The importance of setting and voice: Shadowhunters Part 2

clare

Books and a cup of tea… nice

Last week I talked about Cassandra Clare‘s characters, and why they appeal. If you missed it, here it is. Today is Part 2 of a Shadowhunting Deconstruction, looking at the other two areas that work really well. The books I reviewed were:

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A big cyborg-hand thumbs-up for ‘Cinder’

Cinder

Bright and funny? Kick-ass addictive characters? A world where you can feel the heat radiating off the futuristic tarmac? Welcome to one of my favourite reads – ‘Cinder‘, Book 1 in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Yee-ha!

This got on my TBR list after a Penguin Teen Australia event. Once I got past the cover I was hooked – to both this story, and the entire series.

I still haven’t got the book-hook out of the side of my mouth. Did I mention I love this series?

I’m not alone.

So… what works so well?

  • World-building
  • Characters – strong, funny, imperfect
  • Romance – right from the start
  • Happy feel

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Learning from the best with ‘Obernewtyn’

Obernewtyn

With the recent long-awaited release of ‘The Red Queen’ by Isobelle Carmody, I decided it was time to have a look where the Obernewtyn Chronicles began – way back in 1987 with ‘Obernewtyn’. I have friends that are human, and I also have wonderful friends that just happen to be books. ‘Obernewtyn’ is one of these.

I was a very Y YA when I first picked up this book, and it took a few years and a junk mail run before I’d scrimped enough money to buy a copy of my own. That was 1994. My copy is the one pictured above. I know. Old school. I’ve carried this much-loved book around with me for decades.

Why?

Why did it work so well? How could one amazing book create such a following that Penguin didn’t care that it took three decades and many unexpected books to conclude? Continue reading

Getting into the mind of Uglies

uglies

I know, I hear what you’re saying… How can she not have read this book yet? ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfeld is one of the iconic dystopian YA novels, I’ve heard a lot about it. When I saw it in my local library, it jumped off the shelf and into my book bag.

I wanted to know why ‘Uglies’ became so popular with the YA market. And if, like me, you’re coming to this book well after the rest of the world, be warned that I have spoilers in here.

What did I find? Three themes that I believe led to success:

  • World-building
  • Trouble-making
  • Friend-saving

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