For YA Readers: Read These Now

So I've been reading a lot, lately. While I haven't written any book reviews in a while, I'd like to share with you some fantastic YA novels that I've had the pleasure of reading recently that more than deserve an enthusiastic recommendation.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, I give you three YA books that you really must read.

Goodreads summary:
Photo credit: Goodreads
"In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him. 
When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. 
She never expects to become Po's friend. 
She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."
I'm not sure why I put off reading this for so long, but I am so glad I finally sat down with it. Graceling was my favorite combination of elements: action, romance, loss, victory and a supernatural twist. The romance especially stuck with me—it was realistic, perfectly paced, and at times heartbreaking. It didn't fall for typical YA tropes and I found Cashore's take on Katsa and Po's relationship refreshing.

As for the characters themselves, Katsa was a breath of fresh air. She's easily one of the strongest female protagonists I've ever read—stubborn without being unlikable, and caring without being weak. I’ve added the companion novels (Fire and Bitterblue) to my TBR list and I look forward to reading more about the Graceling realm.

Photo credit: Goodreads
Goodreads summary:
it's almost 
time for war. 
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. 
She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. 
Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. 
In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life."
This book. THIS BOOK.

If you caught my review for Shatter Me way back when, you know that I absolutely love Tahereh Mafi's unique writing style. She is truly an author whose voice you can't mistake for anyone else's, and she manages time and time again to blend poetry with high-action, emotion-packed novels. I devoured Unravel Me in 48 hours, and I loved it.

I will say that there were moments were I got a little frustrated with Juliette (the protagonist), but I was glad to see her growth in the story. Unravel Me will take your emotions, rip them up, stomp on them, set them on fire, then hand them back to you with a wink and a smile. I need to know what happens next.

Goodreads summary:
Photo credit: Goodreads
"Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh—to build a home—on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. 
But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight. 
Amy and Elder must race to discover who—or what—else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed—friends, family, life on Earth—will have been for nothing. 
So, as of this writing, I haven't actually finished Shades of Earth yet, but I couldn't leave it out because it is so good thus far. Seriously.

I don't usually read sci-fi, but the Across the Universe trilogy has easily become one of my favorite trilogies. I've reviewed the first two books (or should I say, rambled about how awesome they are) and the final book is turning out to be a doozy.

If you like exciting, twisty mysteries and with lots of deaths, I definitely recommend you give Across the Universe (and the rest of the trilogy) a try.

Has anyone else read these? If so, what did you think? And for those of you who enjoy YA, feel free to recommend some of your favorites—I'm always happy to add to the ever-growing TBR list


J. A. Bennett said...

I've read all of them, sweet!

Lori Lopez said...

Read the first one, loved it. Have read the entire triology. Might pick up the others.

Ava Jae said...

They're fantastic, aren't they? :)

Ava Jae said...

I look forward to reading the rest of the Graceling trilogy. And the others are incredible as well. ^_^

Lady Bren said...

Currently the Matched series is big here
unfortunately YA books don't get published as Audiobooks bery often :(

Ava Jae said...

I read the first two books of the Matched series, but I haven't read the final book yet. (It's a trilogy, right? I thinks so...)

That's interesting about audiobooks. It never occurred to me that there might be a genre disparity...

Margaret Alexander said...

I've heard so many agents rave about Graceling so I really want to get to it. I read the first few pages of Shatter Me, but it just didn't speak to me. I was a bit estranged by the "they put a guy in the same room as me, zomg!!" lol, and I'm not much of a sci-fi fan. I'll probably read at least one of them at some point, though :) Thanks for sharing, Ava!

Ava Jae said...

I can understand that about Shatter Me. As for Across the Universe I don't really read very much sci-fi either, but I think what really drew me in is that there's a lot of mystery and excitement and twists and yes. :)

And Graceling was great. Definitely enjoyed it. ^_^

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Margaret!

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