1. The Diviners (Libba Bray)
I’ve loved all of the Libba Bray books that I’ve read so far, but I get a bit nervous everytime I read a new one of hers anyway. Expectations was definitely an issue for me, but the main thing that intimidated me with her latest, The Diviners, is the size. This book is really, really big. 500-600 pages, if I remember correctly. That’s a lot of story, especially if I don’t like it.
(Luckily for me, I have since read this – I wrote this list a while ago – and, despite the huge size, I loved it and read it fairly quickly because I just had to know what was going to happen.)
2. Sloppy Firsts (Megan McCafferty)
Pretty much everyone in the YA blogging community seems to love the Jessica Darling series. I finally decided to read them, although I was worried – what if I didn’t like this series that everyone else seems to adore? There have been plenty of books that 90% or so of bloggers seem to gush over yet I find merely alright or, even worse, not good at all. So, the hype really worried me, as well as my own expectations – what if I’m expecting some amazing and it’s merely so-so? Then, even if I would have mostly enjoyed it, all that expectation would make me more disappointed than normal.
(I’m currently reading this, and, so far, it seems to be going well. Hopefully it remains that way!)
3. The Nature of Jade (Deb Caletti)
Ever since I read Stay, I’ve been a Deb Caletti fan, but some of the more recent books I’ve read from her have left me disappointed. This book sounds like it has an interesting premise (meeting a single, teenage father at the zoo or something along those lines), but I’m worried it’ll leave me disappointed as well, or that it’ll only be alright. I feel like it has to be great or I’m going to be disappoined no matter what.
4. Cracked Up to Be (Courtney Summers)
Courtney Summers’s second, third, and fourth books have all been powerful, memorable books, but what if that didn’t start with her debut? What if she stumbles around because it’s her first book and it slightly taints her later books? Not to mention that Summers’s books all have pretty heavy topics, and even though I continually seek out and often enjoy heavy issue books, I’m always tentative about picking them up in the first place.
5. Shine (Lauren Myracle)
Gay rights and homophobia are touchy topics, and this book, which looks at extreme bullying and such, sounds both powerful and terrifying. Most of Lauren Myracle’s books that I’ve read are light and more on the carefree side, so reading something so heavy from her seems a bit terrifying, even if I’ve heard good things about it.
6. Boundless (Cynthia Hand)
Ah, the last book in a trilogy. No matter what, there’s the pressure of being the last book, but when it’s a trilogy that you’ve liked so far, there’s even more pressure for the book that could make or break the entire trilogy. Even if the first two books are amazing, a subpar book, or even just an awkward ending, can taint the entire series.
(I’ve since read this book, and while it didn’t wow me, it left the whole trilogy intact and with nothing but good memories, as well as plans to reread the whole thing at least once in the coming years.)
7. Just One Day (Gayle Forman)
So much pressure for this book – it’s from the author of If I Stay and Where She Went, two very powerful and great books. It has completely new characters, new adventures, and a new overall theme. What if it didn’t live up to Gayle Forman’s previous books? What if anything but amazing turned out to be not enough? A lot of pressure.
(This is a recent read, and while it didn’t wow me as much as IIS and WSW, I was happy to see that it still ended up being quite an enjoyable read, although the middle stumbled a bit.)
8. Shades of Earth (Beth Revis)
Another final book (forgot to add that to the image, oh well), only this was an already uneven trilogy for me, which added a different kind of pressure. The first book left me underwhelmed, the second book thrilled me, and the third book had an interesting premise. What if it tainted not just the whole series but the one book from Beth Revis that I had enjoyed so far?
(Well, this is another recent read, but it didn’t go as well – it mostly left me disappointed and annoyed with main character Amy, so it definitely tainted the trilogy for me.)
9. Light (Michael Grant)
This is another final book, but this is to a 6-book series with huge books (all of them are probably around 400 pages). It hasn’t been a perfect series and there’s a ton of stuff to remember, which makes it kind of difficult to pick back up, but it’s still quite intimidating. It’s a huge book and something that I would actually consider a dystopian, or at least a post-apoplectic world, which makes for very heavy subject matter, especially considering it all involves kids. Not a light book, either figuratively or literally.
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
Even before the movie came out, Perks was a wellknown book in the YA community. I heard great things about the movie and was excited to see it, and then loved it. Since the author directed and wrote the screenplay for it, that seemed like a good sign that there wouldn’t be too many changes, but it still worried me that I would read the book and actually find it not as good as the movie, if only because I saw the movie first. Also, it has some unhappy subject matter, which, as I’ve mentioned, can make me hesitant to pick up a book even if I end up loving it, or at least finding it quite powerful.