This Is My Genre, Tell Me Yours Tag

I was tagged by two very lovely bloggers: The Orangutan Librarian and Icebreaker694

Go check out their amazing blogs!


THE RULES:

  • Credit my bad bad self Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek as the creator of the tag, use the created tag name graphic and link back to my blog.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Tag as many people as you want.

 1). WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE?

I read a lot of different genres, mostly across YA (WHICH IS NOT A GENRE IN AND OF ITS SELF ITS AN AGE CATEGORY).

But I’d have to say Science Fiction / Fantasy (SFF) is my favorite genre.

2). WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR FROM THE GENRE?

And more – but these are the first that come to mind!

3). WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE GENRE THAT KEEPS PULLING YOU BACK?

I DON’T KNOW ITS FUN TO NOT BE IN THE REAL WORLD.

4). WHAT’S THE BOOK THAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE?

636060450309743369870701672_harry-potter-books-LARGEAnd the award for most basic answer ever goes to….

5). IF YOU HAD TO RECOMMEND AT LEAST ONE BOOK FROM YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE TO A NON-READER/SOMEONE LOOKING TO START READING THAT GENRE, WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?

See the above authors.

See their books.

All of those.

Plus:

51tH14NkdiL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me

Arc Review: Nowhere Near You

Book Review: How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe

Book Review: Redshirts

 

6). WHY DO YOU READ?

BECAUSE I LIKE IT OKAY, WHY DO YOU BREATH?!?!?!??!?!?

(I’m bad at answering these sorts of questions….Can you tell?)


I Tag:

Raquel @ Rakiodd Books

Kayla @ KDrew The Bookworm

Sophie @ Blame it on Chocolate

Alex @ Lord of the Trekkies

Adri @ Little Fox & Reads

Teacher of YA

Melting Pots and Other Calamities

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Blog Tour: The Dragon Orb – Review

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The Dragon Orb (The Alaris Chronicles #1)
by Mike Shelton
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: March 1st 2017

dragon orb cover

Summary from Goodreads:

The fate of a kingdom rests on the shoulders of three young wizards who couldn’t be more different.

Bakari is a brilliant scholar wizard who’s more at home in a library than a battlefield. Alli is a beautiful young battle wizard whose grace in battle is both enchanting and deadly. Roland is a counselor wizard with a seemingly limitless depth of untapped power — and the ego to match it.

As the magical barrier protecting the kingdom of Alaris from dangerous outsiders begins to fail, and a fomenting rebellion threatens to divide the country in a civil war, the three wizards are thrust into the middle of a power struggle.

When the barrier comes down, the truth comes out. Was everything they were taught about their kingdom based on a lie? Will they all choose to fight on the same side, or end up enemies in the battle over who should rule Alaris?

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The Alaris Chronicles Praise:

The first book of the Alaris Chronicles series brings a refreshing take on magic and politics in fantasy. The world feels very much alive as the wizards take on their new challenges, struggling with their personal demons as much as those of the land they are expected to protect. For people wanting a fantasy kingdom-based read that is more sorcery than swords with a depth of intrigue that goes well beyond blood and debauchery, The Dragon Orb is a solid new entry in the genre.” –Self-Publishing Review

The Dragon Orb is full of magic and adventure, and a way for younger readers to get a peek into the world of politics. The book is a strange combination of a Dungeons and Dragons adventure with Game of Thrones, but with kids as the movers and shakers of the story — and with a PG rating. It is a very easy read, a page turner. I love the fact that the protagonists of this story come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and that our leads are not your usual all-white characters. As mentioned before, the world our characters inhabit borrows from already established fantasy folklore; from Lord of the Rings to the Wheel of Time series. The biggest innovation on these series by Mr. Shelton is the inclusion of how politics work (hence the Game of Thrones reference), but accessible for a younger audience.” –  Erika Grediaga for Readers’ Favorite

“Dragon Rider is packed with action, adventure and a well-thought fantasy world. In a sort of collage of a wide variety of fantasy literature, from Lord of the Rings to The Wheel of Time, Mike Shelton goes into the ugliness of power and politics in a very interesting way, creating this type of introductory and age-appropriate version of Game of Thrones for kids. I think any tween or teen, from age ten on, would love to immerse themselves in this world of treason and power, where children are the ones who hold everyone in check.” – Readers’ Favorite


About the Author

Author

Mike was born in California and has lived in multiple states from the west coast to the east coast. He cannot remember a time when he wasn’t reading a book. At school, home, on vacation, at work at lunch time, and yes even a few pages in the car (at times when he just couldn’t put that great book down). Though he has read all sorts of genres he has always been drawn to fantasy. It is his way of escaping to a simpler time filled with magic, wonders and heroics of young men and women.

Other than reading, Mike has always enjoyed the outdoors. From the beaches in Southern California to the warm waters of North Carolina. From the waterfalls in the Northwest to the Rocky Mountains in Utah. Mike has appreciated the beauty that God provides for us. He also enjoys hiking, discovering nature, playing a little basketball or volleyball, and most recently disc golf. He has a lovely wife who has always supported him, and three beautiful children who have been the center of his life.

Mike began writing stories in elementary school and moved on to larger novels in his early adult years. He has worked in corporate finance for most of his career. That, along with spending time with his wonderful family and obligations at church has made it difficult to find the time to truly dedicate to writing. In the last few years as his children have become older he has returned to doing what he truly enjoys – writing!

Author Links:

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Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9e540ef9369/


4 stars

Review:

I was sent a e-copy of the book for the tour and this is my honest review.

I LOVE dragons and that, especially, was the reason I wanted to review this book.

The Dragon Orb is the first in a new fantasy series, and it was pretty fantastic.

Great magic, well paced action, and well rounded and relatable characters.

A bit slow and/or cliche in places but over all, a good read. If you like dragons, wizards, and fantasy, its worth checking out.


Blog Tour Schedule –

June 12th

June 13th

June 14th

June 15th

June 16th

Book Tour: The Runes of Issalia – Promo

The Runes of Issalia TOUR banner NEW

The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia #1)
by Jeffrey L. Kohanek
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: May 5th 2016
Black Rose Writing

The Buried Symbol Cover Image

Summary:

Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…

Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.

As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.

Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, becoming a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.

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The Emblem Throne (The Runes of Issalia #2)

Release Date: October 6th 2016

The Emblem Throne Cover Image

Summary:

Journey on a magical quest to save the world…

As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.

Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.

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An Empire in Runes (The Runes of Issalia #3)
Release Date: April 27th 2017

An Empire in Runes Cover

Summary:

A Long Forgotten Magic That Might Save the World…Or Destroy It

Led by a boy named Brock, a small team of teens urgently assembles a force to confront an army of monsters, one that ravages and destroys anyone or anything in its path.

In a race against time, Brock attempts to train a group of recruits to wield the powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic that he himself is still learning to master. All the while, they must remain vigilant against a secret organization within the Ministry that will do anything to prevent the return of Chaos.

As foretold by an ancient prophecy, the human army must face and defeat their ancient enemy on the Tantarri Plains. For if they fail, all will be lost.

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Amazon Buy Links: The Buried Symbol | The Emblem Throne | An Empire in Runes


About the Author

jeffrey l. kohanek
Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota, where comic books sparked his young imagination and inspired fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics, featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all. His first book series, The Runes of Issalia, began in May 2016 and will conclude in Spring 2017.

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Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook


 GIVEAWAY:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9e540ef9360/


Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

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Here is an excerpt from THE BURIED SYMBOL. This is a short scene that takes place after Brock and his friend Tipper take refuge in a cave when a rain storm interrupts their journey to the Academy.

Promo 4 The Buried Symbol

A noise woke Brock, who sat up to find his clothes still damp. He rubbed the crust from his eyes and blinked to shake the cobwebs from his brain.

Recognizing his surroundings, he remembered the cave they had found to escape the rain. Early morning light emanated from the entrance, shedding light on Tipper, who lay asleep beside him. In the dim light, Brock noticed something near Tipper.

He leaned close to get a better look, finding bones he hadn’t noticed in the dark of night. Near the bones, rows of four parallel lines marked the surface of the rock. His chest constricted as he realized that something lived here, something large.

A howl echoed in the forest outside the cave.

Brock urgently shook Tipper.

“What? What’s happening?” Tipper blurted, sitting up in confusion.

“Shh.” Brock whispered. “Be quiet. There’s something out there.”

Tipper rubbed his eyes. “Huh? What are you talking about?”

A shadow eclipsed the light at the mouth of the cave. As Brock turned toward the entrance, his breath caught in his throat.

Against the light of the morning sky, the silhouette of a massive four-legged creature blocked the opening. Whatever it was, they were in its home and it was angry.

A low growl sounded, its ferocity rumbling in the small cave. The boys backed away, and Brock stumbled when he collided with a boulder near the rear of the cave. He scrambled to his feet as his mind raced. The beast blocked the only exit. Like the banshee attack at Glowridge Pass, they were trapped in a hopeless situation with no way out. His mind drifted back to that event and he reacted.

Brock scooped a bone from the cave floor and began scraping a symbol on the boulder: the same rune he had drawn on Hank.

The creature stepped forward, and Brock noticed the beast’s eyes, glowing an angry red. The smell of wet animal filled the cave, mixing with the smell of fear from Brock and Tipper.

Spurred by desperation, Brock closed his eyes and began pushing with his will. He felt the same force as last time, just beyond himself. Pushing harder, he latched onto it and his body grew flush with hot energy. A storm raged within, threatening to destroy him. He opened his eyes and poured the energy into the rune. It glowed bright red, pulsing as the boulder began to shake.

Brock backed from the advancing creature into the rear of the cave, against Tipper’s cowering form.

The boulder suddenly burst. Bits of rock pelted him, cutting hands held up to protect his face from the beast. The creature leapt back from the blast, dozens of small shards hitting its face and body. It growled in rage. Brock lowered his throbbing hand to see what had happened.

The boulder moved toward the beast. The round headless body of the rock advanced on four legs made of stone, emitting crunching and grinding sounds with each movement.

The hairy beast attacked, swinging vicious swipes with its huge paws. Sharp claws scraped the hard surface of the living boulder and bounced off harmlessly. The beast backed away, but the boulder continued to advance.

The beast attacked again, with little result as the boulder relentlessly forced it backwards. Suddenly, animal was outside, its red eyes squinting in the pale light of pre-dawn. It made one last swipe and then bolted.

The boulder turned the corner to give chase, one leg stepping over the edge, and it disappeared. The rumbling and crunching sound of a small rockslide followed as it tumbled away.

The cave became silent.

“What in the blazes? Brock, what did you do?” Tipper shouted. “What was that thing? What’s happening?”

“I don’t know!” Brock yelled back. He was breathing heavily, trying to calm himself. “I don’t know, Tipper. I had to do something, and it just came to me. I don’t know what it is.”

“It’s like what happened with Hank. You did it again with that big rock,” Tipper said.

“Yeah. I know,” Brock replied. “I wish I knew what it was, but I don’t.”

Brock grabbed his pack and headed toward the entrance. “Let’s get out of here before that thing comes back.”

Stepping outside the cave, he looked down. The rock-thing lay at the bottom of the outcropping, its legs broken off with the pieces still twitching. A shiver went down Brock’s spine.

“That’s creepy,” Tipper said.

Nodding, Brock began to climb down as the first rays of morning sun streaked across the valley.

 

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Here is an excerpt from THE EMBLEM THRONE:

Cameron emerged from the changing room, unsure of what to expect. The past month had been that way, ever since his first interlude with Tegan. She was beautiful yet bold. Passionate and unpredictable. His stomach twisted in anxiety of what she might do next, yet his heart raced at the mere thought of her.

He stopped in the middle of the arena floor, dimly lit by the late-day sun coming through the glass panels in the ceiling high above. He glanced toward the stands, nodding to Brock and Ashland. Tegan had asked him to be sure to have a healer present. He had found two. The three of them were alone within the building until the door from the girl’s changing room opened.

With her hair tied back, Tegan had her sparring helmet under one arm and wooden sparring swords in the other. Cameron’s heart began to pound as he watched her long lithe legs stride confidently across the open floor. Rather than wearing the traditional sparring vest and trousers, she wore short brown leather shorts and a matching leather vest, leaving her flat mid-drift exposed. He thought she looked stunning.

She stopped just a few feet from him, flashing a devious smile. “Are you ready for this?”

Cam somehow pulled his focus from her body and mustered a response. “I don’t even know what this is.”

Tegan pulled her helmet down over her head. “This is about redemption, Cammy.” She showed a naughty smile, biting her lip. “I’ve had my way with you a number of times now, but not in the arena. Not for real. Losing to you in the championship last year still irks me. It’s time for a rematch.”

“You want to fight me here and now because of what happened last year?” he asked.

She smiled again, holding her short swords up. “Yes.”

Cam stared at her as he searched for a way out of her bizarre plan. Deciding she wouldn’t take no for an answer, he released a sigh and slid his helmet over his head.

“Okay. Let’s do this, then,” he raised his wooden longsword.

She attacked, spinning with her leading sword high and the following sword low. He slapped the high one away with his shield and blocked the other with his sword. Countering with a stab at her mid-section, he only found air as she dodged to the side.

Now caught in the flow of the fight, Cam forgot that he was fighting the girl of his dreams. Swinging, blocking, dodging, and countering all came naturally in a rapid rhythm. Back and forth, they exchanged blow after blow with neither gaining an advantage. Tegan’s speed and agility made her a difficult target. Her ferocious fighting style required Cam to react rapidly with little opportunity to attack.

As the minutes wore on, Cam could feel the hot wetness of sweat building under the metal helmet. He remained poised, concentrating on the duel as he waited for her to make a mistake.

After blocking a swift series of strikes from Tegan, Cam swung his wooden sword low, trying to catch her off-guard or knock her off-balance. She jumped and flipped backward over the sword as it swept beneath her. When she landed, she thrust hard at his exposed side. Cam had anticipated the move, having seen her use it before. Her swords slashed in vain as he spun away with his shield arm outstretched. The shield clanged off her helmet with a glancing blow, causing her to stumble. In a moment of concern, Cam let his guard down and took a step toward her. She dipped low and slammed her sword under his shield arm and into his ribs. He felt them crack as air shot from his lungs and a grunt escaped his lips. Pulling his shield arm in tight to protect his wound, he stepped backward.

Smiling, Tegan lowered her swords. “Got you.”

He nodded. “Yeah. I think I broke some ribs.”

Cam turned to find Brock and Ashland descending the stairs from the stands. He walked across the floor to meet them.

“That was a pretty spectacular duel,” Brock said as he drew close.

“Yeah. It could have gone either way,” Ashland said. “I think you may have some broken ribs, Cam.”

Cam nodded, holding his side tenderly.

“What about you, Tegan?” Brock asked. “That shield hit to the helmet made quite a racket.”

Tegan yanked her helmet off, her wet red hair sticking to her face. “Just a bit of a headache.”

Ashland stepped close to Cam, putting her hand on his bare arm. A moment later, Cam’s body shook with a chill, and he gasped for air. Thankfully, the deep breaths no longer hurt.

“Thanks for the healing.” Cam said as she stepped away.

Brock held out an apple. “Sorry, but it’s all I’ve got on short notice.”

Cam grabbed it and took a big bite.

“Thank you two for coming to watch,” Tegan said. “Thanks for healing him, too. We’re done here now, so you can leave.”

Brock shrugged. “It was no problem. We’ll see you guys later.”

Grabbing Ashland’s hand as she waved goodbye, Brock led her toward the stairs. Cam continued to nibble at the apple, now half gone.

Tegan turned toward him, her eyes scanning him from head to toe. “Nice fight, Cammy. Thanks for agreeing to do it and for putting effort into it.”

He shrugged, continuing to eat.

“Well, I’m going to take a bath. I stink.” Tegan turned to walk away.

Cam finished off his apple as he stared at her backside strolling toward the changing room. The door to the arena sounded, echoing in the large space as Brock and Ashland departed, leaving Cam and Tegan alone. She stopped and turned back toward him.

“Aren’t you coming? Bathing alone is quite boring.” She spun and continued toward the baths.

Cam considered her words briefly before he followed along. He never knew what this amazing girl was going to do next.

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Here is an excerpt from AN EMPIRE IN RUNES:

“Good. You’ve got it,” Brock said, feeling genuinely excited.

Salina beamed with pride as she held the brightly glowing stone  up in triumph. The other students held hands before their faces to block the bright light from their vision.

“I knew you guys could do this.” Brock said, encouraging them.

“You just need to keep at it. Feeding off raw emotion to grab ahold of Chaos the first time is the tough part. After that, it gets easier each time you do it.”

Salina laughed as she lowered the rock, not looking directly at it.

“I knew I could feel Chaos before, but I just couldn’t seem to get to it. When you had me reliving the fear I felt when they kidnapped me from the Academy, everything changed. I was suddenly able to reach it and draw it in. It felt like I ate a thunderstorm that might tear me apart. It was frightening, yet exhilarating.”

Brock smiled as he shared her excitement. “That sounds right. I shudder to think of what would happen if you continued to hold it in. I don’t think our bodies are made to hold that kind of energy for long.”

Jerome stood. “I want to try again. If she can do it, I know I can do it.”

Salina raised an eyebrow. “Do you think you’re better than me, Jerome?”

Jerome stepped closer, thrusting his chest out as he glared down at Salina. Brock jumped between them.

“Stop!” Brock shouted. “We’re not going to start fighting each other. The Horde is out there, killing innocent men and women. You can’t imagine how frightening they are. We need to band together to stop them, not fight each other over our own stupid pride.”

Despite Jerome being a head taller than Brock, he backed away. Brock could see fear in his eyes. He turned to see Salina step back. Looking to the side, he saw Wraith standing with her ears flat and her teeth showing a menacing grin. Despite the tension of the previous moment, Brock chuckled.

“Relax.” He said to the dog. “I’m fine.”

A rumble from the direction of the wall caught his attention. He turned to find Parker driving a two-horse wagon through the gate. The wagon turned toward the mess hall and slowed as Parker pulled on the reins. With Puri leading Parker’s horse, she and Cam rode in on horseback, following the dust tail left by the wagon. Brock addressed the small group of former Academy students.

“We’ve made some progress today. However, I think now is a good time to stop. Practice drawing the Light rune on your own, memorizing every line. We’ll meet here again tomorrow after breakfast.”

They nodded and thanked him as they dispersed. He stepped away, heading toward the wagon as it circled behind the mess hall. After a dozen steps, Wraith caught up to Brock before slowing to shadow him. When he neared the horses, he held his hand up for her to stay back from them.

“Where’s the driver?” Brock shouted to Parker as the wagon came to a stop.

Parker dropped the reins and jumped down with his bow in hand. The bangs of his dark hair were fluttering in the west wind, dancing against the Orderrune marking his forehead. Standing a half-head taller than Brock, Parker’s eyes met Brock’s gaze.

“It didn’t go as well as it did with the last driver,” Parker said as he met Brock. “I suspected problems just by watching this man’s demeanor. I tried the same casual approach you took last time, but his response to my first question was a crossbow bolt.”

Brock’s brows raised in concern. “You’re okay though?” Parker nodded. “Yes. I saw it coming and ducked. The bolt went over me and then he fired one that sailed between Puri and Cam before he turned the wagon and tried to outrun us.”

“Bad idea.” Brock said.

Parker lifted his bow. “Yeah. I put an arrow through his throat and he tumbled off the wagon. Puri caught the team and slowed the wagon while I checked on the man.”

Glancing around, Parker stepped closer and whispered, “He was marked with ink at his back hairline. It was in the shape of a hand.”

The Hand again. Brock was afraid of that. He suspected they might have an extensive network, stretching far beyond the walls of this compound. He would need to remain mindful of that and treat outsiders with caution until he was confident they were not compromised. An inspection of the previous wagon driver thankfully yielded nothing suspicious. This time, they weren’t so lucky.

“Grab some people and get the wagon unloaded.” Brock said to Parker.

“Cam, Puri,” Brock shouted. “Can you two make sure these horses get food and water? We’ll need this wagon for more supply runs.”

“Sure, Brock.” Cam replied, stepping beside one of the horses to unhook it from the wagon as Puri approached the other.

As they worked, Brock walked away. He waved his hand and Wraith followed. The dark specter of the future was looming on his mind. The confrontation with The Horde was coming fast; he could feel it. He had put it off as long as he could, but it was time to put things in motion.

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I Want To See More Of In YA

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Anyone can participate and its a lot of fun, so I highly encourage it!

Let me know if you’re a part too!


Today’s Prompt:

May 9Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist – things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!


1 – Involved Parents

Something that happens in virtually every YA novel, no matter the genre. The parents are absent. In fantasy, this generally means dead or conspicuously missing. In contemporary, this means their existence is ignored until the main character is grounded to create drama.

Kids go where they want, when they want, never seem to go home or get caught doing stupid things. Parents just aren’t involved in their kids lives and while unfortunately that is the reality for some kids, it certainly isn’t the most common reality.

The only YA books I’ve seen where the parents role an important role, are ones why the parents are terrible – and if thats the focus of the book you’re writing, if thats the story. Then perfect! All is well!

But don’t make your protagonist a well-rounded character with a good home life, with parents who never talk to them. And not every fantasy heroine needs to be an orphan. Let them have families!

2 – Protagonists That Don’t Live Up To Western Beauty Standards (Where That Isn’t The Focus Of The Plot)

Every YA protagonist is beautiful, and they either KNOW IT or think themselves as plain until a love interest expounds on their beauty. But generally, they are always thin, pale etc. Always adhering to western beauty conventions.

Give me different races and ethnicities. Give me different fashions. Give me unique hair and eyes – or very,very generic ones.

Give me ugly protagonists, protagonists with disabilities and scars. Acne. Different body types. Like a real person, like a real teenager, the ones the protagonists are meant to be embodying – in stories why their looks aren’t the focus.

Why can’t a chubby girl star in a fantasy? Because she’s only ever in contemporaries angst-ing about her weight – like in “Dumplin'” – the entire arc is her accepting her body type. And its a great story, its a great message. That doesn’t mean it should be the only arc afforded to those character types. (Sorry, I got a little heated)

3 – Diverse Sexualities That Aren’t The Plot’s Focus

Diverse reading is a big topic now. And now is when more books featuring lesbian/gay/bisexual characters are coming out, with all sorts of different portrayals and representations. Which is great.

But overwhelmingly these characters star in contemporaries where their main, or even entire story arc revolves around their sexuality. Coming to terms with it, coming out, etc. If they are afforded a place in a fantasy, it is a side characters.

I’d like contemporaries and fantasies with non-straight protagonists whose sexualities aren’t the focus, you can be gay and still have a life not centered on it, you can be a part of another plot.

4 – Asexual Characters

Or any diverse sexuality really, but as I’m ace, I’d love to see more ace characters (especially with the awful erasure of Jughead in Riverdale making me want to stab things).

Here is a list of books with ace characters I found. – As you can see, its pretty sparse, and most of the time its not even explicitly stated. (That’s why I’m dying to get my hands on Tash Hearts Tolstoy).

5 – Books With No Romance

Virtually every YA book, be it contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, or what have you is wither romance centered or has a romance sub-plot. Why?

Not everyone dates in high school. And almost no one finds their true love in high school. And honestly, in all that world saving, is a boyfriend your biggest concern?

Mind you, I love romances, I love the romance subplots. But do they need to be in every book? We can’t just have strong, complex friendships? Friends that live and die for one another? Complex character interactions not revolving about romance?

Is it just me? Because I’d like to see some books without romance.

6 – Redeemable/Complex Villains or Morally Grey Protagonists

I’ve mentioned before that I love the arc of a redeemable villain, because I love the complexity of those characters. Not all evil people are actually evil, and if they are, they often didn’t start out that way. I’d love to see more stories with villains who, even if they aren’t redeemed, have their convictions fully explored. Or even stories from the villain’s point of view – where we’re rooting for them (Think Dr. Horrible or Invader Zim type thing).

Give me unreliable narrators that keep me guessing on who to trust, on what to believe – not knowing who to root for to win.

Morally grey protagonists whose ends justify their means, or so they believe.

It’s more interesting than the generic good-to-the-bone arch-type protagonist every fantasy/action story gets these days.

7 – Retellings of Lesser Known Source Material

Adaptations and retellings are EVERYWHERE in YA. And I love them, love seeing new takes on old favorites. But you can only retell Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast so many times before it gets old.

Don Quixote would make a great YA retelling. Or what about Aesop’s fables? Or one of the less common Shakespeare plays like “Midnight Summer’s Dream” or “Twelfth Night” – all would make great retellings that people won’t know by heart before they’re even picked up.

8 – Magical Realism

I love magical realism, because I like cross-genre fiction. Like contemporary sci-fi. Theres a million different ways to combine things and it isn’t very common to do so.

I want dragons in the real world. Modern day witches. Superheroes going to high school. Soulmate stories. Love potions in chemistry class. Give me time travel.

If its a fanfiction trope, it probably falls under magical realism and I probably want it in YA.

9 – Diverse World Building In Fantasy

I love fantasy. But lately, a lot of fantasy world have begun to feel repetitive. Similar world/caste/magic systems, all mono-cultured.

I want new fantastic worlds. New mythologies and lands and magi systems.

Multiple systems and cultures within the same world.

Maybe a story with different factions having different views on who exactly IS the chosen one.

That would be new and interesting.

There are hundreds of cultures in human history to draw from – no need for the constant use of anglo-saxon culture – while I enjoy it, I also learn enough about it in school.

Give me ancient Greece or Meso-american inspired! Something!

10 – Subverting of Tropes

After a while, tropes get dull, especially when authors rely on the selling of the trope and rather than using it as a single aspect of the story, make it the entire story.

So I love the novels that subvert the tropes, as much as I may love some of them. Like “The Love Interest” which is basically satire of every YA love triangle there is. Or, “The Rest Of Us Just Live Here” which flips the entire “Chosen One” arc. I love that sort of thing.


Do you agree with my list?

Which do you want to see more of?

Are they any you disagree with?

Do you do TTT?

Let me know down in the comments and drop me a link if you do!

 

Top 5 Wednesday: SFF Cover Art

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started, and is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes.
If you want to join in checkout the Goodreads page!


May 3rd: Favorite SFF Cover Art *Booktube SFF Awards Crossover Topic*
— Show off some of your favorite science fiction and fantasy cover art!


I missed last month’s topic of SFF on your TBR, so I’m combining. Favorite SFF covers on my TBR!


 

1 – Gemina

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I own a signed copy of this. Illuminae is one of my favorite books and I’m dying to find the time to sit and read this.

2 – A Darker Shade Of Magic

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I have yet to read a book by Schwab. The shame… I did pre-order this collector’s edition though!

3 – A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet

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I really want to read this book – I’ve heard good things. I was going to put Dark Matter on this list – but this cover won out. I like it.

4 – Invictus

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I’m dying to read this author’s other books. This one is highly anticipated though. Described as Doctor Who meets Guardians of the Galaxy (I’m a sucker for time travel) with a gorgeous cover – I’m sold.

5 – The Autobiography of James T. Kirk

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Well if you didn’t already realize how big a nerd I am… I own this. I love Star Trek. I love expanded canon books. I think I’m going to like this.

Book Blitz: A School for Dragons by Amy Wolf

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A School for Dragons 
by Amy Wolf
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 11th 2017
Red Empress Publishing


Summary from Goodreads:

School for Dragons Front

Mattie Sharpe—seventeen and bored in L.A. —is getting into trouble. She gets into even more when she’s whisked to Cavernis, a world teeming with dragons. But these are dragons as you’ve never seen them: they are fussy gourmets; work as lawyers & CPA’s; and attend their school ASH, where they take classes like TNS (“Tails, Nails & Scales”).

Reuniting with her childhood friend, Mattie learns why she’s been brought there, and even heads ASH’s rowing team, Skull & Bones. She learns how to be a knight from the mysterious Eli, a small mute dragon…or is he?

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 


About the Author

amy wolf

Amy Wolf has published 38 short stories, including two in Realms Of Fantasy, and one in Interzone. Her memoir, Don’t Let Me Die In A Motel 6, is a humorous account of her years after the Great Recession (and is available on Kindle).

Amy started her career working for the Hollywood film studios, where she was a script writer/reader. She is currently a refugee from Los Angeles living in Seattle.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 


GIVEAWAY:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f5ba7a8524/


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Book Blitz Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Cover Reveal: Tethered (Intertwined series #2) by Jenn Marie

Tethered (Intertwined series #2)

by Jenn Marie

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Release Daye: July 2nd 2017

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Summary:

A previous lifetime. A malevolent curse.  A love they can’t live without. Will their past claim them once more? Elizabeth and Adam are about to find out …

Elizabeth and Adam survived the century old curse that nearly claimed the lives of their counterparts, Josephine and Braden, but at what cost?

As the veil between timelines continues to diminish, they yet again find themselves in a race against time to cheat death in the past in order to salvage their futures. But with the curse given form, everything is changing, leaving them vulnerable to new threats. No longer are the dangers of their former lifetime contained to the Jefferson Plantation—a land fraught with peril and where horror reigns every summer between July 20 and August 13.

Until now …

Having changed the past, history has rewritten itself, extending the last day of the haunting to August 31—their new expiration date. Without the aid of visions, though, Elizabeth and Adam must find a new way to uncover their past, leaving Adam to scour the plantation for clues, while Elizabeth learns how to access Josephine’s subconscious.

Meanwhile, the Callahans—a vengeful family intent on keeping Elizabeth and Adam apart—will stop at nothing to preserve their bloodline and keep the curse from destroying their family. Will their ruthless antics prove tragic once more?

Now more than ever, their love will be tested as Elizabeth and Adam contend with the forces of the curse and fight to save their counterparts in 1905.

Will they overcome the odds stacked against them? Or will the curse claim them for good?


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Pre-order Links: 

Intertwined (Intertwined series #1) on Goodreads

Intertwined - Ebook


About the Author

jenn marie

Jenn Marie currently lives in sunny California with her wonderful husband and their runt kitty, Chloe. When she’s not writing Young Adult Fiction, she can be found reading, plotting or spending time with her crazy, lovable family. Current obsessions include the movie, Frozen, the New Girl series, Arcade Fire’s latest album, and avocados. Seriously, she can’t get enough of it! Writing, for her, is a passion that refuses to be under prioritized. No matter what’s going on in her life, whether good or bad, writing is always there to lift her spirits.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook


Cover Reveal Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

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