Friday, January 20, 2012

Some Great Young Adult Books

This is not a "Top 10" or anything of the sort, just a few books that I read, and enjoyed in the past few months, all of which can be found here at the library.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

"Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged      strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. 
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?"  ~ From the author's website.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a well imagined, well executed story that is not only beautifully written, but captures the reader making it nearly impossible to put down.   The ending will have you wishing desperately for the next book in what is slated to be a trilogy.

The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson 

While we are on 'first books of a series', let me introduce you to the Shades of London, new series from acclaimed author (and Twitter phenomenon) Maureen Johnson.   

"The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities." ~From the author's website.

The Name of the Star was full of surprises and believable characters.  Emotions run the gamut from laughter to tears and nail-biting tension.  Johnson has a knack for making you feel what each character is feeling.  

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

"Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket - a gifted inventor - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door."

Lola and the Boy Next Door is at times fun, and heartbreaking at others.  It is a good old-fashioned love story with many modern twists.  It is so easy to picture Lola and Cricket helping Lola's Dad baking pies for a big order, and traveling about San Francisco that I almost feel like I've been there.  

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Last one, for today, is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm tale The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes.  Also known widely as The Twelve Dancing Princesses, it is the story of twelve royal sisters who are compelled to dance their shoes to tatters each night, though they are locked in their room, and the young soldier who eventually unlocks their secret. 

The author has built on the original story and given it a history, folklore, and depth all its own.  The mysterious underground kingdom where the princesses dance the night away with their pale other-worldly princes is given realism, as is the cause and cruelty of their curse.  

In the main character Galen, George has given us one of my favorite heroes.  He is a soldier with tragedy in his past, yet he is not only handsome and brave, but also witty, clever, and handy with a set of knitting needles.  Historically, apparently, it was common for men, especially soldiers to knit.  Often knitting his own socks and scarves and things was the only way a soldier kept warm and dry.  The author even includes knitting patterns in the back of the book, as well as on her website

Note:  I forgot to sign this, as I usually do.  Oops.  
~ Jennifer Frye: Youth Services Program Coordinator

1 comment:

  1. "This is not a "Top 10" or anything of the sort, just a few books that I read, and enjoyed in the past few months"

    Who are you?