My Top 5 Most Out of this World Urban Fantasy Young Adult and Middle Grade Books

 

 

In my early days of reading for pleasure regularly, I was mostly relying on one genre. This genre is, and will probably always be, my safe place. It is urban fantasy. For Top 5 Wednesday this week, the topic is to share our top 5 urban fantasy novels. I am very excited to talk about these books.

5. City of Bones by Cassandra clare

I had read some of Clare’s fan fiction in my early college days. She makes me laugh. Many people do this thing where they list every rumor about an author, every damning coincidence, or every mistake they ever made. When it comes to Cassie Clare, there’s a lot of stigma. Her work is somehow belittled because, oh, it has things in common with other work. It deterred me from reading her stuff for a long time.

However, when I did start reading her books, I was inspired and comforted. It still doesn’t sound like anything I’d ever read. It’s funny, because when I was working on my thesis, it became very clear how derivative literature can be. That’s the fun part. Anyway, this book brings me so much joy.

4. Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief by rick riordan

When I read this book, I was early in my graduate school days. I remember getting it from the library, and simply not knowing how awesome it was going to be. This series is often mocked, too, as you’ll notice a common thread within my post. It got so bad with people calling it “childish” and “unoriginal.”

To me, this series created such a fun and humorous series of adventures, cool characters, wonderful relationships. All of these things were established with the backdrop of rich mythology incorporated into the average daily life.

3. The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizi

Another quite rich world presented with a balance between adventure and normalcy. Three siblings go on a quest that is so breathtaking in its richness. I find myself thinking of this series often, particularly how it flows into another trilogy afterwards. With that said, I think the cool feature of this series is how it is accessible to younger readers while not being patronizing to older ones at the same time.

2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This novel flirts with magical realism, and it makes me happy. To me, one of the features of urban fantasy involves younger characters going on quests despite their age and stature in society. We have Adam Parrish in these books, a poor boy from an abusive family, and he is given so much power and agency. It really is empowering to readers, I find. Same with Ronan Lynch.

But, even more beautiful is the commentary on strength in its varying forms. Sometimes, you don’t really do much to be powerful. Look at Blue Sargent’s abilities, her lineage, personality. Perfection.

 1. Soulless by gail carriger

Steampunk is hit or miss for me so far. In this story, the main character is witty, with a seemingly normal appearance. Many side characters claim that she is not a conventional beauty due to heritage. And, she is soulless-all powers of the supernatural do not work on her. Romance, intrigue, mystery are all rolled into one delightful candy-like novel.

Happy Valentine's Day, peeps! This week, we will continue with the love theme on our
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Hello! It is time for another Top 5 Wednesday. This is a group in Goodreads,

Top 10 Books I Could Reread Forever

 

 

I’m back with another entry for the epic Top 10 Tuesday meme, which is now run by Artsy Reader Girl. Every week, we get a topic for us to list books we find suit the prompt (on a Tuesday). Today, I am bringing it back to the feel-good books that I could reread forever.

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This the only Austen I have read. I could use a reread right now, honestly, because I have read it over ten years ago. Jane and Elizabeth have such a wonderful bond. They are sisterhood and friendship goals. Having a young feminist figure like Elizabeth in this book warms my heart. She is critical of her society while maintaining a timeless charm. Her story with Mr. Darcy is forever dear to me, because it is ultimately a commentary on social interactions and the misgivings of first impressions.

9. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

Jolien hates this book, but, to me, it speaks to my longing for the past. It reminds me of my tendencies to romanticize people, collapsing them into stereotypes as I love the idea of them rather than their actual personalities. Gatsby, with his longing to fulfill the American Dream, offered a flaw in a system I once thought was perfect. The nouveau-riche plight for acceptance among the aristocratic class hit home for me. Plus, how can I ever not love Nick and Daisy. My beautiful Daisy, so frail and bitter. Perfection.

8. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by jenny Han

I remember feeling ashamed for liking the first two books of this series. People said Lara Jean was childish. To me, she appeared to be inexperienced with relationships. That did not make her unappealing. Instead, her journey to finding her place in the world, particularly in the final book, created a lovely narrative not entirely reliant on romance. I like the familial tones in this trilogy. Lara Jean is someone I aspire to become. The baking, the pastel colors, the crafting, all of it is endearing and heartwarming. I could never get sick of rereading her story. She is so dear to me.

7. Vampire Academy by richelle mead

You thought this post was going to be all classics and romantic books, didn’t you? I love this series by Richelle Mead because of the central friendship between Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir. I love their bond’s strength despite their differences in personality, ability, and stature. There are varying kinds of greatness and success in this world. Mead is careful not to generalize features of strength. You can be sensitive and powerful. Or, you can be like Rose and kick literal butt all day.

6. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

I actually love this author’s work in general. From what I have read of Hex Hall, Hawkins seems to have always had humor incorporated into her narratives. She includes interesting characters and places them in a seemingly normal world that is punctuated with notes of the supernatural or paranormal. It’s genius, because her writing is both amusing, engaging, but not exhausting with its fantastical elements. Rebel Belle certainly manifests all these features of Hawkins’ writing.

5. gemina by amie kaufman and jay kristoff

Listen, this series is a ton of fun. The kick-butt main characters and their equally capable love interests, the rather negative artificial intelligence in the series called AIDAN, are memorable and oh so charming. It is hard not to whiz through these books. Gemina in particular was a step up from Illuminae, which was already awesome in and of itself.

4. iron king by julie kagawa

I remember nothing about this series, except that it was a fun time if I don’t think of other people’s perceptions of me. It’s  a story about faeries and changelings. Definitely, it is back on my shelves in time for a reread. I was going to give it away but decided against it.

3. Beautiful creatures by kami garcia and margaret stohl

This series is dark and charming with a nice lore for witches. It has lifetimes and reincarnations, a fantastic love story, and wickedly complex characters. The authors do such a wonderful job including a male protagonist who is unlike the typical men in young adult literature, especially paranormal or urban fantasy stories.

2. Hush, Hush by Becca fitzpatrick

I already repurchased the first two books of this series, because I cannot stop thinking about Patch and Nora. They are so sweet, and they endure such miserable circumstances. Besides, the best friend in this series is awesome. What is her name? Vee or Vi? Something like that. I can’t believe I remember her. It’s been a while. I cannot express just how excited I am to reread this series.

 1. Twilight by stephenie meyer

Another series I am repurchasing. The first two books are on my shelves, ready to be enjoyed. Bella and Edward’s connection coupled with all the odds against them made for one hell of a story. Alice Cullen, Rosalie, Jacob Black, all of them are characters I think of often. I cannot wait to revisit these books this year and in the years to come.

Your turn

Do we share any books in common? What are your favorite books to reread? Are you rereading any of them in certain seasons or moods? Tell me all about it in the comments.

See you there.

xo

Roaring nerd moment

  Top 10 Tuesday is now hosted by the lovely The Artsy Reader Girl. It is
    Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by the lovely The Broke and
Top Ten Tuesday is here, and that means it's time for another list. This week,

Top 5 Women-Who-Love-Women Books

Happy Valentine’s Day, peeps! This week, we will continue with the love theme on our Top 5 Wednesday. I am going to be listing my top 5 women who love women books that I have read. My big warning here is that a) there may be spoilers ahead.

Let’s go.

5. A Great and Terrible Beauty by libba bray

I read this book ages ago, and so I don’t recall the details or character names, which is good. This means I cannot spoil the story. All I will say is that there’s a queer couple in the story. Unfortunately, it was revealed as a spoiler, but I’d say the author respected the characters and wrote them beautifully still.

4. Dreadnought by april daniels

I just wanted to include my favorite trans girl (so far. I am working on including more diversity in my reads). This book angered me quite a bit, because I connected with the main character on an emotional level. We may be quite differently placed on the LGBT+ spectrum, however, I empathized with her struggles to be taken seriously.*

*I read the first book from the library and did not get to the next one yet.

3. Born wicked by jessica spotswood

I have not read the final book in this trilogy yet, so I remain unaware of what will happen to the queer couple in the story. However, reading about them broke my heart. Yet, I remain passionate about them and my hope for their happy ending continues to live on. Furthermore, I enjoy this character’s family acceptance of her feelings towards this person. (Goodness, being spoiler-free is so hard). This is particularly a fresh image to be portrayed within the rather stifling setting.

2. The Upside of Unrequited by becky albertali

There are two queer couples in this story, and they are both wlw. I love the familial love in the main character’s life. It warms my heart to see happy families depicted in novels, particularly novels featuring queen characters.

And finally…

 1. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Featuring queer Latina girls attracted to the one and only Bay Bryar, this book is magic. McLemore is one of my absolute favorites. She writes with sensitivity and doting love toward her characters, her imagery, her themes, her plot. She honors her characters by offering a complex presentation of their lives. She writes so beautifully. This novel, being her latest, is my favorite one yet.

 

    In my early days of reading for pleasure regularly, I was mostly relying
    Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday, a meme based on a Goodreads group. In
Hello! It is time for another Top 5 Wednesday. This is a group in Goodreads,

Top 10 Love-Related Quotes

 

Top 10 Tuesday is now hosted by the lovely The Artsy Reader Girl. It is essentially a weekly topic meant to spark discussion, lists, and excited chats about books. This week is a freebie, but I decided to copy our host. A list of love-related quotes is in order. Let’s go.

10. p.s. i still love you by jenny han–“So much of love is chance. There’s something scary and wonderful about that.”

While I have never fallen in love romantically, I do like this idea of chance in any relationship. I have always been far too anxious to keep any relationship around for long. This quote reminds me of the very scary nature of friendship so much, it validates my pain. To me, I am still kind of in awe of those who have been friends for years, decades, lifetimes. It’s mind-blowing to me. I wish I could have something like that, with friends, that I may rise above the fear and take a chance on people.

9. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson-“Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”

When I read this book, I was really lonely. But, I kept feeling this tug from the universe telling me that you don’t have to let your past relationships go. I conflate confronting my past with escaping it too often, even back then. Funnily enough, this story is about two siblings who are not speaking to each other, which is something rather common in my life, because they come to terms with their differences somehow. Here’s hoping I can make my own peace with my inner demons.

8. the dream thieves by maggie stiefvater–“‘I wish you could be kissed, Jane,’ he said. ‘Because I would beg just one off you. Under all this.’ He flailed an arm toward the stars.”

Their love is so pure and sweet. It was a privilege to read their story for four books. Seriously.

Speaking of which…

7. The Raven king by maggie stiefvater-“His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

Come on. Ronan Lynch, who feels everything so intensely, is a wonder to behold. He scared me at first, because I could kind of identify with him. I yearned to be like him in my past. To see him so vulnerable humanized him, made him a small babe that I wanted to protect.

6.City of Glass by Cassandra Clare-““Not everything is about you,” Clary said furiously.”Possibly,” Jace said, “but you do have to admit that the majority of things are.”’

Listen, Jace just sounds like how I make fun of myself. I love Cassie Clare’s writing. She can do no wrong in my world.

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell-“I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.”

The awkward moment when a fictional character says what is always unspoken for me.

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green-“Maybe ‘okay’ will be our ‘always.'”

Sometimes, when people know what you mean, it doesn’t really matter how you phrase things. This is a thought that paralyzes me, because I am often hung up on the semantics. I feel things intensely, and I don’t often find the right words or actions to express my feelings and thoughts. I read this book way back in 2012, and I still think about it and about this moment.

3. more happy than not by adam silvera-“The boy with no direction taught me something unforgettable: happiness comes again if you let it.”

Mental illness tells me many things. There are really tough nights, and I think of this book on those nights especially. It’s easily a favorite of mine.

This leads me to:

2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo-“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

My tough fighters, Inej and Kaz, are so dear to me. And, as someone who has endured sexual abuse, I identified with Inej and Nina both. Maybe I’ll write about it later. But this post is already long. I like that Kaz and Inej don’t touch. It comforts me a lot.

 1. Six of crows by leigh bardugo-“Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”
Brekker’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”
“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”

Because to me, all the interactions between the Dregs is a breathless affectionate whisper. You got to listen to them bickering and see who they become throughout these two books. They are so wonderful, it really makes my heart beat a little faster. Just look at Matthias warming up to them. So good.

    I'm back with another entry for the epic Top 10 Tuesday meme, which
    Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by the lovely The Broke and
Top Ten Tuesday is here, and that means it's time for another list. This week,