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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: 
Francesca Zappia
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Pages: 385 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Rating:
4 and a half stars

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Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

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I like the cover art but I also don’t like it. I think the cover art is awesome but it doesn’t fully match the book. At no point in this book do they mention Eliza painting! It’s always drawing, so even though I like the look of the cover, it’s still not accurate and that annoys me.

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I really enjoyed the writing in this book! It flowed really well and was really easy to understand even for someone who has 0 experience with webcomics and that hole of the internet. I also loved the addition of my text messages & drawings! I love a book with little extra things in them and this was definitely one! I really liked the drawings and also little bits and pieces of the webcomic. Even though the webcomic story was a little confusing as it’s part way through the webcomic that they show and trying to keep track of the characters in the webcomic story was a bit of a task too as I would forget between each part of the comic as it was only ever 20 or so pages! But besides those little things, I really enjoyed the actual story itself.

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**TRIGGER WARNINGS!**
Mentions & thoughts of suicide within this book.

To be completely honest the main plot of this story I guessed before even starting the book. So it was just a point of waiting for it to happen. I also found this part of it kinda similar to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda when it came to the ‘everyone finding out the secret through the internet’ type of thing. But besides that, I really enjoyed everything else in the plot of the book! I also think that everything was done really well and realistically. Sometimes I feel like some contemporaries just go overboard and border on unrealistic, but I definitely think that this book was done really well and never went too crazy!

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Okay, so I may be a bit prejudice as the MC and I share a name, but I really liked Eliza. I loved that even though she struggled with a lot of social situations she never let it actually get her down. She pushed through and knew her limits in situations she could control. She also felt relatable even though I don’t have much in common with her.

Wallace, I liked for the most part. However, after the secret was out I did not like his attitude in the slightest and even though he apologized it was only because he realised how far he had pushed her. But before that, he was selfish and obsessive and I was not okay with it at all.

I really like Eliza’s brothers! Church and Sully were so funny but also super understanding. They were also super surprising too and some of the stuff you find out I was not expecting at all! I kinda wish we could have a companion novel following them as they were my fave characters!

Eliza’s parents are a bit hard to judge.  I understand them completely as all they were trying to do is be involved in their daughter’s life but they didn’t understand how and Eliza never seemed to try and help them be in her life. And it frustrated me sometimes how Eliza reacted to them, but they also did kinda push some boundaries sometimes. Family dinner is not the right time to discuss whether your daughter should start birth control for an example! That is something that should be discussed in private, not with both parents and 2 brothers in the middle of dinner. So some of the time I did understand Eliza but also a larger part of the time I understood her parents struggle. That’s also another reason why I like Church and Sully because they took the time to actually explain to their parents what they did wrong to Eliza when she was just pushing them away and getting angry at them when they had no idea the whole situation! How could they know when she never told them the whole truth and kept the money side of it a secret from them.

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I enjoyed the writing and the addition of the texts and drawings in the book! Even though the main plot was obvious I really enjoyed the rest of the plot. I liked Eliza and loved her brothers a lot and wish they were a bit more in the book or get a companion about them. So yeah, overall I really enjoyed the book!



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The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Last Namsara
Author: 
Kristen Ciccarelli
Series Name: Iskari
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Rating:
4 stars

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In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

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Generally, I don’t like people on the cover of books, but covers with part of someone’s face don’t bother me and I really like this one. I like how simple it is and how well it represents this book! I also love the design on the knife too.

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I didn’t love the writing to be completely honest. Every now and then there were a couple paragraphs that really didn’t make sense. When this happened a lot of the time it was the movement of a character. It’s hard to explain but it was just kinda contradicting itself I guess. Like they would say this person was somewhere or doing something and then the next second they were somewhere else or doing something else that shouldn’t have been possible. That’s the best I can explain it.
But as I am reading an eARC of this book, this may have been corrected for the final copy but I’m not fully sure obviously. But it was a little annoying when that happened as it just wrecked the flow of the book.

But besides that, there was also the romance. It wasn’t my favourite either. Not only am I not a romance reader but it was also pretty predictable and typical of a “forbidden love” story. But I’m really glad that the romance didn’t overtake the rest of the plot of the book.

I also enjoyed that they included some of the stories they talked about in the book. I thought that was a cool touch.

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I really enjoyed the plot of the book and I didn’t find it predictable even though I found the romance predictable. The plot was fairly unique and I loved the stories. And come on, the book has dragons!

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Asha was a little annoying at times. Through most of the book, she acted like she was better than everyone else because she was the ‘Iskari’. I get that yes she may have been a more powerful person but that doesn’t mean you have to act stuck up about it. Her personality when it came to this really annoyed me but besides that she was okay.

I really enjoyed Safire though. She was awesome and such a badass. She is also really strong! No matter the crap she had to put up with she was strong all the way and was there for her family the whole time.

Jarek was a horrible person. He is so controlling and obsessive. Honestly, at a couple points, I cringed when he came up to Asha and I’m only reading about it!

Dax I also enjoyed. He wasn’t that present for most of the book but in the end I really enjoyed him and what he did. He cared for Asha a lot and even though she was the ‘Iskari’ and was meant to be this fearless person he still saw her as his sister and looked out for her rather than treating her like a prop or a weapon like others tried.

Torwin I don’t really know how I feel about. I did enjoy him for most of it but for some parts, he just felt like ‘the forbidden love interest’ and that was it. I would have really liked if this book was in Multi POV with Torwin & Asha because seeing him through her eyes that was all he was really, the forbidden love interest. I would have liked to see him as his own person a bit more but the only time we see that is the part with the dragon and when he was telling stories about the woman who raised him.

I won’t talk about my opinions about anyone else as I don’t want to spoil anything!

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Overall I didn’t love the writing or the MC. I hope that in the next book she comes down off the high horse she has been sitting on for most of this book. The romance was not my favourite either, but I’m not a romance fan so that doesn’t mean too much. I did enjoy the plot of the book and some of the characters.

*For my rating I did not take into consideration the trouble I had understanding some parts just because I’m not sure if that is a fault with the eARC or not.*



I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you  very much to Hachette Australia & NetGalley for this opportunity.

You can PRE-ORDER this book as an eBook, hardback or paperback copy from the Hachette Australia website HERE!

You can also PRE-ORDER it in Hardcover from:
Book Depository  /  Dymocks (Alternate cover – Below)

Paperback:
Book Depository (Alternate cover)  /  Dymocks  /  QBD

eBook & Audiobook:
Amazon/Audible Aus
*The audiobook is only $14.95 AUD or 1 Audible Credit*



Alternate cover (as mentioned above)

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ARE YOU PLANNING ON PICKING THIS BOOK UP when it releases?! Or have you already pre-ordered!
HAVE YOU already READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Thief’s Cunning
Author: 
Sarah Ahiers
Series Name: Assassin’s Heart
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 416 (eBook)
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Rating:
4 stars

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Allegra has always had to look over her shoulder. As the niece of the infamous assassin Lea Saldana, Allegra is used to hiding from people who want her dead. Once the strongest clipper family in the Kingdom of Lovero, the Saldanas—or what’s left of them—are now the most hunted. Their number one enemy is the Da Vias, whose thirst for retaliation is almost two decades in the making.

But lately Allegra’s getting fed up with everything being kept from her—including her parents’ identity. When she finally learns the truth about her family, though—that she’s a Da Via—her world crumbles. Feeling betrayed by the people she trusted the most, Allegra turns to Nev, a Traveler boy whose presence makes her feel alive in ways she’s only dreamed of.  But getting caught up in Nev’s world has consequences Allegra never saw coming.

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I really enjoy the covers of these books. They are simple but represent the book really well! In the first one we just had the Saldana coin and the city below (I’m not sure if it’s Yvain or Lovero) and this on we have the Singura and the city Mornian (I think) at the bottom. They are eye-catching and gorgeous!

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My opinion is the same for this book as it is for Assassin’s Heart. The world building is amazing and continues in this book. I loved learning more about the other gods and other cultures in this book. The book flows really well and is very descriptive! My only small issue is I still have no idea how to pronounce the MCs name, Allegra. I am pretty sure I pronounced it differently every time it came up in the book! It’s such an uncommon name, as are many of them, but most of the other characters had easy nicknames so it was okay that I didn’t know how to pronounce Les’s full name (I don’t know how to spell it and I’m not hunting through the last two books to find it as it’s only mentioned a couple times).

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I didn’t enjoy the plot of Thief’s Cunning as much as I did Assassin’s Heart. It was still good and I enjoyed it but the first book was better in my opinion. This book was filled with a few plot twists of sorts and that was enjoyable as I didn’t see them coming.

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So, I didn’t love the MC for this one. Allegra was annoying at times and complained and whined so much. She also repeated the same thing over and over again. It also annoyed me that when she found out a certain truth that she didn’t go straight to Lea and ask for her side of the story and the truth from her. She didn’t even try and give her a chance and that annoyed me considering everything that Lea and Les had done for her. It also annoyed me that she wouldn’t listen to Lea about the truth when Lea tried to explain herself, but she listened to Les.

*Side note – I hate that it’s ‘Lea’ & ‘Les’ because if you aren’t concentrating on every single word or just reading quickly than those two names look the same and you don’t read it properly and then get confused*

I still love Lea & Les in this book. Les is so caring, awesome and calm. I wish we saw a bit more of his Clipper side as that was what he wanted the most in Assassin’s Heart. Lea is still a badass and she will always do anything for the people she loves.

Nev was a character that you are suspicious of and your thoughts go back and forth about whether he is actually a good guy or a bad guy. I won’t say anything more about that because I’ll let you figure it out yourself if you decide to read this series!

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I really enjoyed this book, however, it was not as good as the first book in my opinion. I love this world and magic system. The MC was not my favourite for this book and I prefer the POV of Lea a lot more than Allegra. The writing is amazing and I can’t wait to see what comes next from Sarah Ahiers!



I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Harlequin Australia & NetGalley for this opportunity.

You can purchase this book as an eBook or physical copy from the Harlequin Australia website HERE.
You can also purchase from:
Book Depository (Paperback & Hardcover)  /  QBD  /  Amazon (Kindle)

And don’t forget the First book in the series/companion novel Assassin’s Heart
You can purchase it from:
Book Depository (Paperback & Hardcover)  /  QBD  /  Amazon (Kindle)



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Mime Order
Author: 
Samantha Shannon
Series Name: The Bone Season
Genre: YA Fantasy Sci-Fi
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
Pages: 510 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Bloomsbury
Rating:

4 stars

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Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

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I still don’t like these covers. They aren’t horrible but they aren’t my favourite and I highly prefer the other editions!

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Okay, so the only issue I had with the writing in the last book was not understanding the terms! So every time I read a book I flip through the book and check the back of the book to see if there is a glossary, prequels, previews of the next book and that kinda thing!  But because I read it via eBook I couldn’t like flip through so I wasn’t aware there was a glossary at the back! So the terms were confusing at first, but I didn’t have this issue in this book as I already understand what all the terms and names mean now!

So because I didn’t have that issue this time, I really enjoyed the writing! These books are a bit slower to read and they take me forever! I can usually read a 500 page book in 2 days but this book took me like 5 days! But I don’t hate that, it’s still good but it was a little frustrating to try and read during a ReadAThon haha.

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I didn’t enjoy the plot in this book as much as the first book but it was still good. I feel like a lot of the middle of the book was just kinda filling time until we got to the bigger events. But I also didn’t mind those points because we got to know the characters a lot better, so that was really good!

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Okay, so it will be hard to talk about certain characters without spoiling the first book. So I will talk about the MC as obviously, she is still here! But as for the others, I am not going to talk about them. But I do enjoy all the characters whether I enjoy them as the bad guys or good guys!

So the MC! Paige is an awesome character. She is a badass and will do anything for what she thinks is right! She is also really resourceful and always has some crazy idea up her sleeve! She is an awesome badass female MC!

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I really enjoyed this book! I didn’t love it as much as The Bone Season, but it was still really good! The characters are great and I love Paige. The world is intense and full on and I love it! I’m a massive epic fantasy fan and this is a really good extreme world! The writing is amazing. The book is slow and the plot was a bit slower than the first book and that is the main reason I didn’t rate it higher.



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: 
Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Diverse Contemporary
Publication Date: April 7th, 2015
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Balzer & Bray
Rating:
5 Star

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Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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You can find my spoiler free review of The Upside of Unrequited HERE!

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I honestly don’t like this cover, like at all. I like the cover of The Upside of Unrequited a bit more but still didn’t love it. The Simon cover just kinda looks cheap and basic and I just don’t like it.

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My opinion of Becky Albertalli’s writing is the same in this book as it was for The Upside of Unrequited! These books drag you in and you just get so invested in the lives of the characters in this book. I feel as invested in these characters in 300 pages as I would usually feel in the last book in a trilogy! These books are also really quick reads! Each I read easily in a day!

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I really enjoy that in Albertalli’s books there is the main plot, but also side plots going on, but they also feel like they are main plots too! I love that these books also deal with major topics but bring it into an awesome, funny and cute book! I just love everything about these books!

I’m not going to lie though, this book was a little predictable and I guessed who Blue was like half way through and was right.

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Again a pretty diverse range of characters! We had Gay, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Jews & Dark characters (I don’t believe it was actually stated what nationality Bran actually is, so I don’t want to make a guess). We also had people from divorced families, which I respect as being from a divorced family myself.

I really like Simon and being in his head for this story was hilarious. Just the way he thinks was so funny and a great perspective to read from! I feel like I can kinda relate to him too, but for the life of me, I don’t know how really as I haven’t been through any of these things myself!

There are a lot of characters I want to talk about, so I’m going to try and keep it to one or two paragraphs. And they are in no particular order of how much we see them in the book, I’m just writing it as I think of people.

Martin was an ass, I don’t care what happens throughout the rest of the book, I still don’t like him. He seemed genuinely upset at the end there though, so maybe he at least understands his mistake, even if it doens’t take back what he did.
I enjoyed Abby a lot, she was the cool best friend that you could do silly things with and there was never really an issue.
Nick, I was really excited to see as he was the one mentioned in The Upside of Unrequited that was with Simon at a certain thing, so when we meet him I was excited as! But also he is a cool character and I enjoy that nothing will get in the way for his love of both music and video games haha.
Leah was a little grumpy and annoying some times, but there was a reasoning behind it, but she was one of those characters that you just wanted to help feel better because even if she didn’t see ‘the thing’ coming, the rest of us totally knew how it would play out.
Garret, we don’t see too much of, he is just kinda in the back ground a lot of the time. Same with Bran, but I still thought Bran was the quiet and cute type.
I really liked their theatre teacher, she was awesome and passionate!
I also really liked Simon’s Sister Alice, she was understanding and caring, even though she wasn’t around. I also liked Simon’s Younger Sister Nora too, I don’t know how old she was but she seemed pretty mature for a younger sister and I liked that she was understanding as well. She was also caring enough to show Simon a certain thing rather than just ignore it and let him figure it out.

Those are all the ones I can think of right now, but I know there are more. But that is all I think!

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I really loved this book and from now on Becky Albertalli is an auto buy author. Even though I’m not a romance reader, I have a soft spot for LGBT+ romances. I think one of my main isues with romances in books as they are always so damn typical and over done! And it’s nearly always the same type of romance with similar characters. So for that reason, I don’t mind LGBT+ romances as they are usually more unique and also, being a bisexual myself, I like seeing these diverse characters!

Anyway, I love these books! They are fun, hilarious and cute books with amazingly diverse characters and great plots! I highly recommend them both!



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
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Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Book Recommendations for people who don’t normally read YA

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Finally, Top Ten Tuesday is back!!!

Top Ten Tuesday is a monthly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can find all the info and upcoming prompts Here.

This week’s prompts is: Ten book recommendations for ______________: (Skies the limit here…examples: for Hufflepuffs, for fans of Game of Thrones, for people who don’t normally read YA, for animal lovers, for video game lovers, etc.



1. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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So everyone is talking about this recently so I think everyone knows what this is! But this is an amazing YA Historical Fiction with a diverse range of characters!

You can find my spoiler free review HERE!

2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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This book is also getting a lot of hype right now! But this is an amazing standalone fantasy book set in a carnival setting! We have a relatively diverse range of characters when it comes to sexual preferences in this book.

You can find my spoiler free review HERE!

3. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

This is an amazing paranormal fantasy series! The characters in this book are amazing, it deals with some more difficult topics throughout the 4 books and Welsh Kings?? What else do you need in life?

You can find my review of The Raven Boys HERE!

You can find my spoiler free review of The Dream Thieves HERE!

You can find my spoiler free review of Blue Lily, Lily Blue HERE!

You can find my spoiler free review of The Raven King HERE!

4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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This is an important read right now! This is an amazing representation of the Black Live Matter movement! This book will make you laugh, cry and rage all at once!

You can find my spoiler free review HERE!

5. Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden

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This is the first book in a dystopian series set in Australia! This is an older book and I never see anyone talk about it but it is an amazing book! This is also one of the more realistic dystopian’s, a similar thing to this happening is a huge possibility in the near future.

You can find my spoiler free review HERE!

6. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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This is a slower book, with tonnes of beautiful description. This book is written in very beautiful writing and it sucks you in with the writing! This is also a very interesting and epic fantasy read as well.

You can find my spoiler free review HERE!

7. The Medoran Chronicles by Lynette Noni

So this one I would more recommend to a middle-grade reader wanting to try YA books! This is an amazing fantasy series with an amazing world, characters and friendships! Oh, and did I mention dragons?

You can find my spoiler free review of Akarnae HERE!

You can find my spoiler free review of Raelia HERE!

You can find my spoiler free review of Draekora HERE!

8. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This is an amazing Paranormal Fantasy Mystery kind of book! It is also kinda creepy, it’s not scary but with the images in this book, it can be a little creepy!

You can find my spoiler free review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children HERE!

You can find my spoiler free review of Hollow City HERE!

You can find my spoiler free review of Library of Souls HERE!



Okay, so I only have 8, but I feel like out of the books I have read these would be the best for either an Adult or Middle-Grade reader wanting to get into YA!

Have you read any of these books?! What did you think?

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