Saturday, March 23, 2013

No seriously, I'm back

Every time I say, "yes, now I'm going to dedicate myself to updating this blog," something always seems to go not as planned.

I am currently at the end of my first year of public school teaching and was accepted into a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program for entry in the Fall of this year. So things have been rather crazy.

My YA readings, however, have exploded. I've read more than 50 books since last summer...and just haven't been posting about them. This is changing.

With the probability of going into this program, I feel like I have a legitimate place to really update this blog as it should be. So. Let's start fresh!

A Few that Stick Out

I recently finished Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare and I cannot recommend this book series enough. Cassie's series have been starting out rather normal, and the plot exciting, but nothing huge. By the time you have read the last series in the book, everything has exploded in such and amazing way that it makes you feel like these characters have truly come alive and that they are stable people in your life. When bad things happen to them, it's even worse. Without any sort of spoilers for the Infernal Devices series, you had better be prepared to have your heart wrenched out of your chest and your tear ducks to cry in both joy and pain.

It. Was. Amazing.

Cassie is best at developing her characters and truly getting the reader to become invested in their lives. Her plot and story telling is also a highlight. While the foreshadowing is often times very heavy (you can usually accurately predict what's going to happen in the story), there are enough twists that are surprising enough, and the characters are so powerful, that what happens still tugs at your heart.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas was a book that surprised me after picking it up from it's dust jacket. I've always been a fan of the medieval/renaisancey themed books that involve thieves, princes, guards, and just anything involving swords. What most surprised me about this was the main character. Celaena is kind of mean. She is haughty, speaks her mind, and is loyal in a way that sometimes works against her. As much as I enjoy novels where the main character is squishy, it's nice to see characters with backbone that doesn't always make them likeable. It's also nice to see that sometimes, the character doesn't have to be "rehabilitated" and that sometimes people have layers to them that aren't always black and white.

The key to this book is reading the novellas that come before. I thought I was invested in Celaena's story just from Throne of Glass, but after reading the novellas, which deal with her time before the book, I was so much more into her story. Without spoiling anything, Celaena's past is a new plot device that I have been seeing pop up a lot in YA novels and it's a mature change that I'm really enjoying. I love when YA straddles that line between being a teen book and being something that has an intelligence and depth that adults too can enjoy.

Reading List Update:

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 
-I started out feeling iffy about this one and then the ending hooked me. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.

Team Human by Justin Larbalestier
-This book really surprised me with it's twist on the vampire story. I really liked the flip of, what if a human lived with vampires and had to fight to be human. Such a great twist.

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
-This is another book where I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, but this second one really caught me by the end. I did skim some, but by the middle I wasn't anymore.

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
-This one suffers from a slow pace, but I'm so glad I got to see how the story continued. I really hope there's another. Still creepy and awesome at the same time.

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
-Oh my. I love when things aren't perfect even after the main characters get together. The tension in this book was amazing and I'm really, really looking forward to the finish of the trilogy.

Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien
-A fitting end to a really great series. I'll admit, the first book didn't necessarily hook me, but I'm so glad I kept up with this one.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
-What I liked most about this one was that it was rather fierce. The characters are no nonsense and I LOVE when characters have abilities they can't quite control. The plot is twisty and confusing, but by the end you see where it's going.

Days of Blood and Starligh by Laini Taylor
-Liani Taylor is definitely one of my current favorite YA authors. Her stories are so mature and intelligent and the passion in her characters just bleeds off the pages. I can NOT wait for the third book and I'm so excited to see how it ends!!

Waiting in the Wings
False Memory by Dan Krokos
The Girl in Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

So, here's to more reviews, more updates, and lots more YA books. Thank goodness all the ones I'm really looking forward to are coming out in the Fall. More time to get through the couple hundred books I have on my to-read shelf!!

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