Thursday, December 12, 2013

My favorite books to give... for parents who want an occupied teen over the holiday break?

When my mom was sick, I discovered the Harry Potter series. One of the reasons those books will always have such a special place in my heart is because they took me away from a very bad time in my life. I might have been sitting in the hospital, watching my mother fight to live, but I could open the pages and instantly be in Hogwarts. They let me shut out the world for a while.

I recently discovered another series with that power, one that I have devoured throughout the last few weeks. Admittedly, life is good right now. In fact, I had many, many more important things on my to-do list than reading 5 books in 10 days, but once I opened the first one, there was no stopping until I was done.

And so, for you parents of YA readers that are looking for a quiet winter break, buy them the Mortal Instruments books.

The series stars Clary (short for Clarissa), who discovers just before her 16th birthday that she is not a normal human (or mundane… think muggle), but is actually a Shadowhunter. Shadowhunters are a race of humans with some angel blood that hunt demons throughout a world that the rest of us just can’t see. While Clary would love to confront her mother about hiding this powerful secret for so long, she can’t… her mother has been kidnapped.

And what YA series would be complete without a love interest? Enter Jace Wayland, golden blond, sarcastic, and the sexy as heck.
This series, quite literally, made me feel like a teenager again—sleep deprived and irritable if I was interrupted while my face was buried in the Kindle. As an adult, there are so many things I love about the idea of YAs reading this. Clary, though truly a 16-year-old, complete with some annoying whining and stupid, impetuous behavior, is a strong, independent character. She has none of the obnoxious, weak characteristics that made me so loathe Bella Swan.

And the author intersperses some mature scenes throughout, but also with some important lessons for young readers, like “yes, you love your boyfriend, but you are still very young and need to think about this decision. If that doesn't stop you, you still need this condom.” 


  1. I've read CITY OF BONES and CITY OF ASHES is in my pile to be read next.

    I'm reading THE GRISHNA series right now by Leigh Bardugo which is amazing. It has a very strong female protagonist which I want in YA.

  2. I have to say that some of my favourite parts of the Harry Potter series were the times when someone (usually Ron) acted his age and went off in a snit. Maybe I'll give these a go.

  3. I loved this series and suggested it to my 13yo daughter who loved it as well. It's a great feeling to be the cool mom!