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Try It! The 69 Test


Try It! The 69 Test

If you clicked on the link thinking you were about read some kind of sexual instruction manual, you’re about to be disappointed. This is a young adult book site. Get your mind out of the gutter, won’t you?
You know that moment when you’re in a book store, casually browsing, and you’re not sure if the book you’re thinking of buying will be any good? Well, this test will help solve that problem!
In his 2006 novel, How to Read a Novel: A User’s Guide, John Sutherland surmised that in order to determine whether or not you’ll enjoy a book, you should flip to page sixty-nine and read that page only. If you like that page, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll like the rest of the novel too. Why? According to him, a lot of action seems to happen right around then for novels.
With this in mind, we’ve flipped to page sixty-nine of twenty YA novels and pulled an excerpt from that exact page, just to give you a little taste of the action to see if the book is something you might want to read!
For our experiment, we used hardcover editions unless otherwise noted.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

“For the first time in my life, I feel tiny. I feel small. And not in the shrinking flower kind of way. This feeling: it empowers me.”
Dumplin by Julie Murphy

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

“So now, when three Landers, members of a street gang, approach me in the back alley behind the Library, knives drawn, the silver barrel of a gun pointed at my heart, I know I am ready.”
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

“Then the iron studs on her jacket move. They float in the air, each one a hard round bullet of metal. Then, like shots from a gun, they rocket away from Evangeline, digging into the dust and the walls and even the lightning shield.
She can control metal.”
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The Half-Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

“And I don’t know where to put any of it, so I let it swirl around until I fall asleep. I fall asleep and I dream of green eyes. Gravestones. A hand on someone’s shoulder and my forehead, burning and hot.”
The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Wild by Alex Mallory

“She put the tension from her mind. The boy in the forest, too. Everything out there was temporary. A handful of days out of a lifetime.”
Wild by Alex Mallory

Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

“The blood in my veins is rushing back where it belongs, from wherever it gets to during an episode. The skin on the palms of my hands and on the top of my head is tingling––pings and needles, jabbing at light speed against me, micrometers apart. Tiny incessant pricks. Just like Fry.”
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

“‘I love you,’ I hear Joe say behind me. If I closed my eyes, I could pretend he was saying it to me. But then there’s Sasha’s ridiculous giggle, and the whole fantasy vanishes so fast, I lose my breath.”
Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Great by Sara Benincasa

“Maybe it was the almost pathetic look of hope in my mother’s expression. Maybe it was my natural curiosity about this fabu fashion goddess next door. More likely it was the fact that I’ve always loved carnivals. Whatever the reason, I found myself saying, ‘You know what? I am gonna go.’ My mother followed me upstairs, jabbering all the way.”


Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

“Herr Cohen stared down at her, his eyes hard, his expression unreadable. ‘I can’t figure out out,’ he said, so quietly he might have been speaking to himself. ‘Every time I think I understand who you are, you seem to change.’
What he thought of her didn’t matter. Nothing mattered except for the small, circular hole in the back of Papa’s Great War tunic.”


Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

“A dark shape shot from the trees, so fast Ashyn had only time to yelp and fall back. It went straight for the lantern, swirling around it, and for a moment, she saw black smoke. And eyes. She was sure she saw eyes. Then the lantern went out, plunging them into darkness.”


Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

“The whole time they’d been giving me a primer on Oz’s history––which I still wasn’t sure I understood––we’d been walking, and now we had come to a wide, stagnant river. The water was mossy and still and rotten-smelling, and had a toxic green tint to it. At the muddy bank, a tangle of thick black vines twisted like snakes.
Luckily, we didn’t have to swim through that much: as it neared the water, the yellow bricks began to ascend, stretching up and out into the air in a meandering path. There was nothing supporting them––no cables or columns or beams––and the whole road swayed and fluttered back and forth like a ribbon in the wind.”


Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

“‘Or will you next expect me to love you because you have not yet put me to torment?’ As I said the words, I realized they were true. I had been the bride of the Gentle Lord for half a day already, and there had been strikingly little torment. And I was not grateful; I was disturbed. What could he be planning?”


No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

“We hooked up freshman year and instead of just breaking up with me like a normal person (like with a text, or whatever) Colt forked my whole lawn the night before a cold frost. Do you know how hard it is to get a plastic fork out of frozen ground? It’s impossible. They break off in your hand.”


Sabriel by Garth Nix*

“The sending turned to face Sabriel and offered its hand to help her up. Sabriel took it, looking up at it as her tired, frozen legs struggled to make a tenth-round comeback. Close to, the illusion of flesh was imperfect, fluid and unsettling. Its face wouldn’t stay fixed, migrating between scores of possibilities. Some were women, some were men––but all bore tough, competent visages.”
*Taken from the new paperback edition.
Sabriel by Garth Nix

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

“I’m angry that I want to cry because I feel like I’ve been manipulated by the soundtrack in my head––the same one that made me cry in some shit sentimental movie with Julia Roberts where the mum is dying of cancer.”


The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

“He was a finger’s distance from me. Closer. Close enough to feel the heat from his sunburned skin. If it hadn’t been for the thin fabric of my chemise, we’d have been skin against skin, his hard muscles against my soft limbs.”


Rush by Eve Silver

“We’re in exactly the same place––and time––as we were before everything happened. Before the lobby and the weapons and the aliens and the battle. Richelle said the hours hours were banked. I guess we just made a withdrawal.”


Panic by Lauren Oliver

“It wasn’t even that interesting––just a couple of jerky shots of Ray and Zev swinging at each other, shoulders butting up into the frame as a crowd formed; and then flashing lights, people screaming, a moment when the feed went dead. Then more images: sweeping lights and cops’ distorted voices, tinny and harmless-sounding in the recording, and one close-up of Nat, mouth wide, with one arm around Heather and the other around Dodge. Then darkness.”


The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth

“I hadn’t ever known exactly what the Bible said about the way that I felt about Irene, the way that I knew I could let myself feel about other girls. I had some vague idea that it wasn’t too favorable, but I had never sought out the hard evidence. That night of the first Firepower, after I got home, I went to my room, put on Fatal Attraction as my background movie, and searched out homosexuality under the handy Topics to Consider contents inside the front cover.”


Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

“Lynn didn’t ask how he had enough salt that he could offer to preserve a whole deer for a neighbor. The process of rotting had begun the moment the heart stopped pumping, and already the flies were gathering at the folds of the wound she’d opened.”

Have you ever tried this test before? we challenge you to try out the 69 Test for reals the next time you’re book browsing and then Tell us about it in the comments below!

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