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Tag: Sarah J. Maas

Women in Comics: Young Adult & New Adult Novels

If there has been one feature of every book that I have discussed in this series of posts, it is a focus on artwork. Even the one non-comic work included in these posts focused a significant amount of text on the artwork of Wonder Woman. But, this month, I am branching out from volumes focused on artwork to discuss an emerging trend – prose novels that are based on comic book characters.

cc image via Flickr user
cc image via Flickr user RyC

While this concept is hardly a new one, recently DC and Marvel have greatly expanded their offerings in this regard to include new adult (albeit not promoted by that name) and young adult novels. These novels can serve the dual purpose of introducing comic book characters and storylines to readers who aren’t comfortable with comics and graphic novels and encouraging comics fans to read works by leading young adult authors. Even more importantly, these novels are just a lot of fun! Right now, there are only a limited number available, but many more are appearing on the publishing horizon.

Your (monthly) Monday Poll is BACK!

Monday Poll @ YALSA's The HubHub readers, you told us you missed the polls, and we heard you! Reinstated by popular demand, we will be publishing a new poll the first Monday of every month.

This month, we want to hear which upcoming series installment you are most excited for. Several bestselling series have new volumes out in the next few months. If your favorite YA series with a new volume due out in April or May is missing from this list, let us know in the comments!

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Week in Review: November 13th

Good Morning. This week on the HUB we’ve been talking about the YA Services Symposium. If you missed going (like I did), check out the hashtag   for more tweets. Also #NaNoWriMo15 is still going strong – if you have teen writers, check in with how they’re doing. All kinds of YA authors are sharing their writing tips from Stephanie Perkins to Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Otherwise, sit back and see what else happened this week on twitter.

Book News:
Continuing her good deeds and her involvement with Scholastic, Taylor Swift donates 25,000 Scholastic books to New York City schools.

For Potterheads, did you notice these while re-reading or reading for the first time?

New York City challenges students to read a book a day! Jon Scieszka teams up to help.

Children’s author Jean Fritz is turning 100! Help her celebrate her birthday.

School Library Journal has a poll open for the top Must Have YA Books.

Diversity YA Life: Diverse Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

shadowshaperMuch of diverse young adult literature is contemporary, realistic fiction, or historical fiction about the struggle of being a person of color.  As a teen library worker, I get to know the personal lives of teens and some of their stories are heartbreaking.  From poverty to bullying, I recognize that the struggle is real and I am happy to be a non-judgemental adult soundboard.  I am also grateful for the plethora of young adult fiction available so that I can hand a book to a teen I feel will provide some insight and comfort.

But when life is tough, many teens also like to escape into fantasy and science fiction. Readers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror also like to see themselves in these books.  If people of color can survive slavery and oppression and poverty, they can also survive zombies and maniacal kings and naiyadragons. So, where are the black Hermiones?

I am a teen services specialist and a major part of my job is to connect teens with books.  I have an avid reader, who is Middle Eastern, who asks me to recommend fantasy books about once a month.  A year ago when the We Need Diverse Books movement started, I asked her to do a cue card about why we need diverse books and she stated that she would like to see more Middle Eastern characters in fantasy.   A little over a year later, I gave her The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and she came back and absolutely raved about the book.  She said that she particularly loved the inside cover because there was a girl who looked and dressed like her.  This is one reason why we need diverse books.

If you are a library worker looking to enhance your diverse young adult repertoire or a teen reader looking for yourself in a magical world or a speculative fiction reader seeking something new, here’s a list of speculative young adult fantasy/science fiction titles for you to try.  Please note that some titles feature characters of color in a supporting role—but that’s okay because Hermione was a supporting character, too.

Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 2

TeensTopTen_winner_WMToday’s post is the second installment in our 4-part series highlighting each of the 24 titles (and their authors) nominated for the Teens Top Ten list. You can check out the first post here, and a handy pdf list of all the nominees, annotated for reader’s advisory, is here. To recap, the Teens’ Top Ten list is determined entirely by teens; first the nominees are chosen by teen book groups, and then voting is opened up online to teens everywhere.

Teen readers can vote starting August 15th through Teen Read Week (October 18-24, 2015), with winners announced the following.

So here we go; your next 6 (alphabetically by author’s last name) Teens’ Top Ten nominees, chosen by real, live teenagers.

Love Letters to the DeadLove Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. A debut contemporary realistic novel about coming to terms with grief, told in a series of letters to dead celebrities, starting with Kurt Cobain. This snagged a glowing review from The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘s elusive Stephen Chbosky, and the audiobook production was a 2015 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, if you prefer to listen your way through the nominees. Dellaira has an author website, is on Facebook and Twitter, and there’s buzz that the production team behind the TwilightThe Fault in Our StarsPaper Towns, and Maze Runner movies is in talks to do a movie adaptation, so expect this title to stay in the spotlight for awhile.

into_the_dark_shadow_princeInto the Dark: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain. The first in a new series based on the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades from the author of the paranormal Dark Divine series (the first book in that series, Dark Divine, was a 2011 Popular Paperback for Young Adults pick). The second book in the Into the Dark series is already out, and the third is slated for fall 2016. Despain has a website, and a blog, and is on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

What Would They Read?: Avengers Assemble!

AvengersLast weekend the Avengers returned to save the world and entertain us with their witty banter.  We last saw them battle against Loki and the Chitauri he brought to Earth via a wormhole in New York City.  Now they are facing Ultron, an artificial intelligence bent on ridding Earth of humanity.  It’s been three years since the Avengers had to assemble to fight another big bad.  Obviously they must have had some serious down time to focus on their reading.  Last time the Avengers fought evil, The Hub provided a reading list for the Avengers.  I think it’s only right to give them a few more choices to peruse before they are called again to fight.

Captain America/Steve Rogers: Let’s start at the beginning with the first Avenger, Captain America.  C9781423161622_p0_v3_s260x420aptain America first started fighting evil back in the time of World War II.  Since then he has tried to acquaint himself with the events that have occurred, particularly in pop culture as Tony Stark is quick to fire off a reference or two.  In order for Cap to find some kind of camaraderie in his predicament, I would recommend Eoin Colfer’s W.A.R.P. series, starting with book one, The Reluctant Assassin.  In this book, Riley is pulled from his home in Victorian London along with his mentor Garrick, a dangerous assassin, to help the modern-day FBI capture Garrick before he finds his way back to his own time.  While Cap and Riley come from different time periods, Cap can definitely relate to the out of place feeling.

Ironman/Tony Stark: Tony Stark can be a bit obvious regarding his personality.  He loves The Alex Crowbeing the best, he loves the ladies, and he loves his ability to buy everything.  As we know from the first Ironman movie, his interests expanded when he was captured in Afghanistan.  This is why I decided to give Stark The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith.  This is a fairly new book which tells three different stories.  The first story belongs to Ariel, a Middle Eastern teenage boy who is adopted by an American scientist and his wife.  The second story is Ariel and his adopted brother Max at summer camp.  The third story tells of the ill-fated crew of a ship called The Alex Crow which was sailing in the Arctic Ocean.  The three stories eventually intertwine in a way that Stark would find quite intriguing.  I’ll leave the discovery of the connection to you..no spoilers!

What’s Trending in YA?

I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few publisher previews recently and have noticed a few recent trends in YA publishing. Since I haven’t been able to attend all the previews it’s not a completely comprehensive list so I welcome any suggestions for those I’ve missed.

Road Trips:

  • Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (5/2015). Teenaged girl still grieving over her father’s death a drive me crazy mcvoyporcpine of truth konigsburgRabb - Kissing Americafew years before contrives with her best friend to enter and win a teen game show to win a trip to CA to follow her crush.
  • The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg (5/2015). Two teens embark on a road trip to uncover the root cause of three generations of family estrangement and solve their difficult family issues.
  • Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy (4/2015). Two girls who don’t really like each other, now related due to their grandparents’ wedding, try to get along as they accompany their grandparents on their California road trip honeymoon.

Mental Illness:

  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (4/2015). Caden, 14, is gradually descending into made you up zappiaone stolen thing kephartchallenger deepschizophrenia and lives in two worlds – the real one and the one in his delusions.
  •  One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart (4/2015). Girl who steals things then weaves them into elaborate nests is also losing the ability to speak due to a mental disorder.
  • Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (5/2015). Girl with paranoid schizophrenia

Death/Dying:

  • The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell (5/2015). Seventeen-year-old Japanese boy dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease) wants to die on his own terms.
  •  Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider (5/2015). Two teens with terminal TB

Kidnapping:

  • Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (6/2015). Teenaged Emmy’s friend and neighbor Oliver Our Endless Numbered Daysshackled leveenemmy & oliver benway disappeared when they were in 3rd grade and she’s been overprotected by her parents ever since. Oliver returns years later after he finds out he was kidnapped by his father and must try to adjust to life with Emmy and his community again.
  •  Shackled by Tom Leveen (8/2015). Teenager suffering from severe panic attacks ever since her best friend disappeared six-years ago determines to find her after thinks she sees her again.
  • Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (3/2015). Seventeen-year-old Peggy recounts how when she was 8, her mentally ill survivalist father kidnapped her from London and took her to an isolated forest where they survived off the grid after he told her the world had been destroyed.

Books as Palate Cleansers

teen_blogging_contest_winner

October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Becca Holladay, who lives in Yokota, Japan.

My mom knows what it means when I collapse onto her bed crying. It means I have finished yet another series.

As a voracious reader, I am always with a book. And there is a pattern among those books, and that is that they are all fantasy/sci-fi/romance books! I usually refuse to read anything else.

But after I finish a particularly heart-wrenching series (Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, anyone?), and I end up completely heartbroken, I just need to take a break. And by break, I don’t mean from reading, heaven forbid! I just take a break from reading addicting series.

What Would They Read?: Firefly

firefly-title-card-logoI was nervous a few months ago when I tackled the popular series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the “What Would They Read” series here on The Hub, where we pair up favorite TV characters with YA lit recommendations– but I’m even more apprehensive with this blog entry.  Joss Whedon’s Firefly found its end far too soon and yet has been kept alive by extremely passionate fans.  This is a massive undertaking in the vast world of fandoms.  Feel free to comment on my selections below.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Firefly, here is a brief synopsis: Firefly takes place in a future world with new star systems with moons and planets that have been terraformed to replicate life on Earth.  Although the technology of the future is far more advanced that technology today, the new settlements on the moons most resemble the Old West.  The Alliance is the central government, comprised of the only two superpowers left; America and China.  Because of China’s power, Chinese influences in fashion and language and dispersed throughout everyday life.  The show follows a specific ship that resembles a firefly named Serenity.  Captain Malcom Reynolds and his crew live on the shady side of the law, delivering stolen government goods to planets in need and making deals with some unpleasant people.  In an attempt to appear more respectable and make a little extra money, Mal decides to take on a few passengers.  Instead situations because even more complicated.

It is true that a majority of Serenity’s crew would no sooner read a book than play professional football, I would like to believe my statement that there is a book for every reader.  With no further ado, here are my reading recommendations.

Mal Reynolds – Initially, Mal has a stern, no-nonsense personality.  Although, as the show progresses, legendwe see a bit of a sense of humor emerging for time to time.  There’s no question that Mal would prefer a book with a strong action-packed plot with a slight hint of a romance.  Mal may think he’s kidding everyone with his love/hate relationship with Inara, but we know it’s there.  Also, Mal was on the losing side of the civil war against the Alliance and thus does not respect government authority.  For Mal, I would definitely recommend Legend by Marie Lu (2012 Teens’ Top Ten) as well as the other two books in the series, Prodigy and Champion.  Mal and Day have similar personality traits, the main one being their need to help out the little guy from being trampled by the oppressive government.