Monday, July 7, 2014

Terrific Young-Adult Books

Over the past year and a half or so, I have found and read some books I have really loved. So much so that I thought they were worthy of their own post. This post will contain the titles of the books/series that I want to talk about and then I will do a separate post on each one, because this one would be waaaay too long otherwise. Each post will have a description of each book/series and my thoughts about each (no spoilers).

Also, I've noticed that I repeat myself quite a bit when I talk about some of the traits that make these books some of my favorites. And the reason I do that is because they all contain some of the qualities that take books (in my opinion) from "good" to "amazing." So, just to give you an idea, here are some of the qualities I really admire in books.

Those traits are:

1. Good writing-- this may seem obvious, but something that really aggravates me about some books in the young-adult genre is that they are SO badly written. It's like the authors thought "Oh, the target audience is teenagers, so the writing doesn't matter as long as we stick some hot guys and swoon-worthy romance in there." Ugh, no! Writing DOES matter. And that's why when a book has really good writing, I love it. Of course, good writing can mean more than one thing; it can be beautiful descriptions and prose (like in the Shatter Me series below...) or it can simply be very well crafted sentences with good grammar and vocabulary. (It must sound mental that writing matters so much to me, but you'd be amazed how many "young-adult" books have pathetic writing, like I-would-get-chewed-out-by-my-english-teacher-if-I-wrote-this-badly-bad-writing. Laugh at me all you want, but quality writing does make a difference.)

2. Strong characters-- I don't mean characters who literally kick ass (although some do), I just mean characters that are well developed and aren't simply flat and one-dimensional. People change and don't fall into cookie-cutter categories. Characters in a book should reflect this and be complex.

3. A good story-- this is self explanatory and is what makes any book good. The basis for any good book is an interesting plot or concept. But, a story also should flow, move seamlessly from one point to another. It shouldn't be jumpy and stilted like the author is forcing the plot to move in a certain direction, it should move easily and feel like the natural progression of the storyline.

Okay, enough rambling. Here are the books (This list contains both series and stand-alones. Some of the series are finished and some are unfinished):

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Hope you enjoy! xx

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