Monday, January 23, 2012

I find that the more I try to find a niche for this blog the more it tries to escape my clutches. Apparently, it wants to be YA Writing/Reading blog. Well okay then, we'll go with your plan.

As much as I wanted this blog to be review site for Really Awesome Current YA, I've found that I have far more to say and so much more to show everyone about the world of YA. So, confining this place to only reviews just doesn't seem right. I must confess that I am very much inspired by the blogs and tumblrs of awesome writers and fans. That! I want that! Now I just have to finish my manuscript and actually send it out into the mad house...

I've start using my local library again because I have this problem of buying wayyyyy too many books, many of which I feel rather "meh" about. Plus, my library system has a ridiculously great YA catalog that I keep forgetting to take advantage of. I'm actually thinking about going out there now...

Speaking of books I've picked up from the library, I had the chance to read Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Under the Never Sky is a dystopian novel that really grabbed me. The story centers around two character who have been thrust out of the worlds they thought they knew and into the unknown of both themselves and their environment.

I was most drawn to the relationship between Perry and Aria and how it grew from a feeling of mutual disgust to a romance. This is one of my achilles heels of story telling: two characters who can't stand each other that find they have more in common than they think.

I'm a also a big fan of books whose minor characters could easily have novels of their own. I mean, who can resist a character named Roar?! You can't. The character of Cinder, a twelve-year-old boy with dangerous powers, tugged at my heart strings and I left wanting to hear more of his story. You can't give me a character like that and leave me hanging! 

Rossi also paints a really gorgeous portrait of the world they live in. Any novel that looks like THIS when an artist paints it is going to pull me straight in.

And although the end of the book kind of fizzles out, I have to give Rossi some wiggle room because the book is part of a trilogy. The end wraps up the major plot points and I felt okay with waiting for the next book.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson has been a book that's been catching my eye for a while. My friend and I have this thing where we're attracted to books that have "aesthetically pleasing cover" or APCs. I'm often pulled in by these APCs and sometimes I get lucky that they are awesome.

I enjoyed this book for its character growth. Elisa starts as a girl who doesn't quite know where she fits, into the leader of rebels. She knows that she is "The Chosen One," but doesn't quite know what that means.

This is one of those books that I wish had a little more "umph" though. With words like "chosen one" I think I had expected more daring action and adventure than I got. That isn't to say that there isn't action and fighting and intrigue and indeed, some death, but I didn't completely believe it. The book is part of a series, and I feel may fall victim to the "series curse" of having to be pulled too thinly in order to span longer books. I wanted more to happen.

I'll definitely be checking out the second book to see what else happens, but I wish I'd gotten more the first time around.

I'm cheating a little with Cinder by Marissa Meyer, because I actually received an ARC of this book back in December and didn't actually get it from the library. I wanted to give it a quick review, however, because I really liked it.

I love re-tellings of classic fairy tales, it's another of my Achilles heels (I'm going to do a post on these sometime in the near future.) And this one does not dissapoint. If you can't tell, this re-telling of Cinderella with a dystopian twist. Here, Cinderella has become a second-class citizen because she's part machine.

The best part of this novel comes from Cinder's constant wonder as to what she really is and who she is. As a reader, I sadly figured it out for her as soon as certain plot points were mentioned, but it was still interesting watching her try to understand it as well. I like that she was an independent mechanic and bold in how she lived her life. Strong female characters are always a super big plus.

Again, this is a story with great characters and an interesting plot. I'm really excited to read the next one, but also saddened that I have to wait so long. This is the problem with ARCs, if you really like them you usually have to wait an extra 6 months on top of the normal wait time to get a sequel because you've gotten it in advance. Balls.

Other Books I Currently Have My Hands On:

Prized (Birthmarked #2) by Caragh M. O'Brien
A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce 

Waiting in the Wings
The Space Between by  Brenna Yovanof
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Blood Red Road by 
Die for Me by  Amy Plum
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Swear by Nina Malkin