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Young Adult Books: Discuss!

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The ya thing I read last year that I'm the highest on and that hasn't been mentioned yet here is Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree. Nineteenth century feminist parlour espionage / mystery about the unappreciated brilliant daughter of a British fossil hunter who gets in over his head with some shit. Speculative elements. Sneaks up on you, but once it gets going wow god damn. A highlight of the year in perceptive ya that I think cuts deep and I'll be reading more of Hardinge's stuff -- she is very well thought-of in children's lit review circles, I understand.

 

I got a lot out of Maggie Stiefvater's first two Raven Cycle books. Drenched in atmosphere and character and magic that feels genuinely weird. I'm surprised how well these have done given how firmly they often flip the bird at conventionally-paced plots and how obtuse they're willing to be -- and I do admit that I occasionally wouldn't mind being shown the money a little more, but I love how completely they blaze their own way and wouldn't want them to stop doing it. My favourite thing of hers I've read so far might still be The Scorpio Races, which I remember as an all-timer.

 

All praise to Leigh Bardugo and Six of Crows / Crooked Kingdom. Some of the purest fun I had reading last year, but also with some real crunch to them. Need to read the second book in Kate Elliott's Court of Fives series; I found the first one excellent. Ditto the sequel to Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes; I thought the first one took a maybe slightly less thoughtful and more actiony, but still often compelling, approach to a cultural conflict very broadly similar to the one in Elliott's Court of Fives and that it had one breakout character -- not either of the characters in the main couple, who are very ... couple-y.

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Oooooh. I have not read Hardinge. I am going to have to give that a whirl.

 

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Finished the first Illuminae book recently and highly enjoyed it. Reminded me of a YA version of Leviathan Wakes.

The Call was also excellent.

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On 1/4/2017 at 2:35 PM, kairparabola said:

It's ruthless but it's not soul crushing, at least not to me. One of my favourite parts is the gender attribute swapping between Lada and her brother Radu. He's the soft, elegant, beautiful one and she the fierce, warrior (and not pretty). 

Does it do more than just swap? There's a logistics in threatening demenour. To be controversial, for example, I think women don't traditionally get the idea of taking pride in their capacity to physically overwhelm - say a man loses to a man in an arm wrestle - when the guy he loses to took pride in his physical capacity, the guy who lost can take some small pride in at least saying he lost to someone who can (and does) take bigger pride in their capacity. This allows them to fall into a sort of pecking order in regard tot he matter (or preferably an understanding of relative position). But if a man loses to a woman in arm wrestling but the woman takes no pride in that physical capacity to overwhelm, then the man can take no small pride in his loss and no mutual understand of position can occur. I'm not sure female culture at the current time really gets that and how it's integral to forming a social structure. Just being fierce just makes you psychotic. Does it get into the politics of martial power, or just try and confer 'fierce' and 'warrior' to a female as if they are just states that are had somehow? (come to think of it, that goes for 'soft' and 'beautiful' as well. They have their own politics)

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On 1/13/2017 at 9:48 PM, Callan S. said:

Does it do more than just swap? 

Yes. It covers the 'maleness' of Lada and how that is looked upon by everyone in her life/encounters either through discomfort and/or fear and/or disgust along with admiration and respect, and conversely the effects of her brother's 'femaleness' or beauty, and how he's able to charm and put people at ease, without much of any further consideration or suspicion for the most part.

I think the followup will explore your later points about martial law and politics for both siblings.

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I also skipped the YA phase entirely and there are people who never went out of it. I guess that proves how much tastes could differ.

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It's $12.51 for me in continental Europe.

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2 hours ago, 3CityApache said:

It's $12.51 for me in continental Europe.

The publishers in Europe are different from those in the US and have different prices. FYI, since you are in Poland and may have friends who don't speak English, a Polish translation is on its way. Not sure when, though.

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@Peadar Thanks, mate. I'll grab the original when I have the chance anyway, but I will spread the word among my friends it's worth checking out. I didn't know it's YA, actually. But I guess my 11 years old daughter will have to wait a while? I may consider buying the translation as well for her.

Edited by 3CityApache

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It probably didn't help that when i was at the YA age, SFF was more looked down on than it is today, so the YA section having its own SFF area, well, yeah that wasn't going to happen.

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On 1/16/2017 at 6:23 PM, 3CityApache said:

@Peadar Thanks, mate. I'll grab the original when I have the chance anyway, but I will spread the word among my friends it's worth checking out. I didn't know it's YA, actually. But I guess my 11 years old daughter will have to wait a while? I may consider buying the translation as well for her.

Many thanks!

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Started reading Six of Crows last night. I also snagged the first library loan of Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, which has mixed reviews at best and I'm not sure how interested I am in it. I found Divergent meh and the stopped 2 chapters into Allegiant.

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On 1/23/2017 at 6:12 AM, kairparavel said:

Started reading Six of Crows last night. I also snagged the first library loan of Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, which has mixed reviews at best and I'm not sure how interested I am in it. I found Divergent meh and the stopped 2 chapters into Allegiant.

So I ditched Carve the Mark completely after reading poor review after poor review. I'm at the beginning of Six of Crows and I can tell I'm going to like it, but I put it aside for a non-fiction long loan that finally came through (I Contain Multitudes). 

My holds list includes the newly-released Caraval by Stephanie Garber and Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst while I wait for my other anticipated releases to drop. Speaking of, cover at for A Court of Wings and Ruin has been released and Chaol's still untitled novella has become a full book/installment in ToG.

Edited by kairparavel

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On 1/3/2017 at 8:20 PM, kairparavel said:

and for some unknown reason I'm keeping on with the Red Queen story. I'm hoping the villain wins in the end.

The third book in the series, King's Cage, was released today and I was blessed? with the first e-loan from the library. Come on Maven! *L* I follow the author Victoria Aveyard on Twitter and I like her politics. I also don't hate the story but I do hope she continues to grow as a writer and finds a wayt to make the main character Mare far less annoying. 

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@kairparavel You are the second person I know who has put Carve the Mark down and not finished it.  I decided to not even start it after reading a few reviews.  A book set in space that has no sense of place and could take place anywhere doesn't sound too appealing.

I haven't been reading any YA recently as I've been on a mystery and historical fiction kick.  But I am looking forward to A Cfirourt of Wings and Ruin...although I had to lol when I found out the Feyre's dress on the cover is copied (with permission) from a fanart piece a fan did.  I hope they paid her something.

Still haven't read Victoria Aveyard yet but I have the first book sitting here waiting to be read.

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The Great Brain series just became available on Kindle last month. I bought all 8. Enjoying the trip through one of my favorite series from when I was a young adult.

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10 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

@kairparavel 

I haven't been reading any YA recently as I've been on a mystery and historical fiction kick.  But I am looking forward to A Cfirourt of Wings and Ruin...although I had to lol when I found out the Feyre's dress on the cover is copied (with permission) from a fanart piece a fan did.  I hope they paid her something.

In the latest SJM newsletter she talks about how she asked the artist (Charlie Bowater) to use the dress for the cover and she agreed though fees etc, no idea.

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If anyone has recs, please feel free to stump for them. I finished the first book in the Invisible Library series -- it's steampunk, but it has all the hallmarks of a YA novel without having a teen-aged protagonist. the concept is rad, but the writing is....middling. not sure I'll read the sequels.

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