Posts Tagged ‘ daughter of smoke and bone ’

YA Friday: 3 Must Reads Include ‘Blood & Starlight,’ ‘Beta’ and ‘Every Day’

Friday, November 9th, 2012

My inner teenager needs to throw a party. By this time next Friday, I’ll have my tickets to the November 16 opening of the final Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Pt. 2. I am a proud Twilight Mom who will be cheering for vampire Bella and her new hybrid baby.

But that’s just icing. The cake involves three amazing new young adult books that whisked me away and made me see life differently. For fun, emotional and resonating escapes, I adore Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor, Beta by Rachel Cohn and Every Day by David Levithan.

Okay, so I haven’t read Days of Blood & Starlight yet. It’s the sequal to Daughter of Smoke & Bone that was my number one YA book addiction last year. It follows the plight of a blue-haired heroine named Karou who glides in and out of other-world portals delivering teeth to a father who looks like a monster. Enter a vicious and beautiful angel named Akiva and shocking secrets unravel. The author’s language and imagination are breathtaking–and fantasy isn’t usually my genre. Laini weaves teenage love and insecurity with religion and racism and too many other engrossing topics to list. I’ve been biting my nails waiting for Blood & Starlight. My poor kids will not get much attention this weekend. Lucky me, there is a third book on the horizon in this trilogy.

Another favorite author, Rachel Cohn, just released a startling futuristic book about a beautiful clone with pink eyes who isn’t supposed to feel anything. She is a human robot of sorts who is created to serve the richest people in the world on a small island so beautiful that even the air is intoxicating. Rachel Cohn had me hooked with her earlier books like Gingerbread. But this one is vastly different. She switches from realistic dramatic fiction to science fiction with humor, insight, intelligence and a wild imagination. Readers will be totally surprised to find out what the clone, Elysia, is capable of doing. I’m happy I’ll get to read more of Elysia’s story. Beta is the first of a four-book series.

David Levithan’s beautiful trademark lines are often about thoughtful and complicated people who are in dizzying relationships. He, along with Rachel Cohn, wrote Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist, which was turned into a great movie. Last year, David tried his hand at adult fiction and wrote a book I’ve gone on and on about: The Lover’s Dictionary. (If you like 500 Days of Summer and other indie flicks, this is for you.) Every Day, his summer young adult release was so different from anything I’ve read. It’s about a sort-of person named A who wakes up in a different body every day. A falls in love with a girl, but A is not male or female. Things get complicated because A can be anything–beautiful, ugly, sweet, smart, mean and more. A is a loving, kind being stuck in an ever-changing and impossible situation. The commentary about gender and color lines are tear-inducing.

Read these books, or give them to an adult or teen. They will make you relish young adult fiction and the way it can bring you back to high school without really having to go back to high school. That is perfection. Do you read YA? What are your favorites?

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