Blogger Book Nook #3: Young Adult

I can't quite believe we're into our third month of Blogger Book Nook posts already! Doesn't time fly? For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the Blogger Book Nook is a reading group set up by myself and Tabitha to bring together a group of book-crazy bloggers for discussions, book swaps, recommending authors, and reading motivation. Each month we share a reading prompt and a related Q&A to encourage the group members to pick up a book and write about it on their blogs too. October's spooky theme was really successful and the lovely Hels, Fleur, Gemma, and Llinos all produced fantastic blog posts sharing their Halloween reads! To help decide on November's reading prompt, I started a poll on the Blogger Book Nook Facebook group to ask our members what they'd most like to read and Young Adult came up very strongly in first place! So without further ado, let's dive into the YA themed questions...


1. Young adult books sometimes have the reputation of being a bit cliché - what do you think about this? Does it spoil your enjoyment of a book if you can predict the ending?

As you'll learn in the mini review that I wrote of this month's book down below, I was really pleasantly surprised at how non-cliché the YA book I picked up for November's reading prompt was! I find it hard to get to summon the motivation to get to the end of a book if I can predict the storyline from the word go, so to find a book where the ending wasn't at all clear was fantastic!


2. Lots of YA books such as The Fault in Our Stars, 13 Reasons Why, and Everything Everything have been made into movies/TV shows lately - have you seen them? What did you think?

The only one of these films/series that I've actually sat down and watched is 13 Reasons Why! The hype surrounding it on social media was so intense that I couldn't NOT see it! I was absolutely hooked by the series although I appreciate why some people believe that the way it dealt with certain issues is problematic. I hadn't read the book before watching the series which may have been a mistake (apparently the book is quite different to the show), so I will have to add the novel to my TBR list to see which I like better!


3. Where does YA rank in your order of favourite book genres? Is it a genre you'd usually reach for?

Young Adult isn't generally a genre that I'd reach for although this month's read has really opened my eyes to what a fanastic genre it can be! I thoroughly enjoyed the book that I picked up for this reading prompt, as you'll discover below. I think historical fiction will always be my all time favourite, but YA is creeping up the rankings slowly but surely!


4. Who is your all-time favourite character from a YA novel? Why did you love them so much?

I'm all about the strong female characters! Katniss Everdeen is pretty damn cool, I remember being really in awe of her as a teenager reading The Hunger Games, her bravery and determination to live life on her own terms made for an inspiring read. I also bloody love Hermione Granger - she's the brightest witch at Hogwarts and she saves Harry and Ron's sorry arses more times than you can count! I also love Hermione's character development because she's just so real - when you learn about her Muggle-born history, you can really empathise with her need to prove herself through hard work and study.


5. Pick a favourite YA series: The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles, or The Mortal Instruments?

I devoured the whole first novel from the Hunger Games series in the space of a day because I was so hooked but for some reason never moved on to the later books. I've never even watched the films either! The Mortal Instruments is a series I haven't touched either, although I've heard amazing things about it. Thanks to Tabitha, I have read Cinder, the first Lunar Chronicles book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it (and I even reviewed it on my blog) but as an overall favourite out of this selection, it's got to be Harry Potter, right?!

Mini Review

For November, I decided to pick up a copy of Kiran Millwood Hargrave's The Girl of Ink and Stars. The blurb promised a fantasy adventure full of mythical beasts, guided by a mysterious map, which sounded like a pretty gripping read to me, and I was not disappointed! The story follows Isabella who, after her best friend goes missing, joins a search party disguised in her twin brother's old clothes. The search for the missing girl leads the group to stumble across a mysterious band of travellers who are fleeing their home because of a dark demon rumbling underground, threatening to destroy the entire island. Isabella, inspired by the old folk tales related to her by her beloved father, goes on a new adventure to defeat this demon and attempts to save everyone... But is she successful?

I found this book absolutely charming, thanks in no small part to the beautiful illustrations dotted throughout the book, including the maps that introduced new locations, which reflected Isabella and her father's roles as cartographers. An element of the novel that I really liked was that the story doesn't end up with the world being saved by the person you'd expect - this little twist was something unexpected but the author brought it about very skilfully! There was also no element of romance in the book, which I was really glad of. I thought at one point that there might be a little something something about to happen between Isabella and one of the major male characters (I won't spoil it by saying who!) but I was actually quite pleased that the focus was more on the adventure and Isabella's personal development and bravery than a romantic fling! I would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in a bit of YA fantasy!

Who are your favourite YA authors? Do you have any book recommendations for me? Please leave them in the comments below as I'm always looking to expand my TBR list!

If you'd like to be involved with the Blogger Book Nook, click over to our Facebook group and join the fun!

Until next time,

A x