Book Recommendation for August 2018

August’s recommendation is The 100 by Kass Morgan. I started this series (this is 1 of 4) because I enjoyed the show so much! And man, it has not disappointed! I’m almost finished with book 3, and can’t wait to dig into number 4. The book switched between four points of view (POV), but I never felt lost or rushed. Rather, it was interesting to be able to be so many places and in so many minds so frequently. If you like the show, know that the books are VERY different, but are a lot of fun to read. 

Alternating POVs can be really fun or really, really bad. In the case of this series, it's really, REALLY fun. The chapters flip back and forth between Clarke, Bellamy, Glass, and Wells. It's so interesting to see varied male and female perspectives, as well as the same events from different angles. 

As for the books vs the show--the show is extremely different than the books. Wells, in the show, dies in the first season and never has a very large part. Three of four books in and he's still a main character! Glass doesn't even exist in the world of the TV show. And yet, I love them both. These books are such a fun take on SciFi YA that I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys either genre.

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"No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope."

source: Barnes and Noble's website

(A VERY Late) Book Recommendation for July 2018

Talk about behind. My book recommendation for July is Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville. I haven’t completely finished it yet, but it’s so good so far! Fascinating premise—a religious cult preparing for the end of the world and two teens brought to together by it—and surprising use of language!

A good book, in my opinion, can usually be snuffed out within the first few pages, or at least the first chapter. This book had me hooked after the first page! The protagonist's voice was captivating and unique. And while I still haven't completely finished the book (I blame my toddlers and the unexpected, joyful surprise of getting a new job), I can say with 100% certainty that it's a good one from start to finish.

"The world will end on Thursday, July 27, 2000. At least, that’s what Reverend Beelson has told his congregation. That’s why Marina and Jed and their parents have joined the rest of the Reverend’s flock at a mountain retreat to await the end of the world. But this world has only just begun for Jed and Marina, two teenagers with more attitude than faith. Why should the world end now, when they’ve just fallen in love for the first time?"

source: Barnes and Noble's website

Book Recommendation for June 2018

June's book recommendation is Wit'ch Fire by James Clemens (also known as James Rollins). A dark fantasy novel, and the first of five in a series (titled The Banned and the Banished), this is a book that will stick with you.

I first read this book (and the following four) at least ten years ago, if not more like fifteen. It was during one of my "I need new books" phases, and I bought it on a whim. I'm so glad I did. I haven't re-read this series since my first read, but that's probably because so much of it has stuck with me. Images, scenes, lines, characters, feelings--over a decade later and I still remember so much. I also still recommend this book to friends pretty regularly.

The story follows Elena, a young year old girl who discovers she's a wit'ch (but not like the witches in the Harry Potter series), except in this case, being a wit'ch is cause for death. We follow Elena and many other dynamic, fun, terrifying, and beautiful characters as magic is reintroduced into the world!

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"On a fateful night five centuries ago, three made a desperate last stand, sacrificing everything to preserve the only hope of goodness in the beautiful, doomed land of Alasea. Now, on the anniversary of that ominous night, a girl-child ripens into the heritage of lost power. But before she can even comprehend her terrible new gift, the Dark Lord dispatches his winged monsters to capture her and bring him the embryonic magic she embodies. Fleeing the minions of darkness, Elena is swept toward certain doom-and into the company of unexpected allies. Aided by a one-armed warrior and a strange seer, she forms a band of the hunted and the cursed, the outcasts and the outlaws, to battle the unstoppable forces of evil and rescue a once-glorious empire..."

Source: James Clemens's Website

Book Recommendation for May 2018

Halfway through May, and I’m just now posting my May book recommendation! Life’s been busy, people. So busy. But, here it is, GRACELING, by Kristin Cashore. It’s a lovely stand alone with other books set in the same world. If you enjoy people born with special abilities and given grace responsibility as well as lots of wonderful on-the-hunt tension, mixed with some romance, this is the YA book for you! 

I initially bought this book because I was looking for something new to read, and the cover was SO lovely, but I finished reading it because it was such a lovely book. There's a lot of YA fiction out there that follows a pretty specific formula, and while I tend to enjoy that formula (very much), it's always nice to be surprised, and this book was very surprising. Fresh, original, a little dark, and very satisfying, Graceling is a must read!

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"Kristin Cashore’s best-selling, award-winning fantasy Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable yet strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa’s is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace . . . and how to put it to good use. A thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure (and steamy romance!) that will resonate deeply with adolescents trying to find their way in the world. 
  
Awards: Winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, winner of the SIBA Book Award/YA, Indies Choice Book Award Honor Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, 2008 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Amazon.com’s Best Books of 2008, 2008 Booklist Editors’ Choice, Booklist’s 2008 Top Ten First Novels for Youth, 2009 Amelia Bloomer List, BCCB 2009 Blue Ribbon List
  
Don’t miss the sequel Fire, also a New York Times bestseller and ALA Best Book for Young Adults, winner of the 2010 Cybil for YA Fantasy/Sci Fi and the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award."

source: Barnes and Noble

Book Recommendation for April 2018

It’s a week late, but April’s book recommendation is Rhapsody: Child of Blood (and the following books) by Elizabeth Haydon! I chose an adult lit book this month, rather than YA. A more traditional fantasy novel, Rhapsody follows the titular character through hardships, strange relationships, and a journey through the center of the world. The original trilogy is comprised of Rhapsody: Child of Blood, Prophecy: Child of Earth, and Destiny: Child of the Sky, but there are other books (the most recent having come out in 2016) in this world. the Symphony of Ages series is complex and beautiful, and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an original fantasy (not quite high fantasy, but almost) story!

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"Rhapsody, n, (1542) 1: a portion of an epic poem adapted for recitation 2 archaic: a miscellaneous collection 3 a (1): a highly emotional utterance (2): a highly emotional literary work (3): effusively rapturous or extravagant discourse b: Rapture, Ecstasy 4: a musical composition of irregular form having an improvisatory character.

Elizabeth Haydon is a major new force in fantasy. Equipped with a quick wit, Haydon has a sharp ear for dialogue, panache with characters, and that essential ability to transport her readers into her own fantastical world-a world so real you can hear the sweet music of Rhapsody's aubade and smell the smoldering forges within the Cauldron.

Rhapsody is a woman, a Singer of some talent, who is swept up into events of world-shattering import. On the run from an old romantic interest who won't take no for an answer, Rhapsody literally bumps into a couple of shady characters: half-breeds who come to her rescue in the nick of time. Only the rescue turns into an abduction, and Rhapsody soon finds herself dragged along on an epic voyage, one that spans centuries and ranges across a wonder-filled fantasy world." 

source: Barnes and Noble

 

Book Recommendation for March 2018

I seem to have dropped the ball with this month's book recommendation! I did it, posted it to my Instagram (@lindseysfrantz), and then forgot to post it here or on my Facebook! It may be a tad late, but it's here! March's book recommendation is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle!

I thought this was an appropriate choice for March for two reasons. The first is I just finished re-reading it so it was fresh on my mind! The second is because of the movie (which dropped last weekend and which I cannot wait to see)!

A Wrinkle in Time is such a gorgeous book. The science fantasy premise is a wonderful blending of time and space bending with magical creatures and characters. When people ask me what my favorite genre is, I always say young adult (YA), but I never know whether to specify fantasy or science fiction, because I love them so much. This book (and others, like The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey) blend the two in the best way. The overarching theme of good overcoming evil is heartwarming, and the prose itself is, obviously, stellar.

I read this book as a child, and when I re-read it, I fell in love with it all over again. In my opinion, this book is appropriate for tweens and up! It’s complex enough for an adult to enjoy while being extremely engaging for young adults, as well. The YA genre is so very popular because of how accessible and enjoyable it is for such a huge array of ages. A Wrinkle in Time is unique in this genre because it appeals to an even larger demographic (tweens, rather than just teens and up).

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"It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

A Wrinkle in Time is soon to be a movie from Disney, directed by Ava DuVernay, starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling."

source: Macmillan Publishers

Book Recommendation for February 2018

Under the Never Sky is the first in a trilogy by Veronica Rossi. (There are also two novellas, which I haven't read yet, set in the same world.) This book was from the same "cure your Hunger Games hangover" list as the first, and it did not disappoint. I sat down with this book at home one Saturday morning (before I had babies) and finished it that afternoon. I couldn't put it down. When I was done, I told my husband we needed to go to Lexington, about 45 minutes away, and when we got there, I told him it was because a bookstore there had the second and third books in the series and I needed them right that minute. This book was one of the main inspirations for the alternating perspectives in my own book. I saw that Rossi did it beautifully and just knew that adding a second perspective to my book (Finn's) was exactly what it was missing. It's a book I recommend to anyone and everyone who enjoys action, adventure, and love, all with the added stress of a dying world.

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"Fighting to survive in a ravaged world, a Dweller and a Savage form an unlikely alliance in New York Timesbestselling author Veronica Rossi's "unforgettable dystopian masterpiece" (Examiner.com).

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive. A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption.

In alternating chapters told in Aria's and Perry's voices, Under the Never Sky subtly and powerfully captures the evolving relationship between these characters and sweeps readers away to a harsh but often beautiful world. Continuing with Through the Ever Night and concluding with Into the Still Blue, the Under the Never Sky trilogy has already been embraced by readers in twenty-six countries and been optioned for film by Warner Bros."

source: Harper Collins Publishers

Book Recommendation for January 2018

Incarnate, by Jodi Meadows, is the first in a three book series. I found a list of 25 books online titled something like "Books to Cure Your Hunger Games Hangover." So I sent the list to my mom, and she bought all of them. I was overwhelmed, and busy, so I just put them all on my shelf and decided to wait to read any until I had some free time. About three months later, my husband and I went to the beach (on our anniversary) with his band. I looked through my new books and the cover of this book (below) just called to me. I started it the first day we were there, when he was busy with his band all day, and finished it a few hours later. I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult literature, musical prose, and lots of excitement, mystery, and the sweetest romance.

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"NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life."