So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! Last month I featured Autumn @Kitty Cat Reads to be my guinea pig! This month I reached out and asked Cristina @ Girl in the Pages if she would be so kind to participate and be featured for my Book Blogger Shout-out! Her blog is absolutely adorable and everytime I check out her blog I am incredibly jealous. She posts a variety of bookish things and has some fabulous book reviews!
Hey there! My name is Cristina, a twenty-something West Coast girl who runs the YA book blog Girl in the Pages. I’ve nurtured a love for all things involving the written word since a very young age, and brought that love with me to college where I studied English Literature and tried to incorporate YA texts into every assignment I could. I’m partial to YA paranormal and fantasy, but give me a contemporary that tackles important issues and I’m hooked. I’m a self-proclaimed Ravenclaw, Disney aficionado, and my closet is almost as full as my bookshelves. When I’m not reading or blogging, you can find me playing with my MAC makeup collection, finding new restaurants to try, and generally trying to navigate post-grad life in the big kid world.
5 Books That Will Change Your Opinion of YA
We all know about the heavily-marketed, over-hyped titles that surface every year. Yet there are phenomenal books and series that often fly under the radar that really show how the YA genre features unparalleled creativity, amazing prose, and profound plot lines, and is not a genre to be discounted or underestimated. Here are five titles that I highly recommend to reaffirm a reader’s love for YA, or to turn a skeptic into a YA lover! (click the picture to be taken to the Goodreads link for each book!)
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas- No matter who you are or where you’re from, this mystery-thriller novel will drag you in by its eerily familiar plot line, keep you hooked with every piece of evidence and revelation that is made, and leave you shell-shocked and speechless by its twist and conclusion. Dangerous Girls holds its own with adult thrillers and mystery novels, and has its own unique voice as it features teenagers who have everything to lose and everything to gain depending on how their reputations are impacted when one of them is found murdered on a spring-break trip. This novel shows that teenagers and young adults can be just as captivating a group as adults when faced with a tangled web of truth and lies- perhaps even more so.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- Take everything you’ve read about angels and demons and cliché end of the world narratives and chuck it out the window, and then start this series. Laini Taylor crafts a fantasy narrative so unique that its world building is unparalleled and her writing is simply lyrical. Set in Prague and expanding to other countries and worlds as the series goes on, the prose is more magnificent than in any other fantasy fiction I’ve read, and it will restore your faith in storytelling.
Angelfall by Susan Ee- If you think the post-apocalyptic narrative is overdone and you’ve “been-there-read-that” and nothing else can surprise you, please pick up this fantastic and tragically underrated book. Set in Northern California, the book tackles the issue of “What would happen if God/Supreme Being/Powers That Be decided that our time as humans was over?” With action scenes and morbid twists that make The Huger Games look like they’re for the faint-hearted, this series features a resourceful, plucky teenage protagonist who’s focused on caring for her family after the end of the world, a wonderfully intense and slow-building romance, and the most excellent take on the angel/demon paranormal genre I’ve read. This book shows that YA authors can still create wonderfully original stories out of well-worn themes.
Trouble by Non Pratt- Another vastly under-talked about book, Trouble comes from British author Non Pratt, who tackles a lot of “taboo” issues (teen pregnancy, depression, death and grief, substance abuse, bullying, etc) in an uncensored and unapologetic way. Told from alternating viewpoints of Hannah and Aaron, Pratt writes an “issue” based novel without letting it be defined by such issues, and amidst all of the characters uncensored struggles and hardships its essentially a book about finding yourself, and finding the people who are truly worth being in your life. It’s amazing, and it doesn’t hold anything back, and it will rethink how you view YA contemporary.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- I admit, I held off on reading this book for a while. From glancing at the cover I assumed it was going to be another cliché boarding school series. Needless to say, it’s on this list because my first impression was very, very wrong. This book is sort of a Breakfast Club-meets-Nancy Drew-meets-King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table-hybrid, and it is fantastic. It’s usually hard to write one protagonist well, but Stiefvater manages to write five of them, all the while crafting a unique tale that draws upon what I feel are recently neglected genres, such as psychics, magical quests, and good old fashioned ghost stories. This series is also really excellent because many of the main characters are males, proving that YA is not limited to female characters nor to a female audience, and this series can be accepted and thoroughly enjoyed by any gender.
Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!
I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Cristina make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!