I went through a massive Kazuo Ishiguro phase in college, possibly because I suspected adulthood meant living in a perpetual state of peripheral melancholy. Seriously, when I finished Never Let Me Go, I cried…in a McDonalds. There is no place more inappropriate to cry over literary masterpieces than McDonalds, but it felt right at the time.
I wept because Ishiguro has mastered writing tragedy completely devoid of melodrama. Michael Bay may have been able to turned the existential dilemma of clones into a fun popcorn flick, but Ishiguro’s original is devastating in its treatment of the problem by never addressing it. No one questions the ethics of cloning in the story. There is no gruesome confrontation about the truth of what’s happening to these characters being slowly harvested for organs.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Thursday, April 9th, 2015||No Comments »|
Whitney A. Miller’s debut thriller novel is a suspenseful and terrifying read. The plot revolves around Harlow, a young woman who is the adopted daughter of a patriarch in the VisionCrest religion and has a ton of responsibilities on her shoulder. Not only is she expected to become a future leader in the religious movement, but she’s also looked up to as the pinnacle of integrity. One wrong move and the entire community will be calling for her blood.
Amongst the 24/7 spotlight, Harlow harbors a dark secret that not even her crush nor her best friend knows about. The young teen keeps hearing a voice inside of her head that seems to have a mind of its own. This mysterious voice is now urging her to turn into a merciless, cold-blooded killer. Despite all of Harlow’s best efforts, the urge to give in and obey the voice is becoming more and more difficult to control.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, April 28th, 2014||No Comments »|
Nowadays it seems like everyone can’t live without his or her gadgets. Whether it’s a shiny new Macbook Pro for Junior or a Seamless app on your iPhone so you never even have to leave your house to order food, we’ve become so much more complacent in our lives thanks to technology. However, the book trailer for Lauren Miller’s upcoming YA novel Free to Fall will make readers uncomfortable about where the future is headed. In a not-so-distant Earth, there’s an app that makes every single decision for you, and a young girl named Rory must fight to make her own choices.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014||No Comments »|
Disney’s sanitized and squeaky clean retellings of classic fairy tales have a new competitor in town in the form of a series of novels called The Lunar Chronicles, which is written by novelist Marissa Meyer.
Book one, Cinder, is a compelling reimagining of the usual Cinderella tale but with a twist: the servant-girl-turned-princess is not human at all. She’s a cyborg who goes by the name Linh Cinder who is stuck living with her stepmother and two stepsisters while working a side job as a mechanic. However, her life is turned upside down when a young prince by the name of Kai spots her skills with machines and asks if she can fix his personal android.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, March 18th, 2014||No Comments »|
If you’re a fan of the steampunk genre and you’re looking for a good YA book to sink your teeth into, why not pick up Caitlin Kittredge’s The Iron Thorn, the first novel in the Iron Codex series. Unlike most steampunk novels, Kittredge also blends a healthy dose of fantasy into the opening of the Iron Codex too.
Kittredge’s heroine is Aoife Greyson, a young orphan who is one of the few female students at the School of Engines. She is constantly watched for the signs of madness from the necrovirus, the same hysterical state that caused her older brother Conrad and her mother such grief on their sixteenth birthdays. In a world ruled by Proctors who think things like magic are products of said mysterious virus, Aoife must walk a deadly line between compliance and rebellion.
However, her world changes when she receives a note from Conrad asking for help. Aoife and her friends are plunged into a world of magic. From dealings with the faery realm to discovering the magic in her father’s family tree, Aoife’s discoveries will not only rock the foundation of her life, but the lives of all the citizens in Lovecraft too.
This dystopian YA novel stands out from the rest of the pack due to its relatable heroine and lack of the standard love triangle (Editor’s Note: Thank god!). While there’s clearly chemistry between Aoife and her guide Dean, it’s not the focus of the story. If you’re sick of the love triangles that run rampant through YA literature nowadays, then you’ll find The Iron Thorn to be a refreshing read.
Plus, sharp-eyed readers will be able to spot the shout-outs to H.P. Lovecraft and Celtic mythology. If you’re looking for a dark and gritty dystopian YA novel with a bit of steampunk flair, than The Iron Thorn would make a great addition to your bookshelf.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, December 11th, 2013||No Comments »|