Books In Verse

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Books In Verse

YA Titles With Impact Using Fewer Words

Using different styles of writing can be a great tool for authors who want to mix up the young adult reading scene. In the titles below, each author uses the in verse writing style that delivers less words to arrive at deep emotion, character flaws and pivotal plot points. A reader could interpret this writing style as similar to poetry or symbolic to user interpretation. Do you agree?  

Saving Red by Sonya Sones 
Sones explores homelessness, running away from home, and the plight of mental illness using a dark tone over in verse storytelling. At 14, Molly is mostly on her own coming from a less than ideal family structure; an estranged older brother, a workaholic father, and a pot smoking mother. The story begins to take shape when Molly volunteers her time at Santa Monica’s annual homeless count; she encounters Red who is a teenager living on the streets and learns of her unfortunate struggles. Sones uses Red to address the aforementioned themes with particular emphasis to mental illness and connecting this to Molly's life and her struggles at home. 

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela Laskin
For the young adult reader, Ronit & Jamil will remind you of the classic Romeo and Juliet story with a twist by Laskin. The story is set in modern day Jerusalem where Ronit is an Israeli girl whose father is a pharmacist, and Jamil is a Palestinian boy whose father is a physician. The two teens have their first encounter at the clinic where the fathers work and share an instant connection under brief circumstances. Through secret texts, the two make attempts at seeing each other while facing opposition from parents and the physical barrier between Israel and the West Bank. The book leads Ronit and Jamil down a path toward love, but will the actual Israeli/Palestinian conflict allow it? 

One by Sarah Crossan

Tippi and Grace are much stronger than you think. One could say they are just a typical pair of sixteen year old conjoined twins defeating all medical odds and living a prosperous life. In their current state, they are truly happy in the company of each other. However, this is until their doctor recommends a potentially dangerous separation as a means to survive an illness. Crossan allows the reader to consider the option alongside Tippi and Grace which challenges their reality of sisterhood, friendship, and love. One provides a different look of fictional teens facing adversity and being exposed to very difficult decisions. 

Girls Like Me by Lola StVil

Shay Summers is a fifteen year old dealing with the sudden loss of her father and the adjustment of living with a stepmother she barely knows. These events, albeit significant, are actually secondary to the major plot point which is Shay's battle with body image and bullying at school. She does, however, experience some joy through flirting with a boy online in a local chat room which leads to him wanting to meet. Although very interested, Shay is discouraged by her weight and believes a boy like him would never like a girl like her. StVil's use of in verse writing, given the subject matter around Shay, might come off as a diary which could speak to certain readers. 

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 
The rules are simple: Crying? Don't. Snitching? Never. Revenge? Always. Fifteen-year-old Will Holloman lost his brother, Shawn, to street violence and has set out to follow "The Code." It is a vicious cycle which has claimed the lives of many, but is nonetheless carried out with a sense of duty and obligation. As Will commits to seeking out his brother's killer, he encounters several spirits who were alive at one point to know him personally. With each passing floor on the elevator ride down, he is encouraged to break the cycle of following The Codebut will he?