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Destroy Your Misconceptions of YA Novels: Illuminae

27 May


Illuminae is a rather unusual book, especially for YA. On the surface, with its bright orange cover and lettering, you might think you’re picking up a book with your typical YA story tropes and cliche characters that give it that reputation YA is known for. A glimpse at the summary might spark your interest, but even still, you might be going in thinking you’ll get something slightly edgy at best.

You would be wrong.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is one of the those books that will take all of the misconceptions you have about YA and destroy them.

Our protagonists, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason only just broke up when their home planet, Kerenza IV, was attacked. The pair are then boarded onto two different rescue ships and a series of terrifying and chaotic events begin to unfold while they try to escape the enemy ship hunting them down.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The intensity of the plot and blend of scifi-horror elements really make this book shine. The writing is flawless and the character work in this is something to behold. As the first of a trilogy, Illuminae makes a spectacular entrance.  You can read a previous review of the novel here.

Enjoy writing?  Check out this Friday’s Writing Prompt for Fresh YA Fiction!

Written by:
Lauren Lapinski
Circulation Assistant


A Different Type of Science Fiction: Red Rising

13 May

Red Rising
Many ideas come to mind when one thinks about science fiction. For some, it consists of hard sci-fi with lots of technical terms they can’t understand to save their lives. For others, its images of laser guns and traveling to far off planets and meeting alien species.

Red Rising, however, is a different type of sci-fi. While we still get the element of space travel, there’s also an element of fantasy to this book. For some it could be seen as Hunger Games in Space, due to events that happen later on in the plot.

Darrow, a Red, is our protagonist in this novel, having to witness as his wife is killed right before his eyes. He then discovers there  is an underground movement dedicated to ending the rule of the dictatorial Golds and creating a society in which all colors can be equal. The world we are thrown into with Darrow is different than your standard space opera adventure. You get a few elements of sci-fi before setting foot in a world that’s much more primal and with echoes of the Roman Empire. Pierce’s Brown’s writing is at the top of his game and this quickly becomes a story you want to return to again and again.

If you’re looking for something darker when it comes to your sci-fi stories, than Red Rising is one that is certain to entertain.  You can borrow it as an ebook from eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS or a digital audiobook from Hoopla.

Written By:
Lauren Lapinski
Circulation Assistant
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