First up, for boys! This can be so tough as some boys are very picky about what they read, so I've gathered the opinions of some friends/family who are frequent YA readers to help me compile this list!
Spray by Harry EdgeA group of teens sign up for an assassination game on the streets of a big city. Their weapons: pressurized water guns. It’s meant to be a game, a sport. But for some, it’s more than harmless fun. To win, they’ll use any means necessary. Two hundred players. Three weeks of tense cat-and-mouse action. Every stalker is being stalked and only one player will be left standing. No one will be the same.
Feiwel & Friends | Paperback | 240 pages.
Gone by Michael Grant (with sequel Hunger and book #3 Lies)In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. Gone. Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.
Katherine Tegen Books | Paperback | 576 pages.
Struts & Frets by Jon SkovronMusic is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend. When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?
Amulet Books | Hardcover | 304 pages.
The Replacement by Brenna YovanoffMackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world. Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.
Razorbill | Hardcover | 352 pages.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (with sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay)Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see. Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Scholastic Press | Hardcover | 384 pages.
And these aren't just great gifts for boys, but for girls as well! I've read and enjoyed all of them!
Check back in a few days for the next Holiday Gift Recommendation, which will be for FANTASY fans!