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Books, delicious books
The aftermath of the ~*YA Mafia*~ discussion:

1) Justine Larbalestier's second post on the kerfuffle, "I Love Bad Reviews," in which she notes, "The biggest enemy of our careers is not bad reviews, but obscurity."

2) Made of Fail Episode 40, "Join YA Mafia Wars [Accept/Deny]," on which I am the cohost and say, "the post by Justine--Larbalestier? I guess that's how you say it?" no less than three times, I'm pretty sure, and I feel like an ass now. Please mentally add "because I am pretty sure I know this but I hope I'm not an idiot" every time you hear it. (It was 8 AM on a Saturday morning, what can I say.) Our guests are foresthouseand ceilidh_ann, MOF's Fangirl of the Kind Native to Scotland, who has been close to the center of the discussion with the Sparkle Project. And if you didn't believe in e-cliques before, you will after you hear us say, "I was saying to Cleo on the phone..." or "Kevin and I were talking about how..." multiple times. This was my first time talking to Ceilidh in "person," however, and Kevin and I wanted to make sure we brought up some of the Sparkle Project issues--both pro and con, I hope. My basic position on the situation remains--well, listen to it and you'll hear, but "a little bit of both, and everything in moderation," mostly. Also, "Don't call the FBI on Amazon reviewers like that one writer did," because apparently this is something we have to specify now.

Meanwhile, because I'm curious--this whole thing has introduced unto my awareness, yea, thereunto, tons of writers with books that sound really interesting. And that's in addition to all the other great writers I already know of, whose books are already on my giant mental pile of Books For Which I Would Really Like More Hours in the Day and a Million Dollars with Which to Buy. In fact, that list is so huge that I am seriously considering going to the library, which is an expensive venture because I never get out of the house quite often enough to avoid paying an arm and a leg in late fees. (My current record, paid to a university library, is $163. I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS 25¢ PER BOOK PER DAY, OKAY.) My point is, there are tons of writers whose books I'd like to try, and many of them have not only multiple books, but multiple series. And sometimes the first book they ever wrote isn't the best introduction to their work as a whole. I'm particularly interested in YA at this point, but any author (including yourself) you'd like to suggest One Book for is good. #readthisfirst, if you will. So that's my question: name me writer(s) you would recommend, and tell me the first book someone should pick up. If you are the writer, obviously we will be extra-interested in which book of your own that you think we should read first. Seriously, this is your chance to promote yourself as well, even if you only have one book, it was put out by an indie publisher, and that publisher is called My Lulu Account, Inc.

No, I will not snark any of them afterwards. I might put up a few discussion posts like I have earlier this year, though--I just snagged the Wicked Lovely e-book on Amazon for 99¢ to throw onto the pile.

ETA: I woke up to dozens of new comments, as you would with an entry like this, and several of the comments apparently screened themselves? Which I wasn't even awake to see, much less do it myself? I'm unscreening rogue comments now. WTF.

ETA: @kaycadabra: "Did they have links in them? LJ's started screening links recently, 'anti spam policy' I think." That seems to be what the comments all have in common--links to the books suggested.

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Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. It's my current go-to rec book, which happens to have been rec'd to me last year by fox1013 and it is an utterly fantastic YA.

Other than Jellicoe, I must also recommend will grayson, will grayson by John Green and David Levithan, if only for TINY COOPER. Who is one of the greatest characters I have had the pleasure of reading about, who truly demands his name in lights, who defies definition. He is that fabulous.

I second this so hard. YA at its absolute finest.

Totally camping out in this entry for the book recs. I need shit to read so very badly.

I know, right? Except that I haven't solved the problem of cramming more hours into the day yet.

"My current record, paid to a university library, is $163."

I suddenly feel much better about the $50 late fee I had to pay for library books a couple terms ago....

I suddenly feel really self conscious about my $400 late fee...

Admittedly I check out like 14 books at once that I then forget to return.

I, uh, actually just posted the first installment of my serial fantasy novel, The Unmapped Lands, for sale online.

It's cheap! And funny! And full of swears! In under 24 hours, it went from being ranked 48,000 in the Kindle store to up to 1,500, so that was hugely exciting for me.

Here's the direct link, in case Tumblr decides to be screwy today: The Unmapped Lands Part One

They still haven't posted the updated product info: again, this is a serial novel. Part One is Chapters 1-5. Part Two will be up on the 25th. (I like Kindle Direct Publishing so far, but editing anything takes FOREVER.)

"Beautiful," by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma. I've recently been doing some research on YA, and this is one of the best I read.

If you're interested in YA, I'd suggest Scott Westerfeld. Right now, I'm particularly enamored of his steampunk series Leviathan, which features (among other things) a kickass heroine, a pet thylacine, and a flying whale. His Midnighters series is also quite good and might be a better choice to pick up first (a quicker read, plus this one is actually finished).

There's a thylacine? I've been thinking about trying this series and now I'm convinced. Seriously.

...She is an excellent author and I honestly don't see enough of her. The women have moxy, and the men (for the most part), respect that. Those that don't, soon learn better. It is definitely a palate cleanser, in terms of getting away from all the "Come and save me, you big strong man" theme.

I quite enjoy her "Protector of the Small" series and would recommend "Page," though it is the second in the series.

I am also fond of her "Trickster" series, both "Trickster's Choice" and "Trickster's Queen." You might as well start with the first, since it is only a two book series.

She also has her "Wild Mage" series and her "Lioness series." I haven't read either series yet, but have heard nothing but positive things about them.

All of these series, though focusing on different characters, exist in one world where these people co-exist...whether as family, friends, cohorts, etc...which makes it handy because you can jump from one series to the next, in no particular order, and not have to deal with an entirely new world.

I love Tamora. I've read most of her books, and she's fantastic. My favorite series is her Immortals quartet, but all of her books are great.

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I really like Justine Larbalestier (yes, I had to c&p your spelling). I'm reading her Magic or Madness trilogy now and am really enjoying it. The second book is king of slow, but the third book has been great so far. I've also read her Liar, which uses an unreliable narrator (consider yourself warned), which is neat. But I'd rec MoM to start with.

Her husband, Scott Westerfeld, writes great stuff, too. I'd recommend starting out with the Uglies trilogy. If you haven't read it yet, you MUST. Just be warned that the first installment is the strongest. But the follow-ups are worth reading, and the trilogy as a whole is pretty epic. I've also just read the first book of his new series, Leviathan, which pretty much blew my mind. It would be a lovely chaser. :) I am dying to read the second book. Must. Go. To. Library.

Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy (book one: A Great and Terrible Beauty) is awesome, too. A re-imagined Victorian London with magic! (Full disclosure: I haven't read the third book yet, but I adored the first two.)

I could go on (I am a YA-reading fiend!), but that should get you started. Go forth and read, young one.

(Edited for spelling woes.)

Edited at 2011-03-08 02:35 am (UTC)

I'm so heartily going to second you on Libba Bray - I loved the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, and if you haven't read the third one yet you should go and do so RIGHT NOW because it was AMAZING.

Given Cleo's interest in the Victorian period and her love of all things supernatural I always thought it was a series she'd like.

Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce

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seconding Diana Wunne Jones (and Howl's Moving Castle especially) SO HARD.

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I'm listening to the podcast right now and it's really interesting so far! I'm getting more interested in YA books right now, so I've been slowly checking out YA blogs (have you been to Forever Young Adult or Active Voice? maybe I stumbled into these pages from your linkspams, actually...

As for YA book recs, I really enjoyed Jaclyn Moriarity's books as an actual teen, the first/best introduction being
Feeling Sorry for Celia A lot of her books are written in the same universe, and I think I liked The Murder of Bidny Mackenzie best, but Feeling Sorry for Celia might be good to read first, since it sets up the schools the kids go to. My memory is hazy, though.

And this book isn't quite YA, but it's REALLY GOOD, so I'm putting it here anyway: The Amulet of Samarkand (book 1 of the bartimaeus trilogy) it's funny and full of well-thought-out magical world building, and the characters are actually REALLY likeable.

I agree with all of these recs. Jaclyn Moriarity has never disappointed me and Bartimaeus is so very awesome.

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I second the Pellinor series! Those were fun reads. =D

"Sabriel" by Garth Nix. It's the start of a trilogy, about necromancers who fight the undead in a magical world that borders on a non-magical world. It's really interesting with an in-depth mythology, and it's easily classified as YA.

And Patricia McKillip's "The Book of Atrix Wolfe". More fantasy (sorry, it's my main love!). McKillip is hugely prolific, but this is the start of a really excellent period of stand-alones. This one is probably my favorite. I'm not sure if it counts as YA, but it's very clean reading.

Also seconding the Tamora Pierce recommendation, with Trickster's Choice probably being the first one I'd suggest you read of hers, as well.

:: hushes now, before she starts recommending half a dozen other fantasy authors.... ::

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean. Features a fun, shy, brilliant protagonist, her snarky imaginary friend who was an Edwardian polar explorer, conspiracy theorists, and lots and lots of pretty descriptions of Antarctica. I picked it up on a whim at the store where I work and it's become my favorite book.

Unfortunately, I now seem to have developed a fascination with Antarctic explorers. So, uh, careful with that side effect. If you're less of a dork than I, you may not have that problem.

I also second this one! THE WHITE DARKNESS is amazing.

They've been around for awhile, but I really enjoy Robin Mckinley's earlier works. (Her more recent stuff....not so much)

My two favorites by her are "The Hero and the Crown" and "The Blue Sword" They go together, but can be read in either order. (Although, personally I think reading them in the order I listed is better)

I also like Beauty (Beauty and the Beast retelling), Outlaws of Sherwood (Robin Hood story), Spindle's end (Sleeping beauty retelling), and Rose Daughter (another Beauty and the beast retelling)

Seconding Beauty and Outlaws of Sherwood.

Also, Crown Duel and Court Duel by Sherlock Smith is my very favorite brand of crack. (For the record, I was saying that before Twilight.)