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You may have noticed I’ve been kind of quiet for a while.

26 May

It’s not because I’m dead (or am I?). It’s because I am now part of a project that takes up a huge chunk of my heart, brain, and time. I briefly entertained the idea of maintaining YA or GTFO as well, but I just don’t have the time to do both. So, dear readers, this is me saying that, for now anyways, I’m not going to be updating this blog anymore. Don’t be too sad, because you will still get pretty much all of the same content PLUS A WHOLE LOT MORE over at my pride and joy, http://www.bookpunks.com. Check it out, follow us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bookpunks), spread the word. Maybe someday I will fall ass backwards into money and have time to do all the things, but for now, mwah. It’s been real.

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Best Books of 2013

2 Jan

OK, so I’m a little late doing the obligatory best books I read in 2013 post. Shit happens.

My list is going to be a little different than most biblio-centric “best of” lists, since I’m not only going to focus on 2013 publications. I read a bunch of stuff published in 2013 that I loved, but also some slightly older titles that deserve to be recognized. Also, not all of these books are YA, but I think most of them have teen appeal and could theoretically be considered crossover. So, without further ado..

157835141. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Terrifying and beautiful, this book stuck with me long after I finished it.

 

 

 

1860742. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I was a few years late on this one, but this epic fantasy is so rich and delicious I had a hard time putting it down.

 

 

 

9781423152194_custom-576e89df094fe00930112e441b559f8db507b92e-s6-c303. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wien. Get out yer hankies, people. This meticulously plotted ode to female friendship set in WWII is a doozie.

 

 

 

897244. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Shirley Jackson is the master of Gothic weirdness, and this twisted narrative from one of the best unreliable narrators of all time is creepy, disturbing, and occasionally hilarious.

 

 

 

Dream-Thieves-Cover5. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. The second in the Raven Cycle features more well-defined characters and a galloping plot paired with some heavy, resonant themes. Plus: magic and shit.

 

 

 

whales_on_stilts6. Whales on Stiltsby M.T. Anderson. I would be remiss in not passing this gift of a book on to my readers just because it’s intended for children. It is one of the weirdest, funniest things I have ever read, and honestly a lot of the jokes will go over most children’s heads. It’s just the best.

 

 

172623037. More Than This by Patrick Ness. If I can be relied on for anything, it’s loving the shit out of everything Patrick Ness does. This is no exception, but I would venture to say it’s the least accessible of everything he’s written thus far. You have to just accept that you aren’t going to understand what’s going on for most of the book, and also be ready to feel seriously depressed because this one is by far the bleakest of an already bleak catalogue for one of YA’s best writers.

 

 

letsexplore8. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. New David Sedaris. ‘Nuff said.

 

 

 

 

The-Coldest-Girl-in-Coldtown9. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. Bloody, frightening, and even surprisingly thought provoking, this one is just plain fun.

 

 

 

1281255010. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. Another second book in a sequence, this one marks a departure from the urban fantasy of the first in favor of straight up high fantasy. I know that Taylor lost a lot of fans with that departure, but as a lover of fantasy I still love these books HARD.

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

14 Jun

10165761Title: Quintana of Charyn
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 528

There’s a babe in my belly that whispers the valley, Froi.

I haven’t written a review for a long time. The reasons for this have been many, and by many I mean two: I’ve been really busy and kind of lazy about my writing, and I kind of fell out of love with YA for a while after reading quite a few duds. I’d love to say that the much anticipated Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta would undo that funk, but it didn’t. Not because it was a bad book – I really liked it – but because to be honest, I don’t really think it’s a YA novel.

This book is going to be more or less impossible to sum up since it took me a couple hundred pages to even figure out what was going on, but I’ll try. Quintana, the mad princess of Charyn who was systematically raped for much of her young adult life, has been smuggled out of the Citavita and is hiding with Charynite refugees in a cave by the border of Lumatere. She is pretty damn pregnant. Froi is searching for her and unraveling more clues about his past while working towards stabilizing Charyn for his and Quintana’s child, who will be king/queen if they survive. Isaboe is also pretty damn pregnant and trying to figure out what has happened to Froi, the spy she sent into Charyn many months before to assassinate the king. She’s also really grumpy about these Charynite refugees. In fact, everyone is grumpy. Lies. Treachery. Surprises. Grumpiness.

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