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ritastradling

anti-book-snob

For some reason I find fantasy books much more believable than mainstream fiction. I mostly read fantasy and all sub-genres but if overwhelmed with curiosity I'll occasionally read a 'norm' book.

 

I am an author also but I am mostly on this site to connect as a reader.

Ten Young Adult Fantasy Books Not to Miss (Published in 2015)

So being a big young-adult novel reader, I get a lot of requests from friends asking ‘what book should I read?’ (I’m sure many of you do too). So, as I have done in previous years I thought I’d make a little list of young adult fantasy books (including sub-genres) that should not (under any circumstance) be missed that were released so far in 2015. I’m not really one for blurbing other’s books so I’ll link to their pages where you can check out the details. This is in descending order of how much I think they are ‘not to be missed.’

 

10) Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

So, this book is actually the third book in “The Arcana Chronicles.” This series is amazing, it’s magical-fantasy, dystopian, about as anxty of a romance as you get and just so all around awesome. However, even though it is classified as “young adult” it’s extremely gory and has explicit sex. This book in particular was fantastic, but not my all time favorite in the series. It’s still a five star read though and the series is a ‘miss it and suffer the consequences of never loving it’ series.

 

9) Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo

 

I know there are some that would cry foul that I even put this book as number nine on my list (it’s that good). However, even though it was amazing, I had a hard time getting into the book until about halfway through where it really picked up pace. The book is a fantasy that takes place in Ketterdam another region of Bardugo’s fictional land from her Grisha series. The book is about a team of ‘street rats’ (type) who go on a thought-impossible heist. There is violence and sexual references, some heavy concepts are brushed upon. Definitely a not to be missed book.

 

8) The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

 

This was the review I wrote right after reading this book: “This book is full of angst, has somewhat of a love triangle, and a love story you feel down to your toes. I was not a big fan of the ending.” Unfortunately, while I remember really loving this book, there have been too many in between to really go into much detail. However, the book was very much a romance and full of tension and emotion. Even though after reading the premise, I didn’t think I would fall in love with this book I did. As I remember, there are some mild sex scenes and mild violence.

 

7) Darken the Skies (Kricket #3) by Amy A Bartol

So, I am obsessed with this series. It is a cross genre sci-fi/high fantasy/paranormal novel (sounds impossible, doesn’t it?). This particular book (again) wasn’t my favorite in the series but still one of my favorite books of the year. Maybe I’m just a little bitter because it looks like the series might be ending (No!!!!). However, this might be considered New Adult, there are definitely some sex scenes and they get somewhat explicit. I think the main character’s age is eighteen. Tons of anxt and romance and action and spaceships and magic.

6) Empire of Night (Age of Legend # 2) by Kelley Armstrong

This is another book where I remember LOVING it but the details are a little fuzzy (oh, well). This is the second book in a high fantasy series where the main characters are twins whose land is being taken over by a ghost-plague (If I remember correctly). It’s kind of Garth Nixish. If you don’t like Kelley Armstrong’s slow detailed style of writing, however, you will probably not like this series. I love Kelley Armstrong, I am a complete fangirl of her so…there you go. Not for everyone but if you like this kind of book, OMG it’s good.

5) Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas

 

This is a very popular series (I probably don’t even need to tell you about it, huh?). But I do want to mention that the books start pretty typical YA then grow in scope and character development and world building. This book and series is definitely not to be missed.

 

4) A Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves #1) by Morgan Rhodes

 

So this book is actually a paranormal off-shoot of Morgan Rhodes high fantasy series Falling Kingdoms. Falling Kingdoms is one of my favorite series but when I heard there was going to be paranormal off shoot I was like “Um, no way.” But thank goodness I did not pass it over! It was so good; dare I say that it was even better than Falling Kingdoms. This book does not need to be read after the other series though it does give you fun insight into what is going on. Just…just read it. Seriously.

 

3) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Rosamund Hodge is the type of author that you either LOVE or don’t get and/or hate. I am firmly in the first category. LOVE is too small a word (even in all caps). She stretches the fantasy genre in the most delicious and amazing ways. And just the way she writes, like she’s painting a picture (in blood, sometimes). I love her work, I love this book. It is about a malicious forest that infects people into being murderers.

 

2) A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J Maas

 

I am a big fan of beauty and the beast rewrites and this is one of my favorites. Sarah J Mass just brings a lot of spunk and sensuality into the story. Her writing is just beautiful. This book also may be considered new adult.

 

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

So this book was a gem among gems. It was the second book of 2015 I read about a sentient malicious forest, the other was Crimson Bound. I had never read a book with this type of 'evil' before but both books were spectacular and very different, and coincidentally two of my favorite books this far this year.

I'd actually go so far as to call this book the best epic fantasy book I've found since Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marilier (maybe even better).

This novel was incredible. Almost perfect. The narrative, voice, pace, style, it was all flawlessly delivered.

The protagonist was one of my favorite literary characters ever. I was pretty much sold from the beginning but there's a scene pretty early on where she's pressured by the very mixed hero of the book who is titled the 'dragon' he keeps pressuring her to beautify herself but she defies him and says 'she doesn't owe him pretty.' It sounds way more trite with me writing it but I just loved that. That wasn't the only great thing about the MC, she grew as a person but never to please anyone really. She just rocked, 100%.

This book was tame in sexual content and violence. It was just amazing. Not to be Missed.

 

 

 

So there is my list, if you would like to add yours please comment below.

Forbidden Forest

Forbidden Forest - Tenaya Jayne Good but the romance and the ending felt a bit rushed.

Demons of Desire

Demons of Desire - Debra Dunbar I LOVE LOVE LOVE Debra Dunbar's Imp series but....hrrrrr....I unfortunately just couldn't really get into DOD's mystery or 'love story,' and once these two aspects became the main focus I lost interest. However, I do recommend this book if you are a little more into pnr than uf (not me).

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey I loved every single thing about this book...except for the cover. The cover is awful.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern This was a very special, beautiful and well written novel. The narrative is non-linear and non-typical which I needed to adjust to but found pretty exceptional overall.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern This was a very special, beautiful and well written novel. The narrative is non-linear and non-typical which I needed to adjust to but found pretty exceptional overall.

Untitled

Untitled - Sarah J. Maas So happy there's more to come. Though many story arches within the story come to a spectacular close, there's so much more to look forward to.

Reluctant Concubine (Hardstorm Saga Book 1)

Reluctant Concubine (Hardstorm Saga Book 1) - Dana Marton 3.5 stars
This book had a lot going for it, I just wasn't completely jiving with the writing style and the romance.

Darken the Stars

Darken the Stars - Amy A. Bartol Before it came out I was like....

Seriously...seriously...

just

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Now...

I loved it but my feelings are very mixed. Especially that ending, I mean is it really the ENDING, because it read like that but I surely hope not!!! I'll review once I've researched and sorted out my emotions on this....

Exquisite Captive

Exquisite Captive - Heather Demetrios The only reason I can come up with for this book having a 3.7 average rating is that it must have been marketed to the wrong audience. This book is New Adult not young adult. If you loved Amy A Bartol's [b:Under Different Stars|19504931|Under Different Stars (Kricket, #1)|Amy A. Bartol|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1394758272s/19504931.jpg|26789368] you'll love this book. I'm trying to think of another similar book but can't. The characters, relationships, and emotions were complicated, the world building was fantastic and the MC was bad ass. I loved it.

The Diviners

The Diviners - Libba Bray It's like The Great Gatsby meets City of Bones meets that movie Seven, that is to say I freaking loved it! The characters were deliciously complicated and Libba Bray fearlessly took on so many social issues of the time. It was scary, it scared me, I had to read something else at night even though I was so hooked that I didn't want to.

Deceptions

Deceptions - Kelley Armstrong 4.5 stars

Hunting Season

Hunting Season - Nikki Jefford not my favorite in the series but still entertaining.

Magic Shifts

Magic Shifts - Ilona Andrews I don't know how they do it, these books just keep getting better. Honestly, I would have said that was impossible, until I finished this one. Freaking amazing.

Grimspace

Grimspace - Ann Aguirre Yes! A new series to get obsessed with!

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Of Beast and Beauty

Of Beast and Beauty - Stacey Jay This was a cross genre epic fantasy sci fi novel. I would not really call it a retelling of beauty and the beast, though there are some obvious similarities in the stories (and the title ;). It wasn't perfect, but pretty close to it. I loved the romance and the world building was lush in detail and all together icky. I liked that even the 'bad' guys were complicated.