Bookshelves and Kindles

 

A kindle and a bookshelf who says you cannot have both

I need to have both… my kindle and my bookshelves

Hopefully everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I certainly have, busy, busy and busier. Family and friends seemed to appear from nowhere this year. The house was never empty, wonderful to catch up with others and generally have some stimulating and fun conversations but …Yes I know there is always a but, I had just finished my writing course and I was buzzing, all I wanted to do was write. Never really got a minute to myself but oh I love Siri on my new ipad, it  lets me leave messages to myself. Although some of my ideas did not write up as well as I said them..it was still a great way to get them down without a family or friend wanting to ‘see’ what I was writing which FYI I hate!

Finally last week I got my time and house back to myself, was getting to grouchy stage with all the friendliness around, shameful I know but I am sure others get overdosed on people at this time of year, NO? Oh well I do! Then what did I do, stupidly agreed to play beach volley ball, not something I am good at and to prove that I had a very swollen and sore hand for a week. No typing and  no writing! So got my squishy cushion, sun parasol and sat reading on the beach.

Now I have eventually succumbed to technology and I love it. I have a kindle and downloaded the App onto my ipad, absolutely fantastic will never be without them but ( yes another one) when I need cheering up I want a book, to hold and get absorbed into. So I went rooting around my shelves and found Sabriel by Garth Nix, Book 1 of a trilogy. I have read this set of  books a number of times and like my old friends I enjoy their company and can rely on them to cheer me up. Sabriel is a story of magic and of girl who come into magic and her destiny. A good read by a excellent author.

Does anyone else wander through their bookcases or are they now obsolete in the modern home? I love the comfort they offer, the memories I share with the books on those shelves, just having them there is like a cosy blanket. Let me know your thoughts on bookshelves and kindles.

 

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Skulduggery Pleasant- An Underrated Classic

Skulduggery Pleasant is the brainchild of Irish novelist, Derek Landy. It is certainly one of the best young-adult fantasy series of all time, but for some reason, it does not always get the accolades it deserves. The series is a mixture of fantasy, horror, comedy, drama and adventure, and it is written quite well too.

Skulduggery Pleasant

The series follows an undead detective, Skulduggery Pleasant, as he tries to save the world from a number of escalating problems and criminals. He is helped by his partner, Stephanie Edgely, who calls herself Valkyrie Cain when she’s working. The characters are nuanced, funny and incredibly snarky. Every line of dialogue in the novel sparkles, and the plot keeps the person gripped to the book till the very end.

The book has some interesting plot lines, and a strong female lead (let’s face it, all of us are huge fans of strong female leads in young adult novels). The story never gets tiring, or repeating, which is quite a feat, considering the fact that there are nine novels in the series.

So, do you feel like you would like a break from all the mundane reading you have been doing to escape into a humorous world full of adventure? Pick up a Skulduggery Pleasant novel- I assure you, you will not regret it.

Rick Riordan’s Greek Series

Percy Jackson might have had two of the worst movies ever made, but the book series is still pretty spectacular, especially for young adults. I was always interested in Greek mythology and I knew my fair share of it, so these books fascinated me. But I know that the books can be incredibly interesting for people who do not know anything about the mythology and want to start learning as well.

In the Percy Jackson universe, Percy is a demigod- the son of a major Greek god. It’s when he gets to Camp Half Blood that he realizes that Greek gods still live amongst us- in the USA, to be precise. He learns about his parentage and about the greater things that are unfolding. Throughout the next five books, he learns more about Greek myths and how they have integrated themselves into modern life.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

It’s an incredibly fascinating story that never slacks off- it is ideal for children and young adult readers, for the readers will find themselves growing up with Percy, throughout the books. Riordan’s writing is easy to read without being too amateurish. His sense of humor is incredible as well! If you have not read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, you should do it right away!

John Green and the YA Revolution

There is a high chance that you know who John Green is, even if you do not read at all. He has become a huge name in the world of young adult novels and for good reason. A lot of people might not understand the fascination with Green, who does write in a rather floral manner that is certainly not conversational.

In order to understand the appeal of John Green, one must understand the target audience and the kind of subject matters he deals with. Green’s most successful book to date, The Fault in Our Stars, deals with teenagers suffering from cancer. This is quite a difficult topic to cover, especially if the child leading it does not have a full and firm understanding of said topics. However, by giving it a fictional format, Green helps parents and adults introduce complex concepts of diseases, death and support to their children.

John Green's Books

Green does not flinch away from making his endings dark and bleary- thereby giving the young adults a view of reality that is not rose tinted. His prose treats young adults and children like grown ups that are capable of understanding complex problems and tackling emotional aspects of the same. His use of rather complex language that is usually not used by common teenagers is further proof of his belief in his target demographic.

Why “Love Letters to the Dead” is the best YA novel of the year

Ava Dellaria is a Goodreads author who has certainly changed the young adult game by writing “Love Letters to the Dead”.

The book is the story of Laurel, whose English assignment is to pick any dead person and write a letter to them. She chooses to write about Kurt Cobain, the late lead singer of the band Nirvana. She chooses Cobain because her dead sister May loved him. She realizes just how therapeutic it is to write about what has happened with her, and what is happening to her in the form of letters.

The result is a book so full of emotions, it will leave you speechless. The book is about a young girl who is coming of age, while dealing with the mysterious death of her older sister, and learning about the people in her life.

Best YA Novel of 2014

This book stands out, more so than any other young adult novel this year. It deals with issues so deep, so troubling,that many adult novels choose to veer away from them. The characters are deep, and extremely flawed, which makes the story that much richer and that much more real.

The book deals with much darker ideas- substance abuse, loss of a loved one, sexuality, and much more. It will certainly introduce a number of children and young adults to many complicated issues in a straightforward, honest way. It is certainly the most complicated, most well-written YA book of the year.

Why Young Adult Books Matter

You might have read a lot of discussions regarding young adult books on the internet. After all, none of them can particularly be considered high literature. Catcher in the Rye is literature- The Fault in Our Stars is just a book for teenagers, right?

I would like to disagree.

The best young adult novels

As a mother of two young girls, I know just how much books and the characters in these books affect them. I am aware of how they draw inspirations from books and how the themes of these novels they devour change their life.

We might not be able to see the subtle lessons a lot of these young adult novels teach those who love reading them. Some of them are rather shallow, I’ll agree. But some others deal with incredibly deep problems such as friendship, love, death or even how to deal with issues such as bullying.

Of course, we might believe that parents will be able to teach their children all they need to know about these matters. However, we are forgetting that when you directly as children to do something, or react in a particular way, they feel the need to rebel. Books act as a middle ground, a way of teaching kids thing, but in a way that is natural and not forced.

A lot of other people might not feel this is true, but as far as I’ve seen, it’s true. And this is why I love to read young adult fiction myself.