Thursday, February 18, 2010

Five YA Books That Deserve More Fan Squealing

(This post brought to you by my desire to work out how posting photos on this thing works.) (Added later: it seems I have failed at this. Anybody know how to make it work? Besides adding just the one big picture at the top, I mean.) (Added later than later: the new question becomes how do I put images in that are SMALL???)

We all know about the books (generally series of books, actually) which garner a whole lot of attention. And with attention comes fangirl (and fanboy, I suppose, but when it comes to the kind of obsessing I'm talking about it seems girls are better at that) squealing. Examples include the amazingly obvious like Harry Potter, Twilight, Percy Jackson, anything by Tamora Pierce, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

But there are also lots of books that sort of pass under the radar even though they are really good. Books that cause you to force the entire world to read them because they haven't yet and that is a sin. There are books out there that NEED MORE FANS, goshdarnit.

And so, without further ado, five books that need people to squeal about them RIGHTNOW.

(A note: outside of my immediate group of high school friends, I don't know a lot of people who read YA. So these might be terribly obvious and I just don't know it. In that case, just think of this as a plug for awesome books and leave it at that.)

1. The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill: Basically no one I know has ever heard of these books, and it is hugely upsetting. The book pits the Icemark (ie Scandinavia) and its young but fierce queen Thirrin against the Polypontian Empire (ie the Roman empire). It takes the chosen-one, underdog-country-beating-up-evil-empire thing and shines it up and reminds us why stories like that are so good. The writing is absolutely stellar. However, I suggest you pretend the third book does not exist. While the first book is the epitome of brilliance and the second book is quite possibly exponentially more brilliant, the third book is a) absolutely unnecessary and b) extraordinarily disappointing.

2. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray: This one is probably the most mainstream on the list, but I still feel these books don't get the level of recognition they deserve for such sheer wondrousness. It combines a wonderful character with wonderful voice (this is the first first-person-present pov I could deal with. There's a reason for that: these books are stellar) and Victorian England and magic. Plus book three WILL make you cry. So there.

3. East by Edith Pattou: All right. You guys all know how much of a sap I am for any retelling of Beauty and the Beast. And since West of the Sun, East of the Moon is another version of Beauty and the Beast, and East is a retelling of THAT, well, it's an instant win in my book. Add to that an amazing premise, beautiful writing, and terribly endearing characters and there's no way you can go wrong.

4. Sorcery and Cecelia by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede: I will not write out the full titles of these books in order to save space, but they are hilarious. The wit and vivacity of these books is so perfect, as is the historical accuracy and the clever additions of magic into everyday life. Plus, it's an epistolary novel. After reading a really wonderful adult novel called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society I have devoured epistolary novels like there's no tomorrow. These books are definitely up there on the "epic epistolary" list.

5. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel: Steampunk meets brilliant characters (Matt and Kate are just SO well written) meets amazing premise meets sky pirates? Yes please! I have yet to read the third book in this series, but the second one was just as good. I love the way all the characters interact - sooo good!

So, there is my fangirl squeal for all of the books mentioned above. Please, add your own squealing about them and tell me what books I need to add to my terribly long "to be read" list.




  2. OMG YOU LIKE CRY OF THE ICEMARK! *loves that book* And SORCERY & CELIA is pretty fab.

    I agree with everything Amnamazing: I <33333333333 THE BOOK THIEF, I AM THE MESSENGER, AND WINTERGIRLS.

    And THE MOST UNSQUEALED ABOUT AUTHOR EVER (who's been one of my fave authors for 6 years now):


    Barely anyone has read her books, and imo she's the best children's fantasy writer out there. And I have a feeling that you--Kyrie--would LOVE her books (I hope you've read them!) STart off with HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE or CHARMED LIFE, but her books are just amazingamazingamazing!!!

    *fangirl squeals*

    Hehe. Most of my favorite books aren't that fangirled over.

    Oh, OH!! And Kyrie you must read I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith--it's amazing, plus the MC lives in a castle *dies*

    I also lovelovelove FLY BY NIGHT by Frances Hardinge. 18th century alternate England FTW! :D

    I <3 children's fantasy books, hehe.

  3. Ooh, books to check out

  4. I read Airborn in elementary school! Quite liked it back then. Maybe I should read it again. *scours library*

  5. Great choices, Caitlin!

    HEy, I also just nominated you for a blog award. To accept it, come by my blog, k? <3