Our September Book Club pick “One” might have been your first foray into the wonderful world of YA verse novels, but it doesn’t have to be your last! Reading in verse can be an effortless action of enjoyment and ease. It is also a great way to encourage less confident readers to give reading a chance! The unique writing style has enabled authors to tackle a multitude of deep and important issues.
If you are looking for the next verse novel to add to your list then why not try one of these amazing reads!
Writers chose to use verse for a variety of reasons. For author Lucy Frank it is a method that demonstrates the stark divide on paper and in plot. Two incredibly different characters; Chess and Shannon share a hospital room, a disease and also the pages of this novel-in-verse.
An introduction at the start of the book explains that the line spanning down the middle of each page is representative of the hospital curtain between the two teenagers. The author herself has the same illness (Crohn’s Disease) as is experienced by both main characters. This emotive link is perhaps what results in such an intense and raw read.
The Poet X
This award-winning novel-in-verse is an undeniable debut of energy, fire and fight by Elizabeth Agevedo. Growing up in her Harlem neighborhood is tough for main character Xiomara Batista. She pours her multitude of emotions into a notebook of passionate truths. Her notebook is deeply personal and private until Xiomara joins her school’s slam poetry club. Suddenly she must decide whether to remain silent or voice her truths. Each page of this thought provoking book tackles topics of universal sentiment with power and admirable frankness.
The topics tackled in this piece of work (including racism, child abuse and bullying) are far from simple themes. However, the beautifully crafted pages of verse ensure that exploring these subjects remains effortless and engaging. Written by both Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan, the novel is not just created in verse but also in a dual narrative. The lives of narrators and main characters Jess and Nicu have been far from easy but their paths have lead them here and into the unique paths of one other. For a quick and insightful read, this verse novel is well worth your time.
Memoirs and verse novels rarely overlap but in this case “Shout” combines the two to create poignant and evocative piece of writing. Author Laurie Halse Anderson had already proved that she would not shy away from certain topics or themes like sexual assault with her fictional novel Speak two decades earlier.
With “Shout” Halse Anderson builds on this ferocity through a collection of rants, reflections and urgent calls to action. For something a little different that will leave a lasting impact, this verse novel should be next on your list.
Are you a fan of YA verse novels?