An Adult Male on YA Lit

I'm the big YA lit fan in my life, but since I've become a blogger I've tried to get my boyfriend to read more YA. He's certainly not against it, but he's just not into the whole teenage girl romance thing, so he needed direction. I worked to find some YA titles I thought he may enjoy (or some I wanted him to test-drive before I read them) and I asked him to share his perspective on these books since it's rather different from mine. These aren't going to be full reviews and I'll likely review these titles myself later, but I wanted to share this for guys or for readers who maybe have a guy in their life who won't read "girly" YA books. So here are his thoughts:

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff.

Page Count: 337.
Published: June 11, 2013.
Published by: Little, Brown and Co. (BYR).
Source: Teen Author Carnival 2013.

Goodreads Blurb:
Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target. 

When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's next mission.

Pieter's Thoughts:
Totally my speed. I like spy type books, guns and special forces and sneaking around and suspense and all that goodness. So when I got this and started reading I was addicted. I got this 3 days before leaving NYC, and finished it 2 days before leaving NYC. It might be good. Maybe a bit.
Having read the CHERUB and Henderson's Boys series by Robert Muchamore, I was expecting something pretty similar by the blurb. While the story is similar, it remains just that. It keeps itself distanced in several key details about how the organization is run, how the Boy operates and the objectives the Boy is given.
There was a key plot point that I totally called out early on but I'm not sure whether that's just from experience in reading this style of story or whether it was just a bit obvious. Either way, it distracted me from another plot twist that was well placed and well executed. Would recommend.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

Page Count: 328.
Published: February 26, 2013.
Published by: St. Martin's Press.
Source: Received a copy from the publisher.

Goodreads Blurb:
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Pieter's Thoughts:
I had heard good things and had seen the title of the book passed around via twitter and tumblr and thought perhaps I would like this. The book did not agree with me as much as I had hoped. The story started nicely, and I really enjoyed the start of their relationship. Rainbow Rowell captured the emotions well, and it was nice having the flip back and forth between the two perspectives. It made me smile quite a bit I must say, as did the snark that both the characters possessed. I was kinda bummed, however, when I felt like the book had hit a rut. The relationship kept building, the characters got closer, they became more intimate, and I kept waiting for anything big to happen. I was getting ready to quit when suddenly BAM everything happens and then THE END. I read through that bit so fast because I was starved for excitement from the rest of the book. None of this is to say it is a bad novel. I am just more used to guns and action type page turners. So perhaps this was a bit too much of a change from that for me.

The 100 by Kass Morgan.

Page Count: 277.
Published: September 3, 2013.
Published by: Little, Brown BYR.
Source: BEA 2013 (from publisher).

Goodreads Blurb:
In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

Pieter's Thoughts:
So Jess hands me this book and tells me that it's scifi. This gets me excited to read it, because after all I am a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan, and I love Mass Effect and basically anything in space.
It started out very well with an excellent premise and plenty of action to keep me turning pages. And then it got all "relationship-ey" on me. I was all ready for action and lasers and crazy stuff to go down and instead I got broken hearts and a distinct feeling that the TV show they're going to make will be more of a soap opera than a Sci-Fi, at least if they're basing it on the book. To be fair though I quit pretty early on and flipped through the rest to see what happened. The ending was good, I just never made it there.


  1. I love that you guys did this! It's so fun to see what a dude thinks of books that are out there too. Boy Nobody sounds legit! I DNFed Eleanor and Park and I think The 100 sounds fun, for when you want a romance with some cool elements.

    1. Thanks! I think Boy Nobody sounds great too (especially since I love Robert Muchamore's books as well) so I'm excited to read that. Eleanor and Park and The 100 are books I'm not so sure about, so there's another benefit to having him do this... I get a test driver whose tastes I already know really well! It's great! :)


I'd love to hear what you think!