and it’s called The Hate U Give. This book is what I’d call a novel for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The story centers around Starr, a 16-year-old girl who goes to a party one night in her neighborhood and meets up with an old friend named Khalil. Shots ring out during the party, so it abruptly ends. Khalil and Starr leave together, and they end up getting pulled over by the police. The police officer ends up shooting and killing Khalil. Starr is the sole witness as to what happened. I loved how readers got to see Starr as a full-fledged character. Readers get to see her happy, sad, upset, angry, etc. She goes through all the stages of grief. The book also allows readers to learn more about Khalil. The book also shows what all parties go through when something tragic like this happens. The Hate U Give is an important read for everyone.
Another great young adult novel that I read recently was When Dimple Met Rishi. This book follows Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel, two college-bound students who are attending a summer camp for coding called Insomnia Con. Unbeknownst to Dimple, Rishi already knows who Dimple is because their parents are arranging for them to get married. Dimple is of course against this idea, because she doesn’t want to get married. Her mother is obsessed with Dimple finding an I.I.H.( Ideal Indian Husband). Even though Dimple is against being with Rishi at first, they eventually fall in love. What I love about this book is that the main characters are Indian and readers get to learn a lot about Indian culture through this book. I also love the fact that Dimple is into coding because it’s showcasing the direction that a lot of schools are trying to go in by having STEM programs geared towards girls. It’s a great love story, but it’s not too cheesy.
These are two great novels that feature characters of color who are able to be their true selves. I enjoyed both of these books a lot and would recommend them to anyone. These are both impressive debut novels. The Hate U Give and When Dimple Met Rishi are both available in our catalog. What young adult novels have you read lately? Let us know in the comments below!
There’s nothing to hate in Angie Thomas’s debut novelCheck out The Hate U Give
Kayla works at Squirrel Hill as a Clerk, so when you come up to the customer services desk you might see her face! When she’s not at the library she enjoys reading, watching TV & listening to music. You might also find her at your local Starbucks, because she loves her Frappuccinos.