Today the order will roughly express my enjoyment of the books. (Please note this post contains affiliate links and Amazon will pay me a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking these links. Your cost is not increased by using these links.)
Scarlett (Lunar Chronicles Book 2) by Marissa Meyer. This is the sequel to Cinder and is a young adult novel in a dystopian world. This continued the fun of the first book, but rotated between Cinder and Scarlett. As before, it features a twist on an old fairy tale (this time Little Red Riding Hood), however it isn’t the same as Cinder because of the new storyline and people. I really liked this book and can’t wait to read the third one.
Cress (Lunar Chronicles Book 3) by Marissa Meyer. This book was done in the same style as the two before it, and added more points of view. Cress’s story is a twist on Rapunzel. I still really love this series, but I’m finding it hard to continue to have a deep attachment to some of the characters because there are a lot of them and we don’t spend much time with some of them. That said, I can’t wait to read Winter!
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. (I’ve posted about this one on Twitter and Facebook because it’s awesome.) Another young adult novel that is strongly dystopian. It has elements of other popular books in that genre (Hunger Games, Divergent), though I would say it was darker. No sex, but there is torture. It does have a multi angled love story, but it’s deeper than being torn between two guys. All in all, I loved this book so much! I picked it up over breakfast and didn’t put it down until I finished it. I’m so sad that I have to wait for the next book.
The Martian by Andy Weir. (I’ve posted about this one on Twitter and Facebook because it’s awesome.) If you’re looking for a good science fiction, heavy on the science, this is the book for you. It’s smart, funny, full of ingenuity, and there isn’t a single swashbuckling hero fighting the evil empire. Basically, it’s everything I wanted in a Sci-Fi book as a kid but couldn’t find. It made this chemist’s heart skip a beat. (Yes, I was a chemist before I was a writer.) Side note, I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t comment on it.
The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Series) by Charlie N. Holmberg. This is a young adult novel set in the early 1900’s (I’m not sure of the exact time frame). The main character is 19, which is a nice change. She is a somewhat unwilling apprentice to a paper magician. When her master is attacked, she tries to help him. I really enjoyed the smaller scope of this book. While there were plenty of ways for the story to go big, it stayed focused on saving her master, and the magic felt very fresh. There were a few minor world building inconsistencies, but I look forward to the next book.
Defy (Defy Series Book 1) by Sara B. Larson. This is a young adult fantasy novel. This was a fun ready, about a female soldier who is one of the best swordsman in the army and a prince’s guard. From there all sorts of interesting things happen, including several types of magic. While I enjoyed this book, the love triangle didn’t work for me (but I’m rather rabidly against love triangles). Now, If you like love triangles, then you could have totally different feelings. I read this book really quickly, and the sequel is on my to read list, though it has a lot of company so I’m not sure when I’ll get to it.
Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch. This is a sword and sorcery young adult novel. The main character goes on a quest to prove herself and it goes wrong, which ends up leading her to her full potential. No sex, though there is a lot of killing and a threat of rape. Now, I really enjoyed this book. There were some fun (if not totally surprising twists), and good lines. However, (and this is just a me problem) I’m getting tired of 16 year olds saving the world. This is the the first of three (or more?) books, two of which are out. I haven’t read the sequels, but I’m sure I’ll get around to them.
Pegasus by Robin McKinley. This is a young adult book but it’s written more like high fantasy with a teen as the star. Now, let me be very clear. I loved this book. The world building is beautiful and the story is engaging if a slow burn. A softer story of self discovery and becoming someone who wants to create change is such a nice change from what else is out there. However! However! I can’t recommend it until the sequel is published because it ends mid-scene. There’s no build up to a cliff hanger, it simply ends. If/when the sequel comes out I’ll change my view, but I’m not holding my breath. Pegasus was published in 2010 and there’s no release date or official announcement for the next book.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. This is a sword and sorcery young adult novel. The main character is an overweight 16 year old princess who lacks self-confidence and has a God Stone in her belly button. This stone marks her as the person chosen to have a great, undefined duty. This book had great parts, good parts, and a few spots I wish had been handled differently. In the beginning, I was really interested in this character, especially her weight because of reviews I had read. On the post-reading side, I don’t like how she lost the weight because it wasn’t a part of character growth, but essentially forced upon her. The overall book was good and it has sequels (which I haven’t read) so the story continues.
*The above books were difficult to rank because ,even with the flaws, they fell in the really like to love spectrum. The following books didn’t do as much for me.*
Matched (Matched Book 1) by Ally Condie. Also a young adult novel. This is the first of three books, and the only one of the series I’ve read. It’s another dystopian/post-dystopia society that is very big-brotherish. There were a few things I didn’t like about the book from a structure (of the story, use of language, or world) standpoint, but if you like teen romance with big-brother in the way, a hit of discord in the world, and a love triangle, this is for you.
Crossed (Matched Book 2) by Ally Condie. This is the sequel to Matched. I thought there was a lot of promise where the first book left off, and to me this mostly didn’t deliver. Very few things happened and most of the book was passing time between those events with little that was interesting or necessary for the plot. Perhaps the third book will pull some of those elements together but I haven’t read it and am unsure if I will.
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. This was a young adult book with dystopian elements featuring fairies. I won’t be saying much about this because while it will work for some people, it hit some of my personal pet peeves about sex.