zekejojo (zekejojo) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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YA books from an actual teen writer


41. In the Forests of the Night (Den of Shadows, Book 1) - Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia
42. Demon in My View (Den of Shadows, Book 1) - Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia
43. Shattered Mirror (Den of Shadows, Book 1) - Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia
44. Midnight Predator (Den of Shadows, Book 1) - Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia
45. Vampire High (Vampire High, Book 1) - Rees, Douglas

These are all extremely short books, even for YA. I read Vampire High on my 45-minute commute to work this morning plus an extended lunch. But I'd rather have a well-written short book than, say, Twilight. At this rate I'll definitely finish 50 by the end of the month. I hope I can stick to my plan to read more adult literature in the second half of the year.

The Den of Shadows books were actually written by a teen, though I probably wouldn't have known that just from the writing, even if the love stories are a bit simplistic.

Holy crap, Vampire High was hilarious. I think it would take me longer to explain why I loved it than it would for you to read it. It's $4.44 for Kindle right now. Just go buy it already. I'm definitely preordering the sequel.

From Publishers Weekly about In the Forests of the Night, copied from Amazon.com:
"First-novelist Atwater-Rhodes writes astonishingly well--considering that she completed the manuscript for this vampire novel when she was only 13 years old (she's now 15). Even compared with many adult authors, she's skillful at building atmosphere, insightful in creating characters and imaginative in varying and expanding on vampire lore. The sophisticated structure flashes between a 300-year-old vampire named Risika and her previous, human existence as one Rachel Weatere. The weaknesses in this venture, however, point to the author's youth. Risika's world-weary profundities have the ring of easy, adolescent cynicism (e.g., while visiting a favorite animal at a zoo, Risika says, "[Humans] even cage themselves, though their bars are made of society, not steel"). Characters wander in and out of the story; a climactic showdown between Risika and her archenemy depends more on telling than on showing; and an 11th-hour surprise, though neatly planted, strains the narrative logic. But with the popularity of books such as Annette Curtis Klause's The Silver Kiss and TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, this precocious debut will likely find fans. Ages 12-up."

For me the biggest problem with this series is that they all have the same story arc with different character details and specific plot points. That said, they're fun. And the actual words on the written page are pretty well done, and the generic architecture isn't uncommon for the genre. I definitely like these books much more than P.C. Cast's House of Night books, with the overly cutesy, annoying, and completely unrealistic "teen" style of talking.

From Booklist about Vampire High, copied from Amazon.com:
"Gr. 6-9. There's barely a false note in this rollicking tale of horror, humor, and light romance that will appeal to both girls and boys. Transplanted from California to an archetypal New England town, ninth-grader Cody Elliot flunks out of the local public school; but he's accepted at Vlad Dracul Magnet School, where most of the students are tall, pale, and prone to Edwardian mannerisms. The school timber wolf accompanies Cody to his first day of classes, and it doesn't take the new kid long to figure out that the school is populated by--and organized to continue the traditional social life of--vampires. Rees keeps things moving and delightfully off-balance as Cody rescues a classmate from bullies, falls in love with a vampire princess, and designs a way to save the school. The parody of New England society adds yet another level of hilarity, but at the center are Cody and his toothsome friends, inspired and inspirational teens discovering the world as it is and making it renew for themselves."

Seriously, a great time.
Tags: paranormal, teen lit, urban fantasy, vampires, young adult

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