Tag Archives: Marie Lu

YA – My top 10

Hello, Hope this post finds you all well! So much is happening in real life that I’m struggling to find time to post to all you lovely people. My sister is getting married in just under 1 week  so it is a very exciting time for the family :).

Young Adult literature can be traced back to WWII where our teens found themselves needing a form of book that could bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood. Many books can be seen as YA (The Lord of the Rings, Catcher in the Rye) but it has been the sudden increase in popularity (thanks to Harry Potter) that has seen an emergence of some great YA books.

Today I thought I would share my top 10 of YA books and series. Some of them will have been reviewed on here but some haven’t so take a look and see if you would add any to this list! (not in a particular order)

#1 – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Yes I thought I would start with the most obvious YA series and one that is on everyone’s list. The Hunger Games is a great trilogy and I feel that the films are just as good (quite an anomaly). It follows Katniss as she volunteers for her sister in the 74th annual Hunger Games, a disgusting reminder of the power the Capitol has over the districts of Panem after the destruction of the USA and the uprising that occurred. Portrayed as a ‘competition’, this is really a way for the government to remind the citizens that they can kill anyone who crosses out of line. Unfortunately for Katniss, in trying to keep alive she unwittingly becomes the face of the new revolution.

#2 – Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

An excellent series that has spawned the spin off of Dangerous Creatures. Far superior to the film (which completely changes the ending). Whilst I haven’t really enjoyed Garcia and Stohl’s stand alone novels, Beautiful Creatures has great main and supporting characters, interesting plot and well crafted romances.

#3 – Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

This trilogy was just equisitly written. A werewolf romance story is the basic storyline but it is so much more. When the tempreture gets below a certain level, Sam has no choice but to be a wolf. He is ripped from his human form no matter the place or time. If he wishes to stay human for longer, then he needs to stay warm and not just pull a jumper on warm. Grace has always seen the wolves near her garden, in fact she had a strange interaction with one when she was little and now always sees him as her wolf. When she discovers what he is, they fall in love but can they cope with the pressures of this lifestyle and can Sam keep returning into his human form?

#4 – Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

From my last post you could have probably surmise that Vampire Academy was going to make it onto this list. The story of friendship, love and high school mixed with vampires and guardians makes Mead’s first foray into YA a truly great one. The characters are great, the twists surprising and the plots enjoyable. A series of 6 and it seems to end too soon.

#5 – Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Luckily, Mead must have thought it ended too soon to as she carries on the world forged in Vampire Academy in Bloodlines. Instead of following Rose, Dimitri and Lissa, we follow Sydney, Adrian and Jill. Sydney was a secondary character appearing in a few of the VA books. It’s interesting to see her as she is so anti-Vampires to begin with and has to overcome this prejudice but in return is shunned by her own people for this acceptance. A very different problem to that of VA but one that seems much more realistic and poignant in today’s world.

#6 – The Girl in the Box series by Robert J Crane

Robert J Crane is a self-published author and someone who has been kind enough to help me with my MA. He recently answered some questions for me towards one of my case studies. Besides being a lovely man, he is also a great writer. The Girl in the Box Series is excellently written, edited and set out. It’s very professionally done and I would highly recommend that if you have never read a self published work before, start with Crane’s. Writing with a female protagonist as a man must be hard but Crane has managed to get all the teenage girl angst so true and congratulations to him for being the only male writer on this list!

#7 – Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

The Legend Trilogy is like a cross between The Hunger Games and The Divergent Trilogy. There is the shunned part of the city (as District 12 is) and the elite part of the city (think Panem). However, there are classes like there are in Divergent that the elite can partake in. We see that this new country is flawed and our two protagonists are thrown together. The ending is better than both of the above mentioned books. It doesn’t let you down as much as The Hunger Games does and it doesn’t destroy you as Divergent does. Great solid trilogy and a worthy option within this list.

 

#8 – Duff by Kody Keplinger

This is coming out this year as a film and I felt I should get the book in before that occurred. From the trailers I can already see that they have changed certain parts of the book so I am not too happy about that. This book is one that I feel all girls will be able to relate to. Duff stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend and whilst the Duff doesn’t need to be fat or particularly ugly, she is the one who isn’t as pretty as her friends. However, we see that all girls feel that they are the Duff at some point in their lives. All girls seem to have this ability to only see the bad in themselves and see how perfect that is in one of our friends whether it be they have better legs or eyes, when in reality you have better hair and smile. As a girl, give this a go and as a boy, read it to discover that what bad you say will stick with girls longer than the multitude of good things you say and do.

#9 – The Host by Stephanie Mayer 

If anyone has read my review of The Host will know, I found this highly superior to the Twilight series. The storyline of a love box in three bodies is excellent. How you are never confused between Wanda and Melanie shows just how strong the characters are when they share the same body and space. Mayer may have hit gold with Twilight in terms of fans and money but it is this book that should be her crowning moment. Better written, better characters and a nicer love story, The Host is the Mayer book you should be reading.

#10 – The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

A very recent read of mine and an excellent one at that. Similar to the other’s in that it is dystopia, we find people who are chosen by the city to be potentially educated at the University. Here, the 16 year olds must pass tests of logic, memory, ruthlessness and leadership. They forge alliances, create friendships, enemies and learn how far they are willing to go. Once successful, their memories wiped and they know nothing of the horrors of what they have done… or do they? A brilliant read.

I could have added Harry Potter but I feel everyone knows that this will always be in any book lovers top 10 so I felt it needed to let other books take centre stage! If there are any you think I should have added, let me know in the comments!

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Filed under Top 10, YA, Young Adult

Legend Trilogy – Marie Lu

As you do when you have a blog, you look at other people’s blogs. I stumbled upon The Infinite Power in 26 Letters. This blog is quite interesting. A book review blog and more. I stumbled across one of the posts and it was recommending YA fiction series’. From the previous reviews on here, you should be able to surmise that I am a big YA fan. The Hunger Games Trilogy, Beautiful Creatures, Twilight, Harry Potter are all great YA novels. So when I saw this post I decided to follow it’s advice and read some of its suggestions. One if these was the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu. Brilliant suggestion. Read all three in two days!

Plot

We start off with Legend where we meet Day and June. The most wanted boy in the Republic of America and she, the golden girl of the Republic. It seems there is a plague affecting the poorer sectors of Los Angeles. Obviously not  very good, especially as we see Day’s home being marked as a home of the plague. Day decides to try and save his brother from the plague so breaks into the local hospital to steal some of the  plague medicine. However, here we run onto trouble. Whilst escaping, a guard follows him and Day throws his knife into his shoulder and makes his escape. This turns out to be a catalyst for the rest of the series. This man happens to be June’s brother and it seems Day’s throwing ability is off. Metias is now dead and a grieving June is taken from school and given the task of tracking down Day and bringing him to the authorities.

Prodigy starts us off where Legend left. June and Day are now on the run with Day’s brother held in captivity and being tested on. They run to the rebellious group of the Patriots, apparently funded by the Colonies. Here, in Las Vegas, they agree to help the Patriots in return for fixing Day’s leg which became injured during their flight from LA. June’s mission is to return to the Republic and try and befriend the new leader and Day is to rally the citizens and ultimately kill the new leader. However, June realises that the Patriots are wrong and her and Day turn on the rebels and again are fleeing for their lives. June catches some unknown disease and Day saves her by taking her to the Colonies. Whilst staying there, they realise that the Colonies are just another form of  a suppressed people and would be no better a rule than the republic. June and Day make it their destiny to help change the republic for the better and to do this they must return and throw all their support behind the leader.

In Champion we have June as the golden girl once again. She is now an advisor of the Elector and Day is trying to find a cure for his terminal illness. The Colonies decide to try and invade the Republic whilst it is still relatively weak with a new Elector and rebellious citizens. This calls for June to ask Day for permission to use his brother against a new plague that the Colonies seem to have and blame the Republic for. Of course, due to his own history of being a lab rat and the more recent experiments on his brother, he denies this request but does promise to help in anyway he can, despite his failing health. June discovers this medical ailment and realises it is the reason behind his sudden departure from her life. She also realies that Day can never truly forgive her for her part in the murder of his mother and older brother and it kills him to be in love with her. Day sacrifices himself to save the Republic against the Colonies and ends up with memory loss. He remembers certain people but not June. Should she stay with him and help him remember her? Or leave and takeaway the pain of loving someone who helped to kill your family?

Opinion

I really liked these books. Like I said above, I read all three in two days. It is a dystopian reality with a love story at its core. Similar to The Hunger Games it is a scarily realistic future that could happen to us. With the melting ice caps, the world would change indefinitely and who is to say that this future is not a possibility?

The connection between all the characters is fantastic and you believe them all. I was shocked by one of them as I didn’t see that relationship revelation at all. Maybe I am just naive. Or it was excellent writing. The writing throughout is flawless and really brings you into the story. Having said that, I’m unsure as to whether I like the ending. I think I do. It is definitely better than The Hunger Games ending which if you have read my post on that then you shall know my thoughts on its disappointing finale. So it is good but just not what I thought would happen.

All in all a great read. It made me regret my speed in reading as this meant I had finished them too quickly. My verdict: 9/10. Give it a go!

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Filed under Book Review, kindle, Marie Lu, Young Adult