NYMBC's blog

Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

I had the great pleasure of meeting Veronica Wolff at one of many N.Y.M.B.C fantastic Author events, and I gotta say this woman is pretty darn spectacular. I had not read her young adult series before I met her, but after meeting her I bought the first two books and pre-ordered the third. I was awed and amazed by how much I loved the story! I finished the first two books in 3 days, and was aching for the third! These books are not only fast paced, but something is always happening! I was never bored at any moment, and I loved loved loved the main character, Annelise! She is a snarky and sarcastic girl with a potty mouth and tends to, on more than one occasion, put her foot in her mouth. She isn't played off as this average girl, in fact she is a genius. Finding herself boarding a plane and being taken to a mysterious island with an even more mysterious hunk of a Scottish guy. She soon finds out she will be attending a school where not only vampires are the headmasters but she is training to be a deadly assassin. All the girls at this school are competing against eachother to the death to climb up the ladder of becoming an honorable Watcher. But all she wants to do is to get out of this dark and dreary rock, and in order to do so, she must become a watcher so that she may escape. Easier said than done, this series is brilliant! Not at all your typical vampire novel, these books have something for everyone! They not only had me laughing out loud multiple times, but they had me hanging onto every word on every page! The cliffhangers are killer, literally, so make sure to have the next available book in the series next to you! Bravo Veronica Wolff! Bravo! For Ages 14+

Reviewed by Courtney from Books Inc. Burlingame

Guest Review: Literary Exploration takes on THRONE OF GLASS

I recently finished the first season of Game of Thrones which immediately put me on a high fantasy kick. I then devoured Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and after meeting Sarah at Comic-Con (who is absolutely amazing!!) I knew it was time to pick up Throne of Glass. Throne of Glass is an epic high fantasy adventure set in a dystopian-like atmosphere that has been abandoned by ancient magic. Not only is the story fast-paced and intriguing, but there is a love triangle... that works. The characters are all amazing and individual and Celaena is a fantastic female protagonist. If you're looking for a great high fantasy read while waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones this is definitely one you'll want to pick up.

Celaena may be an assassin, but she's also compassionate, strong, smart, and funny! Her personality isn't limited to a killing-machine and despite her deadly flaws she's an amazing female protagonist. Her relationships with Choal and Dorian are stressed most of the time, due to the fact that she is an assassin, but the way the triangle develops is a rarity in YA these days. I may have liked one more than the other, but there isn't a battle between the two men. In fact, I'm not sure they realize they're in love with her at all most of the time. If I could highlight a great love triangle, this would be it. And Celaena is funny. Like, laugh out loud funny. She's amazingly level-headed, and her ability to be witty and sarcastic while her life is in danger is just wonderful!

Throne of Glass is filled with mystery, intrigue, and murder! Maas's writing style is just so elegant and real. There isn't an overabundance of fancy words or a condescending tone, it's just honest and passionate. The pace is really fast, but not so fast that I couldn't understand what was going on. I was always interested in what was happening and I had a hard time putting the book down at all. The world-building is magnificent; it's so real I felt like I was actually within Celaena's world. It's a fantastical setting filled with romance, murder, and magic which are three of my favorite things!

If you're struggling to find an awesome fantastical read Throne of Glass is one you won't want to miss out on. The world-building is fun and creative, and the characters are intensely real. Choal and Dorian are swoon-worthy in their own ways and Celaena's kick butt attitude constantly had me cheering her on. Sarah J. Maas is a force to be reckoned with, and her debut novel had me gripping the edge of my seat. Despite the many prequels she's penned, I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel! Fans of Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and all high fantasy will want to pick this one up!

 -Reviewed by Anna of Literary Exploration

Every Day by David Levithan

I am a huge, huge fan of almost everything David does. And he’s done it again. This book has a fascinating premise. The main character exists as a human entity but has no body to call its own. Every morning A. wakes up within a new outer shell be it male, female, gay, straight, white, black, fat, thin, functional or addicted. All is good and well until A. falls in love and has a reason to want to stop jumping.

David Levithan's writing is so, so good I could have read a book twice its length. And that is really my only gripe with the book. I needed a bit more time. Levithan has definitely touched me again, but this time more my head than my heart, which is not a bad thing. Very excited to get people of all ages reading this one.

--Summer from Books Inc. Laurel Village

 

With a conceit as mind-boggling, logic-defying, face-explodingly-original as that in David Levithan's newest, one cannot help but wonder... is David Levithan... a robot? Or a god? Point being, he can't be human. Humans just aren't that good.

But then, he HAS to be human. Because in the pages of Every Day is a story of stunning emotional acuity-- as sentimental as it is unflinching-- that could only be born from the inimitable human experience.

I read this book on a sunny day in San Francisco. I sat in Dolores Park and read it all the way through. Around me, people played frisbee, smoked, chatted, cuddled. They came and left. And as I read I felt a mounting curiousity and empathy-- because as strange and distant as we were, I could not help but feel that they, like me, would feel a kinship with Every Day's narrator, A. That they, just like me, would read A's story and think, "that's me, that's my life too, I thought I was the only one," which is the real feat of this novel.

--Maggie, NYMBC lady and Children's Department Director


You can preorder a copy here and meet David at our October 12th event!

You can also read this INDIE EXCLUSIVE extra Every Day story here!

 

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Here is another fairytale world that has evolved into a modern industrial society. Once upon a time everything ran on fairydust, but the fairies disappeared from their floating cities; factories crank out synthetic substitutes that support industries and on the street it is used as a drug. Henry Whelp is a wolf, a despised minority, living in a boarding school for troubled youth because his old man is the actual Big Bad Wolf in the slammer for killing Little red Riding Hood and her grandmother. This novel is all about the seedy underworld of this fantasy city and the plot twists and turns looking for the truth behind fairydust. There is a hard-boiled noir feel here, heavy enough to be nominated for the 2011 Edgar Award, usually reserved for serious adult crime novels. (Ages 13+)

Reviewd by Chris from Compass Books SFO

Guest Review: Once by Anna Carey

 

I absolutely hated the cliffhanger ending of Eve, so when I didn’t have to wait long to find out what was going to happen next I pretty much jumped for joy. Once starts right where Eve left off, with Eve in Califia mourning over her loss of Caleb. As much as I loved Eve, Once really sucked me in while Anna Carey twisted the plot into so many different shapes I felt like there was no way I could predict what would happen next!

The relationship between Eve and Caleb is as passionate as ever and it really broke my heart whenever they were forced to separate. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will let you know that I cried on way more than one occasion during this book! And the King! We finally get to meet him and he is as evil and manipulative as I ever imagined! I know a lot of people have been asking me what he wants with Eve, but there’s no way I’m telling, it’s way too good!!

I absolutely loved the way Carey continued Eve’s story. Sometimes, when I read the second book in a series or trilogy I end up with that “bridge novel” feeling, where nothing really happens in the book but the character moves from one point to another, only to set up the next book. Once was far from that! Every other chapter held a major twist or plot turn, and I was absolutely amazed by what was happening!

I loved Once way more than Eve, and I’m so happy I didn’t have to wait long! Sadly, now I have to wait twice as long to find out what else is going to happen!! Not once did I even think I knew what was going to happen next, and the story moved so quickly I was able to finish it in one sitting. I could not put it down!! If you loved Eve, you’re going to love Once even more! If you didn’t love Eve, or you haven’t read it, then here’s your chance to fall in love with Anna Carey and all of her wonderful characters! Lovers of dystopias, romances, mysteries, thrillers, and adventures will want to get their hands on this one! 

 

--Anna of Literary Exploration 

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