YA Book Reviews by Amy
YA Book Reviews by Amy: Rereading
Rereading: is it a good use of your time to rediscover why you love a book or is it unproductive?
I go back and forth on the topic of rereading; part of me thinks that rereading can be an amazing experience: whether it is rereading a mystery to ‘see’ all the clues left by the author, or revisiting characters that you would like to be friends with, or sometimes the books are just THAT good.
Other times I feel that rereading can be unproductive; there are so many new books being released that sound amazing that could be a new favorite. It always seems the saying ‘Too many books, so little time’ never felt truer.
Here are some books that I have either already reread or that are top on my list to be reread for various reasons.
Where do you stand with rereading?
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Told through two siblings’ perspectives years apart, Jude and Noah are torn away from each other when Jude gets into the prestigious art school that Noah fought so hard for and Noah does not. Noah’s part of the story tells of their younger years in which he and his sister seemed inseparable. Jude tells her story during present day; she and Noah barely talk to each other, their mother’s death heavy on their shoulders, and Jude feels like she does not belong anywhere. Can they repair their relationship?
This was such a beautifully written tale of familiar love, loss, and the importance of the people who stay in your life. This was an emotional read that I would like to experience again in a reread. While I have no rush, this book remains on my mind often and would like to reread it someday.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Princess Hesina believes that there is more to the death of her father; he could not have died of natural causes, so he must have been murdered. Hesina betrays her people when she seeks help from a soothsayer, a person with magical sight but have been eradicated in her country. When the sooth sayer predicts that Hesina will get the truth she is looking for by enlisting the help of a prisoner as her lawyer, she will continue to lie to her people to get justice. Will the truth ruin everything Hesina believes in?
This book had a slow beginning, but the ending is enough to make me want to reread this book; the twists and the high stakes are so well-done that I will have to pick up this book again. This is recommended for any reader that enjoys political intrigue and a lot of surprises.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe– Benjamin Alire Sáenz
In this realistic YA fiction, two boys meet at the local swimming pool. Set in the 1980’s, this book follows two years of Aristotle and Dante’s friendship. Aristotle has to deal with the anger he has about his brother being in prison and his struggle to connect with his parents. Dante is everything Ari is not; he is charming, happy, and has a fantastic relationship with his parents. Ari and Dante will learn from each other.
The love that I have for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe knows no bounds. The relationship between the two main characters (as well as the relationship with their parents) was so powerful. Have you ever just finished a book and immediately wanted to pick it up again? That was me for this book!
23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde
Zoe has the ability to travel back in time, but only for 23 minutes. She can make small changes in her life to make things a little easier for herself. When Zoe finds herself at the wrong place at the wrong time: in a bank right before it is about to get robbed. She must protect her life and find out how to find the most peaceful solution, but she only gets so many chances. Can Zoe save everyone from tragedy?
This was such a fast and interesting read. 23 Minutes is a self-contained story that could easily be a mini series or movie. I remember spending a singular night reading this book cover to cover and I have always thought about rereading it for fun. After writing this summary, it makes me want to reread it now!
Available in the library* for checkout.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
This fantasy world is split between the elite and the working poor that is determined by the color of their blood: red is seen as common, but silver blood is rare and contains magical abilities. Mare is a red-blood, but despite her blood color she discovers that she has magic. Is she an anomaly or is she a treat like the royal family believes she is? Mare’s life is kept behind palace walls and in close sight just incase of an uprising.
Since this title is part of the YSU English Festival, I will be rereading this to refresh my mind on the characters and plot. I liked reading this book the first time around and look forward to seeing if my opinion will change on the reread.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Based in 1889 Paris, a group of misfit characters seek out the inheritance of Séverin who has been excluded from the four most powerful families. An heir of one of the four families offers to restore the inheritance in exchange for the group using their skills to retrieve a magical object. Clues of the old artifact lead the team to a treasure hunt with a mysterious and deadly secret society on their heels. Supernatural events and magic occur the further they delve into the underground city of Paris and infiltrate the city’s elite.
I just reread this book in preparation of reading the second book in this series: The Silvered Serpents. Rereading this book, I appreciated the characters so much more—I understood their motivation and journey better and it made the experience that more enriching.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Alina, an orphan, is conscribed to fight in the war with her best friend and crush, Mal. After providing a magical light in the dark and terrifying place called The Fold, she is seen as someone that could end the war. Alina is sent off to train as a Grisha, a magic wielding human, by the mysterious Darkling. Does Alina have the ability to stop the war or will she just add fuel to the fire?
I have reread this book several times: the first time to read for fun and the second time to give it a second chance. I will now be reading it for a third time to hopefully marathon the entire trilogy. I have read and loved Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology and to read her newest duology: King of Scars I must read Shadow and Bone to know all the character arcs.