Chachic's Book Nook


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We Love YA: Aaron

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.

Aaron is the Filipino book blogger behind Guy Gone Geek. He’s an active member of Filipino Book Bloggers so I’ve met him on meet up several times. Actually, I first met him on the Goodreads group for Filipinos, where I used to be active. He loves to read YA books which shouldn’t be surprising since he’s at 19, he’s a young adult himself. Check out why he loves YA through his answers below and feel free to drop by his blog.

Why do you love YA?
May it be fantasy or contemporary, young adult books always include a hero’s quest, a wish-fulfillment, and most often than not, a happy ending. These three elements boils down to one thing: hope. And for me, that’s one of the many beauties in YA fiction. There is always hope. Sadly, this also the same reason why there are people who wanks off over the general notion that YA is escapist in nature. I’m not going to say it’s not. YA is escapist but all fictional works are. Whether it’s YA or literary fiction or even memoirs, whenever you read something about a life that is not yours, it can be considered as escapism. This is not a bad thing. I know I have already used this line as many times as I used my favorite pair of jeans but I believe it speaks the truth: By reading, we learn how to put ourselves on somebody else’s shoes and walk a thousand miles back from where it came from. It enhances our capabilities to understand one another.

It is true that some stories in YA may be somewhat unrealistic but it is the connection the author creates between us and the characters that makes them emotionally believable. These characters are easy to relate to because chances are, we’ve gone through what these character are going through. Being young comes with the feeling that we can do anything, that we can change the world or save the world from eternal damnation. These feelings are believably depicted by characters in YA. So why do I love YA? It makes me see hope, and at the same time, feel invincible and infinite.

What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
I love books with witty dialogues, badass heroines, complex anti-heroes/villains, fair amount of intrigues and controversies, strong but not heavy(if that makes any sense) worldbuilding, violence, and gore. With that in mind, these are my favorites:

Sci-Fi/Dystopia
Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins
GONE novels – Michael Grant
The Enemy – Charlie Higson
Unwind – Neal Shusterman
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness

Horror/Suspense
The Monstrumologist – Rick Yancey
The Secret Circle – LJ Smith (Don’t judge!)

Fantasy/Middle-Grade Fiction
Fablehaven series – Brandon Mull
Percy Jackson and the Olympians – Rick Riordan
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
The Gatekeepers – Anthony Horowitz

Contemporary
Paper Towns – John Green
Looking for Alaska – John Green
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Flipped – Wendelin Van Draanen

What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
First, if you want to get into reading, it is a safe bet to start with a YA novel. There is something for everybody. It is highly entertaining but you can still learn loads from it.

Second, it makes you awesome. I’m serious, these books really does makes a person awesome — well, in my definition of the word anyway. I’ve never met a YA reader, whether online or in real life, who is not clever, witty and full of jest. They know how to make a joke and how to take a joke. YA readers are really fun to be with. This is not to say that fun is all they got. Just like the YA books they read, they are also insightful and have a lot of nice things to say on profound subjects. Their views about life are beautiful and optimistic. This is one of the reasons why the YA blogosphere is such a very fruitful community.

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Thank you for doing this guest post, Aaron! I love what you said about hope being a prevalent theme in YA because it’s true. Probably another reason why I enjoy reading YA books. Now I get to recommend books, yay! I hope you get to follow them because remember that I recommended Ender’s Game and now it’s one of your favorites? I know you’re already interested in the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner so I’m backing up that interest by reminding you to read them soon. 😀 Other fantasy recommendations are series books – the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix and the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – the former involved necromancy (and zombies!) and the latter magic through demons. I also think you’d like Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy, the first two books are already out. Most of these books have awesome male protagonists so I believe they’re right up your alley.

For contemporary YA, I think you’d enjoy reading Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta because you liked Saving Francesca. Other contemporary YA novels that I’d think you’d like are Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley and Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood.

What about you, blog readers, what are books that you’d recommend for Aaron? Post your suggestions in the comments section.

Click here to view previous We Love YA features and feel free to contact me if you want to do this guest post.


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We Love YA: Tina

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 know I haven’t had a We Love YA post in a while and I’m sorry for that but I hope to bring it back again this year. Today, Tina of One More Page has graciously answered the three questions for this post. Tina is a fellow Filipino Book Blogger and with regular meet ups and chats over Twitter, I feel like I’ve gotten to know her well. Which is a good thing, in my opinion, because some of our reading tastes overlap and it’s always a good thing when you can talk to people in person about books. Get to know her a little better through her answers today and I hope you drop by to check out her blog too.

Why do you love YA?
I love YA because I am an adult who refuses to move on from being young. Haha, kidding. I love YA because there are so many things to read about it. It’s an all-encompassing genre – you can add everything in it and it comes out different. The fact that there’s an entire section in the bookstore for young adult says a lot. I love that there’s so many books to read under it which can range from serious to funny to sad and magical and maybe even a little bit of everything.

I used to think that I am not a YA reader because I considered all the books I read as “fluff” and prioritize chick lit over anything, but I realized as I read more and more that I really do love YA. Being a part of a good YA book blogger community helps a lot, too. 🙂

What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
I realized that I’m really big on contemporary YA novels above all other sub-genres I read. It’s only lately that I got to read some fantasy, so those lists would be shorter. 😀

Contemporary:
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Stargirl and Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Happyface by Stephen Emond
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Paper Towns by John Green
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson-Burnett
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth by Shelley Adina
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Fantasy/Sci Fi/Speculative Fiction:
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Feed by Mira Grant
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I haven’t read Jasper Fforde’s first YA novel, The Last Dragonslayer yet, but since he’s one of my favorite authors, I’m pretty sure I’ll like that too. And that is a biased opinion. 😉

What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
We were all young adults at one point in our life (some are even young adults still), and I find that there’s pleasure in seeing yourself in the characters in the books and knowing that somehow, you’re not alone. There’s also a satisfying feeling knowing that you know how the characters should act in the face of all the confusion – after all, we’ve been there, and we’ve gone through it, and we’re still okay. With the plethora of YA books out there, there’s bound to be one for you, no matter how old you are. Go and find one (or ask us for recommendations :P).

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Thank you again for doing this, Tina! I should check out your contemporary YA favorites. I finished reading Flipped yesterday and I really enjoyed it. I know I keep saying I’ll read a Sarah Dessen novel and I hope I get around to it soon. Now I get to recommend more books to you. *rubs hands together* Since you’re a big fan of contemporary YA, I’d start out with that genre first with some of my own favorites: Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (you can borrow this from me if you want since I know it’s only available in Australia) and anything by Jaclyn Moriarty.

Now on to fantasy books. *cue in devious smile* Let’s start off with the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner because you know I’m such a big fan of Gen. Plus, I know you already have copies of the books but you haven’t read them yet so consider this a not-so-subtle way of pressuring you to pick them up. 😀 Other recommendations that I’d think you’d enjoy are Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, the Daughter of the Lioness duology by Tamora Pierce (loved this even more than the Song of the Lioness quartet), the Abhorsen rilogy by Garth Nix (because you love zombies), Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (didn’t you buy this from Fully Booked Shang?), The Changeover by Margaret Mahy, the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud and the Lion Hunters books by Elizabeth E. Wein. Whew, sorry I got a little carried away with the recommendations. I guess it’s pretty obvious that I love recommending books. What about you, dear followers, based on her answers, what are books that you’d recommend for Tina? 🙂

Click here to view previous We Love YA features and feel free to contact me if you want to do this guest post.


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We Love YA: Holly

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 love that I get to feature some of my favorite bloggers here because of We Love YA. Today, I have Holly of Book Harbinger as a guest. I love Holly’s blog because aside from the fact that we have similar tastes in books, she writes reviews so well. If you haven’t been to her blog, I suggest that you go over there at once and browse through her posts. Holly deserves to have more followers with the way she can succinctly why you should or shouldn’t read a certain book. She has two degrees in art history and works once a week as an assistant librarian at her city library.

Why do you love YA?
Great question. I’ve loved YA for as long as I can remember, even before I knew the label existed. I didn’t read a lot in high school outside of required reading but when I did have some free time and especially in college I started with the YA classics I missed such as L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series and Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. That’s one reason I love YA because it’s for both the most novice and reluctant readers as well as the more experienced, seasoned readers. It can get non-readers excited to read and former readers started again.

Another reason I read YA is because more than any other genre “anything goes” as far as defying genre and writing original premises. While YA readership includes young and old alike, it’s targeted towards teen-aged readers and many YA authors write with that audience in mind. Young adult readers can be some of the most hard-to-please readers as well as the most open readers. The imaginative possibilities are endless for writers whose audience is less ingrained in their ways and more flexible in their expectations.

And the last and probably most important reason I read and love YA is because of the characters. I connect to well written YA characters just as well if not more than their older counterparts. More than we’d like to admit sometimes all adults have unhealed childhood wounds and lingering teenage insecurities. What a better way to laugh at and understand yourself than through the eyes of a YA protagonist. That combined with the many “firsts” young adults experience makes YA a genre that never fails to excite and compel me.

What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
Contemporary
Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Alexie Sherman

Sci-fi/Dystopian
Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Fantasy
The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

Fairytale retellings
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Historical fiction
The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope (also a retelling)

What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
Like almost any genre out there – from literary fiction to fantasy – there is truly a little something for everyone in YA. It’s just a matter of finding the right subgenre or author. It doesn’t hurt that YA is often more entertaining and page-turning than regular fiction. After all there has to be some way to motivate even the most reluctant young adults to read. 🙂 On the other hand there is so much intelligent, mature YA out there that there are plenty of crossover books to choose from. Just don’t believe in the negative stereotypes and you’ll be fine. Taking recommendations from a knowledgeable librarian, book seller, or blogger doesn’t hurt, either.
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Thanks for doing this, Holly! Like you, I started reading more YA when I had free time back in college. I remember I bought The Golden Compass back then and then I bought the sequels when I lined up for the final Harry Potter book. I like the idea of “anything goes” in YA because it really is true. I love how you talked about why it’s so easy to connect with YA characters because I couldn’t really explain why I feel that way.

I have to look up the books that you mentioned and add them to my wishlist. On to recommendations! While I love that you’re a fan of the Queen’s Thief series, I think we should add more fantasy to your list of favorites. I looked up your Goodreads and it seems like you haven’t read the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix, which is a YA fantasy series about necromancy. My favorite in that series is Sabriel although the latter ones are really good. Have you read any of Tamora Pierce’s books? All of them have strong female protagonists and set in Tortall, a fantasy land ripe with magic. My favorite is the Daughter of the Lioness duology because of the similarities of the main character to Eugenides but I recommend that you start with the Song of the Lioness series, the first of which is Alanna: The First Adventure.

For urban fantasy, I recommend the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud because the story is mostly narrated by a hilarious djinn. I remember laughing out loud at some of the sections of that book. Still in UF, I loved The Changeover by Margaret Mahy (which I read because it was highly recommended by Sarah Rees Brennan) and I’d love to know what you think of it.

I think that’s it for me, what about you guys, do you have any recommendations for Holly? 🙂


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We Love YA: Emily

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.

One of the perks of having a book blog is you get to connect with people from all over the world. I mean look at me, I’m from the Philippines. I think it’s amazing to find a person from another corner of the globe who likes the same books that I do. This is how I met Emily of Emily and her Little Pink Notes, she’s an Italian living in Dublin. I can’t remember how I found out about her blog but I do remember that it was because she loved Marcus Flutie of Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series that I decided to follow her. Since then, I’ve discovered that we like reading a lot of the same books and it’s been so much fun interacting with her online. Let’s all give Emily a warm welcome!

Why do you love YA?
“Sometimes you met someone that changed the pattern, who wormed their way past the cracks in your heart, caulked them up, sealed themselves in, and stayed there. Sometimes they did it by insisting you meet them at every step…” (Tap and Gown, Diana Peterfreund)

Those few lines describe the sort of reader I am, I don’t think about myself as a YA reader. I love reading, I love when a book is able to create all sort of emotions within me. I love when a book insists on my attention, slowly gets under my skin and becomes mine.

I like feisty heroines, human failures, sweet awkward characters, duplicity, clever dialogues, humour, rebellion, rock music, poetry, principles of love. I crave adventure.

Coming-of-age stories deal with existential issues and feelings that stay with us forever. I am thinking of that song by the Undertones “Teenage Kicks” (Are teenage dreams so hard to beat/ Every time she walks down the street/ Another girl in the neighbourhood/ Wish she was mine, she looks so good/ I wanna hold you wanna hold you tight/ Get teenage kicks right through the night).

Teenage dreams are hard to beat, what I am supposed to exchange them with? I reached a point in my life in which I am surrounded by people concerned about apartments, cars, material evidences of dubious achievements. YA characters are kindred spirits, at least some of them are.

Every time I enter a bookshop I go straight to the YA bookshelf because I know that lots of brilliant books are labeled that way. If the publishing industry needs to put label on things it’s fine by me, as a reader I would advise to experiment all sort of genres because most of the time what makes a memorable read it’s the writer’s ability not the genre, the plot or our expectations.

What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
Contemporary Fiction: It all started with Diary of A Crush by Sarra Manning (a British YA writer), I was hooked on Edie and Dylan’s story so I highly recommend those three books especially if you are 16 and able to enjoy their full potential. I adored the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. I recently discovered Diana Peterfreund and her Secret Society Girl series, I can’t recommend tit highly enough.

Other favourites of mine: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (I also really liked Looking for Alibrandi), Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice (it hasn’t been labeled as YA but it fits right into the category). Plus I would like to mention Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and This Side of Paradise by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, they are beautiful coming-of-age stories, two of my favorites.

When it comes to fantasy I grew up reading Tolkien (I read them all: The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Silmarillion) and Michael Ende (Momo, The Neverending Story), then I got really into Harry Potter, I read those books more than once, they are perfect for all ages.

I also want to mention Pullman, His Dark Materials Trilogy is a masterpiece. Recently, I loved Graceling by Kristin Cashore and I am currently in the middle of The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, those books are fantastic, well-written, engaging, fun. A few months ago I read The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley and I fell in love with Harry, I like smart brave heroines and Harry is memorable. I pre-ordered Mockingjay and I can’t wait to see what happens in Katniss’ world.

What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
I think the answer to this question lies within my blog. I try to write reviews that discuss the actual book but also let people into my world, I suppose this way fellow bloggers can understand if we have something in common and try one of my “picks”.

My friends know who I am, what I like, what I despise, where we agree and where we disagree, I have already succeeded in forcing most of them to pick up a YA book (Suzanne Collins is being incredibly successful).

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Teenage dreams are hard to beat, what I am supposed to exchange them with? -> Love that line! Thank you so much for doing this, Emily! I get your point about being able to relate more to YA characters than the people around you. Some of my favorite characters feel like they’re old friends. 🙂 You mentioned some of my favorite books in your list and I’m putting up the ones that I haven’t read in my wishlist.

Now, on to my recommendations. For fantasy, I have a feeling you’ll like Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith – the main character is an impoverished countess who tries to organize a revolution. Also, I’d love for you to give Tamora Pierce’s books a try. All of her books have strong female protagonists. You can start with Alanna: The First Adventure, the first in the Song of the Lioness series – which is about a girl who pretends to be boy to train in knighthood. Since you seem to be enjoying Megan Whalen Turner’s books, I’d like to recommend Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones since Howl and Gen are surprisingly similar.

For YA contemporary fiction, I recommend The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I really liked both of these. I’m not sure where A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb falls under but I highly recommend that as well. I believe all three are debut novels and I’m excited to see what these authors will write next.

For historical fiction, I’d love to know what you think of Eva Ibbotson’s YA books – A Countess Below Stairs, A Company of Swans, A Song for Summer, The Morning Gift and The Reluctant Heiress.

What about you, dear readers, what do you think of Emily’s answers and what are some of your recommendations for her? 🙂


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We Love YA: Michelle

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.

One of the reasons why I love blogging is I get to meet such lovely readers. Today, I have here a good friend of mine, who I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for the blogosphere. Please give a warm welcome to Michelle of See Michelle Read. Michelle was a former librarian and I guess that’s where she gets her talent for recommending books. I was very flattered when Michelle started commenting on my early posts (even when they were still in LJ) and I’ve gotten some pretty great recommendations from her. I read all her posts and I even comment on most of them! If you’re into YA and fantasy like I am, I highly recommend that you go over Michelle’s blog and check out her reviews.

Why do you love YA?
Truth be told, I wasn’t much of a YA reader as a teenager. Like many teens (at least those who grew up before the current YA explosion), I moved immediately from The Baby-Sitters Club chapter books straight to The Lord of the Rings and The Bourne Identity series. Not a bad jump, but it still left me missing out on quite a lot to be sure. I do often wish some kindly librarian would have stopped me during one of my many library rambles to point out some treasures like Alanna or The Dark is Rising or even The Changeover.

But luckily, I’m now making up for lost time. See, I’m no longer a teenager, but one of the reasons I always make a beeline for the YA section in any bookstores is this: YA books are intense by nature. I simply don’t think there is any other genre that captures the awkward newness that permeates every particle of your life as it does when you are a teenager. I particularly enjoy reading about teens who are dealing with complicated relationships. Relationships with their family, with their friends, and especially with the opposite sex. This aspect could also be stretched to include a protagonist’s struggle to establish a relationship with their own self.

Basically when they are confronted with tough situations that force them to make a choice that is neither black nor white and one that they can only decide for themselves – no matter how hard it may be.

Above all, I love those YA books that contain clever dialogue and witty observances on life and those around them. I love that change is a necessary part of every teenager’s existence and I am ever so grateful to those authors who are able to capture it in seemingly effortless ways.

What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
Whew. This is going to be a hefty list. My favorite books (whatever the genre) tend to include characters that are complex, intelligent and driven by some larger purpose. I cannot tell you how much I love it when a book is able to catch me by surprise. And I’m not just talking about plot-revelations-surprise but also in terms of character growth and development. Also, if it has any references to Russia I’m probably going to love it.

Contemporary Fiction:
The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty
The President’s Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fantasy:
The Demon’s Lexicon, The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Fairy-Tale Retellings:
Beauty by Robin McKinley

Historical Fiction:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spear
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White
A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson
Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

Dystopian Fiction:
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
If you haven’t read a YA book yet, why not? This truly is a genre with something for everyone, no matter your reading preferences. There are countless superbly written fantasy, contemporary, dystopian, and even humor books to tempt even the pickiest readers. And if you are worried about any stigma being attached to reading YA, don’t be. No one should be able to pick which books you like or dislike. If you start something and it’s not what you are looking for, put it down and go find something else. There are simply too many amazing and memorable novels available to waste your time on something you don’t enjoy. That said, don’t be afraid to give something new a chance too. Because after all, isn’t part of being a teenager all about trying new things for the very first time?

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Thank you for your wonderful answers, Michelle! I agree with you on the intensity that can be found in YA novels. I also feel like I’m making up for lost time when it comes to YA books. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back in time and recommend some of our favorite YA books to our younger self?

I love your list of favorites, by the way. There are a lot of familiar titles in there and those that aren’t familiar will be added to my wishlist. Now on to recommendations, I think it’s hard for me to recommend books that you haven’t read because you’ve read so many. So I checked Goodreads and it seems like you haven’t read Elizabeth E. Wein’s books and I’d love to know what you think of them. I started with The Sunbird and followed that up with the Mark of Solomon duology: The Lion Hunter and The Empty Kingdom. I’m curious if you’ll like the main character, Telemakos, as much as I did.

Since you also enjoy humor in books, I recommend the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud: The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye and Ptolemy’s Gate because I find Bartimaeus pretty hilarious. I also love Garth Nix’ Abhorsen Trilogy: Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen and I have a feeling you might like his particular brand of fantasy as well.

For contemporary fiction, I know you’ve read Jellicoe Road and I wonder if you’ll also like Melina Marchetta’s other books, Saving Francesca and Looking for Alibrandi? Also, I’m not sure if you’ve given the Jessica Darling books by Megan McCafferty a try. It starts with Sloppy Firsts and the male protagonist in that one is one of my fictional crushes (I ♥ Marcus Flutie). You also know how much I enjoyed reading The Sky is Everywhere so I’m throwing out that suggestion too.

Okay, I think that’s it. I’m out of suggestions. What about you, dear readers, what are your recommendations for Michelle? 🙂


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We Love YA: Chachic

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.

Yes, as weird as it seems, I’m going to feature myself here today. I know I just posted Angie’s We Love YA feature last Friday but I wanted to participate in The Book Smugglers’ free for all event for their Young Adult Appreciation Month. I emailed them on Friday to ask for suggestions about a post and Ana replied and said it would be a good idea to answer the We Love YA questions myself. What’s funny is, I thought of the exact same thing right after I sent her the email. So here goes.

Why do you love YA?
Recently, my high school barkada (Filipino term for group of friends) and I looked over old letters and pictures. Yes, we all had a good laugh over how we all looked back then and how emotional our letters were. We all noticed that we were all so intense as teenagers. We felt strongly about everything and the smallest things affected us in very big ways. Imagine bottling up all of those feelings and storing them inside a book. That’s what YA books do. A YA book captures a slice of life and serves it up in a compact package.

Why do I read YA? I’d like to quote C.S. Lewis here: “We read to know that we are not alone.” It all boils down to this – I read YA because I can relate to the characters. This doesn’t just mean that I can relate to them because I experienced something similar or because I want to face the same adventures. What I mean is I can just relate, simply because I can understand their thoughts and actions in relation to their situation. You know that feeling that you get after reading a particularly good book, when you feel like you experienced everything with the characters and they’ve become old friends because you went through so much together? Doesn’t that always amaze you? I always find it remarkable when I come across books that I can totally relate to, the ones that can make me say, “This is why I read!”

What are some of your favorite books/series/authors?
I always pimp out my favorites to any who’d care to listen. I even have a list here in the blog, complete with links to the reviews that I have but let me make it easier for you guys and enumerate some of them here.

Fantasy
The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner – The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, A Conspiracy of Kings
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
Sasharia En Garde duology by Sherwood Smith – Once a Princess, Twice a Prince
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore
Daughter of the Lioness Duology by Tamora Pierce – Trickster’s Choice, Trickster’s Queen
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman – The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye, Ptolemy’s Gate
The Changeover by Margaret Mahy

Fairy Tale Retellings
Beauty by Robin McKinley
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

YA Contemporary Fiction
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Jessica Darling books by Megan McCafferty: Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, Charmed Thirds, Fourth Comings, Perfect Fifths

Historical Fiction
The Lion Hunters series by Elizabeth Wein – Sunbird, The Lion Hunters, The Empty Kingdom
A Countess Below Stairs, The Reluctant Heiress and A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson

What can you say to encourage other people to read YA?
Most of my friends in real life don’t read my blog. Why? Because most of them don’t read or when they do, they don’t read the same kind of books that I do. Whenever they tell me that they’re not into reading, I always say that it’s just a matter of finding the right books. Maybe you feel like you don’t like reading because the books that you’ve read don’t speak to you and you can’t really relate to them. I follow that up by asking what are the sort of books that they think they’d like. Fortunately, YA has so many genres under it so it’s easy to pick a book that would match the description that they give. I love giving recommendations but it always feels better when you know that a person loved the book that you recommended.

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Whew, those were difficult questions! To everyone who did a guest post for me for this feature, I have more respect for you guys. I didn’t expect it to be so hard to answer three measly questions.

So, so, so. Based on my answers, do you have any recommendations for me? 🙂


26 Comments

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!

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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? 🙂