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Young Adult fantasy books that I think are good
I've been reading YA books recently. I know I'm in my 30s, but I'm strongly of the opinion that good writing is good writing and that the age for whom the work was written should not be a deterent to reading good work. So, on to some of the YA books I've read recently that I think are really worth looking at closely. I will add to this list when I find more that I think are of a suitable quality. But for the moment, here are YA books that I think are good.
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready. This was one of the best YA books I've ever read. I found the topic beautifully handled, and it is a topic worthy of such skillful handling. Do you live for the love you lost, or do you move on? How do you move on and who decided that it is time? Such a passionately felt emotion of first love does not fade easily. And it is this that is handled and explored. Logan is everything that a young girl longs for, brilliantly talented, gorgeous, in love with her and yet, now that he is dead, it is time to grieve and move on. But his appearing as a ghost changes all that. And then there is the complication of Zack, the new man, the one who may hold the key to the mystery of her birth. But also, there is the question of the power of belief, in the power of love. I adored this book and the ending blew me away.
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. I really enjoyed this book. The darkness within it was real, as was the heroism and the pain of true love. Leslie is really and truly loved by both Niall and Iri, that is why they let her go, and why the story shines so brightly. I really disliked Keenan in the story, and Ash comes across as a rather dim-witted and flaky friend, but the two men/fairies are stunning in their torment and their darkness. I do wish that Leslie hadn't walked away from both of them, but, I also understand her need to do so. I just think that if she were a bit older that she may have reacted differently to them and their love, desire and need for her. All in all, a very satisfying read.
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Another book I loved was Garden Spells. The book is so lyrical and the plot, although dealing with the story of two sisters which immediately made me remember Practical Magic is really well told. I adored the way magical events and reality were woven in together. The apple tree in the garden was an especially lovely touch. I'm a fan of happy endings and of magic, so this was right up my street. It might not to truly YA but I think it would cross over well into the YA genre.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. Indeed, I enjoyed Addison Allen so much that I'm also including another book by her in my list. I got this book for my birthday [I asked for it] and loved it. Beautifully told, lyrical style and the magic is so lovely. I adored the mystery of the lights, the way in which one of the heroines baked to draw her love-child home to her. Really well done. I can't wait to read The Sugar Queen and The Peach Keeper. The way in which the characters are drawn, her magic realism style, all make her a voice worth exploring.
The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1) by Kelley Armstrong. This is the first of a trilogy that I really enjoyed. Armstrong is a good writer, and although some of her books come across as irritating due to the crassness of her heroine, it is not the case in this series. Beautifully told, the characters are very real. Their growing understanding of their difference, their friendships and love are beautifully brought out. A definite must try if you've not read these books before.
Kissed by an Angel (Kissed by an Angel #1-3) by Elizabeth Chandler. I enjoyed this book, although I must admit that Ivy did start to grate on me for a while. Fabulous plot and twist in the end though. A good read. Tristan is a lovely hero, and Will is so sweet. I found the similarity with some aspects of Shade interesting, but the way thinks are handled are very different. I really enjoyed how dark some of the twists in the plot were. That brought the book up a rating in my mind. There was no shying away from the harsher realities of life.