Thursday, December 20, 2012

Young Adult Reading

As some of you may or may not know, I am still technically a student trying to get his library degree. I am currently taking a class in Young Adult Literature and Materials and I had to read over 20 books in about 5 weeks. No small task to be sure, but it did give me an opportunity to start reading recreationally again. I would like to take moment to talk about some of the books that really stood out to me.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
About: Sam LaCroix is a slacker, a skater, and college drop out. He works at a Plumpy's flipping burgers for a living. The job sucks, but he's determined to enjoy himself. But a little bit of fast food mischief leads to a busted tail light and caused Sam to have a chance meeting with Douglas. Douglas is a powerful necromancer and one evil dude. He seems to think Sam is too, and he's not happy about having any competition. This is all news to Sam, but Douglas makes him an offer: Learn to control his powers or die by his hand. Sam's life becomes flooded with the supernatural which doesn't make his decision any easier, but he's only got a week to figure it out.
My Thoughts: I found it incredibly hard not to laugh through this whole book. It paints itself as kind of a Comedy/Horror, but really its not much of the latter. Almost every scene in the book has some funny dialog exchange or ridiculous situation. I can best describe it as like watching a great B movie. Everyone in the book seems realize how ridiculous the situation is, so all the reactions are overblown and just as goofy. I laughed pretty much the whole way through it, it had some cool action moments, and even a few spots to tug at your heart strings. This was easily my favorite book of the project and I'm hoping this one gets picked up for a movie.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
About: Jacob's grandfather used to tell him stories of a place where children with superhuman abilities resided. Jacob took them as truth as a child, but start to pull away as he grew older and matured. But when Jacob turned 16 his grandfather was murdered by what seemed to be a monster. Nobody believes him. Overcome with grief, he tries to solve his grandfathers dying wish and find the home of peculiar children in the hopes of proving if the stories he had been told as a child were true, and hopefully solve the reason behind his grandfather's murder.

My Thoughts: I put this one off to the side a couple of times. By cover alone and blurb on the inside cover I was pretty much convinced I wasn't going to like this book. Oh how wrong I was. The book is full of interesting and fun characters, and has a interesting mix of emotional themes. There are points of mystery, action, romance, comedy all through out the book. It was just one of those stories where I genuinely sympathized with the protagonist, and fell in love with pretty much all of the characters. I couldn't put this one down and pretty much cover to covered it in a few hours. 

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
About: Ai Ling is a girl with troubles. On the day of her first betrothal... and rejection, she discovers that she has the ability to connect with someones spirit which allows her to hear their thoughts and dreams. Her troubles don't end there though, as he father goes missing.  She take off for the emperors palace to find him, and learns that she is tasked by the divines to put an end to an evil that has lived on for more than 2 centuries. On her travels she meets Chen Yong, a man on a quest for his own father who's fate seems intertwined with her own, all they while battling demons on each step of the way.

My Thoughts: Another one I was just ready to write off on because of its cover. Mine was different than the image presented and the blurb made me thing this was just a run of the mill coming of age tale of a girl in China. So I was pleasantly surprised when within a few chapters Ai Ling is fending off demons with a magic pendant and a dagger.  This story spans across all sorts of ancient Chinese mythology featuring demons, dragons, goddesses, and a giant monster constructed out of corpses. There is a lot of adventuring and action in the book so it provided to be anything but a dull read. If you are a fan of fantasy or mythology I would suggest giving this one a try.

That's all I have for now, I will be sure to make sure to post again with others from this project as there were many of them that I enjoyed reading. Each of these are the start of a series, and hopefully will have sequels in the near future.