Our Favorite YA Ships!

With Valentines Day fast approaching, I thought I’d take some time to celebrate my favorite relationships in Yong Adult Fiction. Now, not all of the ships we cheer for are based in reality and some have already sunk, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate them, right? So, sit back and relax as I tell you who I want to have a happily ever after and why.

reading3-70

I feel a bit like I am cheating here, since I know very few people who don’t adore this relationship. Who can ignore those steamy chapters? But, for me it’s less about the sexy times and more about how supportive Feyre and Rhysand are of each other. They are both suffering in the wake of Amarantha and instead of struggling alone they look to each other for encouragement. Plus, how can you ignore the way he says “Feyre Darling.” Someone should really talk to me that way.

“Did you enjoy the sight of me kneeling before you?”

Yes. So much yes!

I should also point out that I was neither a Tamlin or Rhysand fan going into A Court of Mist and Fury. I was firmly on Team Lucien. That ship has sailed, however. And I reserve judgement on Lucien + Elain until after I have read A Court of Wings and Ruin.

reading3-71

I am sorry to all of you Celaena + Dorian / Celaena + Chaol shippers, but Aelin + Rowan reigns supreme. Celaena’s character progression requires her to outgrow both of her previous lovers. That is not to say that I don’t love them as individual characters, because I do. But when Rowan showed up, I just knew. The fact that he is a sexy Fae Prince doesn’t hurt matters, but what I loved most about him was his desire to push Aelin. She has always needed someone to challenge her to become the woman she could be and he did a remarkable job of that. He also needed her to help him stop living in the past and punishing himself for something that was not his fault. As a pair they just work extremely well together. More so than Aelin and any of her other partners. Dorian was too young and untested, but was able to remind her what it feels like to be happy. Chaol was stability she needed. Safety, but when it came time to push her to become Aelin, he fell short. Props to Sarah J Maas for showing us a realistic representation of how relationships develop!   Now give me more Rowaelin!

He shifted his arm so he could brush her hair back. His fingers lingered along her jaw. “You make me want to live, too, Aelin Galathynius,” he said. “Not exist—but live.”

reading3-72

Unlike the relationships mentioned above, Kaz + Inej are not outwardly affectionate. It is clear early on in Six of crows that they have feelings for each other, and those feelings develop into Crooked Kingdom. So, if you are looking for sexy times, pick up A Court of Thorns and Roses and have a blast. If you are looking for a well developed, slow building romance paired with amazing character development, Kaz + Inej are for you. Similar to Feyre and Rhysand, Kaz and Inej have both suffered through horrible traumas in this lives and have mended themselves as best they can. Throughout the books they both come to realize how they feel for the other and struggles to find the right way to address it or if they will address it at all. This is a slow burn relationship where the smallest touch will give you butterflies in your tummy. Well, at least it did for me. If you are looking for something a bit more forward, Nina and Matthias (from the same series) may be more your speed. But I just adored this pair!

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

reading3-73

Pete and Gemma are my only ship that comes from a Contemporary novel. Everything else is Fantasy or Historical Fiction (which is most of what I read) and therefor the relationships, while extremely romantic, are not very realistic. Replica, on the other hand, takes places in present day. Sure, it deals with clones, but it also addresses the ups and downs of being a teenager. And that is what I love about this relationship. Pete and Gemma are just normal teenage kids. It feels real, and it is just downright adorable from the start. Gemma calls Pete “Perv” because the mean kids spread rumors about him. It’s awkward, adorable, and just downright perfect. The same can’t be said for the romance mirrored in Lyra’s half of the book. 72 doesn’t feel like a fully fleshed out character and and was my least favorite part of the novel. But, I won’t get into that. Instead I will think about Pete and him riding to the rescue in his mom’s purple minivan.

reading3-74

And I Darken has an odd love triangle of sorts. Lada, the main character, is infatuated with her childhood friend (and Sultan) Mehmed. The hitch in this is that her younger brother Radu is in love Mehmed. The book focuses more on Lada’s relationship with the young Sultan than Radu’s. Which makes sense as Lada is the main character. That said, I am Team Radu. Lada likes the idea of Mehmed but cannot allow herself to truly love him because of what it would cost her. Radu, on the other hand, would be executed if anyone found out about his feelings and he is still all in. Mehmed, is of course, in love with Lada and not Radu. So, this ship is likely all in my head and probably won’t every come true on paper. Which is sad because I think social schemer Radu is a way better match for Mehmed than hot headed and out of control Lada. All we can do now is wait and see. The book ended with Lada leaving Mehmed with Radu. So, maybe I will get what I want. But, more than likely my ship will sink to bottom of the ocean with all of the Chaol + Celeana ships.

“We cannot always have what we want, no matter how much we want it.”

Which ships are your favorites? Who are you cheering for? Did your favorite character end up with the wrong person? We want to hear all about your ships in the comments!

- The Butcher (1)

The Shelfie Showdown!

It is kickoff time and I have been trying to figure out a way for Shelfie to have our own Super Bowl Party of sorts! So, I have decided that we will have our own showdown. You see, we are having trouble deciding what we want to read for our March Podcasts. We’ve narrowed it down the five books, but we need you help to pick just two!

Here are the contenders:

30320053

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.
Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

 

30095464

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

 

30269126Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

 

30653880The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?

Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. Includes black-and-white maps.

 

24485589Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

 

Welcome to the Shelfie Super Bowl! Tell us which on you’d like to hear us talk about on Shelfie in the comments! Let the showdown begin! 

 

 

Banned Books Week

This is a tad bit late, but even if we are on the tail end of Banned Books Week would should still celebrate frequently challenged books and everyone’s right to read!

Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates our right to read and the value of free and open access to information. The idea is to bring the entire community together in shared support of our very favorite thing: reading!

So, I decided to answer the following writing prompts offered by the American Library Association as part of Banned Book Week. I did change the graphics up to better suit the Shelfie style, but the questions are all theirs.

go-explore-5

prisonerThis question is probably the hardest one for me to answer. I have so many books that I truly treasure. It’s really hard to pick just one. So, in order to answer the question better I have decided to pick a banned/challenged book to help narrow it down.

I would totally go to jail to defend the Harry Potter series. Okay, I know. That’s not one book, It’s 7. Nope, not counting Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That sequel was rumored but never made. If you want just one book, pick one. I’d chain myself to a library shelf for each and every one of them. They defined my childhood and really helped pave the way for YA Fantasy as we know it.

Reasons cited when challenging: Occult/Satanic Themes

go-explore-4

4327066This one is easy. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I know what you are thinking. That book was originally published in 1999, you totally could have read it as a kid. But somehow I was never exposed to it. The school library didn’t have it and none of my friends were reading it. I managed to skip it entirely until I was 25. Even then it still had a major impact on me. It is such a powerful book that I think all teenagers should read. I really wish that I had been exposed to it when I was that age. Unfortunately, I believe it was pulled from the High School library shelves well before I attended. It is one of the more popular banned/challenged books.

Reasons cited when challenging: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

go-explore-3

9817161This is another question where there are hundreds of different answers. However, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban would be cheating, since I am pretty sure I have most of it memorized already and I used it above. Instead I will go with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. If you have listened to the podcast then you know I have cannot stop raving about this book. It has a huge impact on my life when I was in high school. I distinctly remember borrowing it from a friend and hiding it under my pillow so my Grandmother wouldn’t find it. She had never actively censored what I read before, but people were talking about Speak. Kids were reading it because parents were calling for it to be pulled from the shelves. It was too graphic and inappropriate. It sent the wrong message. Or so they said. I fail to see how giving a voice to rape victims is the “wrong message”. I have revisited this book many times throughout my life and each time it has touched me. This book shouldn’t be banned. It should be required.

Reasons cited when challenging: alcohol, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

go-explore-2

I know that everyone who answers this question will say the same thing. My mom is the reason I’m a reader, and it’s not just because she read me bed time stories or recorded my favorite books on tape so I could listen to them over and over again. For me, it’s more than that. I am severely Dyslexic with significant visual impairments. I was lucky to be diagnosed very young. If it hadn’t been for my mother pushing for the answers she wanted to hear, I don’t know if I would be able to read. That sounds awfully dramatic, I know. But, she was told it would be a struggle for rest of my life. Instead of giving up she pushed me. I was in vision therapy for years to correct the issues. I hated her for it then. Looking back I wish I had just said “thank you” because she gave me a gift. She gave me my love of books. If she hadn’t fought for my ability to read, I wouldn’t be writing this. So, it’s my mom. No question.go-explore-1

I keep going back to Harry Potter, but I can’t help it. I’m a super fan. If I could have lunch with any banned book character it would easily be Severus Snape. You’re probably thinking that would be a fairly awkward and silent affair. You are probably right, but it has so much potential for awesome! Snape is by far one of my very favorite characters ever written and I would love nothing more than to have tea and cucumber sandwiches with him. Maybe he can even wear Neville’s Grandmother’s hat! Don’t you think it’s perfect for tea?

 

What are your favorite banned books? Did your school remove books from the curriculum or library when you were younger? We’d love for you to share your stories in the comments! Help us celebrate the right to read, even if we are little bit late.

- The Butcher (1)