Reading Recommendations – YA Series

There are four series of books that come to mind when I think of authors who have influenced my desire to be a writer.

The Twilight Saga – Stephenie Meyer

twilight-seriesThe Twilight Saga gave me back something that I lost for a few years, my love of reading. I watched the movie first, and even though I love them now because they stem from the books, back then, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I couldn’t see the attraction that many people claimed the books had, so I decided I needed to go to the source and read the book for myself. I sat up until 4:00am that first night. There was something about Bella and Edward’s young love that took me back to the time I was young and fresh and innocent. I came to the series late, so the next day when I went back to the store, I was able to buy the rest of the books in the series. I devoured them. I gave them to my friends, who looked at me a little dubiously, but called me later, cursing me for their lack of sleep. So Twilight brought back my love of reading, which, in turn, brought me to begin writing.

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

hunger_games_books_t600

As a reader, I never took much notice of writing styles. A good book was a good book. I didn’t know what attracted me to the story, just that I liked it. I read without noticing the manner in which a story was told. Past tense, present tense, first person, third person, sentence structure and flow meant nothing to me, but Hunger Games changed this. Suzanne Collin’s wrote with a simplicity that kept me spellbound, and I had to find out why. It was a difficult one to recommend, though. Most conversations went something like this.
“I’ve just finished this great book. You should read it.”
“What’s it called?”
“The Hunger Games. It’s brilliant.”
“So, what’s it about?”
Here, I would usually pause and try to think of the easiest way of saying it without it sounding so brutal. But there was no other way to put it. “Ah, it’s about these kids killing each other in a reality TV-style show, ordered by a sadistic futuristic government.” At the dubious looks that statement received, I would usually add, “Just read it. Trust me.”

Gone Series – Michael Grant

mgsite_lightbanner_e4

The Gone Series by Michael Grant is a little easier to recommend than the Hunger Games, though possibly more gruesome. It’s about a town where all the kids, fifteen and under, suddenly find themselves alone, cut off from the rest of the world by a giant dome. No adults. No supervision. No idea of what happened to the older members of their families. And then they start to develop powers. Some of them use these powers for good. Others do not. It can get rather brutal at times, but the characters and story development kept me glued.

The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater

the-raven-cycle-series

I have just received my copy of the last book in this series. I’m waiting for someone to offer to take over my life for an entire day so I can put everything aside and dedicate myself to delving into this delicious book, but I don’t see it happening. And by delicious, I really do mean delicious. Maggie’s use of words is magical. There is no other way to put it. I first came to love her for The Scorpio Races, but the Raven Cycle series is even better. Probably because there is more; four books, instead of one.
So there you have it. My YA series reading recommendations, well, the ones that influenced me the most, anyway.

Have you read them?
Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
What are your YA series recommendations?

 

Abby Wilder lettering

 

Girl Beneath Stars Release Date

GBS Release Date

Well I’m done with editing and finally have a release date for Girl Beneath Stars – July 23rd 2015.

If you pop across to the Kindle store, it is available for pre-order now.

If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.

And here’s the blurb . . .

Having escaped Nuovo, Willow Stanton struggles with life on the outside. Away from the shelter and safety of the Protected Area, she and her companions must hide from the Guardians who hunt them.

When Bracken comes back into her life, Willow is left unsure whether she can trust him. But when finding her father becomes a problem only Bracken can solve, she has no choice but to rely on the boy who betrayed her.

Once they find a hiding place at the Rebel base camp, Willow and her friends must risk everything to rescue her father, and join the Rebel cause. But the more Willow learns, the less certain she becomes of whose side she wants to be on.

I feel duped. I was taught there was a right and a wrong in this world. Good and evil. I grew up thinking Mudders were ignorant and Rebels were wrong. Then, I came to believe that it was the Establishment that was evil. I thought the Rebels were the good ones. Now, I realise neither are good and neither are bad. They’re a mixture of both, each begging me to take a side.

I’ve had so much fun writing the sequel and I hope you enjoy it. To all the people who have contacted me to say they enjoyed the Girl Behind Glass, I just want to say thank you. I can’t wait to hear what you think of Girl Beneath Stars.

Signature

Wuthering Heights – A book review from my fourteen year old self

Wuthering Heights

In my childhood and teenage years I was an avid reader. I would put my thirty five year old self to shame. On the 10th of May 1994, I wrote a review of the book Wuthering Heights. I remember very little of it now, but the book make enough of an impression on me back then to write a review, and it must have amused my mother enough to fold it and place it inside the cover of the book which now sits gathering dust in my hallway book shelf.

I pull no punches, calling Hindley Earnshaw ‘selfish, cruel, and rude’, and Linton Heathcliff a ‘whimp’, saying, ‘although some people may feel sorry for him, I did not in the slightest’. I also could not understand why the author made everyone ‘so miserable all the time, or just about dying all the time, or actually dying’.

Reading over it has made me want to read the book again so it is being added to the ever growing ‘to read list’.

I have included photos of my original review, complete with mistakes, below. Have a read and see if you agree with any of the statements made by my fourteen year old self.