Wednesday, July 20, 2011
After all the requests following my last book review, I thought I'd start a series of book recommendations for you fellow YA fiction fans. As I mentioned before, YA fantasy is my genre of choice, so today's will all be of that specific niche. And because I have a lot of favorites, I'll be keeping this post to five titles. Everything I list here is one of my all-time favorites, so I really can't recommend them highly enough.
"Enthralling" is the best word I can find to describe this book. It's not often you find a YA novel written from the perspective of an old woman! It has that magical, fairy tale quality that will stick with you for a long time - plus a big, big heart.
The Hollow Kingdom by Clare Dunkle
Don't let the lackluster cover fool you - this book (and series) packs a serious literary punch. By turns disturbing and heartwarming, it spits in the eye of traditional teen romances and embraces a form of Beauty and the Beast where the beast stays a beast. Refreshingly different and hauntingly beautiful.
Sabriel, by Garth Nix
Nix's Abhorsen trilogy is what the word "epic" was invented to describe. Set in a world split into a "modern" half (roughly our 1940s) and one evocative of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings, it will draw you in with hair-raising suspense, battles, and a heroine you can't stop cheering for. Also, as a quick reader I especially love this book's heft - although even at 336 pages, I promise you'll be left wanting more. (Good thing there are more books in the series!)
The Lightning Thief , by Rick Riordin
My strongest memory of this book is laughing in bed, trying in vain not to wake John. It brings the Greek gods up-to-date in modern times, and, well, hilarity ensures. It's also a ripping good adventure, and pure fun through and through.
Trickster's Choice , by Tamora Pierce
It was hard to choose which Pierce book to mention here, since I own and love so many of them. The only trouble with her books is that almost all of them are part of intertwining series, so if you don't start at the the beginning, you might feel a smidge left out. (If you want a completely stand-alone story, try Terrier, a kick-ass story of a female guard.) (Edited to add: As mentioned in the comments, there are sequels to Terrier, but I still think the story stands alone well for new readers.)
This series picks up where the tales of Alanna the Lioness leave off - with Alanna's daughter. Fortunately, reading the previous books isn't necessary to thoroughly enjoy this one - and at nearly 450 pages, there's enough intrigue, romance, and adventure to keep you busy for at least a few nights. ;)
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