Tag: Books: Young Adult

Review: Eleanor & Park

Posted 1 September, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Eleanor & Park
By: Rainbow Rowell
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Limited collector’s edition of Eleanor & Park features a new jacket, an exclusive Q&A with author Rainbow Rowell, and several stunning pieces of fan art.

At long last I’ve gotten around to reading Eleanor & Park! I’ve been hearing so much about this novel from other bloggers and readers, recommended on so many different lists, and I’ve just been seeing this book everywhere. I’ve enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s other books, Attachments (review) and Fangirl (review), so you think I would’ve snatched this book up right away. I guess the hype was a wee bit intimidating, but anyway, I finally got around to picking up a copy for myself a few weeks ago prior to Landline‘s release (I even got it in the exclusive edition format). Had to wait until my exams were done before I started reading it though 😛 Contains some spoilers ahead!

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Review: The Twyning

Posted 7 August, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Twyning
By: Terence Blacker
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of the publishers via Armchair BEA

This is the story of Efren, a young ratling born into the Court of Tasting, in the rat Kingdom below the streets; and Dogboy, a 13 year-old boy abandoned and living wild.

The Kingdom is in turmoil after the death of the old king, murdered by a human scientist, Dr Henry Ross-Gibbon. Ross-Gibbon is obsessed by the annihilation of all rats, and uses Dogboy to help him catch his samples. In this time of uncertainty and outright war against the world above, a new regime emerges from the courts of Spies and Translators. But Efren’s fate does not rest with the relative safety of the world below. For the world above is about to make a decisive and devastating attack on the Kingdom, leaving Efren exiled, the citizens scattered, the Twyning dead. And there cannot be a Kingdom, without a rat to rule.

Hurt and alone, Efren escapes to the world above, where he finds shelter with Dogboy and Caz, a runaway 11 year-old girl. But the children discover an unlikely ability, they can talk to Efren, and he can talk to them…

Upon a quick scan of the story, it sounded interesting, and I decided to go with this title as a prize that I won during one of the many contests held during Armchair BEA this year. Upon receiving the ARC and re-reading the premise, I seemed to have miss the detail that one of the main characters was a rat, lol. Not that this would affect my reading of the book or anything, but it does make the premise, errr, different 😛 This book will be available on 9 September 2014 in North America (it is available now in the UK, I believe).

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Armchair BEA: Topic of Choice & Middle Grade/Young Adult

Posted 30 May, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 13 Comments

Before I start off today’s topic, just a friendly reminder that my Armchair BEA book giveaway contest is still running at the moment. Contest ends on May 31st at 11:59PM EST so there’s still a bit of time left to enter if you haven’t already 😉

Topic of Choice: Fantasy

For today’s topic of choice, I’m going to talk a little bit about the Fantasygenre. I mentioned back at the start of the week that this is a genre I grew up reading, starting with a bit of Young Adult (see below) but branching out to adult fantasy around the time that The Lord of the Rings movies came out. There are a lot of imaginative and creative writers out there writing in the genre and the worldbuilding, the conflicts and the characters have just been amazing to read. My favourite fantasy novelist is still J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (review #1, #2, #3) still my favourite fantasy novel ever, but there have been plenty of other wonderful fantasy titles I’ve read over the years.

Some of my other favourite novelists in the genre include Brandon Sanderson (his Mistborn books are fantastic (100 Things)), Neil Gaiman (need anything else be said?), Patricia A. McKillip (gorgeous, gorgeous fantasy that’s magical and quiet and unique), Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy (100 Things) is still one of my utmost favourite trilogies around), and Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (review) is such a feat in scope and imagination).

And some notable novels to check out if you’re looking to start a few titles in the genre or looking for new titles to read:

  • Sergey and Marina Dyachenko’s The Scar (review)
  • Daniel Abraham’s The Long Price quartet (review #1, review #2)
  • Patricia A. McKillip’s The Winter Rose (review)
  • Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora (review)
  • David Anthony Durham’s Acacia (review)

Middle Grade/Young Adult

I fall under the category of those who do not normally talk about this genre. In a way, it’s even hard to reflect to that stage of my life because growing up, I was already reading quite a bit of adult fiction. But the young adult titles I did read were memorable and enjoyable in their own way and were my early introduction to the fantasy genre before I really started reading from the adult fantasy section: Garth Nix’s Sabriel (100 Things), Tamora Pierce’s The Circle of Magic quartet, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

Thanks to the blogging community and those who participate in Top Ten Tuesdays over the last few years, I have gotten to know a lot of YA titles that are out there and that readers enjoy. While I still don’t read very often from the genre, it’s good to know that there’s a variety of titles out there available for that particular demographic. I wish we had some of these titles when I was growing up! And while I will likely never get around to some of the most popular titles out there, here are a few titles that I’ve read and enjoyed over the last few years from the genre:

  • Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (review)
  • Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle (review)
  • Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (review)*
  • Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I Loved Before (review)
  • Frankie Brown’s Until We End (review)
  • Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books

* = Err, yes, I hope to get my hands on Eleanor and Park sometime soon; it’s the only book by her left that I haven’t read (aside from her upcoming book, Landline, of course :))

And I turn it over to you niw: Do you read fantasy and/or YA? If so, who are your favourite authors or some of your favourite books? Any recommendations?

Review: Until We End

Posted 28 April, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Until We End
By: Frankie Brown
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter.

Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…

I heard about this novel on Twitter; it was plugged by another author–I can’t remember who now, oops!–and she wholeheartedly recommended it. I was curious so I checked out the premise and added it on my wishlist. It was recently on sale on Kobo Books so I decided to pick it up then.

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Review: To All The Boys I Loved Before

Posted 14 April, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 5 Comments

To All the Boys I Loved Before
By: Jenny Han
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Simon and Schuster CA via the GoodReads First Reads Programme

Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved; five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I’ve heard of this book in passing from a few book bloggers towards the end of last year and starting this year. The premise of the story seemed interesting and the title rather unique, raises a lot of questions and intrigue. I was fortunate to have won an advanced reading copy from the publishers through GoodReads back in February. Given that Valentine’s Day was around the corner and midterms were starting to encroach, I started reading this novel for a change of pace. This book will be available on 22 April 2014.

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