We all know aliens, space-ships and outer space experiences. Those who love Star Wars are all very familiar with light sabers and creatures that are only imaginable in our dreams. But when reading YA books, space might not be the first thing you’d think about. Which is weird, because I believe YA books about space are the next big thing in the land of books about dystopian worlds and retelling of fairytales (which is also a BIG thing, btw).
But what is this exactly? I found a very nice explaination/definition of this genre:
‘YA Space Opera’ is defined as a science-fiction based novel STARRING A YOUNG ADULT PROTAGONIST (age 12-17) on an extra-planetary or galactic scale which has a heavy emphasis on character development and (usually) beating overwhelming odds in addition to the worldbuilding and science. YA Space Opera tales that include contemporary YA issues and concerns, relationships, and other story lines which appeal to YA sensibilities are welcome. Earth-bound dystopia is explicitly disqualified unless it contains a significant space element such as an alien invasion, alien first-contact, or a quest to get into outer space. [Goodreads]
I’ve selected three very nice books that feature space, that could introduce you to the big and scary world of scifi books. There’s so much more to discover. But you know, if you’re afraid of reading scifi, these books will very cautiously introduce you to space theme. If you have any additions, you know how it works, comment down below!
1. Illuminae – Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Release date: October 20th, 2015
Publishers: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Series: Illuminae Files #1 (second book to by published in October)
Goodreads rating: 4.31
Elements: spaceships, galactic scale, beating overwhelming odds
Summary: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her pl anet was invaded. The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually b e their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. [Goodreads]
My thoughts: I’m still reading this book, it contains files, conversations, video image coverage, chat messages and a lot of other things that are outstanding narration. I’m halfway in it (for last months Bored to Death Book Club) and I’m intensely enjoying it. The book is very special, it’s something different, and you really have to read it with a lot of concentration, because clues are hidden throughout the whole book.
2. Cinder – Marissa Meyer
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
Publishers: Feiwel & Friends
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1 (last book in the series published this year)
Goodreads rating: 4.14
Elements: cyborgs, spaceships, galactic scale, beating overwhelming odds
Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. [Goodreads]
My thoughts: I bought the book last month, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I think I’ll read in during the summer vacation, so I can binge read the whole series (I believe there are 4 main books). I don’t grasp the subject really, but it does sound very interesting and original.
3. Alienated – Melissa Landers
Release date: February 4th, 2014
Publishers: Disney Hyperion
Series: Alienated #1 (third book to be published in August)
Goodreads rating: 3.98
Elements: galactic scale, aliens, beating overwhelming odds, alien invasion, alien first-contact
Summary: Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet. [Goodreads]
My thoughts: I LOVE the cover of this book so much and I still don’t know WHY I haven’t read this book (series) yet, but while reading this post, I found out that in August the third book will be published, so I think I’ll read this book (series) in August! It sounds pretty cool, but I’m also scared it’s full of clichés. But whatever, I’ll read it.
Additions are always welcome!
What do you think? Are you excited for this new trend in YA Books? I AM! After reading (still reading) Illuminae, I think I’ll keep my eyes open for more YA scifi books! Share your thoughts down below in the comments!
Excited for these books? You can get them here!