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young adult fantasy

Half Bad, All Good

Don’t get me wrong. I love Harry Potter, even though I came to it later than most. Good versus evil, witchcraft and wizardry, friendship and identity…J. K. Rowling delivers the whole package. And even though there will always be a special place in my heart for Hogwart’s, as a general rule, I tend to prefer my fiction (even my YA fiction) a little…darker. Which is no surprise, considering if I went to Hogwart’s, the sorting hat wouldn’t have to think twice about putting me in Slytherin.

It’s also not surprising that Half Bad, the first installment in a new young adult trilogy from Sally Green, was just to my taste. Read More..

Like, Try, Why # 10: Fantasy

Did you just finish an awesome book that made you want to stalk the stacks for another similar title? Are you not sure what to read next? The Lawrence Public Library Teen Zone staff can help you find your next favorite book.

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Like, Try, Why #4: Favorite Retellings

Did you just finish an awesome book that made you want to stalk the stacks for another similar title? The Lawrence Public Library Teen Zone staff can help you find your next favorite book. If fairy tales are your thing or you love retellings of classics, we’ve got the book for you!  Read More..

Staff Picks: “Splintered” by A. G. Howard

I’ve always been intrigued by idea of falling down a rabbit hole to discover an otherworldly realm full of magical creatures, so I was excited to read Splintered by A. G. Howard, an updated re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland.

Alyssa is a skateboarding artist who makes murals out of dead bugs she captures herself. She hears the voices of flowers. She is also the descendant of Alice Liddell, the little girl who inspired Lewis Carroll’s original Alice in Wonderland. Read More..

Staff Picks: “Finnikin of the Rock” and “Froi of the Exiles” by Melina Marchetta

Some novels are just not for everyone, and that’s okay. If everyone liked the same books, a lot of authors would be out of work (and book clubs would be boring). I’d read great reviews of The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta, but some people I know had given them a big thumbs down, so I had to investigate for myself. In just two days, I fell in love with Melina Marchetta’s epic fantasy Finnikin of the Rock. I was completely engrossed in the story of these amazing characters as they journeyed through the kingdoms of Skulendore.

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Staff Picks: “Days of Blood and Starlight” by Laini Taylor

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.”

Last year, when Daughter of Smoke and Bone ended with Karou sneaking through a slit in the sky, I couldn’t believe I’d have to wait so many months to find out what happens next. Luckily, it was worth the wait. As much as I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight was better.

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Clockwork, Monocles, and Dirigibles: A Steampunk Booklist

Do you like historical fiction? Science fiction? Fantasy? Then steampunk, which combines elements of all three, might be your new favorite genre.

But what is steampunk?

In its purest form, steampunk is fiction set in the late Victorian era (late 1800s through World War I) and usually in Great Britain, though it can be set in other locales (think the American Wild West). But instead of straight historical fiction, these stories are imbued with fantastical re-imaginings of steam era technologies. Think retro-futuristic weapons, transportation, and fashion. Though often set in the past, these stories offer alternative histories: a “what might have been” look at the future from the perspective of Victorians.

These novels all contain some aspect of steampunk. Whether you’re interested in science fiction, romance, fantasy, or historical fiction, steampunk has something to offer you.

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Staff Picks: “Crewel” by Gennifer Albin

So, there are a lot of dystopian YA novels out there, and a whole new crop of them this fall. In fact, there were so many I had to update my If you liked The Hunger Games”  flowchart (and I still feel like I’m leaving some out).

Despite the seemingly endless supply of novels about a teen challenging the authority of their seemingly perfect yet obviously malicious society, none are quite like Crewel by Gennifer Albin.

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Swords and Stones: An Arthurian Legend Booklist

For centuries, the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have fascinated readers. Whether your interest is in the Lady of the Lake, Merlin, or Sir Lancelot, we have a story for you. Check out one of these books based on Arthurian legend!

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Staff Picks: “Tiger Lily” by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Perspective is everything. History is written by the victors. Eyewitness accounts of crimes are notoriously unreliable because two people who saw the exact same event may have radically different accounts. There’s no reason to believe two characters in a novel might tell the story in very different ways.

In Jodi Lynn Anderson’s newest novel, Tiger Lily, she recounts the familiar childhood tale of Peter Pan, but with a twist. The story is told from Tinkerbell’s perspective, and she begins long before Peter and the lost boys ever met Wendy Darling. Tink gives us the scoop on Peter Pan’s first love, Tiger Lily.

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