Jump to content
LugaJetboyGirl-irra

Young Adult Books: Discuss!

Recommended Posts

12 hours ago, kairparavel said:

I also have the first available loan for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which has been one of the most anticipated YA releases for this year. That's my weekend solved.

Oh let me know what you think of that one!  I saw even Kobe Bryant was tweeting about it so you know its selling well.

I did finally get around to reading Bardugo's The Language of Thorns.  I purchased the physical book so I was able to really enjoy the illustrations and the way they evolve as the stories progress.  And I thought the stories were really stellar as well.  I am usually not a short story fan as most of them just fell like the part of a greater story but these were all incredibly satisfying in their short span.

I also read a YA trilogy that I picked up when I was in Finland last summer.  Its by a Finnish author, Salla Simukka, and 2 of the 3 stories take place in Finland - the 3rd in Prague.  I loved the different from the usual YA setting locations but was only somewhat lukewarm about the stories themselves.

And I also read an absolutely horrible YA that I probably can't even mention by name because I don't want to draw any attention to it - it was that bad.  But it was too bad as it sounded wonderful on paper and included just about everything that I would normally love in a novel.  But it was soo sooo very incredibly awfully bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I read The Hazel Wood last month and enjoyed it. Apart from some minor niggles about the prose being a bit busy in places where less could've been more I thought it was well done. It didn't end the way I expected it to either.

Also read Begone the Raggedy Witches, which I'd seen Peadar recommend which was less than satisfying. To be honest, I only finished it because I'd paid for it, it didn't really hold my attention fully. The 'magic' was ultra vague and hand-wavy too.

Have just finished The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale which I would highly recommend. It's a nicely written fairy tale with an unpredictable protagonist. In fact I liked it so much I'm going to buy a copy for my niece. 

 

Edited by Isis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished up the Rebel Belle series the other day (Rebel Belle, Miss Mayhem, Lady Renegades). The second and third books were not as great as the first but still enjoyable. I recommend the audiobooks. 

I'm now into book 2 of The Winner's Curse series (The Winner's Crime). Also audiobook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read either of those series, Kair, although I think I picked up the Winner's Curse when it was a cheap kindle deal.  A Court of Frost and Starlight showed up yesterday.  Although promoted as a novelette, its pretty much the length of an average full length novel.  Of course I see lots of reviews complaining about the length and how they feel cheated!  I guess that is what happens when you normally write epic length novels.  In any case, I'm not expecting anything earth shattering since its also promoted as filler but hopefully it will be a pleasant diversion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/23/2017 at 5:43 AM, kairparavel said:

It's not SFF but it is YA and it's very very good:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Definitely merited all it's pre-publication buzz. 

http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/03/angie-thomas-the-hate-u-give-interview-ya-novel.html

I read this in March also and want to second the love for this book.  It was great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bear and the Nightingale ebook by Katherine Arden is $1.99 on (US) amazon right now.  It might only be a today deal and there isn't much time left in today so this might not be too helpful for anyone.  But it was a YA book I really enjoyed so mentioning it just in case someone catches this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

The Bear and the Nightingale ebook by Katherine Arden is $1.99 on (US) amazon right now.  It might only be a today deal and there isn't much time left in today so this might not be too helpful for anyone.  But it was a YA book I really enjoyed so mentioning it just in case someone catches this.

Ah, this was one of my YA picks for this year.  She's a Campbell nomineee, definitely worth $1.99.  It's a really fun read. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 4/28/2018 at 8:57 PM, kairparavel said:

I'm now into book 2 of The Winner's Curse series (The Winner's Crime). Also audiobook.

Just finished up the last book in the trilogy. I was skeptical of the book covers - ball gowns and the book titles weren't grabbing me. But, they were a popular series so I gave in and I'm glad I did. The first book was the weakest, but not terrible. It simply sets the stage and the stakes. I love Kestrel and Arin and their heart and souls and fallibility. And in the second and third books Roshar...I adore Roshar. Even with the thread of romance throughout the series, the story is rough and brutal for our main POVs. Marie Rutkoski's writing is lyrical and beautiful, even during the dark and terrible parts. 

I recommend. 

Edited by kairparavel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm striking out with YA novels lately.

I read The Hazel Wood and ultimately did not enjoy it.  It was frustrating because there were so many elements that I normally would enjoy.  I probably enjoyed the beginning more than anything.  But then once it got going my interest decreased with each page such that I ended up skimming.  About sixty percent through I skipped ahead and read the last chapter, then the one before that, and then the one before that, and then went back to sixty percent and skimmed through to the end.  So there was something there that nudged at me but it was frustrating.

Then I read And I Darken by Kiersten White and I was super stoked for it since like everyone I follow for YA reviews 5 stared loved this book.  And I got it for $1.99 on amazon so double bonus.  And I read the first few chapters and it was going nicely and I was pretty excited to at last have a book I was excited to read...and then it all went downhill from there for me.  This book was not at all fantasy as every label led me to believe but historical fiction with the emphasis on FICTION.  And I so hate when books take known people and change them just to change them when the actual people and the things they did are so incredibly fascinating.  And this book just changed things too much for me for me to be able to even remotely enjoy it.

And I have to add, I know that one of the reasons the book gets labeled "fantasy" is because its "alternate history" in that a character is changed from (real life) male to (in fiction) female.  But I have a problem with that label.  I'd say its an acceptable label when the book involves something like dragons or time travel.  So when Connie Willis writes her time travel stories and has things change in history so it becomes alternate history, it can also be science fiction.  But when Stephen King writes 11/22/63, it gets described as history or historical fiction.  And C.J. Sansom's Dominion gets described as historical fiction.  So I really think it gets the fantasy label because its YA and the publishers knew it would sell better as YA fantasy than YA historical fiction.  And I also possibly feel it gets that label because its set in settings that most American teens know nothing about - i.e. Romania and the Ottoman Empire - and that this somehow makes it fantasy because its not real to them.  And that's my biggest problem with the book.  Because it is real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started War Storm which is the final book in the Red Queen series but after 4 or 5 chapters I bailed. I searched out some spoiler reviews to find out how all the characters wound up and yeah, I'm good. Waiting on a second hold for A Reaper at the Gates because I couldn't get to it the first time. 

I blew through the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins. I was listening to Hex Hall during my drive this week and it ended just before I got home Friday night. I had the place to myself this weekend so I borrowed the second book Demonglass and read it in one sitting overnight and finished things up with Spellbound yesterday. I liked a lot of it though it seemed to borrow heavily from Harry Potter and Buffy. They were fine quick reads but I enjoyed her Rebel Belle series more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/21/2018 at 3:50 PM, kairparavel said:

I also have the first available loan for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which has been one of the most anticipated YA releases for this year.

 

As it happens, I have just read it wasn't blown away. It is fine - "Avatar, the Last Airbender" influence is obvious and openly aknowledged  as are similarities to some other prominent YAs, but I like this alternate view of

Spoiler

Zuko, whose entitlement, endless blown second chances as well as gentle, patient mentorship and love by every decent person in his environment until he finally, finally  was steered towards the right path after so many false turns always annoyed me. Particularly since they had all cheerfully abandoned Azula to her horrible father since early childhood and were quite censorious and disapproving of a mere girl excelling and having ambitions. As such, it is a little disappointing to see Amari as Inan's/Zuko's "good" younger sister alternative being a shy, retiring, downtrodden girl, obviously confirming to the gender norms. Though she does blossom towards the end, and presumably will get to seize the throne, though since it will happen over the bodies of her father and brother she will likely  be seen as an evil usurper by general public, which could provide an interesting twist to the proceedings. Zélie is pretty much Katara in a "what-if" scenario of her being the "Avatar" equivalent for this world. Etc.

Still, satisfying as it is to see these alternate developments,  I hope that subsequent installments will be more original. I am interested enough to continue and I am glad that the book is popular, but it is also over-hyped, IMHO.

 

On 5/28/2018 at 5:11 AM, lady narcissa said:

The Bear and the Nightingale ebook by Katherine Arden

I have read this and the sequel "The Girl in the Tower" a few months back. I really loved the first book - finally an anglophone SF writer uses Russian names, patronymics and nick-names correctly! It was also refreshing to see some Slavic/Russian folklore and history used for a change, writing was good, characters appealing, villains genuinely frightening etc. 

OTOH, I was very disappointed in a sequel. I have only so much tolerance for stupidity in a protagonist, who displays consistent idiocy in this installment and proves that she could have never made it without constant assistance. Also, the shades of "Twilight" are less than welcome to me, and it seems that a certain minor villain is going to turn up like a bad penny because no matter how much damage they cause and how many people they get killed the protagonist is too "pure" to get rid of them permanently.

Edited by Maia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read Children of Blood and Bone for my book club. It does some things very well. But it has a major flaw, of telling not showing. Really lets it down. 

I recently read Skinful Of Shadows by Frances Hardinge and I thought it was fantastic. Not what I expected going in, but very satisfying. Fabulous protagonist. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some good YA Kindle deals at amazon.com today:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K LeGuin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the midst of a 3 month subscription to Owl Crate which is a YA books and stuff box. Last month's book (signed by the author) was Mirage by Somaiya Daud. This month's arrived this weekend with two! books signed by the author - Pride by Ibi Zoboi and Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. Looking forward to next month's then I'll decide if I want to renew or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kairparavel said:

Also, Happy Kingdom of Ash Day @lady narcissa! I got my Kindle copy at midnight but it'll be a bit before I get around to reading it.

Same! I have to finish reading a few other books before I can start this one.  This was never my favorite series so I don't feel that OMG sense of urgency with this one.  And I keep wondering if I need to reread the last book or two in order to refresh my mind before I begin this one as I'm not sure I remember everything.

I have not read a YA book since I last posted above.  Its been a dry dry YA year for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×