Who doesn’t love a good YA novel? I find that my favorite page turners are always from this section of the library. Even though I am over the intended age group for these novels (and so is 55% of those who buy them according to a recent study by Bower Market Research), I am still drawn to them when I’m looking for something different and a thrilling adventure.
It is always the warmer months of summer that I find myself becoming an avid reader again. The warm sunshine, extended days, and longer twilight hours create the perfect atmosphere to shift over to the YA genre and start a good series and expand your imagination. There are many reasons to start reading a series; the most important reason to me is the depth of the story. I have found that series usually have much more complex characters and character growth, better world-building and clever tie-in’s creating a more gripping, detailed adventure. Another advantage to reading a series is that there are more pages to read which is always good when you are really enjoying the story!
Lately I have been reading dystopian fiction and have had a great start to the summer with two authors of my favorite trilogies releasing the final book to their series in May. Raging Star By Moira Young, the final book of The Dust Lands trilogy, and The One by Kiera Cass, book three of The Selection trilogy.
Recommended by a friend, the Dust Lands is a series I would have never picked out on my own and after reading the summary on the back I was even more hesitant to give it a try. Desperate for a new good read I decided to give it a chance and soon after welcomed Moira Young on my list of favorite authors. The book follows a young heroine named Saba who always falls in the shadow of her “golden” twin brother Lugh. Because of their crazy pa, they live Isolated from the rest of the world at a place called Silverlake. On the day they turn 18, a cloud of dust rolls into their land and a group of men dressed in cloaks kidnap Lugh and ride off almost as fast and mysteriously as they came. Saba sets off after her brother promising not to stop until she finds him. On her journey Saba is kidnapped, forced into slavery, meets a resistance and discovers the horror of one man’s plan to change the world. At the story develops, Saba grows into a fearsome warrior who finds herself destined to help rebalance the world. On the cover of each book reads “Better than the Hunger Games” and after completing the series I would have to agree. The mark of a talented author is that each book is better (or equal to) the first, and this could not be truer for Young’s series. She masterfully builds an entire new world that you can perfectly envision, expanding it with every page and creating cliff hangers that make you refuse to put the books down.
I have been following Cass’ The Selection trilogy since the first book came out in 2012. Drawn to it by its eye-catching cover, I decided to give it a shot and within minutes found myself lost in Cass’ world. In the future, America is plunged into a war and reborn into a nation known as Illea. Filled with inequality, Illea has a caste system you are born into and ruled by a king and his royal family. A selection of 35 girls from every caste are given a chance to compete for the heart of the prince and to become the next princess of Illea. With a plot closely paralleling The Hunger Games, readers will find a familiar story following America Singer while she moves into the royal family’s home, fights off rebels and tries to change the caste system of Illea forever all while competing for Prince Maxon’s heart. Often reviewed as a Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, this trilogy is a perfect summer love story.
Sometimes the best way to relax during your lazy hours of the summer is getting lost with your imagination in a new world with memorable characters and an exciting adventure. There is something about a YA novel broken into different parts that seems to create a recipe for a memorable adventure. The YA section at the Oliver Wolcott Library is filled with other enticing series, a few of them being:
Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth : Three books and now a major motion picture, a future dystopian Chicago is broken into five factions. At 16 you are given a test to find out what faction you belong in, but what happens when the test is unclear and you fit into multiple factions and become something called divergent?
Maze Runner trilogy By James Dashner: When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Vampire Academy trilogy by Richelle Mead: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
~Jacqueline is a library assistant at the Oliver Wolcott Library