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Young Adult Books: Discuss!

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I finally finished reading Blanca and Roja. It was well-written and I liked the spin it took on the fairy tale. A solid good read. 

I blew through the Winternight trilogy (is this YA? not that it matters in the grand scheme of things) and in a word, it was wonderful. In think The Winter of the Witch was my favourite/the best of the three. Not that there was some gulf between it and the first two.

I also finished the first in the new middle grade series by Victoria Schwab and I really enjoyed it. A definite own when I was in middle school. 

Edited by kairparavel

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Insert excited Jonah Hill gif. I have the first library copy (only?) of Queen of Nothing!!!! Not a lot of books have excited me this year, but this is one of them.

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1 hour ago, kairparavel said:

Insert excited Jonah Hill gif. I have the first library copy (only?) of Queen of Nothing!!!! Not a lot of books have excited me this year, but this is one of them.

Oh yay!  My ebook showed up at 11 PM last night so I started reading it.  I suspect I will like it better than the second one but less than the first.  The first in the series set such a high bar and was most excellent, its hard to equal or surpass.  I like that it is dedicated to Leigh.

This is the first YA I'm reading in quite a while.  

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Re: Queen of Nothing

I went to bed last night wondering about the snake on the cover. I found out this morning! Finished it a little while ago. It was a satisfactory ending and had some high points but overall not as developed as it's predecessors. It seemed rushed in parts. But I certainly still liked it. I expect I'll re-read them all at some point. 

Edited by kairparavel

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On 11/23/2019 at 9:22 AM, kairparavel said:

Re: Queen of Nothing 

I was pretty dissatisfied with it.  There was a lot of personality changes and retcons to achieve this ending.  About the one thing I found consistent between the first book and this last is Jude being the Queen of Nothing.  Madoc in the first chapter of the first book refers to her coming from nothing so I liked that bookend.  It was the only satisfying thing about this book.

Seriously the first book promised something different.  The fae actually looked and sounded and acted like fae.  I hated pretty much everyone - Jude included - in the first book.  And I liked that because it felt very true to the fae and their world.  And it seemed so original as all the other fae fantasy romance novels we are seeing written by American authors make their fae just so much more human in personality except for some window dressing details.  This last book in the series was pretty much like all the other novels.  If this book was written by another author or was part of another series, it would be a very pleasant cute YA fantasy romance and I might have been able to enjoy it.  But as it is, all I could think of what was promised with that first book and how this didn't deliver.

I don't know if the author just wanted to get this story over and done with or if she was under pressure from her publisher to get this book out quickly.  But this book felt so rushed.  The publishing date was pushed up several months and it was significantly shorter than the others.  And within the plot things were just glossed over and dealt with quickly or completely ignored.  Everything about this was unsatisfying.

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5 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

I don't know if the author just wanted to get this story over and done with or if she was under pressure from her publisher to get this book out quickly.  But this book felt so rushed.  The publishing date was pushed up several months and it was significantly shorter than the others.  And within the plot things were just glossed over and dealt with quickly or completely ignored.  Everything about this was unsatisfying.

My first take is often my worst one. I finished and felt that it was ok. But I had questions. Today I have even more questions. 

Why were so many things added/ mentioned only to be dropped for swift storytelling?

Spoiler

Taryn's pregnancy and her entirely too neat killing of Locke. Killing Valerian did something to Jude but Taryn just floats along. Why set up Cardan's mother as a nemesis and basically leave her in bed the whole time. Grimsen? That guy was just a plot device. Jude being mortal but also having a connection with the land needed a lot more development.

 

Also, too much required being told away from Jude's POV and because it's a one POV story we get plot holes. I fully expect a novella focusing on Taryn during Jude's exile until she appears at the apartment. 

Edited by kairparavel
Forgot about spoilers

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3 hours ago, kairparavel said:

My first take is often my worst one. I finished and felt that it was ok. But I had questions. Today I have even more questions.  

I totally understand coming away from it with an initial positive reaction.  I mean as written it fits right in with what other YA fantasy romance novels of similar ilk are like and its pleasant in that realm.  You take what SJM does with her hero/heroines and it fits right in there.  Except with way less sex.  Actually that is something I approved with the Queen of Nothing - the level of detail and amount of sexy time felt right for a YA novel.  And I did like that Jude was a capable heroine able to do things on her own without too much of other people rushing in to do anything for her.

But yeah regarding Taryn...

Spoiler

What the heck was up with her killing Locke and Jude just accepting her back in her life without major explanations and groveling on her part?!?!?!  These things made no sense whatsoever and relied on the reader just basically forgetting everything that had happened in the past two books.  I mean I could not stand Taryn and what she did.  And I read that short story about her and hated her even more.  But its like oh we are going to pretend everything she and Locke did to Jude and just accept the two of them are back with their sisterhood as was in the first book before this all went down.  

Cardan's mother made no sense, I totally agree.  And what is her name beginning with a N who is from the sea and absolutely hated Jude??????  She is just fine with everything now?  Made no sense either.

I guess I was fine with Viv, Heather, and Oak's storylines.

But Madoc...

Spoiler

OMG his ending I hated the most!!!!!!  Jude should have totally beheaded him.  He totally went against the throne multiple times against multiple rulers.  He is absolutely a traitor and should have been treated accordingly.  He absolutely will find away around what he promised and will be after them with Oak as his puppet ruler in a few years.  That was the dumbest moment of the book.  And what is up with Viv being excited about him being exiled to the mortal world so she can torment him about cell phones?!?!  She has hated him for all 3 books.  She should have been screaming bloody murder at Jude for sending him to her neighborhood let alone keeping him alive.

The more I think about this the more dissatisfied I become.  What a letdown.  And I've got no YA books I'm looking forward to at this point.

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:30 PM, lady narcissa said:

Seriously the first book promised something different.  The fae actually looked and sounded and acted like fae.  I hated pretty much everyone - Jude included - in the first book.  And I liked that because it felt very true to the fae and their world.  And it seemed so original as all the other fae fantasy romance novels we are seeing written by American authors make their fae just so much more human in personality except for some window dressing details.

To be fair, that's par for the course for Black's novels featuring Fae, which I blew through a few months back - they are quick and entertaining reads, but the formula becomes ever more evident the more of them you read. They Fae are initially presented as inhuman and dangerous, but then, of course, there has to be romance and that special someone has to be relateable and a wholesome match for the heroine, so...  I really hoped that this series would try something else, given how different the first 2 books were and what an unusual protagonist Jude was, sigh.

BTW, isn't the widespread YA/romance trope of somebody who bullies and threatens the heroine turning out to be a weebo with a tragic background who is secretly attracted to her, really toxic?

I couldn't agree more with the rest of your criticisms, but I wanted to add something re: Madoc:
 

Spoiler

 

He wasn't even forbidden to use magic or unarmed fighting in his exile! Jude really doesn't care about the wellbeing of humans on whom she inflicted him at all, does she?


 

 

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I do not recommend Red by Christina Henry. To think I almost bought it as a Christmas present. The protagonist is an annoying know it all. 

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Well if this virus has been good for anything, it has been good for making authors promoting their new books accessible to everyone. So many authors I never would have seen on their book tours are now taking their "tours" on the road and therefore everyone can see them.  In the past month I've watched:

Sarah J. Maas and her husband promoting her book Crescent City (which I thought was okay and is absolutely like her 'YA' novels despite being marketed as an Adult Fantasy novel):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFSJAXNoEp66P7g42w_IUw

Veronica Roth promoting Chosen Ones (another supposed Adult Fantasy novel that looks and sounds like her YA novels which was a very interesting premise but was ultimately kind of flat for me)  with all sorts of people from Leigh Bardugo to Seanan McGuire.

https://www.twitch.tv/vrothbooks/videos?filter=archives&sort=time

And most recently Richelle Mead who disappeared off the YA publishing face two years ago and just reemerged to do this interview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWTDHfdnnLA&feature=youtu.be

And this goes for bookcons too.  I've always wanted to go to Y'ALLWEST but it was never going to happen in person and wouldn't you know its now going to be online and free for everyone!

https://www.yallwest.com/

A nice range of YA authors.  I don't think I can bring myself to sit in front of my computer all weekend long but I will for sure check out a few panels.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

Well if this virus has been good for anything, it has been good for making authors promoting their new books accessible to everyone. So many authors I never would have seen on their book tours are now taking their "tours" on the road and therefore everyone can see them.  In the past month I've watched:

Sarah J. Maas and her husband promoting her book Crescent City (which I thought was okay and is absolutely like her 'YA' novels despite being marketed as an Adult Fantasy novel):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFSJAXNoEp66P7g42w_IUw

https://www.yallwest.com/

A nice range of YA authors.  I don't think I can bring myself to sit in front of my computer all weekend long but I will for sure check out a few panels.

I started Crescent City and returned it to the library somewhere in the first four ton five pages. I just couldn't do it.

I'm near the end of Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan, which is the sequel to Wicked Saints. I think if I didn't follow her on social media I would absolutely dislike her writing style/dialogue style but because I do I see a part of her in each page and I don't mind it.

I'm thinking about registering for YallWest online. There's really only one, maybe two panels that are of interest to me. We'll see. 

Edited by kairparavel

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On 4/15/2020 at 5:41 PM, kairparavel said:

I'm near the end of Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan, which is the sequel to Wicked Saints. I think if I didn't follow her on social media I would absolutely dislike her writing style/dialogue style but because I do I see a part of her in each page and I don't mind it.

I'm thinking about registering for YallWest online. There's really only one, maybe two panels that are of interest to me. We'll see. 

Apparently I purchased Wicked Saints last month when it was $1.99.  I think I added it to my basket on your prior recommendation.  As I am nearing the end of my new release reading streak and will need something new to read I will have to check it out.

Regarding Y'All West, I like how you can just register for the panels you are interested in and don't have to register for the whole thing.  And of course I love that it is all FREE!  Let me know which ones you 'attend'.

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I ended up missing the one panel I registered for because time has no meaning. 

Sounds like there were a few issues including a problematic moderator on one panel that led to a do over with a new moderator Sunday that was very well received. 

And an incident with Dhonelle Clayton and a teacher over a Zoom school presentation.

Very unfortunate, which is an understatement. 

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I don't know all the specifics but it seems the moderator wanted to talk to the diversity panel about how mistreated white males are.

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No idea where this should go so I'll put here because it started with Black YA authors LL McKinney and Tochi Onyebuchi. The #publishingpaidme tag is wild and you can pinpoint when the YA world became a juggernaut. Hint: Twilight and Hunger Games era. Anyways there are a variety of authors and illustrators and other areas of publishing posting in it. But it's playing out like you might assume it would.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Oh dear, I'm sure this won't devolve into a shit show.

It might in some corners but transparency is the only way to even the field, in all professions. And it just highlights the extreme biases (racism) at publishing houses. 

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3 minutes ago, kairparavel said:

It might in some corners but transparency is the only way to even the field, in all professions. And it just highlights the extreme biases (racism) at publishing houses. 

Yeah I was expecting something a lot more chaotic and full of man babies but it’s ok.

 

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