Young-Adult Novels – reviews by Morgan Alexis Thomas

book_daughter_of_smoke_and_bone.jpgDaughter of Smoke and Bone

Written by Laini Taylor

This young-adult novel is a fresh change from much of what is flooding the market today. Many of the young-adult books that are published today have similar plots. And there are many paranormal and fantasy books that have not only similar plots but also the same kinds of characters.

In this book we are introduced to Karou, a seventeen-year-old girl who
is living in Prague. With no family to speak of, she was raised by a
mysterious creature who collects teeth, and she now goes on mysterious
errands for him. She knows nothing of the purpose of these teeth and the
mystery which surrounds the creatures that raised her. But soon a war
that has been going on for hundreds of years draws Karou in and she
finally learns the truth about herself and everything else.

I really like this book and highly recommend it. I like young-adult
fiction and continuously read it; but so much of what comes out is
derivative. This book is different. It features a strong female
character who goes after what she wants and takes action. She is strong
and fights her own battles. It also does not just focus on a love story,
which is something that every book now seems to have. The author is
able to craft a world that people may be familiar with but with new
creatures that are deftly woven into the story and place.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone; Laini Taylor; Little Brown, 420 pages, $18.99

book_how_to_save_a_life.jpgHow to Save a Life

Written by Sara Zarr

This young-adult book deals with much more serious issues. A family
that has just lost their father and husband is trying to move on and
stay strong. But Jill, who is still trying to cope herself, feels
betrayed that her mother is suddenly deciding that she is going to adopt
a baby. At the same time she meets a young woman online who is trying
to flee from an unhappy life.

The young woman knows that she wants to give up the child but has her
own terms. This includes moving in with Jill and her mother, followed by
an adoption without lawyers or officials. At the start of this new
family everyone is dealing with their own issues and eventually everyone
learns to come together.

I thought this book was nice to read. The topic was something that many
young-adult novels deal with, such as death and teen pregnancy, but I
like how under this roof everyone is trying to find where they may
belong. It is well written and brought in something different, such as
how not everyone deals with things by the book and what can happen along
the way.

How to Save a Life; Sara Zarr; Little Brown, 341 pages, $17.99

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