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A masterpost of YA books (and a few crossover MG titles) to be released in August 2014.  Check out this month’s new releases below.  Feel free to use this as a guide to this month’s releases, but please do not repost it in its entirety elsewhere.  If you found this masterpost helpful, a like, reblog, or link back to Paperback’d would be much appreciated! If you know of a YA book to be released this month that isn’t on the list, drop me a message and I’ll update it!

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Review Round-Up: July 2014

A reference post for myself, to keep track of the books I read and review per month.  Here are July’s books:

July 1st: Panic by Lauren Oliver | 3 stars

July 7th: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken | 2 stars

July 14th: My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick | 3 stars

July 22nd: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness | 5 stars

July 29th: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead | 3 stars

Books read: 6

Books reviewed: 5

"Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?"

"No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”

(Source: myroza)



I still don’t understand why YA is a genre that’s so looked down upon like why is it trendy to hate all things YA? What is it about the genre that makes it so much worse than every other genre? What is it about this genre, despite having produced some of the most popular and successful franchises and have encouraged young people to read again, that causes it to be abhorred by everyone else?

It’s written largely by women and consumed largely by women and teenage girls. 

That is why it’s hated. See exhibit JG: when men write YA, it’s deemed by mainstream publications/periodicals/bloggers/etc. as “the YA that isn’t worthless.” 

When men deign to talk about YA, it’s “beginning” a conversation about it… even though it’s been discussed by women and girls for decades.

When school librarians, booksellers, and teachers are buying for the classroom and/or recommending to parents and students, they’re more likely to recommend books that had critical appeal — which makes sense.  But what about the fact that critics are more likely to receive for review, and then favorably review, books by male authors or about male characters than woman authors or characters? What happens then? 

When people realized in the mainstream that more YA is written by/for/about girls than boys, people fretted WHAT ABOUT THE BOYS? WHAT WILL THEY READ IF NO BOY CHARACTERS? even though girls have been made to read, and empathize with, and indoctrinate into ourselves as Real Literature, books with male protagonists (or only male characters) basically since Gutenberg, not to mention Salinger. 

Speaking of Salinger, Catcher In The Rye is generally lauded as the YA that “started it all” when Maureen Daly’s “Seventeenth Summer” a) came first and b) fits the category more cohesively.  When people want to canonize a book as The First, they look to the one written by a man (and about a boy protag) before considering its predecessors.

e.lockhart and John Green both published their first YA books in 2005… and yet recently, lockhart was called a “protege” of Green’s “mastery” of the category.

It isn’t just that YA lit is hated, it’s the audience who reads it, the core demographic who writes it, and the characters it represents that are hated — or at the least, demeaned.  Trying to address the issue of “why is this category mocked and demonized” without taking that step to question why its values and function and the people who make the category are REALLY the ones being mocked and demonized can’t solve the problem.  Or, really, attack it at all. 

The solution isn’t to “write better books” or “have more mature book jackets” or “hope that the mockery is a trend” or “ignore the big franchises for the literary standouts” or whatever else.  Those are just other ways to sweep under the rug the fact that the literary community is still hugely misogynistic, and that’s what needs to change before category (or genre) distinctions can even matter.


The Strand. by Annie Wu. on Flickr.

Waiting on Wednesday: Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1) by Ann Aguirre

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy and thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly… bad things are happening. But things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication date: August 5th 2014

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US


17 Ominous Opening Lines in YA | Epic Reads


Book Haul 7/25/14:

code name verity (code name verity #1) - elizabeth wein / two boys kissing - david levithan / boxers (boxers & saints #1) - gene luen yang  / saints (boxers & saints #2) - gene luen yang

I’m not going to be ashamed of a goddamn thing I read.

Book review: Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead

After my disappointment with the fourth book of this series, I wasn’t expecting much from Silver Shadows.  Maybe that worked in Richelle Mead’s favour - while I didn’t like Silver Shadows as much as the first three books in the Bloodlines series, I also didn’t dislike it as much as The Fiery Heart.

Bloodlines is a continuation of Richelle Mead’s popular and successful Vampire Academy series.  When Sydney Sage, an Alchemist, is sent to protect the Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, she meets and strikes up an unorthodox relationship with Moroi spirit-user Adrian Ivashkov. But Moroi-human relationships are strictly taboo, and Sydney’s insubordination has dire consequences.

Sydney Sage is one of my favourite YA heroines; an intelligent, compassionate, proactive young woman who uses her book smarts to become as powerful as the supernatural beings she works alongside, and never turns her back on those in need. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the rest of Mead’s characters.  Adrian Ivashkov, the artistic, brooding vampire who developed into a wonderfully considerate, respectful and feminist-friendly love interest, has regressed in the last two books into someone unrecognisable.  And Mead’s secondary characters are given little to no page-time, to the extent that their roles in the story as little more than sidekicks to Sydney and Adrian, feel unrealistic and meaningless.

After years of build-up, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the re-education storyline in Silver Shadows.  Much of it was predictable and anti-climactic, with less repercussions than I anticipated.  And as the gradual build-up was one of my favourite things about the series when I started reading it, the pacing of Silver Shadows, especially towards the end of the book,felt completely off.

Despite my criticisms, I did enjoy parts of the novel - enough to make the reading experience worthwhile.  My disappointment with Silver Shadows and The Fiery Heart doesn’t change my love of the first three books in this series, but it does make me wary of what’s to come.  I will still be reading Mead’s conclusion, The Ruby Circle - no matter what, I’m invested in Sydney’s wellbeing, and I’m interested to see how Mead deals with the fallout of the events of Silver Shadows.

Publisher: Penguin Books
Rating: 3 stars | ★★★✰✰
Review cross-posted to Goodreads

Buy on Amazon: US | UK

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