YA Update

Some of the most touching, amazing, and intricate novels being written today are Young Adult novels.  But there are also a lot of YA books out there that are just a lot of fun – series with action and romance and fantasy – a quick read and a great escape.

dream thieves

The Raven Boys series follows Blue, a teenage girl who is the only non-psychic in a female family full of them.  Since she was small she has known her future – when she falls in love and kisses the boy he will die.  So she avoids boys.  Until she sees Gansey, a boy from the local prep school, on her annual trip with her mom to see the soon-to-be-dead walk past.  Soon she is caught up with Gansey and his friends – Ronan, Adam, and Noah – the “Raven Boys” as they search for an ancient king and the ley lines that surround him.

In this latest installment, The Dream Thieves, things are starting to get a little crazy now that the ley lines have been activated, focusing largely on Ronan.  Ronan is falling deeper and deeper into some seriously strange dreams, he has to face his past and what it means to his future, while there are nefarious people looking for him and the power he holds.

For some reason, I’ve had a harder time getting engrossed in this series, although the stories are adventurous and move quickly.  The characters and their connections seem a bit disjointed for me at times, but I do love Blue’s quirky family!

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Publication: Scholastic, September 2013

iron traitor

The Iron Fey series tells the story of the Nevernever, the world of the fey, where kings and queens rule the various Faery courts – Summer, Winter, and Iron.  This world of the creatures and fairies of our childhood fairytales is often violent and vindictive, but often wonderful and beautiful, and separated from the world of humans by only a thin veil.  The first books in the series follow the adventures of Meghan Chase, a human who was also born part fey.  The most recent books in the series follow the adventures of her half-brother Ethan, completely human, but possessing the ability to see the fey.

In this latest installment, Iron Traitor, Ethan is on a quest to help his fey nephew, Keirran, save his true love Annwyl.  Joined by his girlfriend, Mackenzie, Ethan reenters the world of the fey out of a sense of loyalty and duty to his family.  But how far will Keirran go to save the girl he loves?

This is a great series, fun and light, full of adventure and fantasy and romance.  Not my usual reading preference, but this series has become a guilty pleasure!

Title: Iron Traitor
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Publication: Harlequin Teen, August 2013

fall of five

The Lorien Legacy series follows John Smith, a teenager from the planet Lorien with unique powers who was sent here as a baby, along with eight others, to grow up, reunite as The Garde, and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their home planet.

In this latest installment, The Fall of Five, the Garde has been reunited and are hiding out in Nine’s penthouse in Chicago, planning their next move when they receive a message, in the form of a crop circle, from Number Five.  Is it a trap?  Or will they finally all come together and be able to defeat the Mogadorians?  This installment was another fast-paced part of the story, with twists and turns and surprises around every corner.

Title: The Fall of Five
Author: Pittacus Lore
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Publication: Harper Collins, August 2013

just one year

Just One Year picks up where Just One Day left off.  In Just One Day, Allyson and Willem spend a magical day together in Paris but the next day when Allyson wakes up, Willem is gone, and she is heartbroken.  Just One Year takes us along on Willem’s journey throughout the next year as he searches for Allyson knowing nothing about her – not even her name.  But it is more than a desperate search for a girl he lost.  It is also a search for Willem’s place in this world as he deals with the loss of his father, his relationship with his mother, his relationships with girls in general, and the ultimate need to do what is right, and what is right for him, instead of what everyone else wants and expects.

There is not much of Allyson in this book, but I was not disappointed.  Willem’s coming-of-age story is entertaining and touching in its own right, and his longing and searching for her provide the dose of expected romance.

Title: Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Publication: Dutton Juvenile, October 2013

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten fall tbr

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten list of books that I want to read this fall.  There are WAY more than ten, there are always way more than ten books on my TBR list, and I am probably forgetting some or there are some that will hop to the top of the list later this year when I realize they are coming out, but here’s what I’m looking forward to right now…

  1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – This is a series that I have been reading along with my daughter this summer and I am eager to read the final book!
  2. Sycamore Row by John Grisham – Grisham’s legal thrillers are always a fast and fun read and I am looking forward to a return to the setting of A Time to Kill.
  3. The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom – I’ve been a fan of Albom’s work in the past but found The Time Keeper to be a disappointment.  I’m hopeful for better things with his next book.
  4. Just One Year by Gayle Forman – I read Just One Day earlier this year, not realizing that it was part of a series, and now I want to finish the story!
  5. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich – The one series that always makes me laugh out loud!
  6. Loss of Innocence by Richard North Patterson – This novel is a prequel to Fall from Grace which I devoured in a day!
  7. Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith – This series always entertains me, yet always leaves me feeling relaxed and peaceful – must be something to do with the main character’s personality.
  8. Death of Santini by Pat Conroy – An author I have always enjoyed, with much of his work based on his life – this autobiographical story is sure to be worthwhile.
  9. Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore – I am interested in learning about Ben’s little sister who apparently had quite an active part in history as well.
  10. Edison and the Rise of Innovation by Leonard DeGraaf – The dork in me is always interested in the great scientific and engineering minds throughout history.