Young Adult Literature

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  whatthedeuce on Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:33 pm

I actually felt like Delirium was trying too hard to be deep and introspective. I was bored half the time, but the conclusion intrigued me enough to make me want to pick up the next installation. OTOH, Divergent had me from the very start and was well-paced and with a more "casual" vibe about it. By that, I mean the writing felt unforced and not heavyhanded, which is what I felt was so unbearably annoying about Delirium. Also, Four is crushworthy. I really love that character's strength balanced with this vulnerability that comes through as the book moves forward.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  MtOlivePickles on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:49 pm

Has anyone read Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford? I just finished it a few days ago and found it to be pure fun. Each of the sisters were fun in their own ways, but I think I enjoyed Jane the most. Starting a blog called My Evil Family is hilarious and terrible all at the same time. And I still love that they call their grandmother Almighty.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Jasmine on Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:04 am

After I read Jellicoe Road I went back to read other Marchetta books, and first read Looking for Alibrandi and found it so disappointing that I was worried that Jellicoe was her only good one. Thank goodness I liked Saving Francesca.

I just read Bunheads, and it's a super fun read, especially if you love ballet and/or ever danced.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Kiran on Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:16 am

The movie version of Looking for Alibrandi is much better then the book. Anthony LaPaglia is in it.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  gannetguts on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:31 am

Yeah, I remember being disappointed on my re-read of Looking for Alibrandi. The movie was way way better.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  SarahJanet on Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:56 pm

I'm about 1/3 of the way through the last Beka Cooper book, and man, it just doesn't do it for me like the other Tortall books. I keep hoping I'm going to suddenly start loving it like I love Protector of the Small or even like it like I like the Trickster books (Aly is a bit insufferable but the secondary characters largely redeem those books) and it's just not happening.

She's apparently working on Numair's early years right now, which I think will be interesting, and has a book about Maura of Dunlaith in the works which will be interesting, but man, I just want Kel ten years down the road in some form or other.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Gilraen on Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:45 pm

SarahJanet wrote:I'm about 1/3 of the way through the last Beka Cooper book, and man, it just doesn't do it for me like the other Tortall books. I keep hoping I'm going to suddenly start loving it like I love Protector of the Small or even like it like I like the Trickster books (Aly is a bit insufferable but the secondary characters largely redeem those books) and it's just not happening.

I really liked the first Beka Cooper book, but lost interest halfway through the second and was never able to get it back. I'm not sure why, because even when I haven't loved her books before (like I didn't love the Aly ones), I never had the "Oh, this is boring" reaction I had to the second Cooper one.

I just read the sequel to Matched, called Crossed. I think I was in the minority in that I really liked Matched - I thought the world-building was fascinating and compelling, even if the plot was absent and the characters were kind of ciphers (but totally likeable ones!). Crossed was compelling, but didn't quite do it for me, possibly because
Spoiler:
it took Ky and Cassia entirely out of the Society. I honestly didn't think either character was well-developed enough to support "wandering in the wilderness" plotlines, even with the added supporting characters. Also, is there real life historical precedent for the decoy camps, because they struck me as cartoonishly evil, but if some dictator in real life has done it, I will feel bad for saying that.

I am looking forward to the third book, though, because it looks like we'll get more details on both the Rising and the Society (and in the capital of the Society), so hopefully it'll be back to the worldbuilding I enjoyed. And I'm all for Xander/Indie.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Esseilte on Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:42 pm

I just finished the last Beka Cooper book, and I was left with the same feeling I had after the final Hunger Games book, and after finishing the 'Uglies' series - I wish I'd stopped reading before the last book.

It had some good parts, but the complete lack of most of the characters I cared about, the plotline that just dragged on and on without any of the usual side-plots or diversions, and the utterly ridiculous, unbelievable and downright ludicrous 'twist' made me feel like I'd just read a fake book, and that I was still waiting for the final Beka Cooper book. It's the first time I've been quite that disappointed with a Tamora Pierce book, and it's a shame because I really liked Beka.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  EggSpreader on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:14 am

Gilraen wrote:I just read the sequel to Matched, called Crossed. I think I was in the minority in that I really liked Matched - I thought the world-building was fascinating and compelling, even if the plot was absent and the characters were kind of ciphers (but totally likeable ones!).

I'm with you! I am over the love triangle nonsense, but the world building was FASCINATING, and I enjoyed that part enough that I overall enjoyed the book.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  katesti on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:00 am

MtOlivePickles wrote:Has anyone read Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford? I just finished it a few days ago and found it to be pure fun. Each of the sisters were fun in their own ways, but I think I enjoyed Jane the most. Starting a blog called My Evil Family is hilarious and terrible all at the same time. And I still love that they call their grandmother Almighty.

That sounds awesome. I LOVED her How To Say Goodbye In Robot - this sounds like it's maybe a little lighter?

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  SarahJanet on Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:17 am

Mastiff did not really redeem itself. I found myself not very attached to the characters, which was the case through all three books for me. The first person thing meant the secondary characters really lacked sparkle, and since that's usually my favourite thing about Tamora Pierce books (RAOUL FOREVER. Also Dom. Also Dove. SECONDARY CHARACTERS FOREVER.), it made it really hard to invest in the story.
Spoiler:
I liked Farmer ok but I thought the whole "ok but let me take your name!" thing was kind of lame. I think I was hoping they just wouldn't get married, maybe? Since she'd already been engaged once and it went badly.

Also, while I'm in the spoiler tags, LAME LAME LAME plot twist. I wasn't that invested in Tunstall (I haven't re-read the first two since they first came out) and I still thought that was completely out of nowhere and kind of a copout. And I really felt like Sabine should have been a kick-ass precursor to Alanna and Kel, and she was just...there. With no personality. Due to the first person thing again.

Plus, god almighty, it was WAY too long. Like, twice as long as it needed to be. I know she's said how happy she is that longer YA novels are now acceptable, and god knows I would have read another 400 pages about Kel quite happily, and felt that the length worked for the Trickster books even when I didn't love Aly, but jeez, this story did not need to be 600 pages long. There are usually a million well developed subplots in her books and this one was just basically one long chase scene.

Sigh. Now I am sad. Maybe I'll go reread Squire. (My favourite Tortall book by far.)

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  whatthedeuce on Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:49 pm

I have Crossed and James Dashner's The Death Cure waiting for me at the library. I will be in dystopian YA heaven all week!

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Paris, Texas on Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:27 am

So, Wither. We were duly warned, but did I listen? No. For my sins, no. It's another reason that I prefer the more action/adventure Dystopias (even the low-octane ones like Delerium and Matched) to those revolving about relationships and power.

The world building in this book was atrocious. I take it that the sequels will be revealing that the polar icecaps didn't actually melt, continents other than North America exist, as that didn't make sense on any level. It's all The Handmaid's Tale-lite, set hundreds of years in the future, and the characters act accordingly. Except for our heroine, who remains a gorgeous, blonde, virginal with corn-fed middle-American vales but who comes from the East Village. She's so poorly written that she reacts to the post-Apocalyptic horrors which had been par for the course for several hundred years as if she'd stepped out of a time machine from 2012. It also has a completely superfluous love interest in Gabriel who has no purpose, little in the way of intelligence and no discernible personality. He has no reason to exist whatsoever. I can't imagine any major plot point in the book which needed his presence.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  whatthedeuce on Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:42 am

I was so excited that there was a new post here thinking it would be a rec. Darn! Oh well, at least there's one less thing to put on my reading list. Anytime it goes under 150 books, I feel somehow relieved.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Paris, Texas on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:52 am

Sorry to get your hopes up, deuce. Though I feel good for keeping from you the waves of nausea you may well have felt when reading Wither, so no harm done!

I want to read some dystopian YA with a male protagonist, in the hope that it will get away from the "she's a prize to be won" themes, so I'm going to get around to Dashner at some point. And even after getting burned with Shiver, and although it looks similarly bestial, I am considering The Scorpio Races. I might read it *in* the library so there's no evidence I borrowed it. Can anyone recommend Across The Universe, Cinder, Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Blood Red Road?

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  whatthedeuce on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:57 am

I tried to read Across the Universe last year, and I think it bored me to sleep at least once.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Disclaimer on Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:59 am

One of the problems with Across the Universe is that part of it is supposed to be set up as a murder mystery but in fact the author makes it obvious who the culprit is about twenty pages in, so you're just waiting around for the characters to catch up. Also there's a pretty gratuitous
Spoiler:
near-rape scene
in the middle, one of those ones where it apparently gets brushed off a day later.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Bad Username on Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:41 am

Gallifrey Girl wrote:The Chaos Walking series is going to become a film series!

I missed this from the first page. To quote Peter Griffin, freakin' sweet! Although it was really only a matter of time.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  choubetcha on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:52 pm

I've been on a little bit of a historical fiction kick lately. Between Shades of Grey, about Soviet relocation of Lithuanians to work camps in the 30s and 40s, was heartbreaking. The prose is spare, but everything is so vivid.

Then I just finished My Name is Not Easy, which would be really interesting just for having a setting that is unusual (a Catholic boarding school with a mostly Eskimo and American Indian population in 1960s Alaska), but the more I think about it, the more I like the characters and the story as well. Though the students more or less try to hold onto their heritage through the years they're being "molded" into Christians, it's clear that some of that is irrevocably lost to them. On the other hand, they create close ties with their classmates, who come from different and sometimes feuding backgrounds, but are bonded by the experience of being at the school. There are a few left field plot points at the end, but I think the book really drove home what a bittersweet experience it was, gaining a clearer appreciation for your culture but also a sense of loss.

It's interesting that both books were written by authors with connections to the experiences they write about. I wish more adult fiction made room for the diverse experiences you can find in YA.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  eventide82 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:28 pm

I finished The Boyfriend List last night and it was okay. I found Roo's parents amusing, except for when they were totally overbearing and intrusive, which was most of the time. I'm surprised Dr. Z didn't broach the topic of their parenting style in a lot more depth, because I suspect that had a LOT more to do with Roo's anxiety than anything else and I felt like there was more of a story there than we saw.

Also, it kind of pissed me off that Roo was totally unable to see what a jerk Jackson was, even after Hutch told her some of the rude stuff he'd done. Oh, and also after she actually witnessed it for herself at the dance.

What the rest of the books in the series like?
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Jude on Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:46 pm

Paris, Texas wrote: And even after getting burned with Shiver, and although it looks similarly bestial, I am considering The Scorpio Races. I might read it *in* the library so there's no evidence I borrowed it. Can anyone recommend Across The Universe, Cinder, Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Blood Red Road?

I've read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and liked it a lot. I wouldn't necessarily say it's the best book I've ever read, but it's still one of the better YA books I've come across lately. Of course, it's to be continued, as they nearly all are...EXCEPT for The Scorpio Races. Now that book I pretty much loved, not only because it's complete in itself -- which is such a rarity these days -- but also because it completely drew me into a fantasy world made to seem truly real somehow. I really liked the author's style of writing, which didn't come across nearly so well in Shiver. FWIW, two other people who read The Scorpio Races after me at the library loved it too, and I liked it enough to buy it for my Kindle because I'm pretty sure I want to read it again soon.

I started Across the Universe, got bored, and went onto something else instead. I think I still have to take it back to the library, now that I think about it.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  katesti on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:11 am

I need to talk about Beauty Queens, you guys. I Have Thoughts.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  The Lady of Shalott on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:23 am

Oh oh, I just read Beauty Queens in November! What did you think? I really liked the premise and everything, but I've come to the conclusion that Libba Bray just isn't my cup of tea. I've tried reading a bunch of her stuff but something about it isn't clicking for me.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  katesti on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:34 am

I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. I like the idea of it, but also, the first part of this review really kind of summed it up for me.

So...by "I Have Thoughts" I should probably have clarified that "I Have Links To Other People's Thoughts Which Sum Up My Own In A Much Better And Wittier Way Than I Could Do."

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Paris, Texas on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:17 am

Cheers for the feedback on Daughter, Scorpio Races and Universe. I feel I am missing the boat on Stiefvater, so I will give her latest a look.

Beauty Queens is currently on Mt TBR, so I have no feedback as far as that is concerned, but would you recommend Libba Bray (or anything else) to my 11-going-on-12-year-old niece in Grade 6? I know she recently read and enjoyed this and got permission to buy the sequel (why she selected it in the first place I don't know; maybe she thought it was related to the Emma Roberts movie) She's coming to visit in a week, and I so don't want to buy her a video game thanks to the crotchety neighbours.

I have the new John Green loaded up, and I think it's going to be a tearjerker.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

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