Posted in Award Winners, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Strange the Dreamer

strangethedreamer.jpgStrange the Dreamer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017) by Laini Taylor is a fascinating book. And it just was named a 2018 Printz Honor Book. Woo hoo!
Lazlo Strange–foundling, loner, and now librarian–has always been fascinated by the Unseen City, or Weep as it is now called, the city that was cut off from the rest of the world 200 years ago. As a librarian Lazlo has made his own books about the Unseen City from every scrap of information he can find. He’s even learned to speak the language. So when visitors from the Unseen City arrive in the Kingdom of Zosma asking for help, Lazlo must figure out a way to make the trek to the Unseen City and find out what their problem is.
As I neared the end of the book, I wondered how Laini was going to pull off a satisfying ending, and she did, but I was thrilled to find out there’s going to be a sequel. Maybe even this year…
Read about author Laini Taylor and her books here.

Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Six of Crows

six-of-crows.pngSix of Crows (Henry Holt and Company, 2015) by Leigh Bardugo is a fascinating YA fantasy of a band of young people each with their own unique issues. The story is told in multiple viewpoints.
Kaz Brekker has an idea for the biggest heist ever. The item to steal isn’t jewels or money, but a man in an impregnable prison. Those he asks to go with him are Inej–the Suli girl also know as The Wraith, Jesper–a good shot and gambler, Nina–a heartrender–though some consider her a witch, Matthias–the foreigner who knows the layout of the Ice Palace, and Wylan–a run away who can setup explosions.
This crew isn’t the only one attempting this venture. But besides the riches to be had, they might just be the only ones to protect others from a very deadly drug.
crooked_kingdom.pngWhat’s really exciting is that this NY Times bestseller has a sequel! It’s called Crooked Kingdom.
Go here to read about the author and to see her other books.

Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Daughter of the Burning City

DaughterBurningCityIf you’ve read Caravel, I think you’ll like Daughter of the Burning City (Harlequin Teen, 2017) by Amanda Foody, as they have a similar flavor.
Sixteen-year-old Sorina is the only illusion worker in the Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival, and she runs the Freak Show. All the freaks, except for Sorina herself, are her illusions come to life. They’re one happy family until one of her illusions in murdered. Her adopted father, Villiam, the proprietor of the festival, is investigating the death, but he has too much else on his mind. So with the help of a new friend, Luca, Sorina starts her own investigation. Will she be able to protect her family?
This compelling book was Amanda Foody’s debut novel. Ace of Shades comes out next April and is the first in The Shadow Games series. Read more about Amanda here.

Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Red Queen

Red_Queen_book_coverRed Queen (HarperTeen, 2015) by Victoria Aveyard takes us into an interesting and unfair world of those born with silver blood, privilege, and powers, and those with red blood who mostly have hardship.
A Red, Mare Barrows, like her older brothers did, is headed to fight in the Silver’s war when she turns eighteen. The only way she can help her family now is by pick pocketing, whereas her younger sister Gisa has a talent with sewing and even works for the Silvers. When Mare’s best friend Kilgorn only has a week until conscription, she’s determined to find a way to help him escape. Her search leads her on a path that changes her whole life.
There are surprises, death, betrayal, loyalty, romance, sorrow, and more. Mare is definitely a heroine to care for.
This book is the first in a series that includes some novellas. Read the details here. Meanwhile, I’m off to order the second book. Oh, and by the way, the series is currently being translated into 37 languages!
Victoria Aveyard is a NYT bestselling author. Read more about her here.

Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels

The Reader (Book One of Sea of Ink and Gold)

TheReaderThe Reader (Book One of Sea of Ink and Gold) (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016) by Traci Chee is a compelling fantasy told in multiple viewpoints and with stories within the story.
And isn’t that a lovely cover?
Here’s a brief overview:
Sefia has a precious item that someone is trying to find. She and Auntie Nin have been on the run for six years after Sefia’s father was murdered and now Nin has been taken. Sefia is determined to find her. On her own she risks looking at the rectangular object she carries and is disappointed to see that is only paper with scribbles. Through hard study she finally deciphers a line of the squiggles: “This is a book.” After she realizes book is the name of the rectangle object, it hits her that everything she sees might have a sign too. Knowing the book has answers to the death of her father and where Nin is, Sefia teaches herself to read it. The cover of the book has a symbol which Sefia uses as a map on her dangerous journey.
We have glimpses into other viewpoints, Lon and Tanin, but it takes a while before we understand how they are connected to Sefia.
I feel inadequate describing the magic of this story. It’s unusual, mysterious, heartbreaking, wonderful.
TheSpeakerI’m really looking forward to The Speaker, book 2.
The Reader is author Traci Chee’s debut book and has become a NY Times bestseller. You can read all the starred reviews here and see the covers of the five translations.
Traci’s bio is here with links to a number of interviews.