The Best YA Dragon Books

Books about dragons make me happy. I read them almost exclusively as a teen, and I still read them more than I probably should as an adult with other things I am supposed to devote my time to, like doing the laundry and getting work done. But I don’t think I could go a week without a little magic in my life, and I definitely don’t think you should either.

The Best Teen Books About Dragons

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Here There Be Dragons

James A. Owen wrote and illustrated this first book (and all the later books) in the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. It has just about everything I could ask from a book, from cool pictures to dragons to unlikely heroes and adventures. The cool thing about this book is that it is the first book in a series, but it really works as a stand alone book all by itself as well. It’s also always fun to have books that play around with mythology and history, and this is also a cool hybrid between a steampunk and a gaslight and more traditionally fantasy. I actually just went through and reread the entire series last month, and I just find new interesting layers to the stories every time I read through it. Plus, the series has 8 books, so you won’t have to leave the characters behind for a good long while.

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Dealing With Dragons

This book is a teensy bit older, but it’s still awesome. The story starts with Cimorene, a princess who does things princesses aren’t supposed to do like learn fencing and baking and other common things that just simply aren’t done by princesses. It all comes to a head when her parents get fed up with her antics and secretly betroth her to a proper prince Cimorene just doesn’t want to marry, so instead she takes some advice from a talking frog and runs away only to discover she’s run into a life full of dragons. I have honestly reread the Enchanted Forest Chronicles series about once a year, and it’s wonderful. It’s funny, it’s adventurous, and it has the right mix of magical creatures and fun personalities to be the perfect read for me.

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Dragon Rider

Cornelia Funke, that same author of the Inkworld books, also wrote one of my favorite books, “Dragon Rider“. An ordinary kid saving the dragons in danger of extinction from an evil force is always a pretty awesome story. Different libraries can’t make up their mind if this counts as a YA or a kid’s book to them, so I know it could potentially feel very embarrassing to check this out, but if it makes you feel better there are full grown adults who check out Winnie the Pooh books so reading this at your age won’t be very strange at all in the grand scheme of “weird things book worms do”!

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The Fire Within

A good friend of mine originally introduced this series, The Last Dragon Chronicles, to me, which in my opinion is always a good sign it’s going to be a good read. And it was! I enjoyed this series a lot. There’s action, magic, and dragons, and with that combination you can’t really go wrong.

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The Reborn King

The Dragon’s Blade is a series that is starting to blow up. This series is based on dragon shifters, which can always be a fun change from more traditional dragon stories. This trilogy is all about kingdoms and dragons facing mortal enemies. Truth be told, it reminds me of a YA version of Game of Thrones.

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Obsidian

This is an Indie series, which you know I love to support. The Dragon Kings is fantasy dragon romance series which is really gritty, which I’ve never really experienced before. If you want to read a series that kind of reinvents dragon stories, read this. The series only gets better from the first book. Plus, it’s an Amazon best seller!

Everyone Loves Dragon Books

I am no exception to the rule. I thought it would be fun to share with you some great new reads. And if you ever want to read about dragons and kingdoms and drama and magic, might I recommend you check out my book P.S. The Dragon Bites?

 

 

Books with a Yellow Cover

Book store staff are always trying to look up books based on the color of their cover. I’m just doing my best to try to help.

Yellow Cover YA Novels

I feel like there would be a major mix of highs and lows about working for a bookstore. The plus would obviously be spending your entire day surrounded by books, which would be a dream to me.

The downside would be that they have to always answer the question, “I’m looking for one book that has a certain colored cover.”

Well, I aim to please, so I’m doing my best to answer the question in this article.

 

 

  • The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime

    • interesting book of a guy who sees things differently from the rest of the world- he’s on a different wavelength, as it were.

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  • It Only Happens in The Movies

    • Audrey starts working at the movie theater, and falls in love with a dude working there. Sounds like a dull book, I know. But actually it’s a rough romance with ups and downs, so it’s kind of fun.

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  • The Program

    • Futuristic dystopia where emotions are forbidden, and love may not be able to conquer all. Fairly serious book that addresses Depression.

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  • The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle

    • This time, a mystery! This mystery is set in Victorian times. It kind of reminds me of a revamped take on Sherlock Holmes, although the lead character is a much more human connected person than poor Sherlock is really capable of.

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  • Beautiful Stranger

    • A classic teen read about drama, cliques, travel, and the Sunny L.A. life. This isn’t the first book in the series, but it is fairly interesting, and just what I’d want to read when I was exhausted and wanting something light and interesting.

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Looking for a book with a yellow cover? No problem!

I tried my best to list the best YA books with yellow covers. Hopefully you either found the book you were looking for, or found a great book to add to your TBR!

Be sure to sign up for the emails if you want to keep track of future book reviews and get a free copy of my book “Magic Moves”.

 

The Literary at Leisure: A Roundup of YA Beach Reads for Older Teens

In honor of Summer FINALLY happening this year, I’m kicking off a new series of YA book roundups: Beach Reads! These books are totally perfect for hanging reading on your sand speckled towel at the shore, of course, but they are also great reads for the flight to your vacation destination. Or the hours long road trip. Or sitting in school or work and wishing you were heading off to some vacation, for that matter.

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A trip around West Europe involves a lot of boy drama and family drama. And you know me, family drama is right up my alley. Like most vacation themed books it’s pretty light hearted but it does delve into some exploration of identity. Plus, being nineteen is an awkward feeling where you don’t quite feel adult or teen, so that’s definitely interesting to connect to.

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Lottie’s Aunt, a famous author, dies, but that’s only the beginning. A series of letters from the grave push her to do new things that will lead her to her tipping point. The book pays homage to books and reading as much as to the mysteries that plague Lottie’s Summer.

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Lara is a girl facing the Summer of Senior Year. Yep, where she is no is all a pretty big deal. But in between fun and trying to moonlight as her parent’s wedding planner, she has to deal with the looming problem of The Future.

A happy ending doesn't mean everything needs to be resolved. In Fangirl, Cath is a loner fan-fic writer who’s dreading the social interactions she's expected to make during her first year of college. With her twin sister pulling away and her father urging her toward independence, she feels lost and clings harder to her favorite characters. But then she meets a boy. And another. And much more importantly, discovers she's a talented writer even when she's not in the world of her favorite author, but one she's created.

Cath is a bit of a mess. Honestly, life is moving too fast for her, and she isn’t quite ready for her first year of college yet. It’s going to happen soon either way though. Join Cath as she digs deeper into reading and fandom to escape the pressures of reality, only to find that maybe everything is going to turn out okay.

What did you think of this week’s #BeachReads? Did you read and enjoy any of these books?

Love, Luck, and Literature

With a little bit of luck, most people will someday and at some point in their lives fall in love. Maybe not right away, but sometime.

I am one of those people who is not content with the idea of “someday”, and I’d like to fall in love right now, thank-you-very-much. After all, I may be an author- but I am still in my twenties. I have dreams.

Thankfully, this is the month where it isn’t completely disgustingly soppy to read your heart out through the history of romantic fiction. This month we are going to start a series focused on different genres of Romantic Fiction. Up first today we have:

Classical Romance Books

We’ve been going over classical books every Wednesday for the past few months, and today is no different. Here are my top three picks for interesting classic love stories.

Pride and Prejudice

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Penguin’s annotation free edition

This image matches the exact edition of the book “Pride and Prejudice” that is sitting on my bookshelf at this very moment. I love it. I’m not a fan of everything Jane Austen wrote (in fact this is the only book of hers I would give five stars to) but I still think it’s great. I think it’s a love story that can connect to many people- two people who don’t understand each other and don’t get along eventually come to realize they are actually very similar and end up seeing each other more clearly and falling in love because of it. It’s a messy plot, which I think makes sense because love is a rather messy thing for most people. The very beginning of the book has been called slow by many people; but the thing to remember is that even though the romance itself does not start on page one, family drama worthy of any modern sitcom most certainly does. And I must admit, I like family dramas. After all, I wrote one as my first book.

You can check out many free versions of the classic online or in any ebook market (Amazon, etcetera), or you can find a lot of copies with notes on the plot itself or included historical notes to give you a better understanding of the setting and how it affects to story.

Jane Eyre

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Penguin’s edition of the book

This one is possibly even more famous than the last. Charlotte Bronte wrote a book that is moody and what many find to be a perfect antidote to happy peppy love stories. Jane’s childhood is plagued by abuse and neglect, and then her adulthood is plagued by poverty and heartbreak when she finds the one man she finally falls in love with is unattainable- because he already has a wife?!? Then the plot rambles about a bit in more desperate circumstances until things finally settle down.

 

I won’t lie, it isn’t the fastest paced book out there. But keep in mind many classical books move super slowly because the authors were paid by the word and had the financial incentive to stretch things out to be as long as possible- kind of like when you have two thousand more words due for your essay but you’ve already covered all your points so you resort to adding junky filler material.

I still think it’s worth a read, especially if most romance stories are a little too grossly cheerful and cheesy for you. You’ll find none of that nonsense in here. I especially recommend this to anyone who loved “Me Before You” and “Me After You”, but keep in mind this one does actually have a fairly happy ending.

North and South

9781496081797This book delves into a romance between an industrialist- one of the many men of the Victorian era hiring even children to work in factories and paying his workers so little they can hardly afford their daily bread and skipping the expense of any safety equipment in the factories- and the woman who loves him even though she is fighting for worker’s rights and the betterment of the working class. The big divide between their morality would make many think that a romance couldn’t work for them, but do they figure out a way to a happy ever after somehow? Read on to find out.

 

 

Which of these would you read?

Meet the Cast of the Shadeworld! Character Profiles: Alyss

I thought it would be fun to do something a little bit different today! I’ve been working on the Shadeworld series for a long time, and publishing them for a few months now, so I wanted to touch base with all of you and add some fun bonus content on here. Let me know if you like this sort of post!

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This is my character reference for Alyss!

Alyss

This girl isn’t so great at being social, but she really wants to be. Her serious approach to life makes some keep their distance from her, but she can still let loose and have fun when there’s the opportunity. Alice uses big words, but she’s not stuffy. She is, however, a little headstrong and willing to jump into a situation she knows nothing about if she feels something unjust is going down!

Alice has brown hair, is a little short, and a nondescript size. With her personality and attributes combined, she probably would be completely ignored by her fellow students if she hadn’t spent her life in primarily white neighborhoods where her darker skin tone stood out so much.

One of the first characters we really meet in this book, Alyss is a girl with her eyes on the prize. After growing up in poor health and with distant parents, she’s desperate to form new relationships and close connections now that she’s moved to a new school and neighborhood. Problems crop up in her social life right away though when I she meets the control freak Aaron who’s weirdly obsessed with her. Besides how weird the people in town and school are, though, there just seems to be something fishy about them – something almost magical!

 

I Hit Publish Today!

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I think hitting publish is one thing I’ll never grow tired of. This second book in the series had its ups and downs, I’ll admit- fiddling with trying to figure out how to format a paperback edition of the first book in the series ended up consuming all of December so I had to push this book back a few weeks to January instead- but we got here. The edit was once again done by Carol Rushing (a professional editor, unlike typo prone me) and the cover was done once again by Beetiful Book Designs, so I have a gorgeous professional quality book.

Even better, this time the story spends almost no time on Earth, so we get to spend more action with dragons, nymphs, wizards, vampires, and the Shadeworld! I know you liked the first book in the series, but I’m sure you’ll love this one as much as I do.

 

“GRAB THIS!”- A book sale I think you guys will enjoy

Hi guys! This is a little unusual for me, but I wanted to share a book by a fellow author that I think you will like. It’s a hybrid of adventure and magic so I think you will find it interesting. It’s on sale now as well!

Deck the Halls! A Fantasy Christmas Book Roundup

Let me tell you, for years I have labored under the misunderstanding that Christmas books were only written for small children or adults. Well my friends, I have now stumbled onto the world of YA Christmas books, and I’m happy to share that discovery with you!

Not just any YA books though. Today in #SeasonReading I am exploring holiday books that focus on ~Fantasy~. I know, I didn’t think a Christmas/YA/Fantasy genre crossover was possible before either, but I’m so glad to learn it is.

I’ve rounded up a variety pack of different interesting sounding holiday themed books. Full disclosure though, I have not actually read any of these books. They just sound interesting to me and have good reviews online. Just thought I should warn you.

Sweet Christmas Books

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A YA Fantasy based on the story of Santa’s popular daughter falling in love with the new outcast in town. The reviews of this are a little mixed because it is apparently a very punny and cute book, and it seems some people were annoyed by the cuteness. I feel like that doesn’t necessarily have to be the book’s fault though- it may be a great book, but it’s well known that Americans tend to feel something almost like revulsion when something cute is aimed at anyone over the age of five. If you actually enjoy cute sometimes though this sounds like the reviewers did actually enjoy the story itself a lot so it sounds like a win if you are interested in an easy read.

Gritty Christmas Books

The Coal Elf

A bit of Dystopia has come to the North Pole. This is sort of like “The Giver” meets the story of Santa’s elves, and I have to say I’ve never seen a genre that needed a gritty oppressive society as much as Christmas Fantasy. Is that even a genre? I feel like it must be, I’ve read so many books about Santa’s workshop when I was a kid. Anyway, this book sounds exciting, and if the cuteness of the first option isn’t cutting it for you then this is the complete opposite and should be right up your alley.

Christmas Fairy Tales

The Metal Horse Learns Spanglish: And Other Quirky Holiday Stories

If the other two options sounded too much- too cute, too harsh- then this should be the Goldilocks book that is just right. A collection of stories you definitely have never read or heard of before, involving heroes that have never stared in other books before, this is kind of like a much less famous fairy tale collection in the same vein as Hans Christian Anderson, except of course it’s written from an American perspective.

Christmas Books for Teens

I know these books have been added to the top of my tbr pile. What about you? What do you think? Do these books sound like a win for you?

Defying Expectations with Catherine Egan

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I have started highlighting book blogs that I love, but I think now it’s time to go to the next milestone. That’s right, I’ve started a series on featured authors and their books.

After all, as a YA author, I do read a lot of YA. Honestly I read a ton before becoming an author, but now it’s kind of my job to get lost in a good book. Tough life, huh?

I’ll admit this is the first book in the Witch’s Child series that I’ve read. I have approximately 1 hour a week to read in, and I’m not about to put off a good book to the bottom of my tbr pile just because most people would hunt down the first book to read first. I thought this was an easy book to jump into even without reading the first book directly, though I’m sure it would be most satisfying to read the books in order if the thought of doing such a thing causes pain in your soul.

My experience reading this book was that it was faced paced, had a lot of interesting characters with pretty well developed characters, and an interesting approach to magic. Catherine’s Kahge is a very different alternative reality than my Shadeworld, but it’s mysterious and definitely sparking all my curiosity about where this series and the magical people who live in it will go.

This book is particularly sanctifying to me because I have had a bit of a reading drought lately. I have not read a new YA novel I enjoyed for more than a year at this point. I’ve been subsisting, barely, on murder mysteries (which are not typically my favorite genre), Non-Fiction, and rereading novels I already know and love over and over again. So this book has sprung me out of that torture, which is pretty special in itself.

In fact, I’m so enthralled by this book, I keep opening up chapters of it and rereading them even though I’m supposed to be writing a blog post right now. So I will get back to reading and just end this here with a firm recommendation for the series and the author. If this sounds like the right book for you as well the Amazon link is here. If you want to keep up to date with her I’ve included her website’s link here as well.

A Read Through History

We just wrapped up a little series breaking down the history of the English language. You can read the final post of that series here, and go back through the earlier posts.

Today we are going to do a more hands on exploration of this history. That’s right, we’re going to explore original historical texts.

Text Vs Screen

At this point I feel like you guys might think I think I’m some kind of English teacher, but I don’t. I’m just an author and book lover. I’m here for all things bookish, and I want to help you be too.

I think these books are actually interesting, and I think you will too. We just have to approach them in a fun way.

That’s why I’m pairing original English classics of each time period of the language with movies that help illustrate the story. I think pairing a visual movie with a textual book is a great way to approach older books you aren’t confident you can read on their own- that’s how I got started reading Pride and Prejudice and realized it’s actually an amazing book. (I watched it with the 2005 version starring Keira Knightley, and I prefer it infinitely over many more beloved and well known screen adaptations as it’s the best paced version I’ve seen so far.)

For the first installment in this sequel series, we are going to again go back to where English began.

Old English

Beowulf

Beowulf is an epic poem, and the earliest piece of English writing that has still survived. Back when the Anglo-Saxons, the three Germanic tribes that invaded the Celtic island we today call England, set up their new territory, a lot was going on in their lives. They were of the Germanic tribes- remembering of course that Germany was one of the last European countries to become a country and most of their history was a bunch of different tribal groups- but they also had roots with the Vikings and Danes and Dutch and a lot of different cultures that grew out of the earliest form of Germany.

Beowulf is an epic (epic=poem that tells a story and is often as long as a book) that details a great hero fighting to save his people. You can read a translation of the original book. You can find free copies of old classic books like this in Amazon, Nook, and Google Play; or you can check out a physical copy from most libraries. You can also read a side by side translation and interpretation by Seamus Heaney by clicking here.

I’d pair the classic with the move Beowulf and Grendel. It cuts out the magical elements of the original story and it makes it more of an action story than a grand fable, but it is one of the closest screen adaptations of the story that is also entertaining to watch.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

Meant to be sort of like a summary of their history, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles was a seven volume series written to be mostly factual. Remember, just like today, “historically accurate” can change a little bit depending on who is retelling the story. That said it’s an interesting tale.

If you want to read this I definitely DO NOT recommend going through all seven books. Unless you are a historian and this is the time period of your specialty, you don’t need to go that far. Just read the abridged edition most other people have read and call it a day- rather than reading the whole thing in an entire month and being thoroughly sick of it by the end.

I’d pair this with the 2006 movie The Saxon Chronicles, which has a medium rating on IMDB. It’s an Indie film, so the trailer leaves a little to be desired, but the film itself is exactly what I want in a movie based on this time period- swords, battles, and solid plot to boot.

Bede’s Ecclesiastes

Bede aimed to write a book about the history of the early European Church, included his own involvement in it. A good amount of secular history is included to give us a better sense of setting as well. If you’d like to read the original you can download an ebook for free right now from the Gutenberg Project here. This edition also has some annotations- it is hard to find a very annotated version as many of them are connected to current political or religious commentary which is really not what I’m featuring this book for, so this is one of the best I could find.

You can watch this video lecture on the subject here. Unfortunately it’s a video, not a movie, but it’s still fairly interesting I think.

Which was your favorite classic?