The Book Thief ★★★★★

The Book Thief ★★★★★
Markus Zusak


Genre(s) | Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Goodreads Rating | 4.36
Humpo Show Rating | 
Published: 2007
Publisher: Transworld

Nazi Germany in the years 1939-43 provide the backdrop to this heart-breakingly beautiful story of a young German girl called Liesel, whose book-stealing exploits and story-telling talents help to comfort her foster family during this famously tragic and turbulent time. Her life and story catches the eye of our unique narrator, Death, who witnesses humanity’s kindness, beauty and love, but he also intersects her story with a haunting commentary on the horrors of war.  Continue reading

#TrendThursday | Why do YA books matter?

Why do YA books matter?

As a twenty-four-year-old guy, it is perhaps surprising to some that one of my favourite genres is Young Adult Fiction. For many people who dislike the YA genre for whatever reason, that statement goes against what they envisage the typical reader to be (a teenage girl who reads Twilight). The genre is brimming with excellent stories- most I have not had the pleasure of reading yet- but it is also a shining beacon in the publishing industry that seems to be frozen in time with regards to the workforce, and the stories that are published. Here is a blog post that talks about the many plus points of the YA industry.

The YA genre has become the leading light in regards to representation of people from all backgrounds and identities. They are leading the way with more books concerning racial diversity, LGBT characters, mental health issues, female heroines and sexuality than any other genre at the moment. It is undoubtedly the genre that is the most diverse and that discusses real issues that are not given much coverage in other genres. 

The genre, as viewed from the outside, receives a snobbish response by some adults who seem to have the viewpoint that every YA author is trying to write the next Harry Potter or Twilight series, and that the readers are teenagers that they view as ‘millennial snowflakes’.

One example of someone with this shared opinion is as follows: “‘Young Adult’ – it says ‘wannabe JK Rowling’, it means ‘born in an iPod world so I don’t understand music (and life) is for sharing'” Continue reading

Book Review | Six of Crows

Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo


Genre(s) | Young Adult, Fantasy
Goodreads Rating | 4.5

Humpo Show Rating | 5 / 5 

Heart-stopping…like a Grisha, and addictive…like Jurda Parem. Six of Crows is an utterly fascinating page turner, and a compulsory read for Young-Adult readers.

Six outcasts have accepted the charge of a seemingly impossible heist job that could earn them wealth beyond their wildest dreams. They have to break into a never before breached military stronghold, Ice Court, retrieve a hostage that holds a formula that could wreak mayhem on the world, and make it back to collect their reward. If that seemed improbable enough, they have to contend with enemies intent on derailing their efforts, conflict among themselves, and an ever-changing plan that leaves a lot to chance. Continue reading

Book Review | King’s Cage

King’s Cage
Victoria Aveyard


Genre(s) | Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia
Goodreads Rating | 4.13

Humpo Rating | 5 / 5

Not a god’s chosen, but a god’s cursed.

King’s Cage is the breathtaking third installment of the Red Queen series that leaves a blaze in the popular Young Adult genre, and I am not referring to Cal’s fire abilities.

Mare is Maven’s prisoner, powerless without her lightning, and she spends her imprisonment replaying every excruciating detail that lead to this moment, as well as the potential horrors to come. The boy-King of Norta seems intent on walking the path that Queen Elara intended for him, as her surgical manipulation of her son’s mind becomes more and more apparent given his political decision-making concerning the Scarlet Guard, the Lakelander War, Newbloods and Mare. Meanwhile, Cal, Cameron, Kilorn, Farley and the rest of the Scarlet Guard continue in Mare’s absence, recruiting as many Newbloods as they can before King Maven gets his hands on them, as well as organizing, training and expanding as they prepare for war. The Scarlet Guard can no longer keep hidden in the shadows as Maven makes moves on the chessboard that no longer involves just his kingdom. They have to make alliances and sacrifices as they take their seat at the top table where they are on equal footing with Norta, Lakelands, Piedmont and Montfort in terms of importance and threat- depending on perspective. Continue reading

The Ruby in the Smoke

The Ruby in the Smoke Book Review
Phillip Pullman
4 / 5

Genre | Young Adult Mystery
Published: 1985
Goodreads | 3.8 

This was a book I read when I was 12 or 13 and it was a book I remember enjoying immensely, yet I haven’t reread it…until now.

This Young-Adult mystery is centred around the suspicious death of Sally Lockhart’s father in the South China Sea which has left her a teenage orphan alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Her father’s death and dying note to her triggers a series of events that place her in terrible danger. The danger and mystery deepen, and at the heart of this fascinating tale lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke..

The mystery begins when Sally endeavours to uncover the significance of her father’s last warning to her – ‘Beware the Seven Blessing.’ She intends to pursue this lead and find out the identity of his killer and bring the villain to justice. Shortly after her arrival at her father’s trading office, she becomes embroiled in another murder, the vagaries of the opium trade, and the mystery of the disappearance of the fabled Ruby of Agrapur. During her adventures in London, she encounters a few associates who become true friends, including a young errand boy named Jim, an amiable photographer by the name of Frederick Garland and his friendly actress of a sister Rosa. Before the game is played out, she will need her new-found friends in her race against the clock to make sense of her convoluted past and discover just who is behind the strange web of betrayal and deceit that has taken over her life.  Continue reading

The Prince of Mist Book Review

The Prince of Mist
Carlos Ruiz Zafon

3.5

A short and dark YA novel that captivates the reader through Zafon’s use of atmospheric descriptions, gothic themes and adventure that leaves the reader on tenterhooks. Max and his family have moved to a small village on the coast to escape their war-torn city life, however, as soon as they arrive, mystery, death and a sinister tale reawaken, and they have swapped the danger of war, for the unknowable danger that lurks in the mist. Prince of Mist Continue reading

The Monster Book Review

The Monster Book Review

Written By: C. J. Skuse
Year Published: 2015
Genre: Young-Adult Horror Fiction
Publisher: MIRA Ink, Harlequin
I received a copy of Monster through a Twitter giveaway (Maximum Pop!) in exchange for an honest review.

3 / 5

Breakfast Club/Hound of the Baskervilles-inspired horror set in an all-girls school.

 

A young-adult-horror-thriller about a mismatched group of boarding school girls that are stranded at school over the Christmas period due to a snowstorm, with the legendary Beast of Bathory loose and causing havoc among the villagers, tourists, animals and schoolgirls. Nash, a 16 year old girl who begins the novel aspiring to be Head Girl, is in for a traumatic Christmas with her brother’s disappearance while travelling, and trying to remain level-headed in this terrifying situation. 

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Ultimate Harry Potter Book Tag

Ultimate Harry Potter Book Tag

I spotted this Tag on susannevalenti and being the huge Harry Potter fan I am, I decided to join in on this Tag. Check out her blog people! Most of the images with quotes and gifs are not mine, I just loved them when I was searching for something to accompany my answers. There is a colossal amount of brilliantly made gifs and quotes which have clearly taken people plenty of time and devotion, and I thank you and congratulate you on them. I would have loved to include more but I didn’t want to make it too overbearing.

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Royally Electrifying

The Red Queen

Victoria Aveyard

4.25 / 5

A pulsating Young Adult fantasy novel that will leave you aching for more.

The Red Queen is Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel, which uses the current trend of social injustice in Young Adult dystopian novels, and then blends in supernatural elements and world history to create a shockingly thrilling novel. Red Queen is a slickly executed novel that has managed through Mare as the stimulus, to deliver a shock of metaphorical current into the reader, to keep them mentally and physically attached to this pulsating novel, with Aveyard as it’s magnificent conductor. 

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