We Love YA: Angie

In We love YA!, a fellow YA-lover is featured and is asked to answer the following questions: Why do you love YA? What are some of your favorite YA books? What can you say to encourage other people to read YA? At end of which, readers are requested to recommend books based on the featured person’s answers.

I’m so excited to present today’s We Love YA feature – Angie of Angieville. If it isn’t obvious by the number of times I’ve mentioned her here, I’m a huge fan of Angie’s blog. Once she gives a book a great review, I have this urge to grab that book as soon as I can and read it. I trust Angie’s recommendations and some of them have even ended up in my favorites list. Angie has been blogging for a couple of years and I consider her one of the greats in YA and fantasy blogging. I’m amazed that she doesn’t have more followers because I think her blog is amazing. It doesn’t hurt that we share our love for a certain incorrigible thief of Eddis. I was a lurker in Angieville long before I started my own blog and it’s with great pleasure that I welcome Angie here in my book nook. Let’s all give Angie a warm welcome! 🙂

Why do you love YA?
You know, it’s interesting. I never thought of the books I love that feature teenage or young adult protagonists as being under the “YA” label until it came into widespread use in the past several years. Because all the books I read that would technically fall under that broad term hailed from a host of different genres, including science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary, paranormals, and mysteries. And I tended to think of them in those categories, rather than lumped all together because they happened to share somewhat younger heroes than those in other books I read. Now the term is bandied about on a near constant basis, and people talk about whether they do or do not read YA and why. I read and love young adult literature for the same reasons I read the best books of any kind — because I am drawn to strong characters and witty, sophisticated writing. I love young adult protagonists, I think, because they are so often put into natural situations that challenge them immensely, that force them to discover what they are made of, and to make decisions (often excruciatingly painful ones) about who they will be and what kind of life they are interested in leading. Those questions and conflicts never grow old for me and, honestly, I don’t think they go away either. The perspective we take on them evolves over time as our experience grows, but I find myself facing incarnations of those same issues on a daily basis as I take on new roles and come up against new responsibilities and obligations. I gravitate toward young adult literature because — like its characters — it can be anything it wants to be. It can be any color, shape, or size, and can take place in any time and on any world that the human imagination can conceive of. It is, in a word, remarkable. And that is why I love it.

What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
I’m going to have to just break it down here a bit in order to make an even remotely fair (but nowhere near comprehensive) list:

Fantasy
The Chronicles of Prydain and the Westmark trilogy by Lloyd Alexander
The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore
The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce
The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

Science Fiction/Dystopian
The Time Trilogy by Madeleine L’Engle
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Contemporary Fiction
My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The Tillerman Cycle by Cynthia Voigt
Life Without Friends and The President’s Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White

Historical Fiction
Morning is a Long Time Coming by Bette Greene
A Song for Summer and A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
No one should ever feel or be made to feel ashamed of the books they read and love. Certainly not because of some arbitrary designation based on marketing. Life’s too short for that kind of crap. Finding books you love is all about making that connection with the character or the words on the page in such a way that it gives you the deep tingles and almost seems to freeze time itself for just a moment. Young adult literature is the perfect place to go looking for that experience because of its breadth and depth and because literally anything could be lurking under those glossy covers. Happy reading!

_______________________________________________________

Wow, Angie, just wow. If I haven’t been a huge fan of your blog before, I would be after reading your answers. What you said describes perfectly how I feel about YA. It all boils down to reading good books that you can relate to, regardless of the genre. It just so happens that there are a lot of amazing books in YA and there are more being released each day. Like you, I didn’t think to categorize the books that I love as YA until I saw the label “YA” being used all over the publishing world. I guess I’ve been fortunate because my friends don’t judge the books that I read. Most of them aren’t readers so I think they’re generally amazed at how crazy I get when it comes to reading.

Now on to my recommendations. This is a bit tricky since you already mentioned a lot of my favorites. But I do know that you haven’t given Elizabeth E. Wein’s books a try and I have a feeling you’ll like them because I got the recommendation from Sounis. The series starts with The Winter Prince, which is woefully out of print, followed by A Coalition of Lions. But you could read the series out of order and just start with the ones about Telemakos – The Sunbird, The Lion Hunter and The Empty Kingdom. These were the ones that I read first. I would also love to see your thoughts on the Sasharia En Garde duology by Sherwood Smith – Once a Princess, Twice a Prince. Also because you love the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, I was wondering if you’d like to give her epic fantasy books a try. Maybe start with the Hurog duology: Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood, which I loved. Last but not the least, I hope you get to read Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta because you loved Jellicoe Road.

Whew, so it turns out I still have a couple of recommendations up my sleeve. I’m off to add the books that Angie mentioned to my wishlist. How about you, dear readers, any suggestions for Angie? 🙂

26 thoughts on “We Love YA: Angie

  1. to me the strongest quality in Angie’s blog is that she focuses on quality rather than traffic, plus you can always say that her reviews are honest and they make an accurate point in a relatively short space (I appreciate, does it make any sense?)

    After reading this I have one more series on my TBR list:

    Life Without Friends and The President’s Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White

    Love reading “We Love Ya”, lots of interesting titles are coming up

    • I know what you mean, Emily. I always wonder how Angie pulls it off, I mean how she can be so convincing in a relatively short review. Angie, tell us your secret! 😛

      I ordered The President’s Daughter series because I’ve been hearing such great things about it from both Angie and Michelle. I’m so excited for the books to get here sometime in early September.

      Thanks for checking out the feature. 🙂

      • Emily, aw, thanks. And, knowing your taste, I think you might fall in love with the EEW books.

        Chachic, lol. No secret. Just no time to go on and on for pages. Also, I always appreciate a degree of brevity in the reviews I read. I want to know what they thought, why, and why I should read it NOW. Or not. 🙂

        So excited you’ve already ordered the President’s Daughter series! Meg Powers rocks.

      • That’s the amazing thing about your reviews, you make me want to read the books that you like RIGHT NOW. I can’t wait to read The President’s Daughter series. I’m hoping that the books will get here sooner than early September.

  2. Wonderful answers! I will have to write down all of those recommendations though…that’s quite a list.:)

    Angie’s blog is the only other blog I read on a regular basis. I pretty much agree with her taste in books, so if she gives a glowing review, that book will go straight to my wishlist. I enjoy reading her blog because her enthusiasm for the books she loves is quite infectious!

    As for recommendations, I don’t think I can recommend anything that she hasn’t read yet.:)

    • Celina, what a wonderful compliment. I’m so pleased you visit the blog on a regular basis. And I should probably have been briefer in my favorites list, but that is so hard to do!

    • Celina, I’ll always be thankful that you regularly check my blog and that you’ve encouraged other people to do so as well! This is probably why you were the first ever We Love YA feature here. 😛 You’ve also tried several of Angie’s recommendations and you’ve liked them as well, right?

      Angie, don’t worry about the number of favorites that you gave. Celina and I are pretty used to handling our ever-increasing wishlists. Plus, the Book Depository now delivers to the Philippines so it’ll be easier for us to get books that aren’t available here. 🙂

  3. Wonderful post! I love Angie’s blog too. She has that great ability of making all her reviews seem like she’s sitting right there in the room with you discussing her favorite book.

    Wonderful list of books too!

    • Liv, you’re absolutely right they would. I read the Dragons series back in junior high and was a huge fan instantly. They’re hilarious and I recently gave them to my 10-year-old niece and she’s loving them as well. *happy*

    • I wish I found out about the Enchanted Forest Chronicles when I was younger. I know I would’ve loved Cimorene back then! Those books are perfect for young girls (and women young at heart).

  4. I agree, Angie is one of the best bloggers out there. I can’t believe some of the blogs that have 1000 followers aren’t even close to stacking up to Angie.

    Awesome post, this motivates me to read my copy of The Road Home.

    • I know what you mean. I have a feeling that for other bloggers, getting followers is important so they concentrate on hosting events that will encourage readers to follow them. Angie isn’t like that. I have a feeling that her followers are more loyal though. 🙂

  5. I agree! Awesome post. Couldn’t say it better. I, too was a lurker at Angie’s blog for awhile. Her book blog was my introduction to this whole online world that I’ve come to love, and what an intro it was! Her blog has so many wonderful things about it. First her content is always very original and well thought-out. Her conversational writing style makes you instantly feel at home and love her and her congenial personality which also immediately shines through. Not only that but the writing is so excellent and sharp that she can tell you why a book did or did not work for her in a very clear and concise way.

    As far as recommendations, I know she’s heard these from me before, but I’ll go ahead and put them out there: THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness and THE PERILOUS GARD by Elizabeth Marie Pope. 😀

    Thanks Chachic and Angie!

    • Holly, *grins* thank you for sticking on my case about the Ness books and the Pope. I will get there. I promise! 🙂 Then I will no doubt come crawling back begging forgiveness for putting them off so long.

    • Holly, I’m so glad Angie introduced you to the blogosphere. I never would’ve met you if you didn’t start your own book blog. 🙂 Yes, we’re all huge fans of Angie and her writing style. I want to be like Angie when I grow up! LOL.

      I’m going to take note of your recommendations also. I actually have a copy of The Perilous Gard but I haven’t read it yet. I should bump it up my TBR. I think I’ve had my copy since 2008.

  6. My goodness where to begin? LOL I guess the afore mentioned line of “I want to be like Angie when I grow up!” is a good place as any :D. (Nice line by the way Cachic) hehe. And to everything that’s been said before, amen!

    Angie, thank you, thank you, thank you for your blog! For all those fellow book lovers, who like me, carry such strong emotions for books, but find when it comes to writing them down words become stiff and stubborn and we sputter and plunder—And then your reviews come along giving words to all my emotions and calms my panicky heart (–and relieves my frightened keyboard that gets the brunt of my frustrated fingertips) I mean all those feelings, all those emotions are written right there in your review, beautifully, succinct, with that unmistakable signature of Angie. Thank you thank you THANK YOU! It gives me hope that it can be done 🙂 And then to top it off you’re such an awesome person to talk to, with questions or anything else. Thanks Again Angie and Cachic 😀

    • Kika, love the enthusiastic reply! Like you, it’s not that easy for me to write a review and I’m always in awe of those who could do it so well. Yes, it does give me hope that it can be done. Although it might take time, LOL. I’m just glad I could get recommendations from book bloggers who write better reviews that I do. 🙂

  7. Pingback: We Love YA: Chachic « Chachic's Book Nook

  8. Finally getting to this post after the conversation over on my blog about the YA phenomenon.

    I like what you have to say Angie! I’m not a YA reader myself, but I’m beginning to think that YA is a misnomer. I don’t consider Ender’s Game to be a YA book. The themes in the book are far to complicated for it to be YA in my book. When I think YA, I guess to me it means something different–it’s more the whole Gossip Girl, Harry Potter, Twilight, House of Night thing. Some of it is fantastic and some of it is terrible, but YA for me tends to be shorter books with simple language and uniquely teenage themes.

    So, I think YA might be a misnomer. The whole concept of YA didn’t even exist when I was in high school so I was kind of shocked to learn what a phenomenon it was.

    • That’s the thing with genres, the classifications usually blur because we don’t have exact definitions for it. There are a lot of YA books that are as complicated as Ender’s Game (and just as good, in my opinion) but I wouldn’t know where else to classify them except YA.

      I know, I felt the same way. YA wasn’t a big thing when I was younger and I was surprised by the big boom in the genre. Not complaining though because I love reading YA.

  9. Pingback: My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr « Chachic's Book Nook

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