I decided to try a meme and I really liked the idea of In My Mailbox which was started at thestorysiren.com and several blogs I read also take part in so thought I would start taking part in this myself. Bought: Cat Clarke by Entangled Cat Patrick by Forgotten Borrowed: The true tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond who is one of my favourite British YA authors ever and I was lucky enough to meet when I was younger. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Momentum by Saci Lloyd Received for review: Burnt Children and Stone Bearers by RE Washington, received via the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Fanatics R2R group on Goodreads. So what have you got in your mailbox this week then?
Ugly To Start With is a collection of interrelated short stories following Jason Stevens, a teenager growing up in 1970s Virginia. It is quite unusual to get short stories in YA, though the Merry Sisters of Fate have an excellent website devoted to short stories, beyond paranormal anthologies containing several already highly successful novelists so this was a really pleasant surprise. Cummings has won several awards for his writing and there is no question as to the quality of his prose. There is something inherently nostalgic about it and a sense of lyrical poetry, even in the moments with simple language. This is definitely Literary YA writing. Perhaps because of this more lyrical prose, there is the one small difficulty I had with the book: at times it felt more like an adult than a YA novel. I think this […]
The Clockwork Prince is the sophomore novel of Cassandra Clare’s new series Infernal Devices. Set in Victorian England, it tells the story of Theresa “Tessa” Gray, a ‘warlock’ with no mark, who after the events of the first novel lives in the Institute with Shadowhunters. It’s always a challenge to write in a setting and/or time you don’t live in and Clare has bravely attempted both. Her research definitely shows as she mentions fashions and even street names of Victorian London. However, at times I felt the dialogue was too modern and punchy, and at times too American. Before you take this a indictment of the book however, it is worth noting that as a writer for a YA audience sustaining the language and customs of the time is difficult. We’re more self-aware now, more outspoken and bold and able […]
Summary from www.goodreads.com: Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances. It is rare to find a book that just hours after reading you already want to start again; for me, Divergent was one of these novels. Dystopian YA is […]
The majority of these are over five years old from when I was technically a younger teen, some even more so, but these are the books that have influenced my writing and I deeply enjoyed. I hope you enjoy the list, and please feel free to comment with any of your own. 1. Speak-Laurie Halse Anderson. This book was one of those that had an incredibly profound effect on me as a teenager, it is relatable, tragic, realistic and beautifully written. Even though I had not endured what Melinda had, there was something of the everygirl in there you could relate to- not fitting in, depression, teachers who didn’t like you, etc. The style is beautiful and I simply adored this book. When I found out it was challenged in the states in schools, I was fuming as this is […]
Just a quick post to say Chooseya has an account at goodreads now so feel free to friend this. I am still deciding whether to cross post all of my reviews so any opinions on that will be considered. ChooseYA Goodreads I am currently working on a post my top ten YA books of all time and also Lucy’s Epically Awesome Christmas Recommendations so keep checking in. Lucy
The field of YA writing of late, particularly paranormal, has become saturated with romance. A lot of these are unrealistic, poorly written and some are downright frightening- note to authors, sexual harassment is not sexy, it’s wrong! Maggie Stiefvater’s latest effort, The Scorpio Races, went some way into restoring my faith in the genre. While the Mercy Falls series at times was difficult with me to get on with due to my cynical nature and shaky faith in soulmates, I couldn’t deny that Stiefvater writes very well and her twisting of mythology was very engaging. The Scorpio Races was a fantastic read for me therefore as the tweaked-mythology was at the forefront and the romance, while present, felt secondary and subtle. It was plot-driven, character-focused and none of these elements suffered for the romance. The Scorpio Races plays with the […]
It’s undeniable that YA urban fantasy has become more and more popular over the last few years, particularly with series like Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices. Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star is the first in her Shades of London books. Set in London, obviously, The Name of the Star tells the story of Rory who has moved from Louisiana to London and is attending boarding school when a series of killings in the same vein as Jack the Ripper causing Rippermania to explode in London. Before one murder, Rory sees a man who her roommate Jazza does not. He is the only suspect so far into the cases, but why did her friend not see him too? This leads to her becoming the mysterious man’s next target and leads her to a discovery of her own […]
In her debut novel, Jennifer Brown has definitely not shied away from a controversial subject. Valerie Leftman is a reluctant senior at her high school five months after someone opened fire in the school cafeteria before killing themselves. Her boyfriend to be precise. While Valerie was shot and injured, the fact she was dating Nick Levill and a little notebook called the Hate List has ruined her reputation. The Hate List is a notebook of everyone Valerie and Nick hated at school and home, a list that she started. While Valerie didn’t intend for anyone to die, many around her believe she is just as guilty as Nick, including some of her family.Throughout her senior year, Val is forced to not only face her peers and family, but her guilt as well as grieving for her boyfriend and trying to […]
Welcome to chooseya.com, a book blog dedicated to the ever-growing field that is YA fiction! This site will have reviews, discussions, articles and hopefully author interviews as well. I hope you enjoy the site and look forward to hearing your comments. Lucy.