Exciting News!!!

Ok so I know I’ve been totally absentee as of late, but summer is almost here and I’m excited! I’m going to have so much time to myself and you know what that means…more reading and more posts! I’ve decided to kick off my summer reading with the book Spies and Prejudice which I have just received an ARC of from Netgalley! I’m reading it today so hopefully I’ll be able to have a review up sometime in the next week! We all know how I feel about spies and modern adaptations of Pride and Prejudice so I thought this one would be a good book for me!!!

I just realized that I missed the one year birthday of my blog! I’m so grateful to have such lovely readers and a cute little blog to write my thoughts on! I hope that I’ll be more present this coming year and that I won’t skip out on you guys again for months at a time (have I mentioned that I’m sorry). I wish you all the best summer reading and let the games begin! (so very Hunger Games-esque of me, don’t you think?)

Advertisements

The Infernal Devices Trilogy

Ok so at one point I will try to review all three books separately because they all had their good and bad points for me (mostly because I’m morally opposed to love triangles of any sort). Now, I read the first book in this series after I had finished all the books out in The Mortal Instruments series, which at the time I think there were three or four out. I was and still am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare so when I realized she had written a spin off series for TMI (I feel so trendy for abbreviating like all the other fangirls) I decided it would definitely be worth a read – and I certainly was not disappointed. I finished this series last Tuesday a bumbling, crying mess. After it was over I could not stop thinking about it and the ending is still haunting me.

Now let me preface this mini-rant by saying that this series had one of the worst love triangles I have ever encountered. Now when I say “worst” I do not mean in terms of badly written-ness or annoying protagonist-ness, I mean that this is a love triangle that ripped my heart in two. I (of course) had a certain person I was rooting for but I still could not help but adore the other boy. I’m trying to not spoil too much or taint this rant with my opinion of who Tessa (the protagonist) should’ve chosen, so excuse my vagueness.

The books all had such amazing story lines (despite the love triangle) that I can’t even begin to explain each one. All three books had great action sequences and lots of mysteries and once you finish the first one I promise you that you’ll be hooked. Clare has such a good method of weaving in different events for each character into an overarching arc so even when I found myself unhappy with the main arc of the story I could always find solace in the smaller arcs. She also has such a great way of writing characters – she almost writes in such a way that every single character in the series has enough material to be a main character. Some of my favorite supporting characters were Magnus (OF COURSE!), Sophie, Cecily, and Charlotte. It is almost baffling to me how some authors can create such intricate worlds but it is clear that Clare has managed to do that with the Shadowhunter world and it is a world that I will continue to visit as long as she continues to write it.

On the first cover we see WIll, the second Jem, and the third Tessa.

On the first cover we see WIll, the second Jem, and the third Tessa.

Now, Clare ended the series with what I suppose satisfied many readers but I honestly could not deal with the ending. Had I not read the epilogue I might have been content – but I did read the epilogue and I found myself kind of upset. Whenever I think back to the book Clockwork Princess I want to vomit because it literally gave me soooooo much anxiety. After I finished the book I had a sudden yearning for the TMI series with the monogamous relationship between Clary and Jace.

I suppose it is a sign that Clare is an absolutely fabulous writer because she produced such an emotional response in me, but as of right now I am still an emotional wreck. I try to convince myself to be happy with the ending, but I’m not. And let me add that I am not unhappy because of Clare writing it that way – she is the author and is the only person that ultimately knows what happens at the end of her own story – but I suppose I am just unhappy because I found the book’s ending to be very melancholy.

Despite my own mixed feelings about the end of the trilogy, I seriously recommend that anyone who has not yet read this series READ IT!!! Clare is an absolutely amazing storyteller and her ability to weave so many different story lines into one is not something any author can duplicate. If you are already a fan of the TMI series, I highly recommend you give The Infernal Devices trilogy a try because as I re-read the TMI series I found SOOO many cool connections between both series’ and I understood a lot of things a lot better.

So overall, I hope to review all three books separately as this was not really a review but just me word-vomiting (is that a verb?) my thoughts on an absolutely amazing trilogy’s end. Read these books and I promise that you won’t regret it – even with my painful over thinking of the ending I can’t bring myself to regret picking up these books. I mostly posted this because I honestly had so many thoughts and no one will listen to me drone on and on!

Thanks for reading!

BBS (Bad Blogger Syndrome)

Hi guys! I know that I haven’t updated this blog since like world war 2 but I’ve been super busy this year with school! I really enjoy blogging and reviewing books but I just haven’t had enough time lately to be writing the kinds of reviews that I want to write. Now I know that this sounds like one of those “I am SOOOOOO busy” pretentious posts but I can honestly promise you that my life has been full of new opportunities and things. I wish that I could say I would try to get a review a week up, like I have been in the past couple of posts, but to be honest it would probably be a lie. I appreciate every single view from the people that don’t mind my excessive use of commas and my over enthusiasm for swoony boys! I hope to update this blog more often because i really do love sharing my opinion about books and weeding out the bad ones!

So to keep you satisfied, I have composed a list of my 10 favorite books that I’ve read recently:

1. Alice in Zombieland (because you know I’m a fool for zombies)

2. The DUFF (because who doesn’t like a sassy and sarcastic protagonist?)

3. Warm Bodies (although not really young adult fiction, it was a great read)

4. Ruby Red/Sapphire Blue (two thirds of a trilogy that takes place in England; this satisfies my British book quota even though the author’s German)

5. Something Strange and Deadly (also involving zombies because lets be real, a girl just can’t get enough of the walking dead sometimes)

6. Secret Letters (intelligent protagonist and swoony assistant detective? sign me up)

7. Unspoken (honestly this book was a weird one – not my favorite yet I found myself silently anticipating the sequel)

8. Second Chance Summer (mostly because it was reminiscent of The Last Song and also everyone likes a summer romance in the middle of winter so…)

9. A Midsummer’s Nightmare (although I read this a while back it is still so worthy of being on my condensed list of favorites)

10. Prom and Prejudice (honestly this is a cheesy, corny, easy book but I love its simplicity and also I’m a fool for Pride and Prejudice remakes – although the original takes the cake)

Hopefully you will read and enjoy this vast array of Young Adult Fiction books! Each and every single one had things that made them irresistible to me – hopefully I will be able to review each one in full at a later date! Happy reading lovely viewers!

So where do I pick up my “worst blogger ever” award?

Okay so the fact of the matter is that I haven’t posted anything for like 3 weeks and I am a horrible blogger. I have been reading in between the piles of homework I’ve been recieving for school (shout-out to you, lovely professors). I really will be trying to get reviews up once a week from now on, but I can’t make any promises seeing as I am the worst blogger ever. To all of you that read my lovely blog, I apoligize for my lack of updates and I hope that you will bear with me as I adjust to being in school. Kisses and hugs to all, and hopefully I will have a new review up by this weekend.

Now I will leave you with a Ed Sheeran video:

1…2…3…YA READY?!

Okay, so as we all know, I have been a very neglectful blogger lately. I’M SORRY. Summer makes me lazy thus my erratic posting. However, I am going to make it up to all of my faithful readers (do I even have those?) by posting five reviews in honor of the last week of summer. That’s right, I said it, FIVE REVIEWS. I feel like if I post this post I am obligated thus I cannot not do it. I have already decided what books I am going to review but I’ll surprise you guys!

So on the opposite side of the spectrum, I have really been thinking a lot about my reviews and if I go too easy/hard on certain books. I really have been thinking about what criterion a book has to meet in order for it to be “good” in my standards. When I am starring books on Goodreads (I can’t review EVERYTHING I read or else we’d be here for days) I sometimes ponder certain books a lot and sometimes I end up going back to them and changing their rating. So in order to help you all understand what my process is, I have decided to devise a short list (and by short I mean like really really short).

1. What is the book supposed to be? Obviously in YA we don’t have a lot of deep, hard hitting stories that really reach into your core and change something within you. On Goodreads there is a list called “The Greatest Books of All Time” and it honestly sickens me that Twilight is at the top of the list. As I scrolled down the list I saw classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn and honestly I can tell you that the majority of books on that list were classics. THERE IS A REASON THEY ARE CLASSICS! You can’t compare Twilight to a classic because there is LITERALLY NOTHING TO COMPARE! So what I am trying to get at is that you have to look at a book for what it is supposed to be. If it is supposed to be a cheesy-chick-lit YA book, don’t compare it to Jane Austen, compare it to others of it’s kind! So when a book gets a really good review from me, that means that I think it is good for what it is supposed to be, not in comparison to heavy duty reading!

2. How did I like the characters? Are they all relate-able? I think that the most important element of a book is the characters for sure. If I don’t even like the characters, how am I supposed to be interested in the novel? For a character to be interesting to me, I have to connect with them on multiple levels meaning that even if I have never been in their situation, I have to be able to understand why they make choices that they make. The secondary characters, to me, are just as important if not more important that the main ones. When a protagonist has a good supporting group, it makes me so much more interested and invested in them. Awesome examples of great protagonists and supporting characters can be found in Sarah Dessen novels, don’t ask me how she does it – SHE’S THE QUEEN.

3. Timing is EVERYTHING. If a book moves too fast, I absolutely cannot STAND it. However, if a book moves too slow, it can hurt it as well. A book that I’ve read recently that had pacing problems (it went WAY too fast) was Girl Possessed by Réussie Miliardario. I didn’t like the protagonist to start with but the plot was interesting enough for me to continue reading. However, what killed it was the pacing – TOO FAST. I can’t think of an example of a book that moved slow enough to kill it for me because slowness doesn’t bother me as much. At the end of the day the author must set the pace of the book correctly in order for me to not become uninterested/bored.

These are the three main things that really decide if I like a book or not, the most important being number one of course! YA is a genre filled with amazing books and then some not-so-amazing books, so in order for me to find the best ones, of course I’m going to stumble on a few bad apples and a few good ones. There will always be the unremarkable ones, the great ones, and the terrible ones, so I have to do my best to find the ones worth reading.

On a lighter note, tomorrow begins the “Five Days of Reviews” for you, and the “FIve Days of I-actually-have-to-do-stuff” for me. Until tomorrow lovely readers!

Oh the Woes of Insta-Love and Love Triangles!

I haven’t written any reviews in a while and the main reason why is that I really haven’t read a book that just made me go “WOW THAT’S AMAZING!” and I’ve been a bit uninspired. Of course if you’ve seen my twitter you know that I recently read the second book in the Bloodlines Series by Rachelle Mead and the fifth book in the Shadowhunters series by Cassandra Claire, but I just really haven’t had the energy to write a review they deserve. So today instead of reviewing a book I am going to go on a rant about the two biggest things I hate in Young Adult Fiction today. The first is the curse of insta-love, and the second is the horrific love triangle! Get ready for years of pent up emotions to be released in this post!

Insta-love (noun) – an instant passion that occurs over the course of a couple days; the terms “I am in love with ____” or “I love you” are commonly used after a matter of days/weeks (sometimes hours)

Insta-love is the probably the number one technique seen in YA Fiction today. Yupp that’s right. Pretty much every novel you pick up off the YA shelf will have some variation of this virus. The genre it is used most in? Definitely any kind of paranormal romance. I have pretty much read every variation of the Twilight insta-love ever created. EVER CREATED I TELL YOU. First we have our protagonist, usually an insecure female girl who has just encountered a major change in her life (i.e.: a big move, family member(s) died, etc) . Enter hunky, mysterious male lead with a bit of an anger problem and protection complex. Usually the male is unfriendly at first, scared of what he feels (BLECH!). They (against all odds of course) fall in love and face the evil together and then we have happily ever after. All over a course of months or days depending on how much lovin’ our characters are feeling. They of course get that little happy period where they can express their love before the imminent danger descends upon them. All is well until the sequel (AKA LOVE TRIANGLE). What some of these authors fail to understand is that we have already read 500 pages of this in Twilight – trust me when I say Stephanie Meyer covered the subject throughly; we don’t need more cut copies of it! Twilight is probably (dare I say) the best Twilight out there, we don’t need a billion different copies with different names and scenarios, we got it the first time!

I got a little off course (trust me there was a lot more on that subject than what was written) but now we shall focus on the insta-love. The reason I mentioned Twilight was because that is pretty much the mother of all insta-love scenarios. Edward and Bella meet and BOOM a couple weeks later they are declaring themselves in “love”. I cannot express to you, dear reader, how much I absolutely hate this. Whatever happened to love being something special that didn’t just occur overnight? Has anyone ever read any Jane Austin? The greatest romantic novels ever written didn’t just have the characters fall in love overnight. It used to be a gradual, sacred process that took us readers on a wild ride on an emotional roller coaster. To me, insta-love just makes everything so much more boring. I love to wait and yearn for the characters to even acknowledge that there is some sort of attraction between them, and yet in almost every book I pick up there is a few chapters of this and then BOOM insta-love claims another victim. Romances that span several books are the best kind to me, not this “I’m so in love with him/her” after a couple chapters stuff. I think the main reason that we see this over and over and over again is because in the world we live in, instant gratification is what everyone wants, heck I even want it sometimes. But books are where things should be different, where things should be sacred and not just another contribution to the fads of our time.

Now…On to my next rant: LOVE TRIANGLES!

love triangle (noun) – a scenario in which person A is “in love” with person B and person C at the same time; often causes a rift in a relationship which began before the third person was introduced; person A has to make a “life changing” choice between their two loves at the end

In previous posts I have mentioned how much I hate the dreaded love triangle, and I have finally decided to release all my frustrations in this lovely little rant. Where do I even begin? Well again I will bring your attention to Twilight which was one of the first love triangles I read that really really angered me. Bella was probably one of my least favorite protagonists ever (especially when Kirstin Stewart played her in the movie), and the love triangle just added fuel to my fire of hatred. What I just could not understand in any way, shape, or form was why Bella was even questioning her love for Edward. Wasn’t this the same guy that had her ready to give everything up for him? The one that was “too perfect” to be with her? And yet when he was in love with her she couldn’t make up her mind between him and Jacob, the younger annoying guy? As you can see I was clearly team Edward in this scenario, but that’s just it! I want to be able to love every character for who they are, not have to pick a side. Why should we have “team edward” or “team jacob” why can’t we all just be “team Bella don’t get killed even though you’re annoying”?

I don’t know why authors feel the need to add love triangles. Is it to spice it up or something? Because let me tell you most of those books are pretty spicy already with vampires, ghosts, werewolves, etc. trying to kill the protagonist. In fluffy chick-lit books it may be necessary, but not so much in paranormal/dystopian romances. Why can’t the protagonist just be in love with one freaking guy in the book? Is that too much to ask? Why do we have to go through the motions of pretending that the main character is going to end up with someone else that is not their “first love”? It is totally unnecessary and overused and I am sick of it, SICK OF IT I TELL YOU!

These lists may have some spoilers so beware!

Examples of books with suitable love triangles and/or no insta-love are:

  1. The Mortal Instruments Series – while Clary does have a bit of a love triangle in the beginning books, it is not the main focus of the book and it is resolved very well hence me still being able to read the series without being annoyed
  2. The Gallagher Girls Series – the love between our protagonist and Zach that started in book 2 really doesn’t happen overnight (amazing right) but it actually spans many books which makes it a lot more enjoyable and exciting read; also no love triangle and love actually isn’t the main focus of the book which is refreshing
  3. Bloodlines Series – while there are only two books in the series and I can’t really judge at this point, the author seems to be taking it in a good direction; the love definitely doesn’t happen overnight and there is no love triangle in the foreseeable future (thank goodness!)
  4. The Georgia Nicholson Series – there are so many love interests in this book that I could barely keep count, however the series is refreshing and honestly Georgia isn’t annoying about her love problems but is actually comedic about the whole thing; the series is pretty long so we get to see Georgia grow and learn while also watching her fall in love…over and over and well…over again
  5. Dead Is Series – while the love does happen in the first book, it is still refreshing in each book and doesn’t feel overly mushy; it is not the focus of the books and while the beginnings of a love triangle do appear, our protagonist doesn’t fall for it (you go girl!)
  6. Heist Society Series – another Ally Carter masterpiece with a fiercely independent protagonist and a cute (non-insta) love story; again can’t really tell you about love triangles yet because only two books have been released
  7. Harry Potter Series – one of the most beloved series of all time, and yet do we see a love triangle or insta-love? NO WE DON’T! you can be successful without one YA Authors, trust me JK Rowling did it beautifully, take notes?

Now a list of books that have been ruined for me because of love triangles/insta-love:

  1. Twilight Series – already went on about this but in short I hated the very core of this series which was pretty much a combo of vampires, insta-love, and a love triangle
  2. The Hunger Games Series – when I first started reading these books I couldn’t put them down but when I ended up on team Gale and Katniss didn’t, well…let’s just say that’s another reason to hate love triangles
  3. The Infernal Devices Series – honestly this is one of the WORST love triangles I have ever encountered; I cannot tell what is going to happen, but I can tell you it annoys me that both boys are so darn lovable; I wish I could say Tessa and WIll will end up together and everything will be happily ever after, but at this point there’s no telling
  4. The Carrier of the Mark – one of the absolute worst Twilight copies I have ever read; the insta-love was definitely puke-worthy and I cannot even promise that I finished the book because it was so bad
  5. Struck – this book had such an exciting premise but unfortunately the insta-love was really weird and the whole book just felt rushed (I guess and upcoming apocalypse can do that do a person…heh)
  6. The Vampire Academy Series – I hated and loved the protagonist at the same time mostly due to her badass-ness and her inability to choose a guy; we all knew how it was going to end up and yet the author made us fall in love with another guy after we had just fallen in love with the first one (this gets resolved in Bloodlines so I guess it isn’t the worst case)
  7. Fallen Series – the first book was amazing but the rest were really annoying; insta-love struck and I was okay with it until the second book when things became really stupid with the introduction of a small love triangle while there was simultaneously another love triangle even though it wasn’t an outward love triangle; confusing, I know, that’s why it made me mad

Now these aren’t all the good/bad books I have read that included/didn’t include love triangle and insta-love but these are the ones I can remember at this moment. The only thing I ask is that we get some books that aren’t based on these two simple things! I hope to review some of the books on those lists that I have so graciously compiled, but until then, happy reading!

Want me to review a book? Email me at youngadultbookmuncher@gmail.com or comment this post!

Obligatory Introductory Post

Hi guys, my name’s Gaby and I’m the best book reviewer you’ll ever find. Haha just kidding, but I am an avid reader who loves to give the lowdown on

every book I read. Books are like candy to me, sometimes you’re craving a crappy teen love story, sometimes a paranormal romance, sometimes a more manly book, etc. I am a person that reads them all. I love to curl up with a good book and get lost, but unfortunately some books are just NOT good. So in order to save people time and money, I’ve decided to start reviewing books and giving you the good, bad, and ugly of them all. If you’d like me to review a certain book or bite my head off for a review, please feel welcome to submit a comment. This blog is for teen book lovers everywhere and I hope that you find it useful!