Whenever I go to the laundromat (aka the seventh circle of hell because STRANGERS TALK TO ME and it's always crazy hot), I like to visit a used book store in the same shopping center. (I picked up Salem's Lot and the first Sookie Stackhouse novel because for someone who doesn't usually enjoy vampire novels, I sure love buying them.) My grandma and I perused the YA section for a book my ten year old cousin might like, and rejecting Diary of a Wimpy Kid got me thinking about what I liked reading around her age.
I LOVED Fear Street. I've been really enjoying reading blogs devoted to recaps of those books because they were just so insane. There's murder. A LOT OF MURDER. Everyone gets murdered in those goddamn books, all the time. IT WAS THE BEST EVER. I think my very favorite book was about this teenage boy who murders his love interests when they're too slutty. Come to think of it, pretty much every guy in that series was a psycho/stalker/murderer/abuser and everyone was like THIS IS NORMAL which apparently had a profound effect on my impressionable mind. Also fun was the miniseries about cheerleaders being hunted down by an evil spirit, which made me wanna be a cheerleader so bad. And there were HISTORICAL Fear Street novels, including one that took place during the Civil War. The war breaks out, like, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the protag's birthday party and her fiance has to go fight for the North, HEAVEN FORBID, and she's stuck in Georgia eating worms to survive. Also, there's voodoo and someone gets stomped to death by a horse which was a lot of fun when I was seven.
I also really liked the Harry Potter series, and the Sabrina the Teenage Witch novelizations, though they sadly lacked random, gruesome death AND abusive boyfriends. I graduated out of YA really early, and read things like Always Running, which is about gang culture and Practical Magic, which is still my favorite book. But the part where Gillian has to sleep with her boyfriend or he'll beat her? Eleven year olds just really do not grasp the concept that this isn't a thing that's considered healthy.
Currently, I read YA here and there, and actually enjoy Twilight a lot because I just love things that are awful. I also love The Hunger Games because I approve of destitute children killing each other for sport. Oh, and I Capture the Castle, which is really quaint and lovely.