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Awards Season

The Kingdom of Little Wounds Cover

I only managed to read one of the books that made YALSA's awards and runners-up this year, but just looking at the titles has expanded my to-read list. If you want quality reading, these awards are a good place to start.

2014 YALSA Award Winners
Young Adult Books Spotlight10

Epic Darkness

Friday April 11, 2014
Sea of Shadows Cover

Writer Kelley Armstrong, probably best known for her Women of the Otherworld series of urban fantasy novels for adults, is now working on a YA series. Not only has she made the switch to YA (hopefully not permanent, because I like her adult books, too), but she's also switched sub-genres for her Age of Legends series, which is a Japanese-influenced epic fantasy. I read the first book in the series this week and was really impressed.

Sea of Shadows is pretty much nonstop action (there is a lot of blood and violence, so sensitive readers keep that in mind), and there were some really deliciously dark and horrifying scenes early on. I'm definitely eager to read more in this series.

Cover image Harper Teen.

Free Julie Kagawa!

Wednesday April 9, 2014
The Immortal Rules Cover

I almost missed this excellent news for YA readers -- if you use iBooks, that is. This week, the powers that be at Apple have chosen Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules (read my review) as Book of the Week, which means it's free! It'll only be free until the end of the week, and only for iBooks, after which it will go back to regular price. But if you're an iBooks user (and if you have a iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch, iBooks is built in and you probably already have an Apple ID) now's your chance to try the first book of the Blood of Eden series (which I think is better than Kagawa's Iron Fey series, and I really enjoyed the Iron Fey books).

Cover image Harlequin Teen.

Cats and Lizard Men

Friday March 28, 2014
reMIND Volume 1 Cover

I've had the reMIND graphic novels that I got through a Kickstarter campaign on my shelf for ages, and I read the first one some time ago, but it was only recently that I sat down and read through the whole story, both volumes, one after the other. And though I already really liked the series, I was pretty much blown away by how good it is when I read it all at once.

  • reMIND Review

So, even though the books aren't categorized as YA by the publisher (and personally, I think people of all ages should read it), I'm recommending them anyway -- there are a lot of elements that make them perfect for a YA audience, and there isn't much content (except for a small amount of plot-appropriate violence and brain-swapping) that parents could object to. Plus lizard men (and women). Really, you don't want to miss a book with lizard men.

Cover Coffee Table Books, art by Jason Brubaker.

Into the Black

Thursday March 27, 2014
Under Nameless Stars Cover

Regular readers may recall how I said I really needed to read more science fiction after I reviewed Zenn Scarlett (and again when I reviewed Katya's World, and probably also when I read These Broken Stars). Well, I think I'm doing pretty well with adding more SF to my reading queue, and this week, I got to read the second Zenn Scarlett book, Under Nameless Stars. I didn't love it as much as the first book, but it has some really great elements, and I will happily keep reading the series as long as Christian Schoon keeps writing them.

The rest of you will have to wait a few more days to get your hands on this fun space adventure, but you can try your luck at winning a copy, because Goodreads has ten copies up for grabs (US, Canada and UK). All the info is on the book's page.

Cover image Strange Chemistry.

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