This year I have once again set a 50 book reading challenge. After a strong start to the year – I got sucked into the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning and binged read most of the books in the space of a month – things have now slowed down a bit. However, this last month has actually been pretty spectacular for me book wise. I read The Winner’s Trilogy (definitely going to be one of my top reads for 2016), Kirsty Eagar’s Summer Skin and finally I branched out and read some NA (New Adult) by Colleen Hoover. Check out my thoughts on them below 🙂
THE WINNER’S TRILOGY
This series…Wow. I tend to favour contemporary YA books over fantasy but every now and then I will read an action packed fantasy novel with amazing world building and gripping characters and it will make me ask myself “why don’t I read more fantasy?”. This is one of those books. It has everything I love in a romantic fantasy series. Well crafted and clever storytelling, a strong heroine, an epic romance… and the feels. The punch in the gut feels that will have you flailing. The wait between book two and book three was tough. Because I only just discovered this series I only had to wait three weeks after reading The Winner’s Crime for the final book to be released. But let me tell you, they were a long three weeks. As mentioned above, I already know that this is going to be one of my favourite reads of 2016. If you are looking for a smart romantic fantasy with characters that will stay with you long after you have put the book down, The Winner’s Trilogy is for you.
I was first introduced to Kirsty Eagar when I read Raw Blue for a Children’s Literature class I was taking at uni. From that moment on it was love. I was completely captivated by the way she was able to write such a powerful and emotional story that was so very “Australian”. So when I heard she was writing another novel I was beyond thrilled and my anticipation and expectations were very high. Thankfully, once again Eagar did not disappoint with Summer Skin. To sum up Summer Skin, I will defer to the iconic lyrics by Salt-N-Pepa and say “Let’s talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me”. There is a lot of sex in this book. Both sexy-times and talking about sex and what it means to be a feminist and to grow up in “Generation Porn”. The frank discussions about sex were refreshing to read and not something that I see often in YA and NA books. Sex aside, at its heart, Summer Skin is a love story about a messed-up douchey guy and a badass feminist girl. It has strong female characters (yes, there is more than one), a realistic storyline, a dash of angst (because who doesn’t love angst) and a steamy romance.
When New Adult first became a “thing” a few years back it sounded like something that I would love. YA but aimed at 19-25-year-olds. What’s not to like? But for some reason, I was never able to really connect with it. Nonetheless, I thought it was about time I gave it another go and I decided to read a book by one of the most well known NA authors out there, Colleen Hoover. Before reading Maybe Someday I knew nothing about the plot. This turned out to be a good thing, because if I had known I may not have picked it up in the first place. Maybe Someday is a love story between Sydney, a young woman who finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her roommate, and Ridge, a handsome and kind musician who is deaf. Not going to lie, that last bit came as a shock to me just because I wasn’t expecting it. But it actually turned out to be one of the most interesting elements to the story. Sydney and Ridge grow close, communicating mainly via texts and facebook messages, as they work together to write music and lyrics for Ridge’s band. I really enjoyed their sweet romance. Music played an important part in the story and I liked the way that Colleen Hoover integrated this into the novel. I read this as an ebook and I thought it was a nice touch that there were links to listen to the songs that Sydney and Ridge write (which I was shocked to find out weren’t half bad). All in all, while it still isn’t my favourite genre, Maybe Someday has given me hope that there are well written NA books out there with original characters that don’t conform to stereotypes.
Do you love or hate NA? Leave your thoughts in your comments below!