What I’m Reading: YA Fall Releases

It’s Thursday night and I’ve managed to talk myself down from the “I should be studying” ledge.  So, since I’ve decided that grad school is no excuse to not read for fun, why not talk about all the books I’ve been cramming in my spare time?  Thanks to my library, I’ve been on the top of the list for many of this fall’s hottest YA releases.

My mini reviews are spoiler-free, so no worries if you haven’t read them.

Here’s my lineup:

Oct517 Reading.jpg

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Of all the books released this fall, I was most excited for this one.  While I thought the first few Throne of Glass books were pretty rough , this series gets better and better with each new release. When I first heard about this book, I was pretty skeptical.  I’m not the biggest Chaol fan and an entire book about him wasn’t an exciting prospect.   This book, however, goes deep into his character development and redeemed him for me.  I read Tower of Dawn slowly–it took me a week and a half–and, oh, what a wonderful week and a half it was.  There is so much to love about this book.  My absolute favorite thing was the all the diversity!  If I understood the character’s physical descriptions accurately, there’s only two white people in the whole book.  I know Maas has been criticized for the lack of diversity in her books, so it’s encouraging to see her making an conscious effort.  I also loved that Yrene Towers plays a central role–she’s a great character.  The bits with Nesryn, Sartak, and the ruk riders were some of my favorites in the whole book.  Anyways, I loved this book and it reignited my excitement for the Throne of Glass series.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

This was a really enjoyable book.  It was a bit strange at first to encounter Diana Prince in a novel.  Superhero tales are usually so visual–perfect for comics and movies… but this didn’t disappoint.  Bardugo writes such rich characters and they were a treat to spend time with.  There was one particular scene involving the lasso of truth, a bonfire, and a character’s insecurities being laid bare that hit really close to home for me.  It’s always unsettling and moving to see one’s broken spaces put into words by someone else.  Anyways, Wonder Woman is one of my favorite superheroes and it was so fun to see her not as a hero, but a teenage girl learning who she is and where she fits in the world.  The mythology was delightful and the plot twists had me guessing.

Warcross by Marie Lu

This is a book that, eventually, I want to own.  It was one the fall releases I was most excited for (after Tower of Dawn) and it didn’t disappoint!  This was my first book by Marie Lu and I now want to go read her other books.  Warcross swept me away and filled my imagination.  It’s set in a sci-fi-esque future where virtual reality is part of daily life, experienced through a game called Warcross.  It’s the story of a teenage delinquent struggling to get by who accidentally hacks into the opening games of the annual Warcross tournament and becomes an overnight sensation.  She is then spirited away to Tokyo to compete in the tournament and serve as a spy for the game’s creator.  It’s rich, lush, and thrilling.

Moxie by Jennifer Matthieu

I read this in one sitting.  It’s a delightful book about a teen in a closed-minded small town in Texas who, inspired by memorabilia from her mom’s teen years, decides to take on the patriarchy.  Frustrated by blatant sexism in her high school, Vivian begins anonymously distributing a newsletter calling the administration on their crap.  While the plot is a bit over-the-top at points, I enjoyed every minute.  It’s the story of girls finding their voices and discovering that they’re not alone.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

This was another widely-lauded YA release.  I’ve never read anything by Silvera before.  It’s about two boys from very different worlds who both get calls that they’re going to die before the end of the day.  Their paths cross and they spend their last day together.  It’s a sad, sweet story about what it means to live well.  It reminded me of Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star–two teens with only a day to spend together, traversing New York and talking about life.  I didn’t love this book (my head was still stuck in Warcross, to be honest) but it was good.

What have you been reading lately?  Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: YA Fall Releases

  1. Katie October 10, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    I’m amazed how how much you are able to read for fun while working full-time and going to grad school. I’ve just started working part-time and I still feel like I’m struggling to read as much as you. What are your secrets?

    • Amelia October 10, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Thanks, Katie! My main secret, I guess, is that I kind of don’t have a life. 🙂 Actually, I find places to read for fun whenever I can. I read during my lunch breaks, on the elliptical at the gym, and half an hour to an hour before going to bed. YA books usually go quickly, so I can power through them easily. I also spend ten hours a week commuting, so I listen to TONS of audiobooks. (Although, lately, I haven’t been making progress with new books in the car… I’ve been listening to the ACOTAR series again because I’m completely obsessed.) In addition, I have always had a really hard time focusing on schoolwork in the evening. I bust my butt getting my schoolwork done during the day–I’m allowed to study when it’s quiet at work, so I get a lot of school done that way–so I can relax and unwind in the evening. I know that not all semesters will be like this… the workload will be different each time. But pleasure reading is part of self-care for me, so I make a point of doing it to stay sane. 🙂

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