Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Reviews

I'm on Goodreads now. Yay! So if you're on Goodreads too, come be my friend. I need friends. :) I'm still trying to figure it all out, I've only been on for a couple weeks now, but I think I'll get it.

Now onto my Wednesday read. Fire by Kristin Cashore:

blurb: "It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her."

I loved this book. I might have loved it even more than Graceling (the first book in this world). Kristin Cashore does such an amazing job of building a rich, deep world. I do have a question, though, for those who have read these books. They don't feel YA to me at all. More so this one than Graceling. That's not to say I didn't love it, because I did. But what makes a YA book a YA book? Can it be based only on the age of the main character? Personally, I think it needs to be more than just the age of the MC. It needs to have some teen dilemmas: Parent issues, coming of age, feeling out of place, etc. I felt that Fire had very adult issues: child bearing concerns, lack of commitment in relationships, war strategy. That might just be my personal opinion, but what do you think? Let me reiterate, however, that I really did enjoy this book. A lot.


  1. I'm on Goodreads, but I suck at it. I'm horrible about updating. #GoodreadsFail

    I have to admit, I'm a little confused about YA parameters these days. Maybe it's an "eye of the beholder" kind of thing? If the MC is the right age, maybe there's leeway with the rest?

  2. First off, welcome to Goodreads!
    Anyways, I absolutely ADORE anything and everything by Kristin Cashore. I loved Graceling more than Fire, though.
    As for your question, I'm still a teen, and I didn't find it very adult (I read it about a year ago, so maybe I'm remembering things a bit wrong). Yes, there are some "adult" issues, but it's not a light, cheery read.
    You mentioned some "teen dilemmas" but that''s not in every YA book. Those three issues you mentioned are things you don't necessarily see in high fantasy.
    Prime example: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. This is the book that comes to mind when I think 'high fantasy'. There aren't any parent issues (unless you mean the MIAness), there's very little coming of age, and all the stuff you see often in YA isn't necessarily there.
    I looked at your aforementioned Goodreads page, and glanced through the books you added. There's a lot of urban fantasy there.
    As a lover of all things fantasy, I think you need to stop comparing high fantasy to anything urban.
    Something UF all [most] have in common: The MCs are regular teenagers. In high fantasy, the MCs are from a completely different world. Things are different, and you can't compare the YAness of them.

    Wow. Long comment. :P

  3. Linda, yes, it is very much in the 'eye of the beholder' I think.

    Riv, thanks for that comment. You're right, I don't read a lot of 'high fantasy' (especially young adult high fantasy) so I don't have a lot to compare it to. And like you said, there are different rules for different genres so I appreciated your comment. I have read a series called "The Green Rider" series that is high fantasy that I enjoyed very much and it is not a YA (even though in the first book the MC is a teen) so I wondered why they would classify these as YA. I read more adult high fantasy (that I haven't listed on goodreads) than I do YA high fantasy. You'll have to give me some recommendations for YA fantasy. And I love Kristin Cashore as well.

  4. Glad to see my first comment was just rambling ;)
    I wish I could recommend some to you, but that's something I've been struggling with for a while myself. YA HF isn't a popular genre, and I have difficulty finding completely other-worldly novels. (And books like the Iron King, which takes place in the faerie world, don't count, as they're partly the human world as well.) But dystopians can get pretty other-worldly too, and, if the magic part isn't for you, some historical fictions are fantastic for fantasy lovers. (A favorite: Pagan's Chronicles by Catherine Jinks.)

    And there I go, rambling again :P

  5. I love Kristin Cashore, too--and I agree, some of the issues are pretty mature. Particularly the child bearing stuff in both books. I wish there was more high fantasy YA. When it's done well, it can be awesome.

  6. I find it interesting how many books these days are being advertised as YA when they really are more adult. Then again, YA isn't really a genre, and neither is adult...

  7. I'm on Goodreads, but only updated it for about a it looks like I've only read a few books. Secret Life of Bees is an adult book told from a fourteen year-old's perspective, and it is definitely coming-of-age. Most of the secondary characters are adults and have real stories, you know, not some vague adult filling in as background noise. But I'm with you. I don't get the genre lines either.

  8. Riv, I LOVE historical. I'll have to try out your suggestion. (and I like rambling, so no worries). :)

    Sara, I agree. And maybe that's why the YA/Adult lines are blurred in high fantasy because there just aren't a lot.

    Michelle, They aren't necessarily a genre, but their labels effects who those books are marketed to. And I personally think more adults would relate to Fire than teens. But Riv said she related just fine, so what do I know? :) I haven't been a teen in a while. I think I would've liked Fire as a teen too, but there weren't a lot of YA back then.

    Jessie, I haven't read that book, but is it actually told by a 14 year old or an adult looking back to when she was 14?? Sometimes adult books do that. Like I said, I haven't read it, so I have no clue. I'd like to read that one......along with a million other books in my TBR pile.

  9. Kasie~Thanks for turning me on to these books, they're on my list. I always love when a book is reviewed by someone else I can trust. :)