Category Archives: Reading

My Top YA Reads of 2013

Nothing says late December like “of the Year” lists.  I thought I’d join in with my top 5 YA reads this year.  These weren’t necessarily published this year (some were, some weren’t), but they were read by me this year.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

5.  Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George.  This is an adaptation of East of the Sun and West of the Moon and is a sweet retelling.

Mind Games

4.  Mind Games by Kiersten White.   This is an “edgy” psychological thriller.  Honestly, I’d read so much about how edgy/psychological it was that I was expecting it to be quite a bit darker than it is.  Maybe I’ve just got too dark of an imagination already 😉  It is definitely a solidly written and compelling story.

Of Beast and Beauty

3.  Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay.  A dystopian/futuristic/fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast that’s imaginative and well written.  This has made it onto my list of favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings.

Scarlet

2.  Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.  I really liked Cinder by Meyer, but I enjoyed Scarlet even more.  Meyer has a way of creating a well-constructed world that only uses snippets of the fairy tale she’s retelling (in this case Little Red Riding) that still manages to satisfy the fair tale craving.

The False Prince

1.  The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen is far and away the best book I read this year (it’s sequel is almost as good and should probably share the top spot).  The narration in this book is fantastic.  Nielsen writes a believable teen boy in first person and manages to keep the reader on the edge of their seat through the entire book. I devoured this novel.  Thanks to Nancy Kelley for recommending it!

Drawn by Cecilia Gray

This book is on my To Be Read List and I’m super excited for it!  I know Cecilia through Indie Jane, she writes awesome YA Austen adaptations as well as Regency romance.  I can’t wait to read her latest release, Drawn, which is a YA genre-bender.

 

Drawn

 

A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl.

Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her?

Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about.

To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.

 

You can snag a copy of Drawn on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks.  You can also add it to your Goodreads Want to Read shelf here.

Need Your Recommendations

We are getting close to the end of the year and I’ve got like 7 books left on my Goodreads goal for the year.  No big deal meeting the goal, really (and several of those will get sucked up by the last Narnia books).  My problem is always picking what book to read next.  I always think I know what I want to read, and I do actually use the “to be read” shelf (occasionally), but when push comes to shove and I’m cruising around Amazon with credit card in hand I tend to panic and remain indecisive.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

However, I’ve had some really great luck with reader recommendations recently! I finally read Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George based on Rebecca Fleming’s recommendation, and recently The Scarecrow King by Jill Myles based on Nicole’s suggestion.  Both were super fun reads.

The Scarecrow King

So here is where you come in! I really want to hear what your best fairy tale related reads have been.  I have at least five slots to fill before the end of the year.  It doesn’t have to be something super recent because there’s always a chance I’ve missed something good!

 

 

Narnia Update

I’ve been slacking with the Narnia read through updates, though I have been keeping up a bi more on FB.  I’ve read through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian.  This week will be The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Here are some of my favorite sections from Prince Caspian.  What are yours?

“Listen,” said the Doctor.  “All you  have heard about Old Narnia is true. It is not the land of Men. It is the country of Aslan, the country of the Waking Trees and Visible Naiads, of Fauns and Satyrs, of Dwarfs and Giants, of the gods and Centaurs, of Talking Beasts.”

“Welcome, child,” he said.

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”

“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

Lucy went first, biting her lop and trying not to say all the things she thought of saying to Susan. But she forgot them when she fixed her eyes on Aslan.

“Welcome, Prince,” said Aslan.  “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?”

I-I don’t this I do, Sir,” said Caspian. “I’m only a kid.”

“Good,” said Aslan.  “If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not.”

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan.  “and that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

And of course, everything with Reepicheep. I love and adore Reep and someday I wish to be just like him.

Reepicheep

 

Aslan is on the Move

As I mentioned on Facebook a few weeks ago, I’m getting ready for my every other year Chronicles of Narnia read through and I wanted to invite you all to join me on this grand journey!  I need to state up front that I ONLY read the books in original publication order…none of this The Magician’s Nephew first nonsense for me!

I’ll be starting The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe next Monday, August 12th.  I’ll be posting about it here on the blog and on Facebook so we can discuss our favorite parts.

Interested in coming along? To Narnia and the North!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Sherlocked!

I am NOT doing any official reading challenges this year.  I’ve said no to them all, even ones that sounded brilliant and easy to accomplish.  It’s a matter of principle (and not making myself feel like a fail).

However, I have been doing my own personal Sherlock Holmes “challenge.”  Really the challenge is to stop reading before 3 am.  It’s not a challenge to read any of these books.  I’ve been working my way through The Complete Sherlock Holmes.

 

 

The Complete Sherlock Holmes

 

 

All of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short story collections are out of copyright and can be found on Project Gutenberg if you want to read them for free.  For some reason, the collection I’m reading seems to no longer be available on Amazon.  I don’t even pretend to understand why…I like the cover though.

I’ve previously read all the novels, but this is a fun read through.  I’d read about half of the short stories before, and it is all the more fun to read them now with the BBC series in mind. They’re in pre-production for Series Three – which of these classic stories are they going to do next? (I hear they are going to do The Adventure of the Empty House the story in which Sherlock Holmes returns after 3 years after his “death” at the Reichenbach Falls in The Final Problem.

Do you have a favorite Sherlock story?  My favorite of the novels is Hounds of the Baskervilles.  My favorite shorts collection is The Return of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s so hard to pick just one!