Monday, October 29, 2018

Top Ten Non-YA Books

Good evening, dragonflies! 

So I'm 100% writing this out of procrastination - after several hours of studying the same topic over and over again, I just need to sit down on my blog, with a few Oreos and a cup of tea. 

I know I haven't written in a while! I was gonna last week, but I was back in Paris to see my family, and it ended up being incredibly busy! I had a great time, but I physically did not have the time to blog, almost at all. 

In the past weeks, a book that I was highly anticipating came out - Bridge of Clay, by Markus Zusak! If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that I love his books, and I can't wait to read this one! 

This got me thinking - I'm generally a YA blogger, but I also do love some non-YA books, that I think can be appreciated by more people than just me! 

Many of us in the YA-verse seem to be 'stuck' in our genre in a way - after all, it is what we see the most of on social media, as that is the type of content we decided to follow. 

So with this post, I decided to present to you my top 10 non-YA reads! 

See the source image

Disclaimer: Most of these can definitely be read by a young adult - my definition of a YA book is a little vague, it's more of a feeling. So you may not agree with my selection, but that's ok! 

1. I am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
This is honestly one of those books that I feel doesn't get enough recognition in the world. It has such an odd feeling to it - it is both a feel-good book and a book that really makes you think about the state of society on a small scale. I'm super due for a re-read of this! 

I am the Messenger is about a guy named Ed who starts receiving playing cards in the mail, each with addresses and times. Once there, he needs to figure out what to do on his own - sometimes it's helping people in the little ways that count, sometimes it's serving them the lesson they deserve... 

2. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
It's no secret that The Giver is one of my favorite books - I read it several times as a child, and again more recently. Every time I read it, little details jump out at me. I love the idea of a dystopian world where everything is so regulated that individuals can't even see color, and cannot know about the history of their world. No questions. 

The Giver is about a young boy, Jonas, who was chosen to become the next Receiver of Memory at the age of 12. He meets daily with an old man who is known as the Giver - the wise man in the town who holds the history of the world in his mind through memories passed town through generations. 

3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan
This is such a staple for me! I adore Percy Jackson to bits, yet it's considered Middle Grade. I still feel like the books - especially the later ones - deal with some serious topics in a perfect, understandable way to anyone who reads it! 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is about a kid who discovers he is the son of the Greek god, Poseidon. This, of course, comes with all sorts of complications! 

4. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown
I just love Dan Brown's books. In case you're confused, he's the guy who wrote The DaVinci Code, a book that I'm pretty sure everyone has heard of at one point! For writing though, I preferred Angels and Demons, the plot was incredible, dark and just crazy enough to be totally enthralling! 

Dan Brown's most popular books center around professor Robert Langdon - a type of Indiana Jones character who specializes in symbology. He's called onto many missions that usually end up with him running for his life and trying to save the world from cults! Yeah, not very YA ^^ 

5. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You. Oh geez, this was such a good book (and movie!). It's one of those books that you know can only end badly, yet you read it anyway, having your heart torn to pieces and stepped on in the process. But this book is still so hopeful and positive and bluntly honest, I loved it! 

Me Before You is about Lou Clarke, a young woman who begins to work as a caretaker for the not-exactly charismatic Will Traynor - a young man who, due to an accident, is quadriplegic. They slowly learn to become friends as Lou decides to show him how much fun life can be despite his handicap. 

6. Stardust, by Niel Gaiman
Is this YA? I'm not sure. This book is magical in every way - a real fairytale for adults who though they have heard it all! The movie is also incredible - steampunk flying pirate ships, fallen stars, crazy witches and a dead king, it was all amazing! 

Stardust is such a big story, but vaguely I can describe it as being about Tristan Thorn leaving his village and crossing into a world where magic is real. He quickly becomes entangled in a whole political intrigue, involving arguing heirs, a murderous witch, and a fallen star. 

7. See You in the Cosmos, by Jack Cheng
This kids/MG book is absolutely adorable and I want everyone to pick it up! It gives you all the warm-and-fuzzies, is incredibly nerdy but also really hits home with more serious topics that can be understood by older readers. Jack Cheng did amazingly with this! 

See You in the Cosmos is about little Alex who has one wish; to send his iPod full of his daily life recordings into space, just as Carl Sagan once sent the Golden Record. He meets all kinds of people on his way, making for an adorable, heartwarming story!

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J Maas
Well whereas ACOTAR is super popular for YA readers, I think it's safe to say it's not YA. New Adult, sure. But some of the scenes in these books push the graphic imagery a bit too much to be recommendable to teens who aren't used to it! However, the trilogy is incredible, and SJM is a fantasy queen! 

ACOTAR is about Feyre, a girl who stumbles into the world of Fae, and who is held in a palace by Tamlin. It's a Beauty and the Beast spinoff. 

9. Eragon, by Chris Paolini
I don't count Eragon as being a part of the big YA trope, although if it was published more recently, I think it may have been written in that way. Eragon is epic and, although the ending was a tad disappointing, I still really enjoyed reading it! 

Eragon is about a boy who discovers a dragon egg. Soon, this egg hatches, and, as a dragon master, he gets involved in all kinds of intrigue. (It's been a long time since I've read them, haha!)

10. Siberia, by Ann Halam
Another MG book that deserves so much more love! This book is a light Sci-fi that involves genetic mutations in a (post-?)war Siberia. 

This time, I'm not going to describe it to you, because it's one of those books that has so many plot details that giving any of it away would be a spoiler! I can just say that it's seriously amazing, and that you should check it out asap! 

That's it! This is my list of my top 10 favorite non-YA books! Do you agree with these? What is your favorite non-YA read? Let me know! 

Stay bookish! 

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Perks of Being a Re-Reader

Good afternoon, dragonflies! 

I am a huge re-reader.

In fact, 9/30 of the books I've read so far this year were re-reads, as is one of my current reads. 

Also, yes I realize I haven't read loads this year, if you take a look at my more recent Bookish Talks, you'll start to realize why! 

So, when combining my love for re-reads and my lack of time to read, my physical TBR is becoming absolutely huge! 

So... why 'waste' time re-reading?

Part of my bookshelf!

A friend of mine on Instagram, @anniekslibrary, suggested that I make a blogpost about my reasons for re-reading, and I thought that was a great idea! There are many reasons why I reach for books that I have already read, at least once. 

1. New books coming out
If you are in the YA bookish community in any way at all, you know for sure that Kingdom of Ash, the final Throne of Glass book by Sarah J Maas, is coming out later this month. It is one of the biggest publications of the year, as far as hype goes! 
But although the hype is real, her last book in the main series was published in 2016...
Now, I don't have super memory. On top of that, my blogging style has changed a lot over the years. I don't remember a lot of the ToG books, although I can give a general storyline and I know which specific parts I found incredible. I could never, in good conscience, go into the next book without a re-read. 

This isn't only applicable to ToG! In my head, any series that is still growing merits a re-read to enjoy the full experience of the series all at once, rather than reading a book a year. 

This is also why I've been avoiding new YA books that are going to be the start of a new series. I'd rather read either stand-alones or series that are already all published! 

2. Mood
I am a huge mood reader - never have I been able to stick to a monthly TBR list, different books call to me at different times. If I'm definitely in a mythology mood, I'll reach for Percy Jackson. If I know I want a book that features characters that make my heart do things, it's The Infernal Devices. Something more serious? I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak. 

3. Comfort
Now we're going into some more psychological territory, so brace yourself! 

I'm in a relatively new city, studying a new degree, and on my own for the first time. Even when I went to Australia for a semester, I had spoken to people who I would live with before hand, so it was easy to become friends. Now, I'm hours away from anyone I know, and everyone in my house is very keep-to-yourself individualistic. I am as well, but the lack of a common area makes it impossible to casually meet people. Additionally, people in my degree all know each other from previous studies - it's an odd situation, especially for an introvert. But I'm making it work as well as I can :)

So it's been very, very tempting to re-read old favorites just for the sake of comfort - re-reading such books gives a sense of familiarity. It's not even a conscious choice, I just thought about this recently. But I don't mind, it's nice!

However, who's to say re-reading's all that bad? It's something I wholly enjoy doing, despite the fact that it leads to a lack of blogger content (oops!). 

I feel like re-reading is an act that really increases your appreciation for a story. With every re-read, you notice more little details and jokes that you did not notice before. Maybe something in your life happened that'll make you understand a character's emotions or motives on a deeper level. Sometimes you'll end up loving a book you thought wasn't interesting, simply because you read said book a few years too early.

Whatever the reason, a re-read always offers new insight on the story you thought you knew. 

(Also, you can become an absolute genius when it comes to random book trivia! Re-reading Harry Potter has come into use more than once!)

So I guess this is it! My three main re-read reasons! My re-readsons, if you will, as well as why I enjoy re-reads! 

Do you re-read a lot? Can you relate to any of these reasons? Let me know! 

Stay bookish!