Have you looked outside lately? It’s dark. No matter what time of day it is, there’s a perpetual gloomy haze hovering over everything, and I don’t know about you guys, but it’s brought on a serious case of the Winter Blues for me. If you’ve never experienced the Winter Blues, then good for you (aka, I’m incredibly jealous of you). But those of us whose moods are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (aptly and/or cruelly known as SAD) know that our entertainment choices have to change once cold weather and cloudy skies roll in. No longer can we read sad or dark books because of our susceptibility to becoming easily bummed out. And WHATEVER you do, do not read The Fault in Our Stars right now! Especially when there are so many funny, light-hearted options out there that will surely cheer you in no time. Need a few suggestions? Well we’ve got plenty.
The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
If you’re only familiar with the (amazing) Anne Hathaway Disney film, do yourself a favor and read every single one of the Princess Diaries books right now. Meg Cabot has a gift for writing truly laugh-out-loud, over-the-top scenes. The Princess Diaries is basically the book form of your favorite sweet, sappy, goofy romantic comedy. Meg Cabot is the queen of minor characters, and she gives hilarious lines and mannerisms to every small character. Next time I feel hopeless because it’s basically midnight at 4:30pm, I’m just going to reread this entire series. And everything else Meg Cabot has ever written while I’m at it.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Yes, the author of the book that made you sob like a baby is also the author of one of the funniest YA books ever because life is crazy sometimes. This is probably John Green’s least famous book, but it’s always been my favorite of his. Best friends, a road trip, copious Hardee’s mentions, and a guy named Colin who’s been dumped by 19 girls named Katherine —how could this story not be hilarious? Colin’s best friend Hassan is one of the funniest, weirdest characters I’ve ever read. He loves Judge Judy and making dirty jokes using Arabic phrases. What’s not to love? An Abundance of Katherines will totally make you look forward to summer and plan a road trip with your BFF.
I’ve recommended these books before and I will continue to recommend them until everyone I know reads them. In Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, Julie Halpern writes about a girl’s journey into the deep, dark, nerdy underbelly of high school life (aka, Dungeons and Dragons). In The F-It List, Halpern tackles a topic that certainly doesn’t sound funny (a best friend’s cancer diagnosis) and turns it into something truly life affirming and laugh inducing.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl has plenty of real-world issues (family problems, mental health difficulties, etc.), but it’s also so funny. Rainbow Rowell has a true talent for writing realistic yet witty dialogue that seems effortless. The characters in Fangirl will make you think of your own friends and wish that you were even half as clever.
The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty
What can I say about Jessica Darling that hasn’t already been said (probably by me in one of the million times I’ve talked about how much I love this series)? While high school isn’t always funny when you’re going through it, it’s super hilarious when Jessica recounts the various indignities she suffers while stuck with her various classmates. And while there’s nothing funny about my feelings for Marcus Flutie (swoon!), this series also has one of the best love stories in YA.
Now it’s your turn! What’s the funniest YA book you’ve ever read? Let’s push away the Winter Blues by laughing through the next few months.
As always, I love to hear your suggestions for books to feature in Young Adult Education. Leave a comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @KerryAnn.