Call me crabby but I am having trouble getting excited about any of the newish paranormal/dystopian teen romances. Everyone is jumping on that bandwagon and in my opinion, only a few people are getting it right. I found this book to be rather ridiculous, full of plot holes, mostly depressing, and not very romantic at all. I listened to it as an audiobook and didn't like the narrator either. Now, I'm sure some people will really like it—it's not like it's the worst thing I've ever read—I'm just saying I had trouble finishing it. Here's the premise: the earth is teeming with the unconsecrated, zombies that are dead but feed on living people and infect them with the plague so they in turn become unconsecrated. Mary lives in a village ruled by religious sisters and surrounded by a fence that keeps the unconsecrated out. Mary dreams of seeing the ocean someday but for all she knows there may be no other humans left in the world. When the village is overrun by the unconsecrated, Mary and a few others escape to a convenient fenced-in path that leads to places unknown. Mary loves Travis but is betrothed to his brother Harry, but neither is really as enticing as the thought of getting to the ocean. The good news is that it's not a steamy romance so it would be appropriate for 7th grade on up.
This is not strictly a YA book but I know lots of high school students have read it. It took me a few starts to get into it but it was definitely worth reading. It's a story of unimaginable horror about a college student who is abducted and held prisoner by a sex offender for 7 years in a 12x12 reinforced shed. The thing that makes this book readable is that it is narrated by her 5-year-old son who has never known anything but the room that they live in. The young woman (we never learn her name) shields her son Jack from her captor, Old Nick, and from the knowledge that he is a prisoner. Jack doesn't even know there is an outside world until his mother hatches an escape plan and sends him out into the world to freedom. I thought the book was most interesting after they escaped—imagine a child learning everything about the world after spending his entire life in one room with one person. It's a tough subject but there's definitely a lot to talk about and think about here.