Thursday, January 15, 2015
It's impossible to read all of the things.

We all know this (to our slight devastation) and perhaps as a result, we choose books that have made the award lists or had starred reviews or are climbing the best seller charts...we don't want to miss something truly great or entertaining. The readers that I admire (and this is most young people that I work with every day) are the ones who choose by cover or by reading the jacket copy. I love discovering their interests as they browse and decide after reading the first few pages.

It's the merit of the words that draw them in.

Similarly (and perhaps for the majority of us), we choose reading materials because of word of mouth. I'm not talking about the juggernaut that is a "blog tour" where everyone is saying basically the same thing over a host of sites. I'm talking about being so moved by a book that you HAVE to tell someone. This is where all of us Book Bloggers started. We had THINGS to say in response to story. It wasn't prescribed for us. We didn't have obligations or commitments. We read our own picks and then talked about it with each other.

I have nothing against marketing from book publishers. They've got a job to do and are just as successful as anyone else at creating buzz for a book (I mean, who knows what's going to be big?!)But I have this crazy, inherent belief that if a book is doing it's story job then someone is going to want to discuss it. Maybe not everyone. Maybe not all at once. There's loads of us still catching up on titles from five years ago.


But if you are going to be discerning with that beast of a tbr pile, you can not go wrong with these...

CHARM AND STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn

"Love doesn't always look nice."

I know, I know, what took me so long? It won the Morris last year (I've read nearly all of the nominees and winners since YALSA began shorlisting for this award) and was released in 2013, but I've only just managed to catch up with this one. If you have read JELLICOE ROAD and got past the first 100 pages...If you have read CHIME or WE WERE LIARS and decided to believe the narrator even if you didn't think you should...Then you are prepared for this book.
My advice: Go with the flow. Appreciate the flow, but realise you have no idea where the flow is going. And, by all means, guess along the way, but commit to those guesses like you would a George R. R. Martin character--knowing that they won't make it to the end. This book has carved out a space in my brain, has proceeded to crawl in...and I'm inclined to let it stay.

ROOFTOPPERS by Katherine Rundell

"Never ignore an impossible."

It's been a while since I read a Middle Grade book. And I'll admit this one is a cheat for a site declaring We Heart YA. Well call me Cheater McCheaterson because this book needs to be on your radar, bumping up your pile, in your hands and, might I suggest next to your pillow (a spot previously occupied by GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS and other beloved books I have trouble leaving on the shelf). I've read this book twice already in the space of a week and I'm taking a slower pace this time so that I can enjoy every crumb. It is, in a word, exquisite. It has charm, wit, adventure, perspective, wildness in an urban setting...and never have I wished to eat sausages roasted over a fire, by rooftop and weathervane, paired with homemade tomato soup, until this book. Magic.

So tell me: have you read these? Are you willing to gush with me? If not, what is stopping you?


Kristan said...

"guess along the way, but commit to those guesses like you would a George R. R. Martin character--knowing that they won't make it to the end"

LOL I love that -- and am also super intrigued by it!

And pssh, I'd say we're totally cool with Middle Grade novels here. We might LOVE Young Adult, but we're friends to ALL books. ;)

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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