Amanda’s Adventures in Reading
This Fall a number of wonderful young adult (or YA) books were published. As an avid reader of YA fiction, I raced through reading many of these new releases. I so greatly enjoyed reading these titles, that today I thought to share a few of these new additions to my ever-growing list of favourite books.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a novel about Cath, an identical twin attending university for the first time, and coping with her sister Wren’s attempts to distance herself from their closeness. Cath enjoys living in fictional realms more than the real world, and in particular loves inhabiting the world of Mages, a Harry Potter-eqsue land created by author Gemma T. Leslie. A talented writer herself, Cath has developed a following of thousands by crafting fanfiction about Simon and Baz, two of the main characters in the series. A coming of age story about love—of both books and writing, family, friendship, and falling into it—Fangirl might be one of the most delightful novels that I have ever read.
Entirely different from Fangirl, but also completely wonderful is Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. Though a companion to the Printz Honor awardee Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire can easily be read on its own. Beginning in 1944, Rose Under Fire introduces readers to Rose Justice, an American Air Transport Auxiliary pilot who is captured while flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England and sent to the women’s concentration camp Ravensbrück. Trapped in unthinkable circumstances, Rose is able to find hope through the loyalty, bravery, and friendship of her fellow prisoners, who include a female Soviet fighter pilot, and a group of girls that have been labelled rabbits because of the horrific experiments they have been subjected to by Nazis learning how to treat war wounds. Impeccably researched, and beautifully written, Rose Under Fire is an unforgettable and ultimately hopeful account of a horrific time in human history.
Another recently released companion novel is Just One Year by Gayle Forman, which is the sequel to Just One Day. Unlike Rose Under Fire, I would not recommend reading this novel without first reading its predecessor. Just One Day is told from the perspective of Allyson, who acting on impulse for the first time in her life spends one perfect day in Paris with Willem, a Dutch Shakespearean actor. After their perfect day together, Allyson wakes to find Willem gone, and his abandonment leaves her confused and brokenhearted. But their perfect day in Paris sparks in her the beginnings of a journey of self-discovery, fuelled by the works of Shakespeare, which enables her to break free from the narrow confines of her life. In Just One Year, we see Willem’s story, learn what happened to him in Paris, and discover how meeting Allyson altered his life.
Whether you’re in the mood for something realistic, historical, romantic, supernatural, or fantastical, the Haliburton County Public Library has a book to suit your needs.
*Originally published in Haliburton County Living on October 24th 2013