YA Fiction Adults Will Love

YA Fiction Adults Will Love

Do you have a hidden secret?  Do you enjoy young adult (YA fiction) and children’s books more than you ‘ought’?  Perhaps this is because good children’s books have an atmosphere that is rarely found in adult novels.

Children’s literature often deals openly with the most transcendent themes such as the battle between good and evil and the supreme power of love.  These books dont gloss over the horror and fascination of evil, but in the end, in even the most realistic novels, good triumphs.

More often, adult novels focus on guilt, hypocrisy, perversion of good intentions, fate, social criticism, death, sexual passion, unjust accusations – all grand literary themes. Not always something you want to spend your leisure time pondering.

Younger literature also frequently plunges the reader into a world of archetypes.  Many operate on a symbolic level with meanings that cant be fully worked out.  And of course good prevails.

So stop feeling guilty, or weird and embrace your passion for younger literature.  Have fun with your reading.  To help you get started, we have reviewed .. of our favorite YA fiction – novels or series (we love reading series).  In no particular order –

WhyToRead Favorite YA Fiction (Young Adult)

1. The Amulet of Samakand  – Jonathan Stroud

YA Fiction - Bartimaeus TrilogyYoung Adult Fiction
(The Bartimaeus Trilogy) Nathaniel is a magician in training in a Great Britain where magic is the ruler. He is sold by his parents to a master magician to fulfill his noble destiny. His life is pretty calm until Simon Lovelace publicly humiliates him. So, as he vows revenge, he starts to read, learn and practice magic, until he can summon a 5000 year old djinn, Bartimaeus, to help him fulfill his cause.
The book is relaxed, yet fast paced and very hilarious due to Bartimaeus who is sarcastic, arrogant and powerful. Pair a smart-mouthed djinn with a kid with a wish for revenge, and humorous situations will unleash. The magic system is also very interesting but simple: spirits control magic and magicians control spirits. But the knowledge you have to acquire to act with power is boundless.  And djinn are very tricky.
With a detailed world, mythical creatures and fantastic magic scenes, the plot that thickens with every page. Laced with humor this is a firm favorite and very enjoyable book to read.

2. Cinder – Marissa Mayer

YA Fiction - CinderYoung Adult Fiction
Marissa Mayer has a new interpretation of the story of Cinderella and continues her story from where she meets the Prince. She takes the female character and gives her power, wisdom and the freedom of choice, making her an interesting and relatable character.
Enter the futuristic world of fairy tales where humans and androids live together. Cinder is a mechanic and a cyborg. When she meets Prince Kai, she finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic war.

But it’s not just a beautiful love story with a happy ending, even though this is an important part. The strong female character has an amazing evolution, as she discovers her past and figures out how to save the world.

3. Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy

YA Fiction - Skulduggery PleasantYoung Adult Fiction
Skulduggery is a powerful mage who lost his body in an epic battle. Now, he is a skeleton who is stuck in this world to save it from ancient evil. But to do so, he needs the Sceptre of the Ancients that was kept by his friend, Gordon who is now dead and the Sceptre is lost. He partners with twelve year old Stephanie, Gordon’s niece, to find the Sceptre and save the world.

This book has really fun characters and lots of wit and humour. Skulduggery has a huge ego and has lived an epic live. Stephanie is the kind of girl with the innocence of a child and a mouth of an adult.The dynamic between the two is unique.

The elements of magic and mystery and the thrilling world paired with this unlikely couple of heroes makes Skuldyggery Pleasant a hilarious and easy to read page turner.

4. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

YA Fiction - The Night CircusYoung Adult Fiction
Enter the world of the circus, The Night Circus, where you will meet unique characters who can do things with their bodies that you never thought it was possible.

But beyond the laughter and the games you discover a dog eat dog world of cutthroat competition between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, at the end of which only one will remain alive.

Discover the world of sparks, magic, contortion-ism and entertainment as you get to know the games that are played beyond the fallen curtains.

We loved the world building. The attention to detail of Erin Morgenstern makes you believe that you really are in a circus as you read the book. Also, the romance is simply breath taking and sweet.

The Night Circus is a book for all ages. The children will enjoy the game of illusions and the (young) adults will love the intrigue, the amazing, beautiful details and will relate to this circus as an organization.

5. The Screaming Staircase – Jonathan Stroud

YA Fiction - The Screaming StaircaseYoung Adult Fiction
(Lockwood &Co series) London has an epidemic of ghosts which adults cannot see or deal with. Teenager Lucy comes to the city hoping for a notable career, but she joins Lockwood & Co, a minor agency with lofty aspirations. Her first mission is to solve the case of a haunted house full of ancient and evil spirits.  This adventurous horror book is laced with humor and hints of a beautiful romance between Lucy and the dashing director of the agency, Anthony Lockwood.

Stroud is a master in creating alternative worlds that are so believable.  The world building is amazing. The foggy and muddy London is a perfect location for a horror story. The characters are well written, full of surprises and humors. The creepy scenario paired with funny lines makes for a really good book.  So if you find yourself reading all night (and you will) it is recommended to keep all the lights on.

Best of all, Stroud intends to make this a series, with the 2nd and 3rd books in the series already released.

6. Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

YA Fiction - Throne of GlassYoung Adult Fiction
Celaena is young assassin, imprisoned at the salt mines for her crimes. She is given a choice – become the Crown Price’s champion, which means some sort of freedom or die in the mine from starvation and work. The decision is easy. As she starts training for the competition, her adversaries, thieves and criminals, start to show up dead.

Enter the world of forbidden magic and killed magical creatures, of court living with all its enchantments and of course a world where insignificant creatures can change the setting.

Throne of Glass is a book about thriving one day at a time, even when the odds are against you. Celaena is a wonderful character who finds herself fighting for her own life not for the contracts she has.

Our young adult readers loved this book and series that follows, as did the parents. The setting is amazing and detailed, the characters are well built and the action kept us glued to the pages. The love triangle between Celaena, Captain Westfall, the captain of the guards and Prince Dorian is very mature and entertaining.

Young Adult Books – 3 Fantasy Epics For Everyone

Young Adult Books – 3 Fantasy Epics For Everyone

“Young Adult” is not a genre, but simply a marketing niche. Young adult books tend to be fast paced, frequently first person and feature teen protagonists (although the villain is likely to be adult).Young adult novels cover all genres, from space opera to serial killers, high school romance to epic fantasy. One popular genre in young adult fiction is of course dystopia. This genre has given us great books and movies such as Hunger Games and Divergent.  Another popular young adult genre is fantasy and science fiction.

Research is showing that over half young adult books are being read by those over 18.  So put away any hang ups at reading ‘children’s books’ as we review some young adult novels that we believe should reach fantasy epic status.  And who knows, maybe even a movie or tv series.

1. The Name of the WindPatrick Rothfuss

The first book of the Kingkiller Chronicle tells the story of the Kvothe, from his childhood and his rise to notoriety as a wizard. Fans of fantasy looking for an epic that could restore their faith in the genre can look no further than Name of the Wind. The storytelling is magical with solid character development from the start. Masterfully handled, the story is told from the protagonist’s first person point of view, with interludes in third person omniscient to give readers a clearer impression of other characters. Name of the Wind could easily be described as Harry Potter for slightly older readers. Rothfuss creates a detailed, believable world of academic magic; youthful exploits; love; humor; and revenge.

The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two is already released and we eagerly await the book 3 in what will surely be an epic series.

(Patrick has just announced  that he is in discussions for a possible  movie, TV series and video game.  We can hardly wait!)

2. Mistborn: The Final Empire Brandon Sanderson

Fantasy readers looking for something that goes a little bit beyond the genre’s familiar archetypes will enjoy the Mistborn trilogy.  Not only is its mist and ash-laden apocalyptic world intriguing, The Final Empire introduces an original magic system unlike any sorcery centric novel. The premise is also rather unique; it explores the question of what if the prophesied hero fails and the world fall into the rule of a Dark Lord? Despite its dark setting, the novel is face-paced and filled with likable characters that will leave readers engrossed in the adventure and looking forward to the two sequels.

For more in the Mistborn world, recently released is the The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel set a long time after the events of the original trilogy.

3. The Way of Shadows: The Night Angel Trilogy: Book 1 Brent Weeks

If you ever wish the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise was an action-packed novel series, The Way of Shadows will be the closest you could ever come to that wish. Follow the tale of Azoth who – in order to escape the treacherous life in the slums – apprenticed to the legendary assassin, Durzo Blint. Under his apprenticeship as a Night Angel, Azoth is given a new identity, forced to turn his back on loved ones, and develop an appetite for taking lives. Readers are set for a fast-paced and fun to read, although brutal at times, adventure filled with fantasy archetypes. Despite the archetypal character types – assassins, masters and disciples, unconquerable enemies – there are some brilliant and surprisingly believable characterizations that will endear readers to them.   An intriguing beginning to this young adult trilogy.

For other Young Adult recommendations, see our earlier list  6 Young Adult Books That Are Worth Reading

6 Young Adult Books That Are Worth Reading

6 Young Adult Books That Are Worth Reading

Young adult books remind us of books like Divergent or Hunger Games, but these books are filled with flat characters who go through the same ‘coming of age’ story that has been stale for a long time. Instead, we’ve found the books that have deep characters, open your eyes, change your view of the world and make you want to read more.

6 Young Adult Books That Are Worth Reading

1. His Dark Materials Omnibus – Philip Pullman

Young Adult Books

Philip Pullman’s dark fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials, ostensibly written for children, is actually literature of a much higher order. As such, it is always a joy to come across a book or series that engages people of all ages and keeps you thinking about it long after you’ve finished the books.

2. Earthsea Series – Ursula K. Le Guin

Young Adult Books

The books are a wonderful, well-told story of a young man, Ged, coming of age in a world where words can have the power of magic and dragons are as real as earthquakes.

3. Tomorrow, When the War Began – John Marsden

Young Adult Books

This is a series of 7 books about a group of Australian teens that are on a camping trip when Australia gets occupied by a foreign nation forcing them into guerilla warfare.

3. The Giver – Lois Lowry

Young Adult Books

An extremely thought provoking book, The Giver is a must read.

4. The Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett

Young Adult Books

The book is hysterically, laugh-out-loud funny for both younger and adult readers.

5. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Young Adult Books

The Book Thief describes that while being subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others.

6. Paper Towns – John Green

Young Adult Books

Paper Towns is pretty phenomenal, well developed and current. For new fiction, John Green is doing about as good a job as anyone managing the Young Adult / Adult transition, introducing tough topics with good writing.