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url 2015-09-29 20:46
Adult Fiction for Young Adult (YA) Readers

Today I'd like to discuss adult fiction novels that I would recommend to readers of young adult, particularly since some of them feature main characters who are "YA-age." I was inspired to create this list because I loved reading Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, and I'm always looking to branch out more into adult fiction. I don't always trust the recommendations I get in that regard, but I'd really like to read more beyond YA. So here's my list of recommendations, separated loosely by some categories!


First up on the list...


The three books that I'm recommending under this category are: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, and Sunshine by Robin McKinley.

First off, Daughter of the Forest is what inspired me to make this list. It is the book I'm most OMGFLAILING INNERFANGIRLING over. It's set in the 9th or 10th century Celtic Ireland, and it's a retelling of the lesser known Grimm fairy tale, The Six Swans, I believe. Mel at the Daily Prophecy recommended this to me AND NOW I'M RECOMMENDING IT TO ALL OF YOU. I loooooooove the combination of the fierce, silent Sorcha (main character) with her romantic interest, and I loved rooting for Sorcha through all her harrowing trials. There's a language barrier (in more than one way) and character histories providing extra tension... and even though this a fairy tale retelling, with recognizable tropes like the Evil Stepmother, the characters are all so, so fully fleshed. The side cast is wonderful and these characters! These characters! #fangirling. I loved this book so much that I moved onto the next two books (despite not being as interested in the synopses for those books). Yes to more Juliet Marillier books!

One thing I will say is that all three of the books I'm recommending here are a tad slow to start. That doesn't mean there aren't things happening, but that it might take a while for those main plot events to really unfold. I wonder if that has to do with the framework of the fairy tale and fairy tale retellings in general? ANYWAY, I recommend these books to YA Readers because of the journeys that all three heroines have to undergo and the fairy tale like elements - the way these books are written, I can see a lot of YA readers enjoying them as well.

I've talked about Uprooted at length before, and in fact you can read a review from me about that book, but essentially I can see quite a large overlap between the two fanbases, so if you've not read one, definitely change that ASAP.

The other book is Sunshine by Robin McKinley, which is a vampire fairy tale. It's about a girl who doesn't know the extent of her magical powers, but when she's kidnapped by vampires as human bait, she has to find out what precisely she can do and save herself from a perilous situation. It's actually quite a bit different from Uprooted and Daughter of the Forest, which are more inspired by Grimm fairy tales. Sunshine has a lot more world-building than either of those two, I think, but all three have a distinct atmosphere and would not be what they are without their fairy tale like elements.

If you like A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, try out one of these books.


The two books that I'm recommending under this category are The Magicians by Lev Grossman and The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is like if you aged Harry Potter and took away the youthful idealism, the paragons of virtue and symbolism and inserted a more cynical main character and magic system derived from the amount of effort that students are willing to put in. It's pessimistic and darker than Harry Potter, but also pays its tribute to the series that captured so many fans. It has its own literary truths about life and I've had several people tell me that it's "more realistic" than Harry Potter (mostly, I think, because the magic system is based on effort and that is a reflection on a lot of things in our lives now instead of memorizing spells).

The Secret History by Donna Tartt is set in a New England college, and involves a group of students who are in the same class with an enigmatic professor and start some... bad habits. Very vague so that I don't spoil the book for you, particularly since it's a contemporary literary thriller. Like The Magicians, this book has a whole lot of atmosphere and a huge set of side characters.

I'd recommend these two books for YA readers because even though they're more literary, they also have distinct character arcs and a character lens that you can find in YA, if you're reading a particular type. Like Seraphina for The Magicians.  If you like The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, try out one of these two books.


The Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund is set in a fictional Yale. The main character is in the first cohort of females invited to an all male secret society. What happens after initiation = college politics, girl power, a hint of romance and a whole lot of fun. If you like NA books but want more of the actual college aspect to be covered, definitely give this series a shot.


On this list we have:  Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion and Feed by Mira Grant.

Don't be like my college professor and write off Warm Bodies because you're like AH YOUNG PARANORMAL PROTAGONIST! THIS MUST BE LIKE TWILIGHT AND THEREFORE I SCORN IT.


Warm Bodies was one of the first adult books that I'd read and immediately thought it perfect for the YA crowd. I actually reviewed it ages ago (not a very good review...), but I'd still recommend it to the YA crowd not only for the character journey but for the metaphor inherent to the characters. It has a sort of youthful idealism about what makes us human that would actually appeal to people who read Twilight and wanted to see the boundary between human and monster more fully explored. In this sense, to me the book is less about the main character being a zombie in a post-apocalyptic world and more about the meaning of life.

There's also a movie adaptation of Warm Bodies. Can't tell you much about that, but I can recommend that you read the book.

I also actually wrote a mini review for Feed by Mira Grant because the audiobook was FANTASTIC. It's hard to describe the world, but we've got cures for things like cancer.... but nothing for zombies. Zombies are everywhere, and they're the number one problem for government officials. Their platforms are about the zombie threat. Bloggers have become extensive journalists. The book explores the zombie problem while tackling tough questions about journalism, politics, and freedom. I thought that it'd be appropriate for YA not just for YA bloggers and the inherent appeal to our hobby but also for the youthful energy of the main characters, the sense of wanting to DO SOMETHING to make the world better or help in any way. I felt that way a bunch as a teen, and I think that this book, in not really being a zombie book, addresses that.

If you like Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor not because it has angel and demon figures but because it goes deeper into what makes us human and the horrors of war, try out one of these books.


On this list are: Soulless by Gail Carriger, The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, and Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill.

I've actually reviewed both Soulless and the Fever series and fangirled about them both. The Parasol Protectorate series incorporates steampunk, Victorian high fantasy and manners with politics, murder mystery, and other paranormal creatures. Sass and wit abound. The Fever series is about a girl who travels to Ireland to investigate the mysterious death of her sister and finds out more about their upbringing and the powers she never knew she had. The Chicagoland Vampires series is about a graduate student who was turned into a vampire against her will and who then gets involved in vampire politics and investigates various mysterious situations, including murders.

I would recommend these to YA readers because they all feature strong women at their forefront navigating unfamiliar landscapes. This is often at the heart at many young adult books, and I can see teens and adults alike being very interested in and invested in the paths that these main characters take.

If you like Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead or Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas orGraceling by Kristin Cashore -- fantasy series with kickass heroines at the lead, who usually have some snarky comment and are often the heroines touted for being "strong female characters" -- try one of the above books.


And finally, the last book is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

I've raved about this book so many times - my first book review and my extensive fangirl-y posttrying to get people to read the series. It feels like y'all should just already know that I'm recommending this one to you. It's set in a futuristic London where this otherwordly creature has subjugated humans who have the ability to deal with the aether in some way (aka the magic system of spirit combat). The books mix a lot of sci fi and fantasy elements and have only been getting better as we get further into the series. I can't wait to read book 3!

If you like Court of Fives by Kate Elliott or just want more world-building in your YA SFF series/books, check out The Bone Season.

So, those are my recommendations for adult fiction for all of my fellow wonderful YA reader fans.Do you agree with these recommendations and the Like/Try/Why aspect of this? Have you read any of these books? Let me know!

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review 2015-07-11 22:03
The Blood Cloth Syndicate by Joseph Racconti
The Blood Cloth Syndicate (A Relics Novel #1) - Joseph Racconti

A group of brothers and friends get swept up into a mysterious conspiracy. As one by one they are threatened or injured, they band together to sort things out. Brothers John & Jimmy think their aged grandfather, their last living relative, may have some answers. What they learn about an ancient religious relic is almost too much to believe. However, their French foe is definitely convinced of it’s existence and will stop at nothing to locate it. This thriller will take the reader to various parts of the world as you follow along on this entertaining ride.

This book combined mystery, action, and archaeology – some of my favorite things. As this band of men dig into the mystery, they must visit various archaeological sites to find the answers. These characters are constantly in motion. Which is a good thing because the bad guys aren’t holding still either. There is a French organization convinced of their moral right to attain and hold on to the bloody shroud Jesus was wrapped in when he was taken down from the cross. They have funds, trained personnel, and a deep drive to accomplish their task. Indeed, our good guys face true danger and not all of them live to the end of the book.

There is even some collateral damage. Sad, but realistic. I really appreciated that the author kept this real. Many action flicks don’t really include a good guy body count. By showing us that the bad guys are competent and willing to kill to achieve their goal, the story was that much more gripping. Some scenes were very potent because of this, especially when there was collateral damage to those not involved in the pursuit of the shroud.

There is one weakness to this book: the ladies. Yep. There are just a handful, none of them make plot decisions, they are not working with the good guys, and we never see two of them together chatting about the plot (which is something the guys do all the time). With that said, I did like Jenny who was competent with handguns and hand-to-hand combat. She’s a bit of a psycho, but late in the story we see a more human side to her.

The author had characters of various ethnic backgrounds which was awesome! It also tied into the plot as the characters dig into their roots and try to figure out what their ancestors and dead relatives did or did not know concerning the relic. While the ancient relic is of a religious nature, the story never gets preachy. This was awesome as well.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks!

The Narration: Shaun Toole did a decent job. His French accent was better than it was in The Statement of Andrew Doran. He had distinct voices for all the characters, including the ladies. His voice for Andy threw me off at first as Andy sounded mildly retarded to me; however, it’s clear from the story that he is not.

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review 2015-07-11 21:51
The Eyes of Texas by Lance Kennedy
The Eyes of Texas: The Secret Society That Controls the University of Texas at Austin - Lance Kennedy,Nam Nguyen,Abhinav Kumar

A secret organization that became known as the Eyes of Texas gained power in the 1970s over the student government of the University of Texas at Austin. Behind the scenes, they worked for years to promote the university’s initiatives and not the student government’s initiatives. This is a detailed look into that history and how this secret organization was forced out into the light.

On one hand I applaud the level of detailed information that went into this book. On the other hand, I think this book will appeal to only a small group of people. If you are really, really into secret societies or manipulation of large groups of people via shadow groups, then this is perfect for you. Also, I think fiction writers who are researching real secret societies would find this useful. As someone who was just looking for a book get away for a few hours, I found this book a bit tedious. It reads more like a lengthy legal document then a true tale packed with action and deceit.

This book also includes various excerpts (and sometimes who documents) from school emails, local news coverage, and communiques between the school government and the board that oversees the university. If you are researching this subject, then this book is an excellent reference work. If you are looking for some interesting, yet educational, light reading, then this probably isn’t the book for you. For myself, I often found my mind drifting while listening to this book. The same issues were brought up again and again as the book stayed true in detail to how issues and events were dealt with. However, for me, this became rather tedious. Still, if I ever need to research secret societies or the politics of large universities, I will be turning to this book for info.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no charge via the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Jack Chekijian did pretty well, though there wasn’t much need to vary his voice. When there was an email exchange, he did provide character voices. However, most of the book was delivered in a straight forward, newsreporter-like voice. 

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review 2015-03-11 00:00
The Rags-To-Riches Wife (Secret Lives of Society Wives)
The Rags-To-Riches Wife (Secret Lives of Society Wives) - Metsy Hingle I thought the premise described in the blurb was kinda cute, but in actuality, it's a tedious disaster of Lily repeatedly proclaiming that she's not worth any trouble, doesn't have any family, doesn't belong in this society, isn't worthy of even the attention of high society members, is a "lesser" person because she was an orphan, isn't worthy of Jack and his money, is only getting married because Jack asked out of duty due to the pregnancy, etc.

My god, woman. If your life is so miserable (which it is) and you're so worthless, just kill yourself already and save readers the chore of having to witness your self-loathing.

Please note, I would never actually encourage anyone to kill themselves. But this is a fictional character, so it's okay.
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text 2015-02-15 00:06
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall: DNF at 25%
The Conspiracy of Us - Maggie Hall

Eighty pages into the story and I'm SO BORED.  This one just isn't holding my attention so I'm putting it aside.

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