Tag: YA

Bookstr’s Week in Review ICYMI

 

The light at the end of the tunnel is almost in sight. That’s right, January is almost over! We’ve had a busy week here at Bookstr and I’m back to give you a rundown of what you might have missed. I’m broke after the holidays so it’s the only gift you’re getting from me!

Adaptation news

2020 so far has brought with it a whole lot of exciting book adaptation news. It’s not that it’s a current trend, per say, since books have been adapted for the screen for many many years, but this year has been next level. This week we learned some more about Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and its release date. Netflix gave us the main trailer for the To All The Boys sequel. You can read all about Little Fires here, and check out LJ and Peter here.

 

image via grammarly

NEWS NEWS

The book world had a few shake-ups this week. Be it fantasy YA, crime thrillers or family tragedies, there was a myriad of news in all book realms. Suzanne Collins released some new information about her upcoming Hunger Games prequel. Lee Child has passed the Jack Reacher baton to his brother. Jeanine Cummins’ newest release has been met with serious controversy surrounding racial representation and cultural appropriation. Phew, does anyone else wish we had a book news channel?

 

 

remembering the greats

Between births and deaths, there were commemorations this week for some truly great writers. Lord Byron’s birthday was on Wednesday and you can read about his wild antics here. George Orwell died seventy years ago this week and we’ve got some interesting facts about the man, myth and legend here.

three to read

Nehal is back with her three reads this week and you can read all about it here. Make sure to catch their killer video too.

 

 

via GIPHY

how-to

Let Bookstr be your older sibling today (we’re in charge and we WILL tell mom if you’re not behaving!!) and pass on some vital information. This week we are focusing reading long books and writing good ones. If you’re looking to pick a long one, take a look here. If you’re trying to work out how to write a good one, let Kali show you the ways here

There you have it! You’re all caught up. I’ll be back next week to keep to updated but until then, happy reading!

P.S. Keep up with us daily on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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New Books to Read Under Your Desk

So, we’re back to school. Some of us, anyway. Regardless of when you go back, you’re going to need something to read under your desk when you’re supposed to be learning. Here are some new releases to get excited about.

 

Scavenge the Stars 

Release: January 7th

Amaya has been imprisoned on a debtor’s ship for years. When she saves a drowning stranger, she thinks it will lead only to longer internment. The man she saved, though, has the resources to help her, and offers her a new life. Surrounded even as she is by opulence, all she can think of is revenge against the man who ruined her and her family.

 

Woven in Moonlight 

Release: January 7th

Ximena is the decoy Condesa of an occupied land. Sold into marriage to protect the last blood countess, she must find the ghost summoning relic that conquered her land and smuggle it to the resistance. But is another war what her people need, or should it be avoided, even if doing what’s best for her people means betraying everything else?

 

Spellhacker

Release: January 21st

Diz is a thief of magic, a lucrative trade since it’s commodification following a devastating magical plague. But it’s harder to escape from the life than she and her friends anticipate, especially when the magical secrets they uncover keep getting stranger and more dangerous. What was the plague, and why was magic locked away as a resource for the powerful?

 

Seven Deadly Shadows 

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Release: January 28th

Kira could always see Youkai, and between this, bullies at school, and her parents’ indifference, her only refuge is her grandfather’s shrine. She loses even this when she learns the Demon King will rise to end the world, and all he needs is a relic from her shrine. For help in protecting the relic, she recruits seven death gods, but their motivations are suspect, and danger could come from any side.

 

Blood Countess 

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Release: January 28th

Historical fiction takes on the real life vampire Elizabeth Bathory. Alright, so that’s apocryphal, but she was one of the most prolific serial killers in history. A lowly maid, Anna, is catapulted into the countess’ inner circle, and thinks herself unimaginably lucky. That is, until she realizes that she’s in danger, and the countess’ everyday cruelty is just the preview to the torture and murder of girls like her.

 


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My Favorite YA Series of the Decade

I’ve decided to make a short list of some of my favorite YA series of the decade with no definite number because I didn’t really put much thought into how many I’ve read. But I feel like if you have the time, pick up these series. They may be aimed at younger audiences but there are still themes and topics that we can find relevant to people at any age. So let’s get to it.

Heroes of Olympus – Rick Riordan

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IMAGE VIA BARNES & NOBLE

Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ is my favorite fantasy series of all time even over Harry Potter. The ‘Heroes of Olympus‘ series came out in 2010, but I hadn’t heard of it until 2012, when ‘Mark of Athena‘ came out. I couldn’t help but rush to the nearest bookstore to continue Percy’s story. Initially, I was shocked because Percy the main character of his original series, wasn’t the main character but one of seven. 

The series introduces us to five new main characters that readers grow to love over the course of this series. The series also introduces Roman mythology alongside the established Greek and Egyptian Mythologies from Rick’s previous series (‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ and the ‘Kane Chronicles‘.) The series starts nearly a year after the end of the original Percy Jackson series, with its first book, ‘The Lost Hero’. It follows the adventures of three new characters, Jason, Leo and Piper who find themselves tangled in the center of a mystery that involves themselves and Percy who has gone missing, the Greek Gods and their Roman counterparts.

This series was a great continuation because it allowed the readers of Percy Jackson to continue on with the universe in a slightly more mature series that didn’t stray much from its origins.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – Rick Riordan

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IMAGE VIA BARNES & NOBLE

You can tell by now that my love for Rick Riordan and all of his books is serious. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard was created after the success of the Heroes of Olympus series. Rick introduces his newest protagonist, Magnus Chase, who is Annabeth’s cousin, whom we were initially introduced to and followed in both the original Percy Jackson series and Heroes of Olympus series. But this series takes place in Boston, where the Norse Gods have taken up residency. We are taken on a wild ride that forces our main hero to interact with the creatures and gods of Norse mythology.

The series is very similar to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, however Rick does attempt different themes. Such as diving in and discussing LGBTQ topics with the character Alex Fierro, the shapeshifter, whose gender can change depending on their mood.

And explores the differences between Percy and Magnus. Magnus is first introduced as a homeless kid that lives on the streets of Boston, he’s naturally chooses not to fight while Percy jumps in and tries to protect everyone himself. So, if you loved Percy Jackson, I recommend Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.

 

 

Arc of a Scythe Trilogy – Neal Shusterman

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IMAGE VIA BARNES & NOBLE

The ‘Arc of a Scythe‘ trilogy has become my single most favorite series of the decade. The trilogy takes place in a future where humans have conquered death. All forms of government have been eradicated and everything is dictated by an evolved version of the cloud, called, the “Thunderhead.” Race and ethnicity are irrelevant except for those that still show some slight leaning in to a particular ancestry. People can no longer die because of the development of a way to be reverted to a younger age. However, the population has increased. “Scythes”, have to perform a nobel gleaning so that humans don’t run out of space.

The series is incredibly intelligent and discusses topics such as morality, human nature, worship, and fanaticism. The two main characters of the series are Citra and Rowan, two teenagers that find themselves thrust into the world of a scythe. Its tense, mysterious, fun and thought-provoking.

 

Throne of Glass Series – Sarah J Maas

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IMAGE VIA BARNES & NOBLE

Assassins, kings, princes,knights and a plot for a throne. ‘Throne of Glass‘ has all the makings of a traditional fantasy series, however, led by a fierce female assassin, Celaena Sardothien, who found herself in the middle of a plot to help overthrow a tyrannical leader. The first book, titled, ‘Throne of Glass’ follows Celaena after her imprisonment because of a series of assassinations that terrorized the entire country. She is given an ultimatum by the prince, Dorian that she can either waste away in prison or potentially free herself by becoming one of the king’s private soldiers. To do so, she’d have to win a tournament and face off against other strong opponents, all the while, looking for an assassin that is making their way around the contestants.

There are around seven books in the series and involves everything from action, adventure, romance and everything else you could incorporate in a series. I love it for its simplicity and great characters.

 

Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins 

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset (Paperback Classic Collection)

IMAGE VIA BARNES & NOBLE

Now finally, the biggest name on this list. The ‘Hunger Games” trilogy. Now technically two of the three books in the trilogy came out in the previous decade. However, with the height of the series and the final book’s release in 2010, I can’t help but include the series in this decade’s list. The series was such a massive hit that it eventually got turned into a movie series that propelled rising actress Jennifer Lawrence into stardom. The films also featured stars such as, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks.  

The books follow the main character, Katniss Everdeen, a girl in a dystopian future after a great war destroyed most of America. And in its wake exists twelve districts and one capital. She lives in district twelve, with her mother who is suffering from the trauma of her husband’s death and her younger sister Primrose Everdeen. Every year the twelve districts are forced to offer one boy and one girl as tribute who will then be sent to the capital. From there they are to fight to the death in front of the entire nation in a game called, “The Hunger Games”.

After Primrose’s name is drawn from the potential tributes, Katniss offers herself instead and thus begins the events of the book that will eventually lead to a great revolution in their world. The book is told in the perspective of Katniss, so the reader is allowed to see the world through her eyes and where she struggles with her family, being offered as a tribute to entertain the pompous and flamboyant people of the capital and most importantly, trying to survive.

These books are a tense and wild ride that I would suggest everyone read because it tackles topics like trauma, stress, capitalism, imperialism and colonialism.  

Some Honorary Mentions: 

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

YA series are a fun sub-genre, they have an ability to reach readers across a wider audience, while also discussing deep topics. It will continue to be popular, and for that we should continue to enjoy them as they come.

 

 

Featured Image via Read Riordan

 


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Goodreads Choice Awards 2019: Fantasy Picks

For the past eleven years, Goodreads has run an annual reader award, where book lovers can vote on their favorite books based on the categories: Fiction, Mystery & Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction, Humor, Nonfiction, Memoir & Autobiography, History & Autobiography, Science & Technology, Food & Cookbooks, Graphic Novels & Comics, Poetry, Debut Novel, Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade & Children’s, and Picture Books. This definitely puts into perspective how much is published every single year, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably excited to add twenty more books to your “to be read” list. This is one of those fantastic occasions where readers are able to decide what books they feel should earn an award, so if you weren’t able to participate in the voting this year, then definitely vote in the 2020 book awards!

One might note that there are two distinct categories for fantasy literature that has been published in this past year. This article will highlight the two winners from the Goodreads’ 2019 Annual Choice Awards, and it will also recognize the four runner-up nominees from both sections. To see both lists in their entirety, check out the 2019 Fantasy list and the 2019 YA Fantasy list.

***BOOK DESCRIPTIONS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

 

2019 top picks for fantasy

5. The Red Scrolls of Magic by cassandra clare and Wesley Chu

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.”

 

4. The Priory of the orange tree by samantha shannon

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens. The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.”

 

3. Fire & blood by George R.R. Martin

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.”

 

2. starless sea by Erin Morgenstern

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.”

 

Goodreads 2019 winner: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

“Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.”

 

image via wallpaper flare

 

2019 top picks for YA fantasy

5. Wilder Girls by Rory Power

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.”

 

4. King of Scars by Leigh bardugo

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.”

 

3. Queen of Air and Darkness by cassandra clare

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.”

 

2. Wayward son by Rainbow Rowell

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after… So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch? What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light… That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…”

 

goodreads 2019 winner: The Wicked king by Holly Black

image via goodreads

Quoted from the book’s page on Goodreads: “You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

“The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

“After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.”

 

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Scholastic’s ‘Point Horror’ Series Coming To HBO Max

Fans of children’s horror stories will want to check out this new show coming to HBO Max.

 

Variety reported that the upcoming streaming service is developing an anthology series based on Point Horror, a series of young adult horror novels that started in the 1980’s and helped launch the careers of several horror writers like R.L. Stine, Caroline B. Cooney, and Diane Hoh.

 

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Image Via A.V. Club

 

The HBO series will be titled Point Horror, and will be an anthology series described as a show that “exposes the horrors of being a teenager”. The show will take stories from many different novels in the series, but it’s rumored that most of the episodes will be based on Stine’s work.

 

 

John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) is in talks to direct the pilot episode. Stine is set to executive produce.

 

Have you read any of the Point Horror books?

 

 

 

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