EXAMS ARE OVER! I don't think I would've survived one more day in school. It's just the time of the year where everyone's stressed and frazzled and at the end of their ropes. Bucketloads of homework, teachers racing to cram it all in... it's a bit more than we can handle right now. But it's done. Over with. Out of my mind until next year. A whole two weeks to recover my sanity. *deep breath*
I haven't been able to do much reading lately (studying for eight exams kind of hinders my reading time), but it feels like most of books I crack open are just...not there. New YA books have so much hype around them, but I feel like most of them don't live up to it. I don't know what it is exactly. Maybe it's because they're emerging authors, maybe it's because I get tired of the same old plotlines repeated over and over again.
On the other hand, I've read some books that are just heart-shatteringly, breathtakingly amazing. Books that made me laugh, cry, scream, and hurl them across the room. Books where I start from page one again right after I finish the last word. So without further ado (I've always wanted to say this), here's my list of the YA books that are definitely worth the hype:
Daughter Of Smoke And Bone Series By Laini Taylor
ONCE UPON A TIME, AN ANGEL AND A DEVIL FELL IN LOVE. IT DID NOT END WELL.
This has got to be my favorite series of all time. Seriously, who is this woman? Laini Taylor is a being of fairy dust and starlight. She writes with the most gorgeous description and develops her characters so well. The plotline is another supernatural romance, sure, but Taylor knows how to make it work. If there's any series that is worth the hype, it's this one. (And that cover!!!)
The House Of Hades By Rick Riordan
"LEO AND CALYPSO'S GARAGE: AUTO REPAIR AND MECHANICAL MONSTERS"
At this point, I've been following the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series for years. Fall comes around, I pick up the new one, I finish it in a day, and I spend the rest of the year wailing and whining for the next book to come faster. (I'm not the only one. The Percy Jackson series has a such a huge fanbase.) Riordan is such a troll, but he has never failed to deliver, and The House of Hades has it all. And no life-or-death cliffhanger, thank God. Riordan, this is a children's series we're talking about, not a TV show. (My full review of THoH can be found .)
ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Saenz
I WONDERED WHAT THAT WAS LIKE, TO HOLD SOMEONE'S HAND. I BET YOU COULD SOMETIMES FIND ALL OF THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE IN SOMEONE'S HAND.
I can't adequately describe this book. There are no words. Ari and Dante has won a billion awards and wormed its way into reader's hearts everywhere. The plotline is relatively simple, which makes the story even more powerful. A starkly realistic, coming-of-age tale of friendship and love. Just read it.
The Monstrumologist Series By Rick Yancey
THE COLD STARS SPUN TO THE ANCIENT RHYTHM, THE AUGUST MARCH OF AN EVERLASTING SYMPHONY. THEY ARE OLD, THE STARS, AND THEIR MEMORY IS LONG.
I am so glad I discovered Yancey. The Monstrumologist series is definitely a highlight of YA horror. Yancey's stories go above and beyond the realms of normal YA books. The books are Victorian-gothic and more than a little gory, and they win the prize for the best imagery I've ever read. This is a series that needs, needs, needs more attention. (Full review of The Curse of the Wendigo .)
Rose Under Fire By Elizabeth Wein
HOPE IS TREACHEROUS, BUT HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT IT?
I practically finished this book in one sitting, and I don't think I took a breath the entire time. Rose Under Fire is a companion novel to Wein's Code Name Verity, but can be read as a stand-alone. This historical-fiction novel is about a girl pilot in WWII who gets caught and captured by the Germans and sent to a concentration camp. Haunting, yet hopeful at the same time, this story builds great relationships between the main and supporting characters. Completely worth a read.