Finishing February on a Red Note: The Ascendant, Red Rising, and Romancing the Duke
Adult Books / Books / Dystopian / Dystopian / Fantasy / Romance / Science Fiction / Thriller / Young Adult

Finishing February on a Red Note: The Ascendant, Red Rising, and Romancing the Duke

In a new feat of subliminal book cover messaging, it seems as if books with red covers provoke added interest in the month of February. Looking back at the books I read this month, I was surprised to find a not insignificant quantity of red-covered titles up for review: Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You, Hilary … Continue reading

Pass, Checkout, Buy: 2013 Noteworthy Novels Year-End Wrap Up 2.0
Adult Books / Books / Contemporary / Dystopian / Fantasy / Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Literary Fiction / Memoir / Young Adult

Pass, Checkout, Buy: 2013 Noteworthy Novels Year-End Wrap Up 2.0

Should you really buy that book enshrined on the top titles of 2013 table at mega bookstores’r’us? Is it more of a checker-outer book? Or, can it safely be avoided altogether? Here are some sound bite opinions on a few more noteworthy titles of 2013 that I read, but did not review in a full … Continue reading

10 Things to Love About “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown”
Books / Dystopian / Horror / Paranormal / Young Adult

10 Things to Love About “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown”

Holly Black is no stranger to the fantastical. As the acclaimed author of the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles series, her latest book The Coldest Girl in Coldtown has been billeted as one of the stand-out books of fall 2013. And, it does in fact rock. So much so that I have read it twice since its … Continue reading

Eleanor and Park, Ready Player One: 1980s Pop Culture in Young Adult Fiction
Adult Books / Books / Contemporary / Dystopian / Dystopian / Science Fiction / Science Fiction / Young Adult

Eleanor and Park, Ready Player One: 1980s Pop Culture in Young Adult Fiction

From MTV to punk rock, Star Wars to Dirty Dancing, Pac-Man to the Rubik’s Cube, the 1980s has left an indelible mark on American culture that elicits strong nostalgia. Two rising stars in the young adult space, Rainbow Rowell and Ernest Cline, have integrated their respective passions for 1980s pop culture into their strong debut works … Continue reading

Has the Next J.K. Rowling Apparated onto the Scene? Samantha Shannon and The Bone Season
Adult Books / Books / Dystopian / Dystopian / Fantasy / Fantasy / Young Adult

Has the Next J.K. Rowling Apparated onto the Scene? Samantha Shannon and The Bone Season

I have been hearing about The Bone Season for months now. What began as murmurs about a talented young fantasy writer quickly snowballed into a full-fledged media firestorm, crowning Samantha Shannon as the next J.K. Rowling, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, and the list continues. Shannon has been linked to just about every major female writer … Continue reading

Looking Back at 1990s YA Literature through “The Giver”
Books / Dystopian / Young Adult

Looking Back at 1990s YA Literature through “The Giver”

After rambling through some contemporary young adult titles in the past few months, I suddenly had an urge to return to an old favorite, The Giver. Rereading Lois Lowry’s iconic dystopian tale confirmed a feeling that has been building in me for quite some time now: young adult books were better in the nineties. Sure, … Continue reading

YA Monday: Albin Spins a Science Fiction Confection in “Crewel”
Books / Dystopian / Young Adult

YA Monday: Albin Spins a Science Fiction Confection in “Crewel”

Like the supernatural YA extend-a-fad, the dystopian craze has longstanding roots in literary culture. From classics like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 481, George Orwell’s 1984, and Ayan Rand’s Anthem to Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano and Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, current dystopian fiction reworks a pre-existing creative framework for young adult readers. Repressive, seemingly utopian societies built … Continue reading