Steve Camden is an exciting new author that I’ve been hearing a lot about. It’s All About Love is Steve’s second young adult novel and it sounds fantastic. Read the blurb below and watch Steve’s video of his poem about It’s About Love.
He’s Luke. She’s Leia.
Just like in Star Wars. Just like they’re made for each other. Same film studies course, different backgrounds, different ends of town.
Only this isn’t a film. This is real life. This is where monsters from the past come back to take revenge. This is where you are sometimes the monster. And where the things we build to protect us, can end up doing the most harm…
It’s About Love is out now from HarperCollins New Zealand.
Paranormal romance is one of my least favourite genres, because often the romance totally overwhelms the story. Some of my favourite YA books from the past few years have centered around teenage relationships, whether it’s a girl who has to remind herself every morning about the guy she loves, a red notebook that bring a guy and a girl closer together, or a terminal illness that gives two teens a shared experience. I’ve listed my favourite YA love stories below (with links to my reviews). The characters in these books feel like real people, with real problems, who have realistic relationships.
What are your favourite YA love stories?
There are alot of picture books around that are about love. Usually they feature rabbits, bears, or even kangaroos, but until now there hasn’t been one featuring a monster. Love Monster by Rachel Bright is the perfect picture book to give to your valentine this Vanlentine’s Day.
Love Monster is about a little red, furry monster who is ‘a bit funny looking to say the least.’ He lives in a place called Cutesville, filled with all the cute, fluffy things you could imagine, like puppies, kittens and bunnies. Nobody loves him so he sets out to find someone that will. He looks high and low, inside and out, but he search proves fruitless. Just when he gives up and starts to go home, love finds him.
Rachel Bright’s story about finding love in the most unexpected place is cute, funny and smart in just the right doses. It’s not sickly sweet like some books about love. The monster in this book isn’t scary, but one of those ones you want to pick up and cuddle (kind of like Mike Wazowski in Monsters Inc.). Rachel’s illustrations are big, bright and bold and remind me of those pictures I used to do when I was at primary school where you use crayon and ink. The picture of the monster holding his teddy with his sad face on the front cover will definitely stand out on the shelf. You’ll want to share Love Monster with the slightly hairy monster in your life, as well as the not-so-hairy ones that would love to live in Cutesville.
4 out of 5 stars
My first book of 2012 is one that’s been calling me from my ‘to-be-read’ pile since it was published in September last year. Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone is of those books where, as soon as I saw the front cover, I knew it was going to be good. After finishing it today I wonder why it took me so long to get around to reading this beautiful story.
Karou is a seventeen-year-old at student living in Prague. With her attitude, blue hair and tattoos, she stands out from the crowd. Her sketches of mysterious and beautiful creatures are the envy of her fellow students, including her best friend Zuzana. No one knows about her other life, as the errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to a family. Karou knows nothing of her real family, only Brimstone and the other chimaera who have raised her. She has been raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere,’ the dark world which she knows little about. As Brimstone’s errand girl, she travels the world buying teeth from murderers and hunters, trading them for wishes of various denominations. Karou soon finds her world turned upside down when the seraphim destroy the portals back to Elsewhere, trapping her in our world, not knowing whether her family are alive or dead. When one of the seraphim attacks her a train of events is set in motion that will lead her back to Elsewhere and the truth about who she is.
From the first chapter, Daughter of Smoke and Bone cast a spell on me and I was totally immersed in the story for days. I felt like I was right there beside Karou and Akiva, from the streets of Prague and Marrakesh, to Brimstone’s shop and the caged city of Loramendi. The sights and smells of these places were so vivid that, even when I wasn’t reading the book I was thinking about them. Laini Taylor’s writing is absolutely beautiful and so full of emotion. I wanted to keep reading particular sentences just to taste them. Karou is a character that I really connected with because you could really get inside her head and know what she was feeling. I felt her heartache, love, longing, loyalty and fear. The thing I loved the most about the story was the creatures and places that Laini created. The chimaera, which are made up of different animals and humans, reminded me of the mysterious creatures from Guillermo del Toro’s films, including Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy (especially the scene in Hellboy: The Golden Army at the troll market).
Daughter of Smoke and Bone ends on a cliff-hanger, with a heart-wrenching discovery so I will be eagerly awaiting the next book. Until then, I’ll savour this beautiful story.
5 out of 5