Browsed by
Tag: Young Adult

Book Review: The Sisters of the Winter Wood

Book Review: The Sisters of the Winter Wood


The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Sisters of the Winter Wood was incredibly promising. It’s a heavily Jewish book with lovely fantasy overtones. There are shapeshifters and mysterious newcomers peddling forbidden fruit and a deeply atmospheric forest, as well as a central sibling relationship and deep religious questions to ponder. It sounded made for me. So made for me that I ignored the fact that it’s YA. I should’ve known better. While I enjoyed the plot and the structure, the usual YA all-consuming romances and the characters’ inner struggles with coming to know and accept themselves were cloyingly overabundant and negatively impacted my reading experience. However, I feel like this is on me, not the book. I should know by now that YA usually doesn’t work for me. I was almost as disappointed by this book as I was by Uprooted, which I think is comparable in setting and atmosphere.

“To love means to sacrifice everything that you are.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Asperfell by Jamie Thomas

Book Review: Asperfell by Jamie Thomas


Asperfell by Jamie Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting from Asperfell, but those expectations were far surpassed. This debut novel is a bit of a slow burn, but it’s incredibly well written. The grammar and formatting are positively immaculate, which speaks highly of Thomas’s professionalism as an author; it’s obvious that she invested a lot of time in editing and perfecting Asperfell before introducing it to the world. And her way with words is impeccable. Actually, I would even say that the setting and writing reminded me the tiniest bit of Guy Gavriel Kay, who is a phenomenally talented craftsman of an author. It also had a Regency tone and flair to it. If Guy Gavriel Kay and Jane Austen teamed up to write a young adult fantasy novel, it would look something like Asperfell.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Skyward (Skyward, #1)

Book Review: Skyward (Skyward, #1)

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

“Claim the stars.”

Have you ever loved an author so much that you’re actually afraid to read anything outside of the series by them you’ve come to adore? That’s how I feel about Brandon Sanderson. I love everything about his Cosmere, and all of the series that comprise it. From Mistborn to Stormlight, from Elantris to Warbreaker, he’s crafted some of the most unique magic systems I’ve ever witnessed, and I love that such wildly different series all tie into a bigger picture that is still being woven. Because of my deep adoration of the Cosmere, I’ve been hesitant to read Sanderson’s other works. I read the first Alcatraz book and thought it was fun and cute, but that’s as far as I’ve been able to go. His young adult works, The Reckoners trilogy and Skyward, gave me even more pause, because young adult is a genre that is very hit-or-miss for me. There are so many tropes that have been done to death in the YA genre: love triangles and a special girl who refuses to realize she’s special being among those most often used and happen to be my least favorites. Thankfully, neither of those were present in Skyward. Actually, there wasn’t any real romance. Which I found very refreshing for a young adult book.

“You find a way, and you defy them. For those of us who don’t have the courage.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Starsight (Skyward, #2)

Book Review: Starsight (Skyward, #2)

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

My rating:  5 of 5 stars

Series: Skyward (Book 2 of 4)

Genre: Science fiction, young adult

Published: 26th November 2019 by Gollancz (UK) and Delacorte Press (US)


Starsight proves once again that Brandon Sanderson is a masterful storyteller across genres and age groups, and who simply excels at writing sequels. 

I’m actually at a loss as to how to start or write this review without sounding like a broken record. As far as I’m concerned, Sanderson is a genius and he has never failed to deliver a captivating story, whether he was writing adult or young adult, fantasy or science fiction. And after reading so much from him and listening to him talk at signings and interviews, I honestly believed that it comes from his passion in just wanting to tell good stories. Notwithstanding the excellent worldbuilding and fantastic magic systems he is so well-known for these were, first and foremost, stories about people.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, #2)

Book Review: The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, #2)


The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Pullman has created something so special with Lyra’s world and the mythos of other worlds he set up in the original His Dark Materials trilogy. La Belle Sauvage, the first installment of this spin-off trilogy, took us back to Lyra’s beginning, giving up the wild story of her infancy and the two children who rescued her. This second installment fast forwards to years after the events of the original trilogy, when Lyra is grown, having just tipped over the cusp of adulthood. The final events of that first trilogy haunt her still, but she is convincing herself more and more that those events aren’t quite true. As she falls into the trap of rationality Pantalaimon, her dæmon, rebels against her loss of imagination. From there, the plot goes wild.

Read More Read More

Spellslinger (Spellslinger, #1)

Spellslinger (Spellslinger, #1)

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Spellslinger is delightfully fun and engaging read with some serious themes that fit the young adult genre.

I would probably sound like a broken record, but I reiterate that I’m generally not a reader of YA books. So far, the ones that I’ve enjoyed are those written by authors who’ve already carved a name for themselves writing adult fantasy books. One of these authors is Sebastien de Castell; his adult fantasy series, Greatcoats, was one which I loved. In Greatcoats, he balanced a dark and personal tale of a broken man caught up in his past with humour and wonderful characters. For Spellslinger, the tone was somewhat similar but clearly targeted at a younger audience.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Skyward (Skyward)

Book Review: Skyward (Skyward)

ARC provided by the publisher, Gollancz, in exchange for an honest review..

Skyward Gollancz

 

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Series: Skyward (Book 1 of 4)

Genre: Science fiction, young adult

Published:  November 6th 2018 by Gollancz (UK) and Delacorte Press (US).


Skyward is a fine example of a Young Adult novel.   Once again, I’m in awe of Sanderson who shows he is still at the top of his game.

This novel is another hallmark of Sanderson’s ability to spin the most incredible stories. He described the book as How to Train Your Dragon meets Top Gun and Enders Game. These references, however, would count for nothing if the execution was poor. Fortunately, and to solidify my unwavering faith in my favourite author, he excelled in his first full-length space opera novel.

Read More Read More

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. While I appreciate the gift, the giving of it in no way impacted my opinion.

“Your name is your heart, and you don’t give your heart away.”

In an Absent Dream is heartbreaking in the most beautiful way. McGuire gives us a story that early readers of the Wayward Children series already know ends in tragedy, but she does so in a way that maintains both interest and, amazingly, hope. I honestly didn’t think Down Among the Sticks and Bones could be topped, but I stand corrected. What a way to start off 2019.

Read More Read More

Watership Down

Watership Down

Watership Down by Richard Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been a huge fantasy reader since around fifth grade. So how on earth did I miss Watership Down while I was in school? Did our library not have a copy? Was its reputation as a “classic” a deterrent to friends who might have told me of its existence? Whatever the case, I had never even heard of Watership Down until the later years of college. The people who raved about the book then were generally hipster guys, beating everyone else over the head with their favorite novel. Obviously, that was a huge turn off for me. So I never picked up this book until this month (October of 2017), for a bookclub I recently joined. Man, do I regret waiting so long. On the other hand, it’s pretty amazing to discover what would have been a childhood favorite as an adult, and be able to embrace it as a new favorite that can stand proudly next to older favorites on your bookshelf.

Read More Read More

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s sad when a perfectly decent story leaves you disappointed, but that’s how I feel about this little novella. I absolutely loved Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones. They were both deep and meaningful and had important things to say about accepting yourself no matter how different you are and finding your place, whether it’s in this world or another. They spoke about how adults don’t see children as their equals, and undervalue their experiences and opinions and value just because of their age.

Because I was so moved and inspired by the first two books, I was expecting some of the same from this third installment. But that’s not what I got.

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: