Top Ten Tuesday: YA Books for YABC

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club — like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.)

My friend Di and I have an unofficial YA book club (YABC) where we meet up, drink wine, exchange books and rant/swoon over them. It’s pretty awesome. Therefore, I am choosing the books that have been the most successful YABC topics in the past.

Oh the rants we’ve had…

(Links go to related posts)

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1. The Hunger Games: Well, durrr. There was a period of time where myself and Di were banned from talking about THG in public because we just couldn’t stop, and it always ended in the same very heated (but y’know, friendly..) argument.

Mainly because it turns out that Di likes NICE BOYS like Peeta and is therefore WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. I mean really, Peeta over Gale…?? SERIOUSLY. Other topics included why I hated the first movie (because I’m right) and why Di didn’t (because she’s wrong).

2. Vampire Academy: Oh, we are not even close to be being done with VA YABCs! But the series so far (we are up to book 3 I believe), has already provided us with so much good ranting material.

There’s been the obvious Dimitri-in-my-pants rants and girl crushing all over Rose Hathaway and her complete awesomeness. And then there’s the hilarity that ensued when we realised we couldn’t pronounce any of the vampire species so anyone listening in to our convo in the bar at Waterloo station probably thought we were having a stroke.

And lastly, there’s the fact that it’s impossible to discuss VA without comparing it to our favourite topic ever – Buffy!! So good!

3. Twilight: Possibly the first ever YABC-type rant in the history of Di and Lipsy book rants.

Topics mainly revolved around how ridiculous it is but quickly descends into how much we want to have sex with control freak Cullen, and ultimately how much we COULDN’T STOP READING. There has also been a lot of discussion over the TERRIBLE fashion choices Meyer made – if there’s ever a BEIGE POLO-NECK shortage just head to Forks, yeah!

Oh and in case you were wondering, I’m the lion and Di’s the lamb. LOLZ.

4. The Selection Series: The big debate here is clearly Team Maxon Vs Team Aspen but for once I think me and Di actually agreed (we did, right?). Team Maxon to the max…see what I did there. There was also a lot of talk about how this series helped with our post-Hunger Games blues, and how much we want GILES to play the king in the TV Series. What ever happened to that?

5. Graceling: Oh so much swooning went on at the Graceling edition of YABC. We swooned over the pretty much perfect Prince Po, and at how AWESOME Katsa is. We just love her. KATSA & PO 4EVA.

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6. The Chaos Walking Trilogy: This wasn’t so much a YABC meet-up as it was a constant texting/tweeting/ranting/raving/crying over how amazing, heartbreaking, and just plain HORRIBLE this series is. I think at one point I declared how much I hate Di for giving it to me. IT HURT MY IMPENETRABLE HEART. We cried over poor Todd. And how cute him and Viola are. And let’s not even mention the dog. I just can’t.

7. Uglies: After giving this to Di to read and hearing her thoughts on it I can’t even think about the book without bursting into laughter. I liked it. Sure, the protagonist was annoying, but I thought it was a really brave book that covered some important teenage issues. Di did not. Di hated it with a firey passion which naturally led to a particularly loud edition of YABC.

8. Divergent: There were only really a few topics we managed to focus on when discussing Divergent. First…back to The Hunger Games. Second, HOT MAKE OUT SCENES ON TRAINS. We did manage to briefly discuss which faction we’d be before quickly returning to swoon over Four and his tattoos. Sigh.

9. The Mortal Instruments: Let’s face it. There’s only really one topic in discussion where TMI is concerned – whether Jace and Clary will EVER get it on (I only got up to book 3). And not forgetting the whole possible incest thing. INCEST IS BEST. Ahem. I have a brother – It is NOT. Shudder.

10. The Lunar Chronicles: This is only so far down the list because for once we pretty much agree on everything about these books. Mainly, that they are beyond awesome. We’ve swooned over Prince Kai, Captain Thorne and even Wolf – or maybe that was just me? We love Cinder, and Scarlet and Cress and want to poke Levana’s eyes out. And now we’re just waiting for more.

One more thing: I feel the need to include Narnia here too. I don’t think we’ve even had an actual Narnia YABC but it’s never really far from our thoughts to be honest. Whether we’re discussing if it’s OK to fancy High King Peter, or laughing at Ben Barnes’ accent in the Prince Caspian movie….it’s always a Narnian life for us. For Narnia!

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness: Spoiler-Free, Lazy Saturday Review!

momIn the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world.
As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.

And so it came to an end. I can’t even describe the emotional journey that this series took me on. The only thing I am certain of is that Patrick Ness is pure evil (not really I’m sure he’s lovely)! Boy, Colt!

After the first two books of which I attempted -in a similar way to this – to review here: The Knife of Never Letting Go & here: The Ask and the Answer, I wasn’t sure which way this book was gonna go. I decided to myself that there were two options. 1. The Happy Ending or 2. Everyone Dies. But, how silly of me, those options weren’t even close to giving Patrick Ness enough credit. Of course it wouldn’t be that simple! He was going to mess with me a bit longer beforehand.

Monsters of Men started off pretty slowly for me, as did the last book, so I in no way found them perfect reads. At the time of reading I was frustrated, I felt like the story wasn’t evolving, Viola & Todd were still separated, Todd being slowly influenced by the Mayor and Viola by Mistress Coyle whose ‘My Girl‘s were driving me mad. But by the end of the book, it was always worth it. I felt I needed those calm 200 pages to really appreciate the magnitude of what ended up happening. The calm before the storm, if you will.

Thinking about it, Monsters of Men finished the only way it should, leaving me with one message as hard as a slap in the face by the hands of Thor: NOTHING GOOD EVER COMES OF WAR.

And that’s it, I’m done. Sorry, I think I’ve gone a bit mad today.

unicorn rating 4

Disclosure?: Nope, I borrowed it off the lovely Dianne @ Icefloe
Title: Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3)
Author: Patrick Ness
Details: Paperback, 603 pages
Published: October 1st 2010 by Walker & Company
My Rating: 4/5

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness (Mini-Review)

6043849 We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men…

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…

“The Ask and the Answer” is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the “Chaos Walking” trilogy.

I will repeat what I said after reading the first book in this series: WOAH. THIS BOOK!

I’m going to keep this short for two reasons; I still have a major book-hangover from it, and I can’t really talk about it in-depth without giving things away. And if you haven’t read them, YOU HAVE TO.

Even though THESE BOOKS ARE MEAN.

It took me a lot longer to get into this one than The Knife of Never Letting Go, but once the ball started rolling it literally didn’t stop. This story is relentless. Things go from bad to worse, to worserer. Poor Todd, poor Viola, poor anyone ever.

It was horrible to see how the harsh circumstances began to change Todd. You couldn’t really blame him, but being in the hands of the evil Mayor and forced into serving him in his preparations for an all-out war was really uncomfortable to read.

I wasn’t as sold on Viola’s story though, and I was begging for her to go and save Todd. However, she definitely redeemed herself by the end of the book.

I think Mayor Prentiss is probably of the best villains I have ever read, even though I did get a bit bored with the whole pretending-to-be-nice/ doing it for the greater good thing.

Also, will someone read that Goddamn book Todd’s mum wrote!

Anyway, this book made me cry. I wanted to put it in the freezer.

I might need a while before I tackle the final installment. It’s not going to end well is it!?

unicorn rating 4

Disclosure?: Nope, I borrowed it off my friend Di.
Title: The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)
Author: Patrick Ness
Details: Paperback 517 pages
Publication Date: May 4th 2009 by Walker Books
My Rating: 4/5