Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meandering Monday (14)- Books Teen Boys Should Read Part 2

First off, I have two things to talk about. One is this link about GLBTQ literature which I absolutely love- please go and read it at some point if you can.

The other is that I went to a book signing this past weekend in DC! I have no pictures because I forgot my camera but that's fine since this recap will be short. My mom and I went to see Sarah Vowell talk about her latest book, Unfamiliar Fishes, which is about the annexation of Hawaii (or, as Sarah likes to say, "It's about Hawaii!" because that conjures more positive images, lol). I've loved Sarah's other books and was really excited to hear her speak. The event was at Politics and Prose and we got there a half hour before the event started and it was already packed. There was probably over a hundred people crammed in there, so we had to stand the whole time (which sucked). Sarah read from the book and did a QnA with the audience, which was very funny. I think it was being recorded so if it ever pops up online, I'll link to it. I got in the long line to get my book signed and, being a mute freak, said nothing when I got up there but luckily, she writes quick so there wasn't much time anyway. Plus, there were a bajillion people behind me. But I had a fun time and it was great to hear her speak.

Alrighty, on to Part 2 of this series, and this post will probably be shorter since I was really busy this past week so not much was thought about. As for recommendations, you all came out and provided some excellent ones, some of which I've read and berated myself for forgetting and some that I hadn't read or even heard of. Here's the list:

Cindy Pon recommended- The Demon's Lexicon series by Sarah Rees Brennan, Flash Burnout by L. K. Madigan, Hold me Closer, Necromancer by Lish Mcbride (double rec since I mentioned it!), Black Hole Sun by David Mcinnis Gill, Break by Hannah Moskowitz, The Demon King and The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima, The Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda, Paper Towns by John Green, The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, Candor by Pam Bachorz, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, The Knife of Never Letting go by Patrick Ness

Braiden recommended the Gone series by Michael Grant and I hope he doesn't mind me linking to the video he did about lots of other wonderful books for boys (if you do, I'll take it down, lol)! Check out the info to see other videos that discuss the issue. Also, side note, I quite enjoy his accent.

Lauren M recommended Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe, which will be out in May, I think. I really want to read this book!

Ashley recommended Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman Saga (particularly A Solitary Blue, The Runner and Sons From Afar), House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Markus Zusak books, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman (almost included WSW last week cuz of male MC, but ended up not since it wasn't out yet), The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta, Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (AMAZING), and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (how could I have forgotten about this book?!).

Amy recommended Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and any of Rick Riordan's books.

Alison recommended Swim the Fly, and Beat the Band by Don Calame.

See, TONS of books out there.

Just to finish up, I wanted to bring up a point that I thought was interesting when I was putting together my recommendations last week. If you noticed, I mentioned several times that a romance was presented in this book or that book. I thought that was odd because for some reason, it's just been ingrained in me that boys don't like romance so I'm like trying to warn them- OMGZ KISSING AND ROMANTIC FEELINGS IN THIS BOOK!! ENTER WITH CAUTION!!

But why? Women don't get into relationships with themselves (well, not ALL women, lol). Men are usually part of the equation if the woman is straight (well, and the man too because yeah...). So why is it such a problem for a boy to read a book with a romance in it? Boys get those same feelings too; that's how love and relationships work. Both people have romantic feelings for each other and want to kiss (and eventually do more, which YA novels also address). Boys aren't these unfeeling pod robots that don't need love. Boys need to read books with romance in them because then you can use the same tricks on real life girls and also understand them better. Or even if those don't happen, don't you want to read a romance and be like "I want that for myself someday."? That's what I did and still do when I read books. It doesn't matter if they're a straight romance or a gay one- love is love either way (though reading gay romances does give me more hope). Plus, it helped for a girl MC to be in first person because I could usually just place myself in the story easily and fall in love with the boy.

What do you all think about boys and their aversion to romance in books? I know some people commented last week and mentioned having teen boys and trying to find books for them, so please chime in with your thoughts. I am really curious.


  1. I think it's partly socialization. We're taught that romance is girly, and boys shouldn't do girly things, so boys shouldn't read about romance. (Whether they enjoy reading about romance or not is irrelevant. As is whether reading about romance is useful.)

    I think most of my reader-guy friends got teased more than my reader-girl friends. It's hard to say, since we didn't always talk about that stuff. (I didn't get teased more than once by a person. I am a ninja with a book in my hand.)

  2. I'm thinking most male YA readers are still in the denial phase about romance. They don't like to admit that romance is appealing to them--being seen with a somewhat-girly book is like sacrificing their man-card. =/

    Even though girls may think romance-reading guys are sweet (or "sensitive"), most guys have buds that will give them hell for it.

  3. all great suggestions that would appeal to teans but no one mentioned Airborn trilogy by Kenneth Oppel!

  4. First off thanks for using my video to make a point. I had no problem.

    In terms of romance, I don’t enjoy reading much romance because I know deep down it will never happen like that for me. Sure the interactions between the characters will teach you to be a better person for that someone you love, but on the side note, it depends if you are on that same playing field as them. I wouldn’t find a thrill because there are no connections to each of our lives, fictional and in reality.

    I would happily sit down and read a book revolving around romance but it’s just not the right time. I guess reading from a male’s point of view would be better as you yourself know what it’s like to be the male.

    While reading The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith, I connected with Jack because he hasn’t been with any girls or kissed anyone because of his character and sensitivity but everyone calls him gay (in the “that’s gay” kind of way. I feel connected to him because I too haven’t kissed anyone. Until he fell in love I lost some of that connection because we was moving forward and I wasn’t.

    So overall, I guess it’s just what the reader-character connection is like which dictates if guys would read books that are romantic or not.

    I hope I make sense and sorry for my rambling. It’s even harder being a male blogger/vlogger because everyone expects certain stuff from you and it’s harder to give your opinions when a majority are female and felt entirely different about a certain book or idea/issue.