The End of YA?

I think Harry Potter and Twilight popularized the YA genre, one which is coveted by many. Readers adamantly defend YA’s depth, maturity, and optimism, themes which many YA proponents claim are not reflected in general fiction. Due to this, many readers opt to read a YA novel over fiction. I was once such a reader, but I have found myself changing.

It started when I came home from college on Fall Break. The prospect of being reunited with my bookshelf was too much to handle. On top of that, I had five whole days with no responsibilities which equated to five interrupted days of reading. Upon getting home, I sat in front of my bookcase for twenty-five minutes attempting to find a book which suited my interests. To my surprise, I picked a regular fiction novel. And then, another fiction novel. And again, another fiction novel. Surprised, I assumed that by Thanksgiving break I would be back in some YA. I wasn’t it. This pattern has seemed to repeat itself with each novel I pick up.

Is this the end of YA for me? I don’t know. What I do know, is that I picked up The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong just recently, a YA novel featuring paranormal elements, and I found the book to be loathsome. To be honest, I am curious. Is this the end of YA for me? Or are my book tastes diversifying? Or am I maturing? To be honest, I don’t know.

The iPhone of Books

You know the book model to which I referring.  Girl meets boy.  Boy is flawless.  Girl and boy begin an immediate attraction and relationship within the first 75 pages.  Bad boy enters scene.  Girl swoons over bad boy.  Girl begins a flirtatious escapade with bad boy while maintaining her relationship with angelic boy.  Girl must choose one boy.  Girl chooses who we all knew she was going to pick.

As someone who reads a lot of YA, I have become pretty familiar with this formula.  This model is so implanted in 70% of YA fiction that I’m beginning to reconsider deeming these novels as “creative writing.”

As certain YA books receive popularity, I see more authors yearning to receive similar attention; this is where the book model strengthened and multiplied.  Obviously, the popular authors must be doing something correct; therefore, aspiring authors must imitate.  Unfortunately, popular authors gain their recognition from developing innovating ideas.  It’s like when the iPhone hit the shelves.  It was a new touch screen smartphone capable of things that other phones never were able to do.  Other phone companies saw Apple’s raging success and sought to make similar smart phones.  However, let’s be frank.  the iPhone is always the smart phone because it was first.  Therefore, these other aspiring authors are falling in the shadows of the popular authors because readers have already read “this book” before.

To all aspiring authors, the writing process is discouraging.  However, readers appreciate the iPhone of books.  Do not be constricted to a book model; make your own.  Then, you’ll have everyone wanting to copy your book model.

Book Review: Projection

It’s time for a book review!  Tuesday Book Reviews are a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here.

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When 13-year-old Gretchen Harris’s mother is murdered at Gretchen’s 8th Grade graduation party, everyone in the town of Delphi, California, suspects a power struggle within the Oculus Society: Delphi’s version of the Junior League.  Gretchen’s best friend, Jessica Shaw, might even hold the key to finding the culprit with The Plotinus Ability: the Oculus Society’s jealously guarded secret power to trade souls, which hinges on a kiss. Gretchen’s hope at finding the murderer ends in tragedy when Ariel Miller—the class outcast—stalks Gretchen and Jessica and surreptitiously films them exchanging a kiss to test if the Plotinus Ability is real, not knowing their motives. The ensuing YouTube video (“Popular Girls = Secret Lovers”) goes viral, Gretchen’s and Jessica’s lives are further shattered, and they vanish from Delphi.

Flash forward two years later: Ariel is suddenly the most popular junior in town, but wracked with guilt over what she did to Gretchen and Jessica.  When both girls reappear after their mysterious absence, Ariel finds herself pawn, suspect, and key player in their scheme to bring the murderer to justice.-Goodreads summary

Expected Publication Date: September 3, 2013.

Preorder your copy here: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookDepository

Favorite Quote from the Book:

‘Our trust and our faith shall bring justice…This is the promise we solemnly keep.’

MY THOUGHTS:

Judge the Book by its Cover:

While I think the girl and overall design is beautiful, the book’s cover holds no relevance to the story.  In fact I believe that it is just a typical pretty YA cover designed with the intention to sell more books when it’s published.  It’s okay but not one of the best.

Things that Made Me Happy:

I absolutely loved how this book was told through dual plots: the ancient Romans’ invention and use of projection and the modern society’s continuation of projection.  Creatively, Green conceived this magical act of projection, the power to trade souls with another person, in the early Roman Empire.  While women were suppressed in this society, this power gave them a sense of sovereignty against the men’s oppressive authority.  Since then, women had secretly passed this power among generations, where it was found in the modern times of this book.  Still, women honored this power and found it was fundamental to their lives.  Both the ancient women and current women created a strong sense of female empowerment that made for a great read.

This book was full of many plot twists, which were unexpected by readers.  Combined with the tense mystery element, the plot’s zigzagged development constantly kept the audience on their toes in anticipation for what was to come. Nothing was predictable, which made for an overall entertaining read.

Wow, what a gripping ending.  Initially I was concerned within the last 50 pages because I felt that the novel would end unresolved; however, the novel quickly pieced together that created an intricate sub-plot story, which was entertaining and riveting. 

Things that Made Me Unhappy:

At times I felt that there were inconsistencies to the personalities of the characters, as if they were not fully developed.  While their development was not terrible, I believed that Green had the potential to create more three dimensional characters.  Considering this book was a mystery novel, implementing deeper well-developed characters would have further enhanced the mystery element and generated more suspicions.  Overall, their actions and mannerisms never fully created genuine characters, which was frustrating.

Lastly, Green overemphasized the true criminal.  Suddenly, all of his or her actions became suspicious, which aided in my belief that the people in this book sometimes acted out of character.  It was upsetting, as I was hoping for a more unsuspecting mystery.  While placing together the final pieces of the puzzle and capturing the criminal were fantastic, the suspect’s actions became increasingly annoying as they were too obvious and detracted from the mystery elements, which created more of a suspense novel.

My Rating:

★★★★ 4/5 stars!

Recommendation:

I’d recommend this book to those who enjoy simplistic young adult suspense and mystery novels.

*This book was sent to me via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!* 

Mention Monday: Red Riding Hood

Mention Monday is the day where I give a book recommendation.  Additionally, they are a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here.

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The blacksmith would marry her.
The woodcutter would run away with her.
The werewolf would turn her into one of its own.

Valerie’s sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.

After her sister’s violent death, Valerie’s world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them–it could be anyone in town.

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes…or everyone she loves will die.

Based on a screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson.-Goodreads summary

After reading this book I was extremely dumbfounded with how to rate and review it.  One one hand the book frustrated me.  The beginning was a tad slow.  The plot summary ruins a huge plot twist.  The book was a piece of advertisement for the then upcoming movie.  And, yes, it involves a stereotypical love triangle with paranormal elements to complicate matters.  

Beyond this I was hooked.  I adored all of the characters; since there was a huge mystery element in this book, I found myself questioning every character and his or her motive.  Since every character fell under suspicion, their life stories became imperative to solving the mystery.  Not only did this generate interest in the characters, it also gave the characters depth-something I believe is imperative in successful character development.

Additionally, I enjoyed how the overall mystery was completely unpredictable; it left me with my jaw dropped and the inability to read for a few days.

While not many people like the complete novel, I enjoyed these elements of the story.  For some reason these aspects enabled me to look beyond the “typical frustrations” and appreciate its good portions.  No it is not a groundbreaking YA novel, but it is an enjoyable read-one that I read in one sitting, and for these reasons I would recommend this book.

*What is a book that you would recommend?  Comment below!*

Book Recommendations?

Hello, everyone!  I am in the process of compiling a list of various book recommendations according to genres.  However, I have one section dedicated to my follower’s recommendations, so I need your help.  If you have any recommendations, whether it is an adult thriller, new adult romance, or young adult dystopian, all are accepted!  Of course, you will get credit (I’ll link your blog within the rec, as you deserve it!)  Please send as many as you desire!  I greatly appreciate all of your help!

Happy reading!

Katie 🙂

Friday Reads (7/26/13)

Happy Friday!  The weekend is finally here!  It’s time for Friday Reads, in which I share with you all what I plan on reading this weekend.  Friday Reads is a query that was started on Twitter and has been carried over to the book blogging/vlogging community.  It is also a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it click here.

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Witnessing a brutal murder at work is only the beginning of Celia’s problems. The fact that the victim is a vampire only proves to complicate her life even more. The vampires of New England have always had an undetected existence among humans but with the unprovoked death of one of their own, the lust for revenge has begun. Celia’s concerns are magnified when a hunter from Dallas arrives in town. With Jay’s sexy smile and rugged ways, Celia finds herself wanting to spend time with him despite being mysteriously linked to the nest that is threatening to become extinct if Jay gets his way. When four bodies are found drained of blood; Jay teams up with a local bunch to take out all the undead which coincidentally, includes her boyfriend Victor. Celia won’t stand seeing anything happen to Victor but refuses to hurt Jay as well. Confusion, lust, rage and violence intertwine as worlds collide. Celia will soon discover that her neat little start to unravel.-Goodreads summary

I received Sweet from the author and publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.  Currently, I am 50% into it and find it to be a fairly easy read.  After completing The Book Thief, Wilkerson’s conversational writing style is easy to comprehend, which makes this book a fairly quick read.  Despite its writing style, I do have some issues with the book, which I’m sure will be detailed in my review.  I hope to be finished with it tonight, as I am trying to complete many of my ARCs and write my reviews!

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When 13-year-old Gretchen Harris’s mother is murdered at Gretchen’s 8th Grade graduation party, everyone in the town of Delphi, California, suspects a power struggle within the Oculus Society: Delphi’s version of the Junior League.  Gretchen’s best friend, Jessica Shaw, might even hold the key to finding the culprit withThe Plotinus Ability: the Oculus Society’s jealously guarded secret power to trade souls, which hinges on a kiss. Gretchen’s hope at finding the murderer ends in tragedy when Ariel Miller—the class outcast—stalks Gretchen and Jessica and surreptitiously films them exchanging a kiss to test if the Plotinus Ability is real, not knowing their motives. The ensuing YouTube video (“Popular Girls = Secret Lovers”) goes viral, Gretchen’s and Jessica’s lives are further shattered, and they vanish from Delphi.

Flash forward two years later: Ariel is suddenly the most popular junior in town, but wracked with guilt over what she did to Gretchen and Jessica.  When both girls reappear after their mysterious absence, Ariel finds herself pawn, suspect, and key player in their scheme to bring the murderer to justice.-Goodreads summary

I was provided Projection from the publishing company (Soho Teen) via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  I have approximately three weeks to get this book read and reviewed, so I definitely need to start this one!  I’m looking forward to the mystery elements in this story.  Of course, there will be a review published in the future!  Hopefully, I get this finished this weekend so I can check another ARC off my list!

*What are you reading this weekend?  Comment below!*

Thirsty Thursday: Projection

Happy Thursday!  It is time for be to talk about a book that I cannot wait to read!  Thirsty Thursdays are a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here.

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When 13-year-old Gretchen Harris’s mother is murdered at Gretchen’s 8th Grade graduation party, everyone in the town of Delphi, California, suspects a power struggle within the Oculus Society: Delphi’s version of the Junior League.  Gretchen’s best friend, Jessica Shaw, might even hold the key to finding the culprit withThe Plotinus Ability: the Oculus Society’s jealously guarded secret power to trade souls, which hinges on a kiss. Gretchen’s hope at finding the murderer ends in tragedy when Ariel Miller—the class outcast—stalks Gretchen and Jessica and surreptitiously films them exchanging a kiss to test if the Plotinus Ability is real, not knowing their motives. The ensuing YouTube video (“Popular Girls = Secret Lovers”) goes viral, Gretchen’s and Jessica’s lives are further shattered, and they vanish from Delphi.

Flash forward two years later: Ariel is suddenly the most popular junior in town, but wracked with guilt over what she did to Gretchen and Jessica.  When both girls reappear after their mysterious absence, Ariel finds herself pawn, suspect, and key player in their scheme to bring the murderer to justice.-Goodreads summary

Earlier this summer, I received Projection from Netgalley in exchange for a review.  After two months of insane hard drive computer issues, I finally have my computer working and was able to download this book to my Nook.

As its publication date is impending (September 3, 2013), I definitely need to shake a leg and read this book!  Quite frankly, I’m in the mood for a creepy mystery that involves some stalker elements, so I think this book will suit my cravings!

I look forward to reading and reviewing this book fairly soon!

*What books can you not wait to read?  Comment below!*

Happy reading!

Katie

Currently Reading: Sweet and am 41% into it.

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