Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.
Now, I don't think that's because those five people don't like YA. I mean, they might not. But, guys, a story is a story. If it's really good, or really suits a person, it doesn't matter if the main character is 13 or 30 (I think Jennifer Garner proved that one to all of us when her character was both 13 and 30 in one movie and you really did care at both ages - DON'T LIE AND SAY YOU DIDN'T).
So instead of shoving my most favoritest YA books at them, I'll ask these five people a couple of questions.
1. What have you read recently that you loved?
Like Nicholas Sparks? Perhaps you'll like Sarah Dessen, or maybe Susane Colasanti. Hell, you might even like these two authors BETTER. (Because I know I do.) Did you enjoy The Hunger Games? Divergent by Veronica Roth might work for you.
2. Haven't read anything recently? What TV shows/movies are you watching?
Do you like Sliding Doors scenarios? Maybe try Parallel by Lauren Miller or Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young. Like Criminal Minds? Well there's this book called I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga about the son of a serial killer! How about the news? You're into current events, right? Well, Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley is based on the Elizabeth Smart abduction.
3. Maybe your/my friend is particularly difficult and also doesn't watch TV (not that I really want to know what this person does with their free time anymore)? Now is the time to figure out what their general likes and dislikes are.
Like Greek Mythology? Here, have some Percy Jackson. Do you like controversial books/being in the know? Obviously not reading everything by Stephanie Meyer/Cassandra Clare is a big mistake - get in on the conversation and do it knowledgeably, please. Are you a major feminist? Not reading everything by Tamora Pierce is a HUGE oversight on your part.
At this point you'll probably have a tower stack of books to drop in front of your friend who quite possibly didn't actually ask for a recommendation - you're just making trouble because that's what you do as a bookish person. Please note, these hand-picked recommendations might not be the most popular books. They might be books you disliked - maybe even books you haven't read yet/have no intention of reading. But THAT'S OKAY. I mean, better to not recommend Harry Potter if you KNOW they're gonna hate it and you're gonna have to stop talking to them, right?
Or just give whoever you're recommending books to a copy of Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan and call it a day. (I don't CARE if you don't like it, it's too important not to read so sit down, shut up and read the freaking book.)
Hopefully you all agree with Amanda and I about MUST READ books not existing. Otherwise you probably hated this post. But if you DO agree, be sure to tell me what tactics YOU use to help your friends pick books in the comments below!