May was a great reading month! I read more books by authors of the YA or Bust! Tour that didn't disappoint and a few books I've been dying to read. So here we go!
YA or Bust! Authors
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
This is the sequel to If I Stay from the perspective of Mia's boyfriend, Adam. It takes place three years after the first book. It is showing us how they coped with the events in the first book. I have to say that the two books fit so well together with their internal struggles despite one was in a coma, or the other awake in the middle of New York City. They are just as important since they belong to that person and I really love how Forman approaches their worries, hopes, disappointments, pain, and love.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I'm going to admit that Stephanie Perkins has become one of my favorite writers ever. She writes some of the most refreshing characters ever. Anna and the French Kiss blew me away (since Paris IS ridiculously romantic and beautiful), and Lola didn't disappoint. I loved the setting of San Francisco that she helped me fall in love with the city. The relationships between Lola and her parents, friends, and Cricket cycle through time with many ups and downs, just like Anna's yearlong struggle in France, and Perkins really knows how to do pacing. I can't wait for her next book that comes out next year. I will for sure pick them all up for now on!
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
I love, love the website that I have linked above. Totally go check it out! I just went on a road trip with my friends to move to San Diego so this last road trip with friends before college really resonated with me. There is something about the big unknown that can hold a lot of scary, and somewhere along the way, there is a lot of excitement once things start to click. I did this once before when I moved to Fargo and went to college, and doing this in San Diego, brought a tad bit of anxiety of forming friendships again. This book is a great example of transformation of one's self, trying to stay strong, and listening to the universe and yourself. A fun read, and what I like most about it is that it is from the POV from a guy road tripping with girls. It is way better than Crossroads.
Like Mandarin by Kristen Hubbard (moderator in San Diego)
We visited on the road trip that I mentioned above so when the Grace speaks of the winds of Wyoming, I totally know what she is talking about after driving through the state. This book speaks true of what it is like living in a small town. I grew up in a small town area, and now looking back at the kids I grew up with, it is easier to identify some of the things we went through. This book touches on what it feels like for not just Grace, but someone she has grown close to. I'm really looking forward to reading Wanderlove next!
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The first book, Divergent, had me put it as my favorite dystopian society after The Hunger Games. Roth does a great job at the twists and turns of this society and for the character. Teenagers have to choose what factions that they want to live in that better fits their beliefs and personalities. Tris, however, is Divergent and fits into multiple. She soon finds out that she isn't the only one and soon war breaks out between the factions, and has to decide what is the best way for society to survive. This is a lot to go through while also falling in love with someone that has such similar, and different, struggles going on inside. I'm really looking forward to the conclusion to see how not just how Tris prevails, but also society.
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
I've been anticipating this book for what seems like forever. I bought Graceling when it first came out in hardcover and Cashore is one of those authors that I will keep buying. I have to say, Bitterblue blew me away. The ciphers, the complex castle, the character arcs (some from past books), and Bitterblue's discoveries made me wish that I didn't have to finish (and the book is long at over 500 pages!). The pain of her father's cruelty is what is really shocking, and Bitterblue is trying to pick up the pieces. This is unlike any fantasy book that I've read and I can't highly recommend the series enough! Oh, and did I forget to mention the illustrations in Bitterblue? The book is absolutely gorgeous!!! So pick up the paper copy for the e-version will not do it justice. It is one of those books that is an experience.
Legacy by Michelle Bredeson
I was looking for local North Dakota authors on Google+ and that is how I learned about Michelle's writing. Since then, I've been writing back and forth with her about various things (mostly writing). We booked her as a guest for CoreCon this past year, which I was sad not to attend because of the move. She currently lives in the area where I grew up so that is fun too. This book has the perfect Midwest feel since it is based in Sterling, Minnesota. It was so easy for me to envision the setting in my mind, and even the teenagers fit what I remember of growing up. I love the shapeshifting in this story and how each of them have their own animal, and aren't just a pack of wolves. Pick this one up! There is more to come too. The second book is also out at this time.
Fierce Reads Tour
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I've been meaning to pick up this book and finally read it in anticipation of the Fierce Reads tour that comes to San Diego (tonight!). This is a spin of the Cinderella story set in the future with cyborgs, even Moon queens, an Asian prince, and many twists! I sometimes think that Cinderella is overused as a re-telling, and then something like this makes me shut up (my other favorite is Ella Enchanted). This is the first in a long series of books that I will pick each one up with different fairy tale characters.
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas
This is one of four novellas that unfolds before the event in the novel Throne of Glass. I've bought the first three that are out right now, and I've had Throne of Glass on my to-read list since it was pretty much signed. I love the concept of it-- and guess what? It is another Cinderella re-telling where she is an assassin. How cool is that?
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth and then Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (both part of the Fierce Reads Tour)