Tag: young-adult

This was so wholesome. It’s a bit cheesy and silly since there are some contrived plot devices like in a teen romcom. Still, I enjoyed reading it.

When I was a teenager, I was skipping contemporary young adult fiction in favour of adult fiction or the classics. YA as a genre has come a long way in 20 years. There is a lot more choice and diversity. When I was growing up, there weren’t a lot of young adult books written about the Asian experience in North America or the West. I felt most YA novels did not represent my experiences so after awhile, I stopped reading them. In recent years, there has been much more choice in this arena even with the controversies in the publishing industry.

Case in point, while I’m not Asian or Korean American, I understood and related to these characters a lot more than YA books I read growing up. I got the jokes and the cultural references. While the protagonist Clara was annoying at times and too much of a smartass, she grew through the book. There are some genuine moments of character development and relationships grow believably in a teen book kind of way. I find it so light and almost effortless to see myself in Clara’s LA. It helps that I’ve gone and spent a holiday in Koreatown, LA. I liked all the characters with the exception of some of Clara’s old crew who read as being very two dimensional.

I am looking forward to reading more from the author. It’s been awhile since I’ve found an author who delivers light, breezy, and enjoyable fluffy novels.

Read Aug 27-28, 2020.

This is the final instalment to the Arc of the Scythe trilogy. I quite enjoyed this Young Adult trilogy. I feel like in some aspects it’s not that objectively good, but it was entertaining. I do not think I would recommend it to most people though given how dense these books got at times. It’s hard to describe why I liked them so much in some ways.

I think there are some interesting and entertaining ideas. I liked the cast of characters which involved mostly equal split of women and men. There is even a non-binary character in this one. I’ve found the character development relatively good for books mostly centred on world building, ethics, and action. I have to say that with the expanded universe and cast of characters, Citra and Roman are not really developed in this book. Maybe it’s because their development seems to have been mostly finished in the last book. I felt Roman should have had more development time in this. I missed Faraday as well.

All the books in this series are long and this was one was over 600 pages. The author adds a lot of details and it all comes together by the end which is satisfying. I do feel that some things were padded. Too many characters and time spent on plots here and there.

The first book in this series is being adapted to a movie. I do think it is better than Hunger Games and some other YA novels, but I can’t see how they can adapt it easily. There is a lot of violence in these books. I also feel most of these characters have deep internal lives and motivations that would not be easy to translate on to the screen given the world building.

I am glad to have read and finished this trilogy. While the books are long and padded, I don’t feel like it was dragged out. I enjoyed this series.

Read March 1-5, 2020.

What a lovely graphic novel. It has beautiful art which is fantastical and perfectly fits the mood of night time adventures. I already liked the style from the cover. It vaguely reminds me of a close artist friend’s style. The book uses really nice paper as well.

This is the second young adult graphic novel that I’ve read recently which I find amazing. I think this is an area of young adult fiction that does not seem to be limited creatively right now. It feels like there is a lot of space for authors and artists to explore or at least styles that I like. I am biased because I am really into children’s fiction these days.

The story is a coming of age fantasy adventure with two boys named Ben and Nathaniel. Ben is quite annoying at times because he is insecure but typically so of a kid his age. Nathaniel is earnest and sweet. You see Ben grow at least. I wonder if there will be a sequel or a series. The ending is left open ended for more adventures.

This novel seems to be set in the pre-Internet era when kids would play outside even at night. I guess nostalgia is a factor here too. I like to read about kids who also didn’t have too many screens growing up like myself.

I’ve read seven books in 2020 so far and half of them have been graphic novels. A good getaway into my reading year and as a reprieve after a long day working.

Read February 20, 2020.

Honestly, this book is required reading. I wish I had read this book when I was younger. It covers so many complex issues of race, culture, activism, and socioeconomics in a nuanced yet candid and genuine way.

Everything in the book felt real and sincere. It felt more authentic than a lot of teen fiction I’ve read in the last ten years. To be fair, I have not read a lot of teen novels, but this is one of the best I can recall in recent memory.

The dialogue is wonderfully crafty. There were definite moments in this book when I felt I was watching a TV show. I knew the characters so well by the last third that I could imagine it playing on screen. It is being adapted into a movie and I wish it could be a longer limited TV series. The amount of real character interactions and time spent with the protagonist Starr should warrant more than a two hour movie.

The book discusses some very deep and complex issues in the USA and the west today. At no point did it feel corny or trite. A couple of things were so messed up (such as Seven’s parentage) that makes me wonder if Thomas had taken it from real life. A lot of the other stuff on gangs, drug dealing, police brutality felt very real and familiar based on what I’ve read and heard.

It was a sad read a lot of the times. It was uncomfortable and upsetting too. I am not black and I could not completely know how Starr felt but her emotions, her thoughts, and her actions were believable. Very good storytelling.

This is the kind of young adult book I think most teens should read. I wish I knew of a teen I could give this too!

Great read.

Read March 28, 2018.

Yet another young adult novel set at boarding school! I’ve been attracting them this year. I’m starting to wish I could have gone to boarding school. Apparently, they make for interesting and intense upbringings. Of course, being a teenager is an intense and weird experience. I must say that young adult fiction is better now than when it was when I was a teenager. I read more adult novels from age fourteen onward than young adult novels.

This novel is very similar to Winger, and if I were to pick the two, I think Winger got to me more. It had more humour, but this one had some light moments too. I felt the rawness of youth with it. I also questioned mortality a lot when I became a teenager. A lot of the questions on religion an the after life posed in this novel affected me when I was thirteen and fourteen.

This was my first John Green novel and I chose to read this before his even more acclaimed The Fault in Our Stars. I liked the experience even though I find it a bit too dark and intense for me at times. I definitely think Green can write.

Recommended if you enjoy raw and honest young adult fiction.

Read December 29-30, 2013.

The Jungle Book

This edition of The Jungle Book includes an introduction from Neil Gaiman, and stories from both the first and second books. It features all the stories about Mowgli and one not with him.

I seemed to have missed out on reading this in my childhood. I got the feeling I started this when I was younger but never got around to finishing it. I still very much enjoy reading young adult and children’s books. I think I will keep reading them, and I hope to always find them enjoyable like I did this book.

I really liked all the characters in the Mowgli canon even Shere Khan the lame tiger. I do seem to appreciate stories about anthropomorphic characters though especially in young adult literature. Authors tend to imbue them with charm, innocence, but wisdom at the same time.

There were some good stories about life, death, and the nature of the world. It was sometimes sad as it can be with realistic stories. I think this is a good book about Man on earth and human’s relations to the environment and animals. A book like this is always good to remind us of what our role on this planet should or could be.

I think this a good read for all ages, and I look forward to reading them again.

Read June 4th 2012. This was the first book read for the Classics Club.


Timeless is Parasol Protectorate No. 5 and the last of this series. I have been reading this series since late 2010 I think. I like it because it has comedy, supernatural elements, steam punk and urban fantasy, but it isn’t as dark as some of the latter two elements usually. It’s fun ‘fluff’, but it also has some wit and great diction. The series is found in the young adult section of the library, but all the characters are adult and there is sexuality in it.

What I really adored from this series are the characters. That’s usually how it goes for me. While I like Alexia and Maconall, I have a fondness for the supporting characters and relationships: Professor Lyall (who reminded me of Harry Potter’s Lupin), Lord Akeldama, and Biffy. I was pleased that Biffy had even more prominence and perspective in the last book.

I recommend this series for those who like light supernatural series and Victorian times. It’s light and suitable for adults.

The next series The Parasol Proectorate Abroad will come out Fall 2013 and is suppose to be set twenty years in the future from the end of Timeless. I hope most of my favourite characters will become prominent in the next series and I look forward to seeing how Prudence grows into her powers.

Finished reading on the Kindle on April 7th, 2012.

Visit the author’s website at Gail Carriger.com.

This young adult graphic novel was nominated for the Eisner Award for Graphic Album in 1998. It tells of a wizard who is descended from a long line of evil wizards except he’s quite bad at being evil. He reluctantly has to set off on a quest for a magical book otherwise he’ll get kicked out of his castle by other evil wizards. There is a quest, there is romance, there is a squire who wants to be king, and a talking toad. It is a very short and quick read, and while it is a young adult, I think many younger readers would like it. It’s an unconventional sort of fairy tale with touches of humor throughout.

A prequel novella to the His Dark Materials trilogy. The story features on a young Lee Scoresby and his daemon Hester on a trip to the north where they first meet Iorek Byrnison. It is set more than thirty years before Northern Lights/The Golden Compass. This book is only of interest to those who have read Philip Pullman’s trilogy and is especially delightful to those of us who love the Lee and Iorek characters. I can recognise Pullman’s distinctive storytelling style; this little book had airs of his Sally Lockhart trilogy as well. The book also includes engravings by John Lawrence. I actually like engraving art and wish there was more of it now. The story is still full of fascinating things about the HDM universe; I always find the daemon idea fascinating. As usual, Pullman entertained and delighted me. Quick and speedy read at 95 pages.

The second and third book in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. So far, my favourite is still the first book though I did like Eclipse and the ending of New Moon. I read both of these on my laptop which is the first time I’ve read such complete novels on the computer. If it were any other books, I would be adverse to try it. These books were short and not too intense for the eyes. There are major spoilers under the cut.

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I was aware that this book was popular, but I did not know how so nor did I know what the series was about until my friend showed me the trailer for the movie slated for December 2008. The more I learned about the series, the more I intrigued I became and convinced I would like it. The book’s paperback version is 475 pages, but I finished it in only a few hours. The fast pace of the book is driven largely by its dialogue driven and suspenseful content. Things happen very quickly, and it really is not hard at all to see why this book is so immensely popular especially for females. It has the air of chicklit about it, but better because it is fantasy romance. I don’t read many modern romance centred novels, but I know many popular and classic fantasy series do not have the central, compelling relationship of Edward/Bella. Their relationship is a classic story of forbidden love except he’s a vampire and they are teenagers in love for the first time. I think Meyer is adept at writing a teen girl’s feelings and attraction. While the book is not that full of twisted plots or self-absorbed by its own mythology, it is really good book to escape with.

This book is fun. Sure the characters (e.g. Edward) are sometimes too perfect, and there is nothing truly distinct about the writing or prose. It has that ability to take you on a ride with Bella in her romance and adventures with these vampires. The relationship is so physically tenuous due to him being a blood sucker, and the fact these are YA books written by a devout Mormon makes the sexual tension rather high in these books. It adds onto the suspense and the fascination with their relationship in the books. The escapist nature of the books makes it immensely rereadable. I say this as someone who does not really re read often or who loves the vampires subgenres. As for the characters, I liked them all for the most part. I give Bella a lot of slack for talking about Edward’s beauty every other page while being self-deprecating. She is 17 after all. It is impossible to dislike Edward; he has been designed to be the perfect romantic and courageous leading immortal male. I also liked the other Cullens (vampires) and will look forward to getting to know them more. In fact, I have already started New Moon, the second in the series.

As for the movie, the LA Times has a great article and behind the scenes clip of the movie. It really is going to be one my most anticipated films of 2008. The buzz around it is crazy enough; doubtlessly, they will adapt the sequels.

When I read this book the first time, I was a little older than the protagonist’s age. I’ve reread the books twice since, in audiobook form last year, and yesterday before I saw the movie. I love the HDM trilogy because is an extremely well done fantasy series that is complex and layered. It’s definitely not just for kids and is rereadable for a variety of reasons including the questions and ideas it elicits.

The idea of a movie has been around for a long time, and I remember there had been some issues with the script and switching of directors. I am really glad it has been done. I enjoyed myself. It was great to see all the concepts in the books such as the daemons, and Iorek visualized. The special effects were some of the best things about the book. The casting is fantastic. I think everyone, including newcomer Dakota Blue Richards, did a fine job. I really want to the film to do well; this is actually the first time I’ve been in a movie theatre since May 2006. The success of this movie will determine whether New Line green lights the other two films. The ending is abrupt as a result which brings me to more in depth comments below.
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