YA Standalones You Need In Your Life

While it feels like every YA book that comes out these days is part of a series…it’s not true! There ARE standalones out there! Series have fabulous perks of course, but sometimes it’s nice to eat a book and know it is a complete story. Beginning + middle = THE END GOODBYE AND DONE.

So I am here with an entirely fabulous list of Young Adult standalones you really ought to try. The best of the best, I tell you.


9780316213073THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST [purchase]

If you’re looking for malicious creepy faeries, changelings, epic siblings and sword fights all set in a modern world with an uber creepy forest in the background? THIS IS YOUR BOOK. I’m such a wild fan of creepy so all the love to this one. 9781408853818 (1)


This is a contemporary/thriller about a deaf girl who is on the run with her mother. But who is her mother? A famous criminal? Why are they running? It’s not fast paced but it’s very mysterious and SO MANY QUESTIONS.

BRUISER [purchase]9780061134104

This is nearly a contemporary. I say “nearly” because it’s about high school and first-love and mini golf aaaaand…it also happens to have this guy named Brewster who can absorb the pain of those he loves. So punch his best-friend? The punch ends up on Brewster. It’s an incredible story about friendship and, erm, bruises. Obviously. 9780060530921


Of course I need to wiggle a little bit of Neil Gaiman this list because he is the master. I absolutely adore this book because ghosts! And graveyards! And sneaky characters who do sneaky things! It’s kind of middle-grade, but Bod grows as the story goes. (I’m an epic poet. Appreciate that.)

ONLY EVER YOURS [purchase]9781848664159

This is a dystopian that is NOT a trilogy!! I mean, that’s cause to party by itself right?! (Noooo offence to the dystopic trilogies, it’s just: there are so many.) This one is about feminism and will probably knock you down with it’s thought-provoking message. 9780803734968Also likely to reduce you to a sobbing mess.

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN [purchase]

…it pretty much left me speechless. It’s so arty! The words on the very page are art. WOW. Just WOW. This one is about sibling (rivalry) and growing up and stabbing people with paint brushes. That sort of fun stuff. It’s the writing that’s absolutely vivid and unique.

THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE [purchase]9780732299002

And while we’re listing contemporaries, how about a super sad one? This one is about suicide and siblings (!! love me some sibling books !!) and getting closure. And the main character is also into maths! MATHS! I never read about that, so it’s totally awesome.

ADRIFT [purchase]9781925240160

Oh this one is a thriller and a half! It’s about 5 teens stuck in a boat in the middle of the sea and BAD STUFF GOES DOWN. Only 3 teens come out at the end. Exciting? Exciting. Also it explores the more psychological side of being trapped/dying/starving. Total recommend, but I WARN YOU: you’ll probably read it in one-sitting. So stock up on popcorn and fishy snacks.


If You Had $120 To Spend With Boomerang Books…

I’m turning this blog entry over to you in the hope you’ll let me pick your brains. I’ve got a $120 voucher to spend with this here good, carbon neutral, online bookstore but am completely stumped for which books to add to my cart. I have, quite incredibly, run out of ideas about books I want to buy.

It’s not exactly as though I’ve read all the books I’ve got—I’ve documented in previous blogs that I have so many books that I am both short on shelf space (and amusing people by stacking books in my pantry) and on time to read them all.

There have been plenty of awkward conversations where friends have asked for book recommendations and I’ve had to reveal that although I think books are good because I bought them and they’re sitting proudly on display on my shelf, I haven’t yet had time to read them.

I’m prepared to risk more of those conversations, though, because my need to buy books (and in fact, my need to spend book vouchers as soon as I have them in my hands) is greater than my need to get through the ones I’ve already got.

Yes, I’m acutely aware there’s something odd about that—I’d never buy this many new clothes or groceries or anything else you care to insert into this blog text in place of ‘books’. I’m also aware that the excitement of ordering the books and then waiting in breathless anticipation of their arrival is unrivalled. Is the sight of book deliveries poking out of your letterbox not one of the best sights ever?!

So, have you got any suggestions for me? If you had $120 to spend with Boomerang Books, which books would you buy? And which books would you recommend for someone who’s a massive non-fiction reader but who just might be interested in splashing out into other genres?