9.14.2011

#YAScramble: 15 Books You May Not Know About (And Should)


The YA Scramble is a chance to win a TON of prizes. They will be awesome. (You can see the full list at the bottom of the page!) I'm hosting Gail from Ticket to Anywhere and you can read my post at the Kaledeidoscpic reviews, which is the next stop!!


How it works: 
1) Visit the first blog (based on list below). 
2) Read the guest post. 
3) Identify the PURPLE word. 
4) Pick out the 3rd letter from the purple word.
5) Go to the next blog. 
6) Repeat #3, #4, and #5 until you visited all 14 sites. 
7) At the end, take all 14 of the 3rd letters from the PURPLE words and figure out the message near and dear to our hearts. 
8) You will enter that unscrambled message ONCE into this form as your official entry for a chance to win some great prizes from fantastic authors and bloggers.


Like many of my fellow blogger and author friends out there I read A LOT of books and I don't just read them but I love to discuss them. So when I read a book with that special extra something, that magic kernal that keeps me up into the wee hours of the night then I just want to shout it from the roof tops (aka twitter). Often that cry is met with a course of people saying how much they loved it too. But sometimes....sometimes my jumps and shouts are met with crickets or comments saying they'd never heard of book x before. 

So when Cyndi came up with the idea of the YA Scramble I thought that it would be a great chance to try and bring some of the lesser known YA books that I love into the spotlight.  So here is a list of my Top Ten Fifteen YA books that I've read over the last year or so that I still have trouble getting out of my head. These will be in alphabetical order as there is no possible way that I can rank the best of the bets on this list.
#1 Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson Genre: Contemporary I just finished listening to this one this very afternoon and ZOMG I am so in love with Amy & Roger. This book made me want to just shuck all my responsibilities and just drive across country in search of wonderful sites and food and people. This book is about feeling broken inside and the healing that comes with good friends and new experiences. Amy and Roger are both trying to get over painful things that have happened to them recently and while they start off as strangers its not long before a strong bond forms between the two.  The narrator, Suzy Jackson, did an amazing job of bringing all the voices together and I will definitely be searching out other books she's done.
#2 Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Fantasy
Brightly Woven was a book that I was eager to get my hands on the moment I heard about it. Its a book of fantasy and that is one of my favorite genres and so was so happy when I received a copy for review. At first I found it a bit slow but it wasn't long before this became a book that I couldn't put down. The story is just so lyrical and the world so vivid and bright. I could close my eyes and see the surrounds just as clearly as if I was a character in the book. Sydelle and North - the two main characters - had such great personalities (and chemistry) that I loved their scenes together. There was a mystery and there was magic and there is so much potential for more books set in this world. I really hope that Bracken writes more with these great characters because one book just isn't enough! 
 #3 Clarity by Kim Harrington (as well as its sequel Perception)
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
If you were a fan of Veronica Mars and have missed that snarky sleuth then Clarity is the book for you. Clare is a psychic on cape cod and she gets sucked into a murder investigation. Because really, what else are you going to do on your summer vacation in a tourist town? This book was filled with so much goodness that I find it hard to describe. Clare is the sort of character that I want to be BFFs with and I love her quirky family. The mystery in this one kept me guessing and I love that.  Its sequel, Perception, is equally good and I think that fans of the love triangle set up in Clarity will be happy with how this one ends.
#4 Courtney Summers Genre: Contemporary (and soon - ZOMBIES)
OK...OK...I know that Courtney Summers is a person and now a book but I just couldn't pick one of hers to highlight. This is one author in which I'll buy and read EVERYTHING she writes and know that I'll love it. I also know that my emotions will be tossed through the wringer, the blender, shattered, and then maybe (if lucky) pieced back together again. Her books make me laugh, cry and keep me up into the wee hours of the morning because I can't stop turning the pages. Her characters and stories live on in my head long after the book is done. 
#5 The Demon's Lexicon Series by Sarah Rees Brennan
Genre: Paranormal
Do you want hot boys, wizards, demons, mystery and just an all around good time? Then look no further than Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon Lexicon Series. Set in contemporary London this series is filled with non-stop action and some of the wittiest lines ever written. Its not often that you laugh out loud during serious battle scenes but Brennan manages to make it happen. I especially loved when Nick and Jamie shared a scene and I couldn't get enough of those two. Each book is told from a different characters point of view and while I always had a hard time adjusting initially by the end I was totally in love. I was sad to see this series end...and if you know how series fatigued I am then you know that is saying a lot!
#6 Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Genre: Paranormal
Modern day knight's templars? check. Fast paced story? check. Kick ass heroine? check. A book that will leave you breathless? check. Pretty much anything you could ask for in a book this one has. There are parents...well a parent...and he's both involved and distant (its crazy but it works). There are hot boys and smart ass heroines. There is danger and adventure and beating the odds. Devil's Kiss starts off at full speed and just doesn't stop. Ever. Seriously, there isn't a slow moment to be had. This is another book that I listened to in the car and I made so many excuses to keep driving around because I wasn't ready to part from Billi's story. I really need to get my hands on book 2 ASAP....especially since I've heard that includes not just a hot Russian...but also the threat of a super volcano. Can it get any better than that?
#7 Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Genre: Fantasy
Eon is a book that is filled with so many issues....but not in a bad way. There is gender issues and identity issue and political intrigue and best of all....DRAGONS! This is one of those books that is hard to put into words as there is just so much goodness in it. Pretty much if you liked the Disney movie Mulan (also underrated) then you'll probably enjoy this book as well. I was so engrossed in this story and I am really looking forward to see where the story goes in its sequel. 
#8 Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Genre: Contremporary
How much did I love this book? Well let's just say that I live in the fine state of Massachusetts and when I learned that Nina LaCour was only doing signings in California I dropped everything and flew across country just to meet her. Yeah. The book was that good. Hold Still is a book about suffering a huge loss. Something bigger than you could imagine and then finding the courage and strength to move forward. Anyone who has ever lost someone should read this book. 
#9 The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
Genre: Fantasy
OMG. I can't tell you just how much I enjoyed this book. Seriously there are no words. This is a book that I grabbed an ARC of during a local book event and was holding it up shouting at passerbys to buy when it was released. Campbell has created an amazing world that I just want to live in. The dialogue was filled of snark and great one liners that I found myself laughing out loud. I was skeptical of this book when I first heard about it, I mean superheroes...really? But I am so glad I picked it up because its one of my favorite books of the entire year! I really really really need more books involving Damian and his friends so go out and buy a copy for you and all your friends. You won't regret it!
#10 Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Genre: Time Travel
Who wouldn't want to have a time traveling gene? Well, the main character of this book for one. But have it she does and due to a calculation error she has to quickly learn how to survive in a multitude of time periods without creating a paradox. Yeah....no pressure. As with all the others on this list it should come as no surprise that I loved this book. I really wish that I knew German so that I could import and read the next two books in this series because I'm dying to see what happens next. 
#11 Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Genre: Contemporary
This book just makes me go squee. I loved every word of it and really hated for it to end. Payton is such a quirky and endearing character and I loved all the others in this book as well. I loved how the disease that Payton's dad was suffering from wasn't cancer and I loved how her best friend Jaz did all she could to help distract and help Payton out. This was a quick read and one that I stayed up late reading. Its a wonderful story and one that I think everyone should read.  
 
#12 Silver Phoenix/Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Genre: Fantasy
What a super duper wonderful series. I was hooked on these books right from the start and simply devoured them. I loved Ai Ling and Chen Yong....and heck even the big bad in the first book I ended up liking by the end of the second. Now that, my friends, is a gift of writing and characterization right there. The world that Pon creates is so rich and detailed that you'd swear it was real and you become a little sad when you realize that its not.
#13 The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Genre: Contemporary
Remember that time I said that I dropped everything to fly across country just to meet an author? No? Well, look above and refresh yourself. I probably should have mentioned then that LaCour wasn't the only author I wanted to meet, Jandy Nelson was another big part of that trip. I have no words with just how amazingly wonderful this book was. Again its about overcoming grief but its so much more than that. The prose of this novel is just so gorgeous that I could read this book 100 times and it will never get old.
#14 Skyship Academy: The Peal Wars by Nick James
Genre: Sci-Fi
There is a serious lack of science fiction in the YA world these days and Nick James does a great job in filling the void. I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. There are some dystopian elements in this read that will appeal to those of that genre. And best of all there is an explanation for why the world has become what it has. I adore plausible explanations. I also adore books with dual points of view which this one also had. All in all this was a solid win and I can't wait until the sequel. 
#15 Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Genre: Contemporary
Tension of Opposites was such a sleeper book for me. I was so happy to have received an ARC of it but again I wasn't sure about the story. So imagine my surprise when I stayed up ALL night long in order read this book from cover to cover! This was done a night when I had to work the next day so I was so exhausted but it was worth the lack of sleep! Tessa is such a heart breaking character who becomes paralyzed after her best friend is kidnapped. They did everything together so Tessa finds it so hard to move forward when she doesn't know what happened to Noelle. When a miracle happens and Noelle returns Tessa then struggles with the memory of the girl she knew and getting to know the girl who returned. This book was brilliant and I can't recommend it enough.

Well, thanks for listening to my rambles....and to say thanks I am giving away a signed copy of Clarity by Kim Harrington and a signed ARC of Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon. To enter just fill out this form and leave a comment below with some of your favorite underrated YA titles.  


That's just what I'm giving away....be sure to check out all the blogs participating in the #YASCRAMBLE for a chance to win the grand prize....as well as see what others are saying about the YA genre and other unique blog prizes.  This is ONE DAY only--starts now & ends at 11:59 pm today! Open internationally. Check it out!




Here's what you can win in the Grand Prize:
  • ARC of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (with signed bookmark) 
  • Ebook of Soltice by PJ Hoover (with trading cards) 
  • Ebook of The Space Between by Alexandra Sokoloff 
  • Paperback copy of Perception by Heather Cashman 
  • Signed paperback ARC of Anathema by Kathleen Tucker 
  • Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Gift Set (Trade Paperback of Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad Journal, Minion Bling Buttons and Vlad Tote)
  • Signed paperback copy of Between by Cyndi Tefft 
  • Signed hardcover of Clarity by Kim Harrington 
  • ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 
  • Signed ARC of Fury by Elizabeth Miles 
  • Signed paperback of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater 
  • ARC of Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison 
  • Copy of The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 
  • Winner's choice of 5 ebooks from a list of indie authors 
  • Signed paperback of Sleepers by Megg Jensen 
  • Ebooks of Soul Quest and The Guardian of Souls by Amy Jones 
  • Kindle copy of Winnemucca by Laura Elliott (plus a guest post spot on her blog!) 
  • Paperback copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


15 comments:

  1. Two underrated YA books that have been out for quite awhile (we're talking years) but continue to stay with me are Cut by Patricia McCormick and A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. These are two of the most compelling, heart achingly honest books I have ever read...and I talk about them a lot. I'm always singing their praises and encouraging others to read them.

    Aeicha
    wordspelunker at gmail dot com

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  2. Some of my fav YA titles are indies. I loved EDEN by Keary Taylor, and AWAKENED by Ednah Walters, CROSS MY HEART by Katie Klein, THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES by Kristina McBride was great too. And I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Thanks so much for the post.
    Britney
    britneywyatt[at]gmail[dot]com

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  3. This is an awesome list! Some of them i've read some are on my tbr list and others I am about to add. I just read The Tension Of Opposites for a review and I loved it!

    Some of my YA favorites are Hush hush, the darkest powers series by kelley armstrong, spellbound by samantha combs, and a bunch of indies which are among my favorites! I really love how to say goodbye in robot an indie set in my home town!

    Mera

    mirrormera92 at aol dot com

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  4. My favorite YA titles are The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, she writes amazing and Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick, I loved the characters and I can't wait for Silence.
    I really loved Meant to Be by Tiffany King
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Diana
    artgiote at gmail dot com

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  5. hmmm...I love the Tales of Lunamorte. I also just read The Pace by Selena Shorts that was awesome! I also love Amanda Hocking who has become SO popular : )
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    e(dot)baker219(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Some of my fav YA titles are indies AWAKENED by Ednah Walters and shea berkley the marked son

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  7. I want to read Clarity so badly! It sounds awesome

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  8. I really love Sweethearts by Sara Zarr, and Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

    Thanks so much for the chance to enter! Great giveaway!

    --Christina
    TinaLynn510@gmail.com

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  9. Thanks for the great list and for being part of this giveaway!!

    widsfam7 @ digis dot net

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  10. Though its getting more attention now that the second book is coming out, I still think that Birthmarked deserves more notice that it got. It was such read.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

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  11. Number The Stars and classics like the Anne Of Green Gables series.

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

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  12. Thanks for the chance, and for the great book list.

    I've read only a couple of YA (my favorite is paranormal romance) I started with the Twilight Saga, and like so many others got hooked. If only I could go back in time when I was a teen (many, many moons ago) I might have started reading YA instead of my much loved Harlequin romances.

    jmesparza821(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. My favorite under-rated YA book is ANGELFALL by Susan Ee. It's self-published and I reviewed it for www.siftreviews.com, but it's pretty fantastic. I also think Janice Hardy doesn't get the attention she deserves :-)

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  14. I really loved The Sky Is Everywhere and sadly not many know about it. I really cried when I read it, because it was so emotionally driven

    bookishlymalyza@yahoo.com

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  15. I wouldn't say this series is underrated but not as many people know about it. It's the Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready and it's honestly one of my favorite YA series.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! :)

    nicoleloveskyle2(at)aim(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment!! I appreciate you stopping by! :)