All right! It's time for me to share the YA and MG books that are at the top of my to-read list for the summer quarter of 2018. There are quite a few this quarter!
Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine is the fourth book in the unique YA fantasy series The Great Library, which shows a world where the Library of Alexandria was never burned and instead became an extremely powerful institution, with a select few libraries in the world now controlling access to all the books that exist. It's a really interesting story perfect for book and library lovers. Smoke and Iron releases on July 3rd.
Recently, I've been listing my top ten choices for best YA books in the years before I started this blog. Today, I figured I'd round off these flashback posts with one final list, completing the decade at 2010! So here are my ten most favorite YA books published in 2010.
1) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. This, the final book in the blockbuster YA dystopian trilogy The Hunger Games, is a stunner in so many ways. Brilliant writing, plenty of plot twists, fantastic characterization--just a beautiful conclusion to a phenomenal series. For those who don't know (who art thou?), The Hunger Games tells the story of a girl in a future dystopia who volunteers in her sister's place to compete in a broadcasted competition where the only way you win is by being the last one alive.
2) Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien. This is the first in a YA dystopian trilogy about a young midwife living outside of the privileged Enclave who faithfully hands over a quota of new babies to the government each year. When her parents are arrested, she enters the Enclave to try and rescue them and, in the process, learns a lot more about the world she lives in.
3) Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. My surprise favorite of the year, this YA contemporary novel tells the story of a deaf girl who winds up the manager of a band. It's thought-provoking, full of heart, and just really well-done all around.
Back when I first started this blog, I posted a handful of times about my writing idols. Since then, my list of writing idols has grown a good bit. Honestly, there are so many fantastic writers out there in the world, and there's so much I admire about and want to learn from them. I know I'll never be able to achieve what many of these writers have--sometimes you just have natural talent in some areas and natural ineptitude in others--but in recognizing them and their skill, I take the first step towards improving my own writing. So today I thought I'd post an updated list of my writing idols and what it is that I admire most about them.
1) J.K. Rowling. Forever and always, I will look up to the author of Harry Potter and the ongoing Cormoran Strike series (as Robert Galbraith). She's fantastic in so many different ways. Most of all, I admire her charitable work, her clean and relatable characterization, and her thorough worldbuilding.
2) Hans Christian Andersen. I have a lot in common with this guy, and after reading the full collection of his fairytales, I came to admire not only the beauty and magic of his stories, but also the way he brought deeper meaning, often religious in nature, into them.
3) Neal Shusterman. This author is another one whose worldbuilding I look up to. It's complex and thoughtful and makes me see the world differently. I also admire his creativity in coming up with strange and unique premises for all his books, which include the Unwind Dystology, Challenger Deep, and the ongoing Arc of a Scythe trilogy.
My apologies for forgetting last week's post!
I think it's time yet again to look at the top 25 most played songs in my library and compare them with the 25 top-selling songs right now according to iTunes. Explicit songs will be marked with a red "E."
Top 25 Songs on My iPod
1) "Save the World/Don't You Worry, Child" Pentatonix
2) "River" Bishop Briggs
3) "The Avengers" Alan Silvestri, from The Avengers
4) "Young and Menace" Fall Out Boy
5) "Uncharted" The Piano Guys
6) "So Tied Up" Cold War Kids, feat. Bishop Briggs
7) "Centuries" Fall Out Boy
8) "Human" Rag'n'Bone Man
9) "Champion" Fall Out Boy
10) "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" Lorde
11) "Moonlight" The Piano Guys
12) "River Lea" Adele
13) "Conrad" SOHN
14) "Dangerous Woman" Ariana Grande
15) "Michael Meets Mozart" The Piano Guys
16) "The Fire" Bishop Briggs
17) "Wherever I Go" OneRepublic
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