Monday, 8 July 2013

Guest Post - Fiction Addicition

This post was sent in by Amanda M and is right up our street!  You know we love books and have both been enjoying many of Mahj's (we love her too!) YA recommendations from the post mentioned below, among others.  Amanda is in need of some help finding more new titles for her to devour!  Please leave her (and us!) your recommendations in the comments :)

My name is Amanda and I am an addict.

Okay, I admit I’d dabbled a bit in the past.  I read Lord of the Rings at least four times a year from the ages of 7 – 24 (although I’d maintain that it’s an adults’ book).  And I stumbled across the Harry Potter series before they were super-famous when I bought one to see if it might encourage a young relative to read (he didn’t: he just asked me to pracy all the books for him).   I loved the Philip Pullman series and spent some time inwardly debating what my daemon would be.  And I know it’s not fashionable to admit it (a bit like admitting that you like big oaky chardonnay (I do)), but I really enjoyed Twilight.  Reading it on my commute in was like coming up from  deep sleep, so absorbed was I.  I’d feel dazed, groggy and generally not quite with it (‘it’ being reality – a bonus when on a smelly tube).

But it became a habit, an addiction, when I read this post:  Yes, Mahj was my pusher; she got me hooked slowly and stealthily and by the time I realised my level of addiction it was too late. I am a woman in my (early) 40s and I am addicted to Young Adult fiction.

Source: via Smitten on Pinterest

Just to back-track a little, I have always been a voracious reader.  I read A LOT.  Yes, the normal places like bed, bath, sofa, commute, holiday etc but to some people’s bemusement I also read whilst I’m drying my hair.  And cleaning my teeth.  Reading is as essential to me as breathing.  Or washing, or... I don’t know but I cannot bear not having something on the go at all times.  But YA is a new genre for me.

My husband doesn’t understand it.  Admittedly he reads newspapers, The Economist or, if he’s feeling frivolous, New Scientist, so we’re pretty far apart on the literature scale.  He reads one or two books A YEAR whilst we’re on holiday and I save my most breathtaking thrillers for just this purpose.  He doesn’t understand the constant reading but he especially cannot understand YA.

“But it’s for children!” he exclaims with more than a touch of derision.

Literally (see what I did there?!) I suppose he’s right.  I don’t read YA because it’s easy – some of it really isn’t, either in subject matter or style – I read it because writers of adult fiction seem to be trammelled by what is or could be everyday life.  Okay, some of them stretch those boundaries – chick lit (say no more.  Unless any of you actually DO have lives like that) and, thankfully, thrillers.  But essentially they’re sensible.  What I love about YA is that the authors do not seem scared to let their imaginations rip.  And they take me with them.  

I read many of Mahj’s recommendations and then started casting about for other similar titles; hell, I spent two hours on the internet and amazon the other night trying to find more to satisfy my craving.

Since that posting last year I’ve read:

• Hunger Games trilogy (natch)
• Incarceron and Sapphique
• Divergent and Insurgent
• Mortal Instruments series (first 5)
• Infernal Devices series (3)
• Delirium series (2 so far)
• Chaos Walking series (4)
• All Souls trilogy – first two (third yet to be published.  More adult than true YA)
• Advent
• Beautiful Creatures (4)
• Daughter of Smoke and Bone

This is on top of my usual reading fare but as you can see, I have it bad.  I loved the two All Souls books best – Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night – but does anyone know anything else they could recommend?  Not that I’m desperate for my fix or anything.  I tweeted Mahj but noooo, the supply has run dry, it was just things I’d already had.  

I don’t pretend that these books would win Orange/Booker/high falutin prizes, indeed I make it a rule NEVER to read anything that’s won a literary prize as they seem to be invariably miserable and grim.  But if you want something that seizes you mind, body and soul and hurls you headfirst and gasping into a totally different world, these are the books for you.  And for me.

Just to start you off, I discovered a few new ones I've yet to read on this pin via Roz!


JoTorr said...

I love YA novels too - I'm an English teacher so I always say I'm just keeping up with what the kids read, but I really enjoy them! Have you read the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini? I also really liked the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn, quite different to the others on your list but very good. The Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman and the Skulduggery Pleasant books by Derek Land are also a good read.

JoTorr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bex said...

I forgot to add Amanda, have you read The Host? Also by Stephenie Meyer but better IMHO! Was reminded of it when I watched the film on flight earlier! :)

Amanda M said...

I will be checking them out directly, thanks! Obv I only read these to keep up with the kids too..... Erm...

Lee-Anne said...

Im a school librarian so ya is my job. Some recommendations I have are - 'Dreams' by Daniella Sacerdoti, 'The Declaration' series by Gemma Malley, 'The Enemy' by Charlie Higson x

Mahj said...

I'm a YA Pusher? Best. Thing. Ever.

Also everything on the list I've read/am about to read....I need to find new material to push!


Amanda M said...

Oh so excited by all these recommendations am jigging about!

Amanda M said...

I have! Book was better than film (almost always the case).

And thanks for the wonderful graphics!

Amanda M said...

You do, you have a position of (ir)responsibility to maintain now!

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