The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

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Genre: Fantasy

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal 

This is the book that beat out Wonder for 2013’s Newbery medal, and I can see why…if the Newbery Medal is the prize for the book that makes you cry the most. Geez Louise. I read it mostly in one sitting and had to stifle my sobs so my husband didn’t think I was nuts. Make sure you have a box of tissues nearby. Continue reading »

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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Genre: Fantasy

I recently reread Graceling in preparation for reading its sequel, Bitterblue. It’s still one of my favorite young adult books.

Graceling takes place in a fictional kingdom in which certain individuals have “graces” – a grace being a special ability of some sort. Heroine Katsa has such a grace – she is graced with a talent for killing. Forced to act as a tool for her uncle, the king, Katsa acts out behind his back as part of a council she has formed to bring justice to the kingdom – and those kingdoms around her – with the help of friends and allies. Continue reading »

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Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

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Genre: Fantasy

Young Adult Library Services Association 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults pick

I really wanted to love this book. Enchanted is a fairy tale in its purest form, making no mistake about it setting, a world in which fairy tales are true and magic is an everyday occurrence.

Enchanted is the story of Sunday Woodcutter, a young girl who has grown up in a family at the center of all fairy tales. Sundays sisters area all stars of familiar fairy tales and her family, while of simple origins, is at the center of the kingdoms stories and legends. Continue reading »

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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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Genre: Fantasy

Young Adult Library Services Association 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults pick

A 2013 ALA Notable Book for Children

A 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

This was an excellent read – I had trouble putting it down at times!

Seraphina takes place in an imaginary land (medieval in nature) in which dragons take on human form and intermingle with humans. However, the treaty they have made with the citizens of this land to co-exist peacefully is in jeopardy. It is up to the heroine, Seraphina, and her friends to save the day when the peace of the land is threatened. However, Seraphina has secrets of her own to keep, which threatens her friendships and hinders her mission. Continue reading »

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The Diviners by Libba Bray

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Genre: Historical/Fantasy

A Young Adult Library Services Association 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults pick

I didn’t realize who the author of this book was until I was a little ways into it, and when I did my initial reaction was, “Ugh….Libba Bray.” If you’re not familiar with her, Bray is the author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy which starts with A Great and Terrible Beauty. Needless to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of those books. Her writing is terribly unsubtle and unsophisticated and lacks a certain purpose to it. Continue reading »

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