Yesterday kicked off Yalsa‘s Teen Read Week so I thought it would be a great time to highlight YA books. There are so many phenomenal YA writers now and I’ve really enjoyed seeing people take the genre increasingly seriously over the past few years. Did you see the NPR list from this summer?

For teens who do a lot of reading, I’ll start by recommending Kerstin Geir’s Ruby Red (Henry Holt, $9.99), which is the first in a trilogy followed by Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green. The books are translated from the German and the pacing of the first volume is very different than many American YA books. The narrative is methodical — slowly establishing the character and building up the intricate context — and it incorporates time travel, secret societies, romance, and history. The hardcover flap jacket is stunning and I first picked up the book because it was so attractive. Unfortunately, the paperback cover is kind of trashy and I’m having a harder time selling it. The second volume is available this October. Ruby Red ends right when the action really started picking up and I’m anxious to read Sapphire Blue. I plan to buy it in hardcover as that paper back cover is terrible and doesn’t do justice to the quality of the story! Even teens who are widely read might have missed this highly-recommended series.