AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)
The Aquarius-born are super intelligent deep thinkers. Without mental stimulation, they quickly become bored and irritable. As a result, they are often perceived by others to be cold or even insensitive people. But the truth is, they’re just really smart, and while they are seemingly ignoring you talking about that annoying thing that happened when you went out to buy groceries, the truth is you interrupted them as they were attempting to untangle a problem so complex your brain would never stand a chance. They weren’t just sitting on the sofa staring into space, as you had assumed.
An Aquarius thrives when there are problems to be solved, so to satisfy that itch in their reading, they really need a good old fashioned murder mystery. Enter Garvie Smith, the teenage Sherlock-a-like protagonist of Running Girl by Simon Mason. Garvie is pretty uninterested in life until the body of his onetime girlfriend is dragged from a nearby pond. After that? Everything is about finding her murderer.
PISCES (February 19 – March 20)
These are the emotional types. The artists. They are friendly and empathetic, and as a result, always seem to be surrounded by a group of interesting and diverse friends. You know the types – they aren’t interested in small talk, but instead want to get right to the heart of the human experience.
Book-wise, a Pisces doesn’t shy away from the more intense stories. They are looking for emotion, romance and lessons learned. I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson, would be perfect. The need to create art is this story’s spine. It props up a narrative of grief, love and forgiveness, all those things that appeal to the intuitive personality of a Pisces.
ARIES (March 21 – April 19)
Energy is the word that comes to mind to describe those born under Aries. They are forever in motion – multitaskers with organisational skills that are second to none. They are driven by a need to take action.
You know what I’m thinking, right? There is no book more perfect than Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo and of course it’s sequel, Crooked Kingdom. If there is one word to describe Kaz Brekker it is: action. His world is buzzing with schemes, heists and other adventures. But it’s not only about pulling off a plan to perfection. An Aries is all about the personal journey, as well as the literal one. They are searching for the answers to life’s big questions: Who do I want to be? What do I consider to be right and wrong? …etc. Well, so are the crows. In terms of action, both literal and metaphysical, this series has it all.
TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)
These are the dependable types. In good times this can manifest itself as being a devoted friend, partner or artist. In bad ones, it can feel as if they are uncompromising and stubborn. Ultimately though, they are the hardest workers in the world. They will not give up until the task is complete.
A Taurus might enjoy The Lunar Chronicles series, by Marissa Meyer. Cinder, protagonist and namesake of the first book, and central player throughout is completely dedicated to seeing her people set free from the tyrannous rule of the evil Queen Levana. The price for that dedication is high, but Cinder refuses to give up, despite the loss of her family, her personal safety, and maybe even the love of her life.
GEMINI (May 21 – June 20)
Geminis are an expressive people. What they are expressing however, can vary. At times they are sociable, communicative and generally the life of the party, while other times appearing restless and indecisive. A Gemini is often driven by a desire to grab to world by the lapels – to experience all things and all people.
This divided personality really speaks to the main characters in The Diviners, by Libba Bray. Evie and her friends are party animals living under the shadow left by the First World War. They use hedonism as a mechanism for coping with tragedy. Why mourn when you can dance?
While appearing to be normal teenagers expressing themselves the only ways they know how, Evie and her friends are actually anything but. They have powers no human should have. Evie can tell fortunes from objects, Theta can light fires using only her mind and Henry can walk through dreams.
CANCER (June 21 – July 22)
Those born under Cancer are known above all else for their dedication to the people they love. They are driven to create family, whether that be at work or home. This need for community can lead them to be manipulative, particularly when it comes to avoiding conflict. But, mostly, they are a really determined people, whether that’s in career or personal relationships.
Reading about Cancer brought to mind Andie from The Unexpected Everything, by Morgan Matson. It is, more than anything else, a book about love. After the loss of her mother and her father’s emotional retreat from her, Andie built a new family out of her school friends. They spend all their time together, and know all of each other’s secrets. As the book progresses, Andie begins to rebuild the relationship with her father she had all but given up on. And there’s that romance… The Unexpected Everything is a light hearted read about the communities we build for ourselves.
LEO (July 23 – August 22)
The sign for Leo is a rather grand looking lion, which really tells us all we need to know about this sign. They are the born leaders: dominant, dramatic and totally attractive. I think the majority of men in YA might be Leos.
Leos are out to have some fun, and they are usually dragging a pretty large ego with them. This can be great, as it gives them a sense of clarity about what they want in life. On the other hand, they can pursue their desires without much thought for the feelings of others.
All these macho Leo vibes bring to mind Winger, by Andrew Smith. Winger is a book about masculinity and it’s interactions with sexuality and violence. It also manages to be heart breaking, funny and a little bit romantic all at the same time.
VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)
Virgos are defined by their careful nature. Their approach to their life is methodical and organised. They are goal orientated, and usually have a pretty solid plan about the direction their lives are going to take.
While such personality traits could be applied to a few of her protagonists, the Virgo reminds me of Auden from Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen. For pretty much her whole life, Auden’s mother has pressured her to be perfect. She wants her academic record to be spotless and her future one with a high powered career. Auden has been so busy trying to keep up with her mother’s standards, she’s never really had much time to think for herself. Then the summer comes, and she goes to stay with her father. Auden is a total insomniac, and over the summer she makes friends with Eli, and with him explores the night time world the rigid life she lives at home never gave her the chance to.
LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)
A Libra is a person fuelled by beauty. They surround themselves with items carefully curated with aesthetics in mind. A Libra is inspired by art and music and often choose to spend their time in nature, where they can be, as Cheryl Strayed once wrote ‘in the way of beauty’.
Few Libras would be able to pass a copy of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton without picking it up. The cover is a work of art in itself, and the writing more than lives up to its outer shell. It is a masterpiece of magical realism, with lyrical writing that transports the reader into a different plane of existence.
SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)
Scorpios are characterised by their zest for life and assertive, resourceful characters. Like those born under Leo, they are the natural born leaders of the world. They are expressive and emotional, which can lead them to success, but can also cause problems when they give themselves over to their more negative emotions. The Scorpios can be very suspicious people.
For Scorpios, I can think of no better series than Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave trilogy. Cassie, Ben and co. are the only group of free humans left on a planet decimated by alien invasion. They are committed to the defeat of the aliens – no matter the cost. This series will set the adrenaline pumping in a way perfect for any Scorpios looking to experience the full spectrum of human emotion.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)
If you were born under Sagittarius, chances are, you’re a traveller. Driven by intense curiosity, a Sagittarius prizes her freedom above all else. When they are constrained, they don’t feel like they are really living. Because of this, sometimes a Sagittarius can appear impatient, but the truth is they are just looking for the next adventure.
13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson, would suit a Sagittarius down to the ground. When Ginny’s aunt dies, she leaves her only 2 things: $1000 for a plane ticket, and a stack of blue envelopes with strict instructions to only open them one at a time. Thus begins Ginny’s adventure across Europe. In true Sagittarius style, Ginny embraces the change and embarks on a summer that’ll change her life forever.
CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)
Capricorns prize themselves on their professionalism. They are practical, responsible and tend to be a little stubborn. Capricorns have been known to struggle when asked to work with others as they have difficulty accepting views different to their own. However, they are some of the most disciplined among us and likely to get far more achieved than most do on an average day.
Capricorn readers might enjoy Becoming Bindy Mackenzie, by Jaclyn Moriarty. Bindy is a middle aged barrister living in the body of a seventeen year old girl. She is super smart and finds her peers lack of interest in school perplexing. Mostly she just avoids other kids her age. But when she gets caught in the middle of a dangerous situation and has no one to turn to for help, she realises it might be good to have friends after all…