Tuesday, May 8, 2012

YA Sub Genre Rec Tag!

First, I have to say...

Klaus!!! Why?! I am sad...

Anyway! So, recently I've been watching Daniel (Danny) Marks' YouTube channel...he vlogs. super funny. He talks 99.9% of the time about books: book reviews, bookshelf invasions, book hauls (I need money), small readings of books, writing/being a writer (and all that goes with it), and more! So if you like these topics go check him out here: http://www.youtube.com/user/dannymarksya

sidenote: he's darkly humorous and has a "slight" obsession with anything related to that topic. sort of an upbeat sombre attitude if you will. my inner goth appreciates him (she comes out on Halloween).

Back to recently. Danny posted a video tag quite some time ago about YA sub genres. He made an alphabetical list of all the sub genres he could think of and gave examples of books he enjoyed from each one. I loved it, so I wanted to do the same; I'll include books I've read and books I want to read.

Here goes:

1. Angels:
I haven't read a whole lot of books about Angels, but I did enjoy Fallen by Lauren Kate
I love the book cover. It's dreamy and dark, yeah? 

Description (book 1): "There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her."

Recommendation: This book is part of a series, which I like, because in YA you don't always get a really detailed description of the world and characters; but with a series, I feel like I get to delve just a little deeper. On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know that angels were going be major characters, so that was a surprise (sorry if I ruined that for you). There are a lot of fun characters and each one is unique. Plus it has a dark tone, which excites my inner goth. 

wait wait wait!!!! How could I forget?! The Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson. 
 I love this series. Max, the main character (took me forever to figure out she's a girl), is super witty and a smart-aleck (that's so not me, but I wish I could be like that, so I love it). I never know who to really trust in this series, so I like the element of mystery. This book is a twisted version on science experiments gone wrong, but it's also a coming of age story that goes back and forth between the main character's perspectives. A great read for girls and boys of all ages. If you're wondering, "What about angels? You didn't mention angels". Good question. This book is quasi angel based. Think of it as rebellious science experiments with wings. It still counts in my book.

Want to read: maybe Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. Have you read it? Did you like it?

2. Apocalyptic: Most would go for The Hunger Games, which in most cases I would recommend (I still do. You should read it. Broaden your horizons.), but I think the most appropriate book to choose is The Host by Stephanie Meyer.
Descritption: "Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.
Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love."

Recommendation: ooooo....from the beginning, this book grabbed me by the heels, dug into my brain like a tick, and I didn't even mind. Sort of Body Snatchers-esque, but completely unique. By far, I think this is Stephanie's best writing. It's gritty, moves gracefully between fast paced action and Melanie/Wanderer's inner dialogue (I think Danny Marks calls them "asides"), and shows a new interpretation on alien invasion. Who knew they could be so "peaceful". 

sidenote: if you don't like sci-fi, I'd still recommend you read this. It's about so much more than aliens, and I've heard many people say they were surprised they liked the book so much since they abhor sci-fi. Basically, if you boil it down, this book is more about acceptance, fighting for what's right, and working together (and it has romance, which I always love). Also, there's about two handfuls, maybe three handfuls of characters to get to know. It's a really thick book; but the more the merrier, right?

P.S. sidenote:  I will also recommend Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, because it's exciting, kind of realistic...in a science-y-the-atmosphere-could-wreak-havoc-and-humans-could-separate-into-two-groups-of-people-who-do-not-trust-one-another-but-have-adapted-in-special-ways-in-order-to-survive-the-elements kind of a way. I mean, it could happen, right?

Description: "EXILED from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive.

A HUNTER for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile--everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must learn to accept one another to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky."

Want to read: I've heard good things from Danny Marks about the Gone Series by Michael Grant. Also, I've lingered over The Maze Runner a few times, but I'm not sure how scary it is (I can't handle horror). I generally like thriller/suspense, but if it's super graphic/violent........not so much.
3. Contemporary Romance: This one is kind of hard, since I don't tend to read books set in reality. But from the ones that I have read, I generally like the "cotton-candy" type books. Those are everywhere though, so I'm going to say (I really can't believe I'm saying this, but) The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen.

Description (book 1): "Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent."

Recommendation: This one is super hard for me to recommend, but if you want to expand your book horizons, then I'd say go for it. It's full of old history gossip, luxurious parties, hidden trysts, envy, betrayal, heart-brake, forbidden romance, and finding yourself. Godbersen really knows how to sink deep into the world, so you feel as though you are in 19th century New York. Each book is centered on a different girl (and one guy), but goes back and forth between all of their POVs.   

Want to read: hmmm...I read the first two books in the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles a while back. I enjoyed them, but haven't gotten around to buying Chain Reaction yet. I don't really have anything else in mind for this genre. Is there anything you can recommend to me???

Endnote: This tag is officially long. It's going to take me a little while to get through each sub genre, so I've decided to post 3 or 4 recommendations at a time. Feel free to share your recommendations in the comment section. I'd love to know what you guys enjoy reading. Until next time...

-Hope your day is bright (mine sure is)
Olive juice

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