Tag Archives: Young Adult books

Top Ten Tuesday
August 23, 2016 posted by Nichole

Top Ten Series that I’ve Meant to Read but Haven’t Gotten Around To.


Hi everyone! I have this week’s Top Ten Tuesday for you all. This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s topic is Top Ten Series that I’ve Meant to Read but Haven’t Gotten Around To. I modified today’s topic a little bit. It was originally supposed to be the top ten books that have been on my TBR pile, before I started blogging, but haven’t gotten around to. Let’s be real, though. I’ve been blogging 6 years now. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MY TBR PILE LOOKED LIKE BACK THEN! So, I’m modifying it to feature books that I’ve really meant to get around to, but haven’t. And I’m pretty sure that I added all of these AFTER I started blogging, hence the modification. I’m super excited to start all of these, though!!! BRING ON ALL THE BOOKS!

1 Eragon – I think the reason why I haven’t read this book is because I HATED the movie. Back when the movie came out, I really wasn’t that big into reading. And the movie sucked. I’ve heard the series is really good, though!


2 Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Okay. The reason why I haven’t started this book is because my mom started it and didn’t like it. It was really weird for me to watch her get half way through it and then set it down. I probably had such reservations because I know this book is SO POPULAR. I really do need to read it.


3 The Raven Boys – Again, I didn’t like the Shiver series. I’m sensing a theme here. I really do want to read this series.


4 The Grisha series – Okay, I really just haven’t had any time for this series. I’ve heard SUCH GOOD THINGS!


5 Graceling – What’s really funny about this one is that I actually owned the book for several years without reading the book. I’ve been on a huge fantasy kick lately, though, and need to read it!


6 The Study series – I did start this one a lonnnnnnng time ago, but I didn’t finish it. I’m actually pretty sure that I started this series either before I start blogging or right at the beginning of my blogging career. Back then, I was just getting into the groove of reading & didn’t love it as much as I do now. So, it makes sense that I just randomly stopped. I do have this one on hold at the library, though, so that I can restart it!


7 The Young Elites series – I’m really not sure what this one is about, but I’ve seen it on several YA Fantasy lists! I need to check into it more!

young elites

8 Snow Like Ashes – I started this one & was really enjoying it! What happened is that I had started working full time and only read like 3 books in an entire year. I need to go back and restart this one.

snow like ashes

9 Falling Kingdoms – Before you start in on me, I do have this one on hold at the library!!!! I KNOW I NEED TO READ IT!

falling kingdoms

10 Red Queen – Yet another one that I have on hold at the library. Again, I’ve heard some really good things about this book!

Red Queen
The Great Debate: Age Ratings for YA Titles?
August 21, 2012 posted by Nichole

The Great Debate: Age Ratings for YA Titles?

G.P. Taylor and Patrick Ness recently got into an argument about age ratings for YA titles. Basically, G.P. Taylor thought that Young Adult novels should have age ratings, while Patrick Ness argued that it was a form of book censorship and that kids were going to find a way to read what they wanted to read regardless of age ratings.  You can find that article here.

Let’s take a moment to think about age ratings. Are they appropriate? Would you, as a parent, prefer to know the age rating of a book your child was reading? Would your child’s age factor into it?

I don’t think I like the concept of age ratings. I am really against book censorship, and age ratings seems exactly like that. Thinking of all of the young adult books I have read, I don’t think that there were many that prompted me to voice concerns. Yes, some young adult books have vampires, magic, shapeshifters, etc. They can also have nothing to do with any of those aspects. So, how would age ratings even go about? If a book included a romance would it be rated for children above the age of thirteen? What if that romance did not include anything sexual or inappropriate?

I want to know what you guys think about age ratings. If you were to rate books according to age, how would you go about it?

Sound off in the comments section!

That’s all for now, folks. See you next time!




Inside Out – Maria V. Snyder
Book Reviews
April 21, 2010 posted by Katie

Inside Out – Maria V. Snyder

Keep your head down. Don’t get noticed. Or else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A Nobody.

One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it’s all that dangerous – the only neck at risk is my own.

Until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

I should have just said no…

Trella’s life is a never-ending pattern. Work the even shifts, 10 hours on, 10 hours off. Cleaning the air-ducts with her cleaning troll. Turn troll on. Follow troll. Turn troll of, move to the next duct. It’s a life that she has known for years. One that has made her hate the scrubs around her. It’s in the ducts that Trella can get her peace. No one else around, just her and the metal. And when you have a life with no friends, it’s easy to see why Trella chooses the ducts over the taunts and hostile glances of the other scrubs around her. All except one – Cogon. Everyone is friends with Cog, and it’s impossible not to be.

Cog had been looking for Trella. He has a new prophet he wants her to meet. An Upper who did something so wrong that he was cast into the Lower levels to be forgotten. Yet Trella has her suspicions. This Upper knows too much about her, is asking for too much and promising too little. Yet it’s the kind of thing Trella can’t resist. A chance to prove why she is the queen of the pipes. For the prophet claims he has information on the location of Gateway. The portal to Outside. Yet, they are hidden. In his old apartment, which just happens to be in the restricted section of the Uppers. Scrubs aren’t meant to access the Uppers, and Trella is probably the only who has found a way around.

Against her better judgment, Trella goes looking for the prophet’s disks, knowing that if she is caught, she has no hope of ever returning to the Lowers. Yet as she continues to delve further into the secrets of Inside, she realises maybe everything isn’t exactly as they have been told. After a chance meeting with an Upper who doesn’t turn her in, Trella embarks on a path more dangerous than anything she has tried before. Along with Riley, Cog and the prophet, Trella embarks on the path to discovering the true location of Gateway. A location that every scrub has heard of, but few believe exists. Yet there is a cost, more deadly then Trella could ever imagine.

As more and more scrubs and Uppers alike start to become involved, it is only a matter of time before one of them will be gone forever…

Inside Out is the start of a new series from bestselling author Maria V. Snyder. I have been a large fan of Snyder’s work, and was interested to see how Inside Out would live up to her, in my opinion, most well known work, the Study Series. From the first chapter, the writing and perspective of Trella captured me. Trella was a character that was so clearly defined that I knew we were on for an adventure. Trella develops from a girl who doesn’t trust anyone around her, into a young woman who is confidant in what she needs to do to protect those around her. Trella goes through her rough moments, her self doubts and battles her inner demons on why is she helping to do something she swore she didn’t believe in? Yet without the help of Cog and Riley, Trella would not have been able to achieve anything. For Cog teaches her how to see those around her for more than just mindless scrubs, and Riley convinces Trella that not all Uppers are the same, that there are people who she can trust.

The development of the social constructs of Inside is completely thought out and impeccably detailed. Each and every aspect of society is there, rules that must be obeyed or fought against. Social hierarchy, illegal activities and the ever alluring promise of Outside. The world is complete in a way that lets you get completely lost in the actions of Trella and her friends, lets you believe that their situation is possible. Extremely well written in a way that leaves you needing to read the next page, Snyder has constructed a work that I see as the beginning to a new and fantastic series.

Publication date: 2010

Pages: 315

Rating:: ★★★★½

Teaser quote: My heart dropped into my stomach and ran laps. Lieutenant Commander Karla and three Pop Cops followed my supervisor. The LC’s smug expression and the terrified fury on my supervisor’s fact told me all I needed to know.

Without hesitating, I ran.

The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han
Book Reviews
April 15, 2010 posted by Katie

The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han

Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has all led up to this. To now.

Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends’ house. There’s the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach…and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad – who she’s been in love with forever – and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who’s every really paid her any attention.

But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It’s going to be an amazing summer – and one she’ll never forget…

Isabel has been called Belly for as long as she can remember. As long as she has been coming to the beach house for summer. For her mum and Susannah are best friends, and Susannah owns the beach house. The perfect big house, the pool out the back, the beach, the sun, the surf. During the school year, Belly distracts herself thinking about summer and the beach house. It’s the place that she knows exactly what is going to happen, even if it’s not exactly what she wants to happen.

For also at the beach house is Steve, her annoying older brother, Conrad and Jeremiah, Susannah’s two sons. As much as Belly wishes they would include her, she knows it will never happen, not truly included. The only girl in a group of guys? Yea as if they would include her in their adventures. It’s something Belly has gotten used to. Just like she is used to Susannah cooking the same meal on the first night, her midnight swims and being left alone a nights.

Yet this summer, something seems different. For one, the reaction of Conrad and Jeremiah when she gets out of the car is completely not what she expected. Susannah doesn’t come to meet them, running out the door like always. The mood is different, almost as if everyone else knows something that they aren’t telling her.

Then comes the moment that she has been longing for. An invite to the bonfire that she was always considered too young to go to. It is there that she meets Cam. Cam Cameron. Someone different to everyone else. He doesn’t drink, doesn’t do drugs and can speak Latin and French, even if technically Latin is a dead language. Finally Belly meets someone that she just might be able to forget Conrad with. Someone who tells her that she is beautiful, someone who actually wants her around.

Yet as the summer draws closer to a close, will this really be enough to Belly to move on? Will she be willing to hurt those she loves, to gain what she needs most?

The Summer I Turned Pretty is the second novel from young adult writer Jenny Han, and the first of her novels that I have read. This story captured me, in a way that reminded me of my first love and my teenage years. Growing up and just waiting for the one guy to notice you. It’s a story that I think a lot of people can relate to, both young and old, either going through it currently or remembering what it was like. The Summer I Turned Pretty captures that journey and adventure to find who you are and to be seen as something different to what everyone thinks you are. Reminding me, in style, of Sarah Dessen’s novel Along For The Ride, the characters in Han’s novel are instantly ones you can recognise and connect with. The characters and their actions is what invests you in this novel. You want the best for them; you want everything to end up okay for them.

Belly is a gem. I find reflections of myself in her actions, and things that I wish I had done when I was her age. She has the strength to keep going, to try for something better because she believes the best in everyone. Her relationships with Conrad and Jeremiah and how she deals with her feelings is something that I think we all go through. The confusion of not knowing exactly what someone else thinks of you. Cam was also another breath of fresh air. I wish we had got to see even more of Cam then what was included. Susannah was the mother you wished you had, and Belly’s own mother is that of a typical mother – doing more that her daughter realised at the time.

An element that I really loved was the chance to go back in Belly’s past and see memories from previous summers, and how they created the person that Belly is now.

A beautifully light reading and feel-good novel.

Publication date: 2010

Pages: 288

Rating:: ★★★½☆

Teaser quote: When it started to get cold, I rubbed my arms, and Cam took off his hoodie and gave it to me. Which, was sort of my dream come true – getting cold and having a guy actually give you his hoodie instead of gloating over how mart he’d been to bring one.

Radiant Shadows – Melissa Marr
Book Reviews
February 22, 2010 posted by Nikki

Radiant Shadows – Melissa Marr

Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.

Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

Sorcha is mourning Seth’s absence. She’s the unchanging queen and she isn’t supposed to mourn, but still Sorcha does. She frets for Seth’s safety and agonizes that she cannot see him when he is in the mortal world. So Sorcha sends Devlin, her brother and loyal servant, to Huntsdale to check on him, to stay with him in case he should need anything. Little does she know that upon his arrival in Huntsdale, an event takes place that will change Devlin’s path for the rest of eternity.

When Devlin sees Ani in the club, his heart stops short. He’s seen that face before, and as magnificent and beautiful as she is, he knows things about her past that could break her innocent little heart. Not that knowing that stops him in the slightest. When Ani lays her eyes on Devlin, and decides that she wants him for herself, Devlin realizes that although he’s lived a lifetime of loneliness, his future doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. The only problem is, they can’t really be intimate, if you know what I mean, or they risk the possibility of Ani sucking the life right out of Devlin. Who wants to kill the one they love?

Ani is reckless and restless. That would be the hound in her, though, and is to be expected. She’s got spunk and just the right amount of attitude, but that’s not all she’s got. Even though she doesn’t realize it yet, Ani is special. So special that Bananach – Sorcha’s crazy (and evil) sister – wants her blood all for herself. As we all well know, Melissa Marr doesn’t write happily ever after fairy tales, and things don’t play out smoothly for Ani. Hearts are broken, loves are lost, relationships are forged, bruised and battered, and truths will shatter the Earth from the inside out.

Although I found it a little slow on the uptake, I now see that those chapters were necessary to lay the foundations for what shaped up to be a spectacular, gut-wrenching read. Radiant Shadows is exceptional in every way, and I’ve come to expect nothing less from this phenomenal story-teller. Marr’s characters are deep, tortured, and believable in every possible way. Their faces are burned to the insides of my eyelids, their voices ring out loudly through my ears. It’s as if they’re really my friends, instead of a bunch of fictional people that I obsessively follow in their pursuits.

The Wicked Lovely world is definitely one of my favorite places to visit. Radiant Shadows does not disappoint.

Pages: 340

Publication Date: April 20, 2010

Rating:: ★★★★½

Teaser Quote:

“Go upstairs Ani.” Irial swung his feet to the floor. He didn’t glance her way. His attention was all for the Dark King now. “Tell me what you think I should have done differently, Niall. I spent the night talking and giving her a safe place to rest. I gave her the nourishment she can’t find elsewhere without compromising her already absent virtue.”

The Dark King didn’t respond.

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue – Hugh Howey
Book Reviews
February 20, 2010 posted by Katie

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue – Hugh Howey

When Molly gets kicked out of the Naval Academy, she loses more than just another home, she loses the only two things that truly matter: flying in space and her training partner, Cloe. A dull future seems to await, until a marvellous discovery changes everything.

Her father’s old starship, missing for a decade, turns up halfway across the galaxy. Its retrieval launches Molly and Cole on the adventure of a lifetime, one that will have lasting consequences for themselves and billions of others.

What starts off as a simple quest to reconnect with her past, ends up forging a new future. And the forgotten family she hoped to uncover becomes one she never foresaw: a band of alien misfits and runaways – the crew of the starship Parsona.

Ever looked up into the sky at night and imagined yourself flying around the stars off on some other-worldly adventure? Well, this is Molly’s reality. Or will be. Molly is a navy cadet. And don’t be fooled into thinking the Navy is what we understand the Navy to be. Yes they drive ships, but not the standard H.M.A.S. vessels of today’s waters. Molly and her fellow classmates are learning to pilot starships. Sure they are still in training but running a full visual simulator is darn close to the real thing, right down to the G-force experienced.

But in a standard-procedure simulator test, something seems to go wrong. For Molly and her pilot Cole fail and fail miserably. And as much as they try to convince their superiors otherwise, no-one believes them. For Molly and Cole’s simulator was tampered with. Every procedure runs fine, except the ability to arm and fire weapons. Without weapons, they have almost a no-chance at survival. Cole suspects sabotage. With both of them for examination, it will be Molly that the blame is laid at. Particular since Cole was technically ‘killed’ early into the simulator run and it is so much easier to blame the girl.

For Molly, this means expulsion. No more training, and no more hope of becoming a Naval officer. Resigned to a life at a normal high school, everything suddenly seems less for Molly. If loss of her only home, her connection to her past and her best friend that she can’t stop thinking about wasn’t enough, Molly is an outcast in her new school, merely because she is different. That is, until she gets an opportunity of a lifetime. Her father’s ship has been found. And as the legal owner, Molly is the only one who can go and collect it.

And a seemingly straightforward mission is the start of a whole new adventure that even Molly couldn’t begin to fathom…

Molly Fyde and the Parson Rescue is debut novel from Hugh Howey and the first in the Molly Fyde series. The thing that grabbed me from the first page of this novel was the believability in writing and character. The plot just flowed effortlessly, from describing the complexities of hyperspace, simulation flying and other world social structure to the simple dialogue between two best friends struggling to find what they mean to each other. There aren’t many authors who can get you completely lost in a story, but Howey was one of them. For me, I just wanted to know what would happen next, what the next twist in the story would be. As a credit to the author, I never saw the ending that was coming. It makes you easily want to read the next book in the series as soon as you can.

The characters of Molly and Cole were another highlight to the novel. Reading from Molly’s point of view as she struggled through countless personal and emotional challenges left me caring about what happened to her. The history and connection between Molly and Cole as a pair was believable, and the tension that built up added to the story, instead of taking away from it as so many teen-romances can be known to do. That being said, Molly does have her fair share of moments where I just wanted to knock some sense into her and tell her to get over the small dramatics that really seemed unnecessary.

All in all though, a highly engaging read that I would recommend for anyone who is or was a fan of space adventure.

Pages: 258

Publication Date: 2009

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Teaser quote: By the time they arrived at the Palan system, he must’ve had eighteen hours of uninterrupted rest. No bathroom breaks. No food. No flirting. Molly couldn’t understand how he contained himself. Even from the last.

The Naughty List – Suzanne Young
Book Reviews
February 16, 2010 posted by Nikki

The Naughty List – Suzanne Young

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

Meet the Smitten Kittens. Sounds kind of sexy, huh? Alluring in that mysterious way. If you knew what they were doing, though, sexy wouldn’t even come into it. In fact, the Smitten Kittens are all about busting cheating boyfriends from doing the sexy with people other than their other half. The male adolescent population of Washington High is more than a little naughty, it seems.

The squad – which double as a cheer squad by day – have high tech spy equipment and have a well organized system of spying on the boys at their school. They take requests from girlfriends who suspect their boyfriends are cheating, and investigate till the allegations are either cleared, or confirmed. Unfortunately, they’ve never had the opportunity to clear anyone’s name because every single suspect has been found guilty. Every single one.

Tessa is the only girl left on the squad who actually has a boyfriend. Over time, the others all dumped theirs because they were caught cheating. Then, Tessa’s boyfriend’s name shows up on the list, and with a one hundred percent confirmed cheating rate so far, it isn’t looking good for Tessa and Aiden. But maybe he’s innocent, he seems like a nice guy, after all. Could he be the first boyfriend to ever be cleared of all charges?

Initially, I couldn’t decide exactly how I felt about this book, or for whom exactly the target audience might be. Tessa comes across as a good, wholesome character. She doesn’t curse, and always corrects those around her that do. She uses expressions like strawberry smoothie, for example, instead of actual curse words. She’s an excellent friend to her fellow squad members, a great student, and an all-round shiny, happy girl. At first I thought this was going to be a clean and wholesome novel for younger readers, but then I discovered that Tessa sleeps with her boyfriend and sneaks around in the middle of the night, lying to her parents and Aiden about what she’s doing, and spies on people till dawn. And Tessa is the only one that doesn’t curse; it seems the book is littered with swear words and over active adolescent hormonal activity. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, either, I’m just saying that Tessa’s character confused me.

I found myself trying to decode the messages that came attached to Tessa’s character. By creating a character like Tessa, is Suzanne Young is attempting to send a message that teen sex is okay? After all, Tessa is a really nice girl that is seemingly good in every other way. Does the fact that she’s sexually active make her a bad role model for teen girls? I really couldn’t decide. I’m inclined to say no, but I felt uncomfortable making that judgement alone. What I did like about Tessa is that, especially at the beginning, she is committed to Aiden and although she is well aware of her sexual allure and uses that on Aiden a lot, she doesn’t really flounce it around in front of everyone else. She isn’t promiscuous and she obviously has a lot of self-respect, which I think is important when setting up a potential role model for teens today.

The whole book left me feeling a little uneasy, which I suppose is actually a good thing because I thought about it for hours after I finished it, trying to figure out whether I liked it, how to categorize it, what the underlying messages were. While there was obviously a formula that went into the plot, it seemed there was a lack of formula that went into creating the characters, setting, tone, etc. I found this quite refreshing and I think others will too.

I think this book would be a great jumping point for book clubs and discussion circles that wanted to talk and debate the issue of teen sex and teen relationships.

Pages: 239

Publication Date: Febraury 2010

Rating:: ★★★☆☆

Teaser Quote: Cassandra was less than thrilled to see the glossy eight by tens of Marcus and Red Heels. It nearly broke my heart, especially when I considered her recently departed virginity. All of it left me feeling, well, bummed.