Collection 2: #TopTens – Young Adult Part 1

This time around in my collection of top books I am tackling the Young Adult genre! Young Adult has always been a guilty pleasure of mine and I love to dive deep into this genre whenever possible. Listed below are ten YA books I would highly recommend you pick up, depending on your interests! I’ve tried to include a wide variety of topics and genres within. Stay tuned for part two, because one can never have too many YA novels.

 

1. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

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The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole is one of my favourite fantasy novels in the YA genre. I am still currently working my way through the series, but I wanted to include the first book (at the very least) on my top ten list! This is a dystopian novel focused around tarot cards. There’s drama, romance and typical YA insanity within this dystopia. I really love the dark and twisted universe Kresley has created!

Amazon.com – Poison Princess

Amazon.ca – Poison Princess

Briar’s Reviews Book Review Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

 

2. Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer

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The Vladimir Tod Chronicles was one of my faves over a decade ago (it’s hard to believe it has been that long…). Back in the day when vampires were hip and cool, Vladimir Tod was rocking the YA world without glitter! Zac Brewer made a fantastic world that felt real with drama, a splash of romance, a teenage vampire trying to find his way in the world and lots of vampire politics. This book is perfect for those 12-15 year olds looking to get into the genre, or anyone who loves an epic tale! I still love these books to this day!

Amazon.com – Eighth Grade Bites

Amazon.ca – Eighth Grade Bites

Young Adult July Reads Book Review: Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer

 

3. Splintered by A.G. Howard

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Splintered is an epic retelling of Alice in Wonderland! Alyssa seems to be crazy, but there’s something more to her story… This rich series is full of drama, romance and fantasy! This series is finished now, so if you want to binge it go ahead! This is easily one of the best retellings of Alice in Wonderland around (I do have another fantastic one lower on the list though…).

Amazon.com – Splintered

Amazon.ca – Splintered

Briar’s Reviews – Splintered Review

 

4. The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

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This paranormal dystopia created by Rachel Vincent is a stand out novel that blew me away! I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel! Demons, exorcists and overall wild insanity is packed tight in this book. I have yet to find a book that compares to this unique thrill ride!

Amazon.com – The Stars Never Rise

Amazon.ca – The Stars Never Rise

Briar’s Reviews – The Stars Never Rise Review

 

5. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

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Yet another retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but this one features zombies! I loved this retelling more than I can say on this page! The unique concept created by Gena in this book takes the reader on a wild ride. This dystopia follows Ali and her friends on a wild adventure against zombies. Throw in a super hot guy named Cole that will set you on fire, an action-packed plot and some epic side characters and you’ve got yourself a real winner!

Amazon.com – Alice in Zombieland

Amazon.ca – Alice in Zombieland

6. Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

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Years ago, I admired this book afar in every book store I passed! I saved up all of my money and finally got my hands on this super cute, extra cheesey romance novel! The preppy girl is a ghost and the goth is a human, and the two of them fall madly in love! This series is a wild, fantastical ride that I still pick up as a guilty pleasure. This book feels more romance than paranormal, but it still has it’s paranormal aspects within it. If possible, pick up this whole series! It ties up quite nicely, if I do say so myself!

Amazon.com – Ghost and the Goth

Amazon.ca – Ghost and the Goth

7. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

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This is another “classic” from my YA collection that I still pick up to this day! When I have a rough day and I want a cute novel to relax with, this book is it! This series is super sweet and definitely packs on the romance. It is also another vampire book I threw on this list, but the romance is where it hits you. There are two books in this series, and both will have you ready for some tissues, chocolate and everything else girly! I still think Lucius (our male lead) is one of the hottest YA leading males!

Amazon.com – Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Amazon.ca – Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

#BookReview Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

 

8. Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway

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This vampire romance was another hit in my books! I read this book alongside Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, and fell madly in love with Tate Hallaway! Unfortunately, this series didn’t continue after the second book and I am still upset about it. This YA novel features vampires, witches, fantasy and romance for every Twilight fan who wanted just a little bit more than the glittery yet famous vampires. This book still tops my YA list and I’ll pick it up on a rough day when I want a fun read!

Amazon.com – Almost to Die For

Amazon.ca – Almost to Die For

 

9. Pin Drop by Roz Monette

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Pin Drop is the most unique book on this list. It tops my YA reads since it is not your typical Young Adult novel by any definition. It touches on tough topics and social issues that some YA books run far away from. Mo is sarcastic and is easily relatable for most teenagers since her life is not perfect. If you’re looking for a YA novel that isn’t solely focused on dystopias, fantasy or romance than this book is for you! I’d highly recommend it, it’s fabulous!

Amazon.com – Pin Drop

Amazon.ca – Pin Drop

Briar’s Reviews: Pin Drop by Roz Monette Review

 

10. Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kaye Bowles

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I saved the best for last on this list! Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kaye Bowles is one of my recent favourites! This book also tackles some dark subject matter, which may not be suitable for all YA audiences. Self harm, destructive families, family illnesses are just some of the tougher subjects in this book on top of the typical high school problems. This book might be fiction, but it felt oh so real! This is the book I needed to read in high school to realize life isn’t always picture perfect. While this book tackles darker topics, it does it in a lovely way that opens your eyes to the realistic coming of age most teenagers are facing but in a YA territory. I’d highly recommend this book and I’d consider it one of the most important books to read on this list!

Amazon.com – Down in the Belly of the Whale

Amazon.ca – Down in the Belly of the Whale

Briar’s Reviews: Down in the Belly of the Whale Review

 

And that’s it for round one of my YA top tens! I have way more top tens to come, including Part 2 of YA and Children’s novels! What list or genre do you want to see next? Do you have any books not included here? Comment below or give me a shout out on Twitter (@ReviewAlholic) to let me know what I’m missing!

I hope you found a new book to read and you enjoyed this list, fellow readers! Let me know what you’re reading below!

Briar

xoxo

 

 

 

Photos via Goodreads.

 

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#BookReview Undeniable by Liz Bankes

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Undeniable by Liz Bankes was an interesting novel that seemed to be aimed towards the Young Adult audience.

This book was nothing special for me. I was left feeling rather lost and upset that this book wasn’t as good as the synopsis had implied. The plot was well thought out and it could have been a fantastic novel, but the writing style was not my cup of tea.

The writing style seemed to be aimed towards a pre-teen audience while the subject matter seemed to be aimed towards a Young Adult audience. This left me feeling rather confused while reading the book. The maturity of a Young Adult novels words was not there, and the subject matter just didn’t match the writing style. Discussing sex while speaking in a pre-teen tone seemed extremely strange and I felt very off reading it. The steamier parts of the novel made me feel even worse, since the writing style did not match the subject matter.

Overall, the plot was fantastic and the author had a great idea of where to go, but the writing style just didn’t match the content of the novel. I did enjoy this book, but it wasn’t what I had hoped it to be. The author is fantastic, and I don’t want this review to let her down. She is incredible at writing! Her ideas were great and her writing was great, they just didn’t match in this novel.

Perhaps someone just coming into the Young Adult scene from reading Pre-teen novels would enjoy this book. It seemed like it would be a good stepping stone from one genre to another.

Two out of five stars.

I received an ARC copy from Goodreads First Reads.

 

Have you received an ARC before? Comment below an ARC you’ve received or your dream ARC!

If you liked this review, check out this one too! #BookReview The Year After by Ashley Wagner

Go on twitter and use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #Undeniable to start a conversation! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReviews Girls That Growl by Mari Mancusi

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Girls that Growl by Mari Mancusi is a great addition to the Blood Coven Vampires series.

This book continues this series in an excellent manner all the while expanding the universe even farther. Our lead, Rayne, grows as a character which is a nice change compared to many YA novels where our leads stay the same throughout the entire series.

Mari explores lycan within this book alongside Rayne’s character development. While this isn’t my favourite book out of the entire series (this is actually my least favourite, when I look back at all the books – including the new one), I feel like this book does it’s job – it moves the story forward so we can get to the next novels. Don’t be turned away by this book – yes, it’s not as great as the last two books but the following books get much, much better than this one. There always seems to be one book in a series that isn’t as great as the rest (there has to be, not all books can be perfect) and this book is it in this series. The previous and following books are definitely worth reading this book so you can get to all the adventure and romance we love.

There is more Sunny in this book, but the main focus is Rayne. It’s nice to see both girls have a bigger presence in this book!! There is also a bit more exploration of Jareth, for those who love him…

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Re-reading it was an excellent choice for me and I definitely suggest picking this book up!!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or visit her site: Mari Mancusi’s Website

Tell Mari you read her book on twitter:  @MariMancusi

Did you enjoy the Blood Coven series? Well, it has it’s own website!! Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Find me on Goodreads, where you can get up to date posts as soon as available: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or swing by Twitter and give me a shout out!! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi

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If you were wanting more Sunny in this book – YOU GOT IT.

This addition to the Blood Coven Vampires series follows Sunny (but don’t worry, Rayne is still kicking!). This time around, Magnus has to get a blood mate – and guess what? It’s not Sunny.

Sunny, who’s madly in love with Magnus, and her trusty sister Rayne have to work hard to try to get Magnus back to Sunny and away from this blood mate. Will they do it? I guess you’ll have to read to find out…

I really loved this book, it helps that Sunny is my favourite out of the two girls but I also really enjoyed the adventure and drama within this novel. It’s a big step up from the last novel in my opinion. This book hooks me instantly, made me not want to stop reading it, and desire more from Mari Mancusi ASAP.

This book had it’s faults – Sunny is definitely in love with Magnus, but I doubted his love for her. While Sunny’s actions and thoughts show how deeply in love she is, Magnus barely seems like she has the time of day (despite expressing his feelings).

Overall, this young adult novel was everything I wanted (minus the Magnus fault, but hey we can’t have everything we want). It’s silly, cute and totally unrealistic – but that’s what I want in a silly, YA vampire novel that’s filled with cute moments and teenage drama. Mari shows her true skill at writing as a teenage which makes this book even more “believable” within it’s realm. That helps this quick read continue moving at a super fast pace and become utterly addicting – what teenager didn’t think like Sunny and Rayne?

Five out of five stars.

 

You can find Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or swing by her website – Mari Mancusi’s Website

Want urgent updates from Mari? Check out her twitter! @MariMancusi

Did you enjoy this series? Check out it’s website!  Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

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Now is time for a #ThrowbackThursday review – AKA I’ve gone back to reading a book on my shelf from years ago and reviewing it. Enjoy!!

 

 

Poison Princess is one of those books that takes you by surprise, pulls you in and won’t let you go until you finish it.

I actually found this book (originally) via Gena Showalter. She was always talking about her author friend Kresley Cole on Twitter, so I decided to pick this book up. They seemed to get along so well, so why not pick up her book? I doubt author friends who hated each other’s works would talk so great about each other. And to no one’s surprise, Gena’s suggestion was on point. (Keep in mind I love Gena Showalter. I’m quite sad I haven’t been able to read any of her books recently, due to my busy schedule).

This is a dystopian, apocalypse novel is for sure a YA novel – but that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it. It’s not R rated, if anything it’s more of a PG/PG-13-esque novel. It’s an easy read, and it’s totally addicting. There are some cringy YA moments (silly romances, ironic comments, and all the joys that come with being a teenager) but it’s still an enjoyable book. If you keep in mind it’s a YA novel made for a YA audience, it’s not to heart breaking when silly teenage plot lines go on. It’s like a soap opera – if you understand that some extraordinary things happen that are out of the line of reality, then you can thoroughly enjoy it.

Keeping in mind that I have read the next novel – the character development in this book works. You begin to fall in love with these sassy characters and they do grow! Their story is continually built on into the next book, and to me it’s a worthy read worth a recommendation. It’s probably one of the better YA novels I’ve read – and one that I’ve been able to come back to and enjoy.

Overall, Kresley Cole is an amazing story teller. She’s great at her adult series and her YA series, and it’s a worthy read for those looking for some YA or dystopian drama in their lives.

Five out of five stars.

#BookReview The Twisted Ones by Scott Cawthon

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Ah, another day of FNAF lore is another casual day for me. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’d read this book (I’m overly obsessed with FNAF theories. Too obsessed…in all honesty). While it took me a while to get to it, the book was definitely worth the wait.

The Twisted Ones is the second book in the FNAF book series. The lore is different from the video games (same animatronics, different back story, but some similar names of characters…) but you could easily try to eave it into the video games if you tried (or if you trust Scott and his sneaky ways).

While this appears to be a YA novel, some of the gore is definitely closer to R rated. If you’re a fan of FNAF, it probably wouldn’t come as big of a surprise to know some of the gore is REALLY GORY, but keep that in mind if you choose to read it.

Plot wise, the story continued with a smooth transition. There is a time jump between the first and second book, but it worked in it’s favour. Slowly plot details are revealed and old characters appear, and eventually Scott and Kira build and add to this spectacular take on the lore. I really did enjoy it – more animatronics, more craziness!

The book is relatively fast paced – I didn’t get bored once. I really hope the next book is the last book in this series to finish it up. This book was the perfect sequel, so I’d like to see an explosive ending (by the way, MAJOR CLIFFHANGER ALERT).

Now, time for some lore discussion – this book will raise questions. Don’t try to tie it to the book, and you’ll be feeling mighty fine! If you start trying to make a wild, crazy theory you’ll get fed up and quit. This book is supposed to be fun and increase circulation of this series (from my perspective) and it is increasing the fan base. Look at how many people are frustrated with the fact that this book doesn’t fit in with the FNAF video games and are talking about it constantly… It’s a lot of people. More conversations, more circulation, more participation, more people reading… It’s marketing genius. Is this book kinda silly? Yes. Were half of my questions answered in regard to lore for this book series? No. But it’s fun! I think this is a fun read that didn’t require my brain to explode to understand it.

Side note: Can we get a FNAF graphic novel or something? This book would be EPIC in picture form…just saying.

Four out of five stars.

 

Have you played FNAF? What is your favourite animatronic? Comment below!
Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! Book Review: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S: THE SILVER EYES by SCOTT CAWTHON & KIRA BREED-WRISLEY

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheTwistedOnes on twitter to tweet me about this review! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was an interesting take on Pride and Prejudice that just didn’t live up to the hype.

I was really excited to pick up this book. I had heard nothing but good things about it! Sadly, it didnt live up the hype for myself.

I had thought this book would be written in modern English, but it was identical to Pride and Prejudice. This made the book super boring – I had already read Price and Prejudice, I wanted a cool spin with a new kind of story telling. Sadly, it’s just Pride and Prejudice with a splash of zombies. Nothing spectacular.

The writer did do an amazing job of adding zombies into the original story, but this book was not my favourite.

Two out of five stars.

 

Enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Halfway Hunted by Terry Maggert (Halfway Witchy #3)