YA of the Past, Present and Future

Checking out reviews of books!

Continue reading “YA of the Past, Present and Future”

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Looking at Fictional Schools

How is it already September? Time just keeps moving faster than faster!  Anyway, it is September, which means it’s almost time for schools to start, and if you read YA or MG books, you’ve likely wished that you could actually attend one of the schools from these books.

The obvious choice to attend is Hogwarts, but Penguin Teen offers a list of other excellent options.  They start the list with Grove Academy from Rachel Hawkins Rebel Belle series, where the main character becomes a paladin, powerful beings charged with protecting others.  Hawkins also wrote the Hex Hall series, about a school that welcomes various magical beings, from witches to vampires.  The Hex Hall series is a fun, quick read, whereas I can’t say anything about the Rebel Belle books.  The Penguin Teen list also includes Vampire Academy and Blythewood Academy from Carol Goodman’s Blythewood series.

The My Thoughts… Literally blog provides a top ten of fictional schools she would like to attend.  Her list includes the school for spies from the Gallagher Girls series, the magic school from The Magicians, and the assassin school from The Neverknight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff.  She tops her list with the school from Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series.  This series is set in a steampunk universe where Mademoiselle Geraldine’s School Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality promotes itself as your typical finishing school, when it actually teaches the girls there how to become spies and assassins.

Of course, some fictional school are far closer to reality than the ones I mentioned above. For example, the Wonderland YA reviews blog includes the school from The Perks of Being a Wallflower on her list.  The school from The DUFF also holds down a spot on the list

Upcoming Books and a Reading Challenge

Popcrush has selected ten books coming out this month as their most anticipated novels to check out before summer turns to fall.  They also list two honourable mentions.

YA Interrobang has picked seven August releases to check out, while contributors at Forever Young Adult reveal the books they plan to read this month, along with some reasons why these novels caught their attention

Penguin Teen looks beyond the end of this month, identifying fourteen books they want to check out in the fall.  I see a few familiar titles here, but also a few intriguing options that I hadn’t yet heard of, such as the YA noir Pasadena by Sherri Smith.

If you’re particularly interested in author’s debut’s, The Eater of Books has a feature you might want to check out, called Sweet Talk with the Sweet Sixteens.  Every week this year the site has pose three questions to the authors from the group called the Sweet Sixteens whose book is hitting shelves that week, if there are any who fit the bill.

What are the Sweet Sixteens? This is a group of YA and MG authors whose debut books will publish in the year 2016.  You can follow them at @theSweet16s.  Two other groups you might be interested in are the Swanky Seventeens and Freshmen Fifteens.  The three twitter accounts provide links to each group’s respective blog, though the Freshmen Fifteens blog has not been updated since October.

If you’ve been hoping for an Olympic style reading challenge, well, you’re a very unique person. And you’re in luck.  Epic Reads has launched the Reading Decathlon!  The site offer a gold, silver and bronze medal challenge, but they all involve reading ten books in ten days.  The gold medal demands ten novels, silver allows five graphic novels, and bronze brings novellas and short stories into the mix.

Looking for Your Next Great Read?

What better day for my first post on My Trending Stories than the best day of July, when Epic Reads releases the list of their most anticipated books for August?

But of course, it’s not August yet, and July is apparently National Ice Cream Month! Who knew?  Epic Reads did, so they challenged visitors to their site to choose between fifteen different kinds of ice cream to get a book recommendation.  For me, when it comes to choosing an ice cream, or any dessert, my first question is whether or not there is peanut butter to be found in it.

Sadly, none of the choices offered here provide a yes to that particular query. Therefore would probably be tempted by The Golden Opulence Sundae, provided it wasn’t me picking up the $1,000 cheque.  This would lead to a recommendation of The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee, though it’s not hitting shelves until August 30th.  It appears to be a cross between a teen soap and a dystopian story, and was actually considered to be sent to pilot by ABC this past season.  ABC passed, but Freeform and the CW seem like better fits anyway, and with Greg Berlanti behind the project, I could definitely see it landing at the latter as part of his plan to take over the entire network.

If I was scared off by the caviar in this sundae, I’d go with the tamer Mint Chocolate Chip option, netting me a recommendation of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Which I actually just picked up from the library.  This story follows a University freshman who struggles with social anxiety disorder, which hits rather close to home.

On a related note, if books dealing with mental health issues are your thing, Penguin Teen put out a list of ten books to check out back in May, which is actually Mental Health Month. I’m learning so much today!

The book that actually caught my eye on this list is A World Without You by Beth Revis, which hit shelves on July 19th.  However, after learning a bit about Revis’ inspirations for the novel, both from another Penguin Teen post and a YouTube video, I’ve been left with some trepidation about picking it up. The story is about a teen who believes he has time travelling ability, and accidentally left his also powered girlfriend stranded in the Salem Witch Trials, and apparently she began the novel thinking that the powers would be real, though the story morphed into a tale about mental illness. I can’t help but think I’ll end up wishing that she’d stuck with the original idea.

If you love mysteries, the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog offers six options for you to check out. On the other hand, Penguin Teen offered up ten books for fantasy lovers, and eight for those who specifically love the fantasy show Outlander. The one book that most strikes my fancy from these lists would have to be An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir.

Finally, there are a handful of upcoming books that I am keeping at least one eye out for. My Friends are Fiction offered a glowing review of assassin school story Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, while booktuber Meagan Precourt was equally thrilled with The Progeny by Tosca Lee, a supernatural story about a descendent of the infamous Elizabeth Bathory. Writer of Wrongs was delighted with P.S. I Like You by Kasie West, even if it did follow a predictable formula of the MC’s secret admirer being the person she hates the most.

Another book that has piqued my curiosity has received some very mixed reviews. Jess Hearts Books selected The Graces by Laure Eve, a witch story receiving comparisons to The Craft, as her book of the month for June. Even though it doesn’t come out until September.  Why didn’t anyone tell me book bloggers could get advance copies of books?  Lili’s Reflections offered a far more negative take on the book.

Penguin Teen has also released a sneak peek at The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn, a murder mystery set at a secluded compound,   as well as a look at the early chapters of Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, a middle grade fantasy story.