Backlist Boogie: Leading Ladies of My Life

Article by annalia

by Annalia Linnan

I can still remember using dial up to connect to the internet. Until I was 16, if you wanted to call me, you had to use the landline at my parents’ house. I was half-way through college before texting became the force of nature that it is now. What this means is that growing up, I spent a lot of time alone, both literally and virtually. For my backlist boogie, I chose YA (or YA-friendly) books with fully-dimensional female leads who taught me how to be “me” when I didn’t know who else to ask.

This Lullaby Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142501559
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - March 8th, 2004

Remy does not believe in love. She has her reasons: her father left her mother when Remy was a baby, Remy’s mother goes through husbands like most people go through cell phones, dumb boyfriends are dumb, etc. Enter: goofy, seemingly-innocent, annoyingly-persistent Dexter. He has a lot of bad qualities but the worst is that he is a musician, just like Remy’s father. A gritty, intelligent, self-proclaimed “bitch,” Remy is hard to love at first but not everyone can be Taylor Swift.

Paper Towns Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142414934
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 22nd, 2009

Fact: cross Margo Roth Spiegelman and you lose her forever. Nerdy, neurotic Quentin does not learn this until she climbs through his window one night and asks him to help her right some wrongs. The next day, she has disappeared—and not for the first time. Now that they have bonded, Q makes it his mission to find her. Impulsive, dynamic, and delicate, Margo is a character that stays with you.

Born Confused Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545664516
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Push - April 29th, 2014

If you never ever read any YA at all except for one book, make it this one. There’s so much in this one amazing novel that to cover it all would be its own column! Long story short, Dimple Lala is seventeen, South-Indian, and at a strange point in her life. Her parents want her to find a suitable (Indian) boy, her best friend Gwyn has moved back in town, and all she wants is to be able to fit into (skinny) jeans like all the other girls. Genuinely profound, BORN CONFUSED taught me more about friendship, identity, gender, sexuality, and tradition than anything else I’ve read before or since.

The Lovely Bones Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316168816
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - April 20th, 2004

Chances are that you’ve heard about this book at some point—either when Alice Sebold published her memoir LUCKY, when the book first came out, or when Peter Jackson made it into a movie—but for real, this book is amazing. Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon leaves school one day and never makes it home; her body is never found. But that is not the story, not really. The story is how Susie’s family changes after her “disappearance.” Though THE LOVELY BONES is told from Susie’s perspective, her sister Lindsey and their mother Abigail are just as vibrant. Being a family is hard and this book never forgets that.

A Thousand Splendid Suns Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594483851
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - November 25th, 2008

Before you scroll away, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS is NOT just another war book! It is a multi-generational, mother-daughter story. It’s also a story about a country, one that does not ignore its history or the many faces of the people who live there. However, if neither of those things interest you, don’t worry. If you appreciate good writing and the type of storytelling that keeps you reading until your legs fall asleep, you will love this book, I promise.

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